Sunday, February 14, 2010

Writer's conference

Must. Finish. Book.

Yeah I am the one who said I needed more chapters. But I may need to work what I need into existing chapters or cut down the number of new chapters.

A friend at Liberty States Fiction Writers (LSFW) offered a possible lead with an agent. Never shrug at such an opportunity.

Got useful comments from yesterday's session of LSFW and I signed up for next month's conference.

Right now people really like the sections with Satchel Dan. He's a character that requires restraint though. He's best as a sort of wise, loud-mouthed commentator. Too much of that can get annoying and you get tired of the character.

Here's a sample:

“Look out boys,” Satchel Dan said. “Here comes the smartest negro on Malburn Avenue!” The old man tipped his grey fedora at Randall.

A taller man, equally ancient as Satchel Dan, saluted with a flaring hand.

“Yes sir, General Randall Toussaint has taken the field,” the man said in a rafter-shaking bass. “Praise God, our savior has come home!”

“Randall? Is it gonna rain tomorrow?” asked a heavyset man in a soft baritone. Full grinning cheeks hid his decades of standing at the corner. “Is the rain coming, Randall? Is it? I mean, being how you know everything about everything, I thought I’d ask.”

“C’mon now speak up, boy,” Satchel Dan said impatiently. “Tell us what tomorrow will bring. In Randall Toussaint we trust, right? Right?”

Randall’s eyelids drew down tightly. “Why are you in my face, old man?”

“Well you did call us broke, vagrant…vagrant, um–”

“Stank alley cats!” interjected the pudgy baritone.

Flame and Bone

When I was made from fire
Poured into the tender vessel of caution
That keeps my smoke from rising
Quickly did I discover that apart from crisp drizzles or falling snow
The world chilled my touched
Walking the narrow cornered gap between girders and cut stone
One learns to tuck his shoulders in or risk
Jostling a neighbor passing by rapt with want
For a clear path without the distraction
Of another man's boiling eyes
The tip of a finger
That oldest of all weapons
Grown deadlier and pristine in its invention
Gathers a mote of a cinder on its bare flesh
And turns pondering how best to scratch the impious itch
Prying open the tender seam
Where the oil of thought dews
Offering a new wick to ignite
Squirming alive as a salamander of mischief
That yearns for a taste of air it is so ready to devour
The steam of breath betrays me
Before the glint of orange spreads
In popping bright waves
Eroding the fibers feeding it
Leaving naught but ash
As my shell of quietude falls away