Friday, March 18, 2011

Meaningful words

Whittling away the prose of Riding Ten Thunders should not surprise me. The original draft took shape at a different time in my life. I'm saltier and more seasoned with a legion of grey hairs on my head. More importantly I write much tighter now. "Economy of words" and all that. The trick is retaining the meaning.

This is helping me structure another book project. For a moment I thought I might work it as a trilogy but I think I can tell the story in one book. Publishers like concise work. Fewer pages cost less money to produce.

If I give the Algonkian Conference another shot this summer, I can pitch Riding Ten Thunders. But I will also solidify my other concept. I think I have it nailed and yes, it can speak to the YA audience... if that is where I want to go with it.

I just worry that the market is getting saturated with stuff that will turn off the YA audience to books en masse. Harry Potter and the Hunger Games have devoted legions . . . but those are the rare picks from an overflowing crop.

I'm not here to be an also-ran. I'm here to make something happen.

Stupidity has destroyed the middle ground

In the aftermath of the earthquake and tsunami that struck Japan, I am seeing such mindless reactions based on politics that I have the urge to hit someone.

First I watch pundits on television say the United States should not send any funds to help Japan recover because, as they claimed, Japan is wealthy, no one helps the U.S. when it is in trouble and "we're broke".

Then I find angry trolls on the web lambasting the President for not sending humanitarian aid when in fact we DO have military personnel actively working around the clock on rescue and recovery efforts.

There was a time when the world praised the spread of media tools to the public as a means to elevate communication. We all became part of a global conversation.

This is not a conversation anymore. It's a jaded argument built on misinformation, slipshod rhetoric and unsubstantiated hearsay.

Just because you have an opinion doesn't mean you know what you are talking about. Stop looking for villains where none exist.

Yeah, I'm annoyed.

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