Saturday, January 05, 2008

Time to vote

It's that time of the year when the Preditors & Editors nominations become the talk of the Internet -- at least for the writing community. There are lots of articles, e-books, editors, authors and wannabes vying for their spot at the top of the writing food chain. Until Tuesday, January 5th, you have the opportunity to nominate and vote for your favorites. Forget about all the hype and people begging for your votes and vote for what you like. You might even discover some new venues where you can submit your work. P&E brings them all out in force. Take a minute or two over the next ten days and see what is out there, what you like, who you like and what's available. There's no such thing as too much information.

That is all. Disperse.

Thursday, January 03, 2008

Hot start to a cold new year

I was getting ready to unglue my backside from the chair at my desk and get something for dinner -- probably homemade hummus and raw vegetables. Mmmmm I checked my email and got a wonderful surprise. Common Ties new category of personal stories, 20 questions accepted one of my answers. They shortened my answer, but I don't have a problem with that since it means they're paying me $3 a word -- or thereabouts. With a start like this to the year, everything's going to be golden.

I had given up on them accepting any of my answers (I sent a few) because it has been a few weeks. First lesson of the year: Never give up no matter what.

Now, go and write and enjoy yourself. That's what it's all about.

That is all. Disperse

Wednesday, January 02, 2008

Pure camp

It has been some time since I read all of Jane Austen's novels and watching Persuasion and The Jane Austen Book Club again reminded me how much I have missed reading the stories. It's not that the movies aren't good, but I miss the language and the full scope of Austen's vision. I find more and more that I miss language and the exercise of reality and fantasy while I lose myself in a good story -- or even a mediocre one. It's like coming home tonight from running errands and the landlady asking me if I've ever heard of the movie, Barbarella. Of course I have and it's one of my favorite very campy movies, right up there with The Adventures of Priscilla, Queen of the Desert and Flesh Gordon. Movies like that you can't find in a novel -- at least not that I've found, except for Motel of the Mysteries. Then again, one of the books I recently read and have yet to review borders on camp while maintaining the pretense of being a serious look at a historical personage with religious significance. Puts me in the mind of David Niven telling a cab driver who wanted Niven's honest opinion about his play about Abraham that he made Abraham sound like a butcher from Queens. Can a writer flout historical accuracy in order to make a point based on religious significance without pandering to accepted history or wounding religious cattle? Camp has its place but camp that pretends to be revelation of the inner working of ancient minds misses the point.

It's a fine line to walk, much like the tightrope that stretches between real friendship and sycophantic pandering.

That is all. Disperse.

Sunday, December 30, 2007

I'm baaack!

And I'm rested but feeling the pinch of the coming weeks of work before I can take another day (or week) off. The snow was a beautiful sparkling expanse of endless white and the banks of the river edged with ice while the river rushed by in frothy spangled streamers of liquid light and dark. A stand of white pillared aspens naked in the pallid light marched off into the distance and I wandered among them swishing through the snow-covered drifts of seasons of leaves after a breakfast of fresh fruit and hot chocolate delivered to my door every morning. Another cabin stood nearby with a gravel walk that ended at the main house a half mile up the path and no one stopped by during my stay except to deliver breakfast and silently whisk the empty tray away while I walked.

It was difficult leaving but a growing sense of longing for the familiar confines of my own walls and books and furniture brought me back with a sigh of relief. The silence here is not as deep or as all pervasive but it's home and I'm comfortable here. I'll return to the cabin next year, maybe in late spring when the scents of warming earth and budding aspens are as intoxicating as the smoky smell of golden aspens quaking in a faint wind like Midas's coins, and will probably be just as glad to return home as I will be to arrive at the secluded cabin. There's nothing like travel to remind me of how much I enjoy being here among my things and sleeping in my bed where books lie beside me in tumbled disarray.

The silence was soothing and I luxuriated in a candlelit bathtub full of scented foam rising on wisps of steam with a mug of hot chocolate and a book or lying back in the warm waters while music swirled through the air to soothe and excite me in turns. It was a dream vacation that I will dream again and again, looking forward to the long nights and solitary walks as much as to the writing and reading without limits or restraint, often falling asleep with a book in my lap to awaken and pick up where I left off. There is so much to look forward to experiencing as though it is the first time and it will be a first each time.

That is all. Disperse.