Wednesday, February 21, 2018

Bonobo

The working title of my next. When a man retires from his job, he walks out the door with a test chimp named Grape, with nobody noticing. They live together and all seems fine, until Grape's criminal activity manifests itself and becomes a liability for the man. Well - we shall see how it all works out.

Wednesday, February 14, 2018

Gearing Up

I was pleased to help old Darryl out. Emphasis on "out?" You will never know without reading it. I am writing as I can. Busy helping the wife after her surgery. I picked up a bug, probably in the hospital cafeteria. Life is tough on an old man, but it was also tough on a young man. I am contemplating setting a mellower tone in my next writing. Topic in the air.

Monday, February 12, 2018

Darryl again

I couldn't leave the poor old guy hanging like that. So I have been adding to his story.

Friday, February 9, 2018

Collection

Some years back, I put together a collection of all my writings. It encompassed virtually all, from the beginning, when I didn't know what I was doing, to the present of that time, where I was starting to get better. Much of the material is totally inept, but I wanted a permanent record of my progress. Brother Sam designed the cover and it is still available through Lulu and possibly Amazon.
Complete Short Works

Sunday, February 4, 2018

Another day or two and

The tale of Darryl, 75 yrs old and newly homeless, should be wrapped up tomorrow or Tuesday. 

Wednesday, January 31, 2018

springtime in houston

its springtime in houston my friends
the time the hot weather begins
the blue jays fuss and they bother
azaleas early martyr
sending blooms like comets to die
in lovely streaks before the eye
we make obeisance to the sun
like cats we make the hot tin run

Saturday, January 27, 2018

Long Pause

Personal events have prevented me from moving forward. For about a month or two progress will be sporadic. I have not lost the drive to produce my brand of literature. It makes me feel guilty to lay off this way. I will be back and continuing.

Wednesday, January 17, 2018

Darryl

Short story, about a man of my age, 75, suddenly become homeless. I am able to draw on my own past for background and color. 

Friday, December 29, 2017

Arliss and the Alien

My short story about a stranded alien has been progressing like a snail on a frozen tin roof, but I expect it to pick up during today's session.

Wednesday, December 20, 2017

My Rules of Life

My rules of life.

1. Eat no dogs
2. When cooking give your mate the nicest portion
3. Do for others.
4. Don't expect others to do for you.
5. Take charge of your own health
6. Try to answer antagonists with logic and humor. In a pinch, anger and sarcasm will do
7. Vote even if you have to hold your nose
8. Stand against perpetual wars
9. Take time for yourself where you can relax and ignore the world
10. Love friends and family in adversity as well as good times

Tuesday, December 19, 2017

Almost threw a story away

Almost caught by Inkitt. I went so far as to put a story on their site, but then deleted it. I realized that for all their hype about making writers rich and/or famous, my work would be published for free and read for free, killing it for publishing companies. If anybody reading this knows better, I would be grateful.

Wednesday, December 13, 2017

It's Beginning to Look a Lot Like Christmas

I keep turning to that song, as vocalized by Bing Crosby, to be my anthem of the season. I appreciate Bing more these days than ever before. Chalk it up to nostalgia, a new appreciation of his talent - whatever. It fills me with warmth and sooths my troubled spirit. Last week, my sister and I had a divergence of opinion, which led to her disowning me, and ticking off all my bad traits and actions, ranging over the entirety of the past fifty years. I ended my last email to her by saying, "I am going to love you, whether you like it or not, and there is nothing you can do about it." It went to a seeming void, as she never replied. I possibly will not hear from her again, as she has written off other siblings in the same spirit.

Then, there is the action of today. It began innocently enough. My friend and co worker and I took a captured possum to the park for release. As we drove down the lane, a squirrel and then six deer crossed in front of us. The deer posed as we went by. I released the possum near the dumpsters, and the little guy made his dash to freedom. Our work got on track, and by lunch time I was thinking we would have a smooth time of it. As I stood by the microwave, awaiting my steaming roast chicken, a resident approached me. She was unable to get in touch with her uncle. I told the boss, and very shortly, we and the police went to his door. I was obliged to hop the patio wall, and then to break a window, so that I could crawl inside and unlock the door. Keys are useless when residents lock the upper, one sided dead bolts. He was on the bed, lifeless.

You might wonder that I was able to eat my lunch, but, I have always had to have my food, no matter the circumstances.

I began by writing about Christmas. I intend to have my joy this year, as every year. The human spirit needs holidays and aspirations for bettering life's circumstance. I compartmentalize disappointment and sorrow, separating them from my primary function of living for now in a positive way. And, so, I smile and wave, and sincerely wish one and all the best holiday possible.

Tuesday, December 5, 2017

Go Set a Watchman, by Harper Lee

I've just finished Go Set a Watchman, by Harper Lee. While I understand some people feel dismay to learn the original Atticus Finch was a racist, I have to say I was mesmerized by the whole story and will never regret reading it. She seems to consider the people of Maycomb a microcosm of the 50's south, overlooking lynchings and inflicting humiliations on the black folk as a matter of course, in other locales. Turns out, this book is most about Scout becoming her own person. It has been quite a few years since I last got so hooked on a book as to read nonstop until it was done.

Sunday, December 3, 2017

New Computer

A glitch with my new computer. After writing on "EOC," I 'saved' the story and then shut down the document it was in, preparatory to a restart. Later, when I tried to open it up for the next writing episode, an information box informed me that document had been deleted by me. It was fortunate that I had it saved elsewhere, all but three pages, which I was obliged to write over again. 

Saturday, November 25, 2017

EOC

In this little story, there's a story within the story: women being strong and organized, post EOC (End Of Civilization war). I'm just on the third page. Having computer problems these days.

Monday, November 20, 2017

Woe and Problems

Not so many months ago, I bought a new desktop. It was an Acer and it was made like a laptop. At first, it was a joy to use and naturally I loved it. I had some new stories on the word processor that have never been saved elsewhere. Because the machine was new, I thought there was plenty of time for that. But I just got a text from the repairman: motherboard fried. I have to pay him $170 to rescue my files. So here is a word of wisdom to all who would like to trust modern technology: It's out to screw you. Never trust any of it for an instant. 

Friday, November 17, 2017

Collection: Items Expelled

Two of my short stories have been removed from the contents of Spelville. Try as I might, I cannot steer them away from being cliches. Perhaps if I allow them to stay in time out a spell, they may decide to cooperate. Meanwhile, time to get on with a new one, having completed Walk on the Sky, yesterday.

Friday, November 10, 2017

Writers.me

Books published by submitting to Writers.me
Beyond the Dark Water is one that you will see there. But there lots of good ones to choose from.

Monday, November 6, 2017

I haven't plotted out Walk on the Sky at all.

I don't know what will happen next until I write it. Hope I get a clue in time to tie it all together.

Wednesday, November 1, 2017

Saturday, October 28, 2017

Took time off to recharge the batteries

I plan to put my current work into the NaNoWriMo site. My user name there is Arlo Clyde. Current tale under construction: Walk on the Sky.

Saturday, October 21, 2017

Sleeping With Strangers

The title of my novel, Poppy Fields of Mars, is now, Sleeping With Strangers. Still trying to get some attention to this one.

Sunday, October 15, 2017

At Seventy Five

There is a calmness and satisfaction in older people's lives. I don't think we earn it. It seems to be a natural cycle, one of the many stages of life. But it is not altogether smooth sailing. Roiling the calm are poverty and/or infirmity, for many. Until recently, I had been completely certain that I would defy at least the latter. Then I learned that I have a damaged liver and that for years have been eating, always, the very foods that I should have avoided. Recently, for days I had gotten so lethargic as to spend most of the daylight hours either asleep in the easy chair or wasting time on social media. None of my stories progressed. It seems entirely logical that I might have fallen asleep and failed to awaken. During the last five days I have changed my diet and already my energy level is up, so I have possibly bought some time. I feel better now. Much of the mental fog has lifted and I have been staying busy all day, as of yesterday.        

Saturday, October 7, 2017

Our Great White Winter

Brother Sam and I were footloose through the last years of the 60s, except we were becoming settled, in Kansas City, in 1969. We rented a home in a boarding house and got jobs and an auto. He drove a delivery car. I worked at a plant that provided caustics for soaps and the like. As it settled into winter, we had lots of ice and some snow. I recall one day watching a thermometer go to minus eight. More than once, my feet skied out from under me and my butt slammed into the sidewalk.
After work, we two introverts would go home, and play records, into the evening. As one unhappy resident put it, walking past our door, "Clang, clang, clang." We had just discovered Leonard Cohen and we had Beatles, Judy Collins, Buffy Sainte-Marie, Bob Dylan, Phil Ochs, Donovan and the Band, and The Fugs. Sam discovered James Taylor. He loved Sweet Baby James. I never liked Taylor's delivery and ignored him, except later, when he sang Fire and Rain.
I had recently been in New York City and DC, to participate in civil rights and antiwar protests. I avidly bought the LA Free Press and other anti-establishment publications and collected R Crumb comics. R Cobb had some fantastic editorial cartoons in the LA Free Press.
Lately I had been staring at blank spiral notebook pages, yearning to write. Finally, Sam said to me, "Write a story about Wild Wormwood." Inspired, I began to turn out daily stories, all instigated by Sam. "Write about Nathan Warlock." And so on. Then we began to collaborate on a magazine, which never materialized.
This period I have called Our Great White Winter, because, in the ice and snow of Kansas City, we were inside, warm, and the artistic ferment seemed wrapped in a pure, white, secure, blanket. And the seeds were planted for the future.

Friday, September 29, 2017

Clowns

A Murder of Clowns
'Nother to go in the collection.
I grew up a fan of clowns. Even the unfunny ones had a gentle humor that made me want to smile. Even now I salute them for working so hard to entertain. The evil clowns of today are as separate from my childhood clowns as Jekyll from Hyde. I reject them all. Which could explain why I wrote this story.

Sunday, September 24, 2017

Quote of the day:

"If the person you are talking to doesn't appear to be listening, be patient. It may simply be that he has a small piece of fluff in his ear." ~ Winnie the Pooh

Tuesday, September 19, 2017

Authors.me library


The Authors.me Bookshelf

Through these people I found my publisher for Beyond the Dark Water. I am using them to push some more writings. I saw a few agents listed. Some of the publishers are Indie and I was approached by one who wanted to "partner" publish. So, if you are interested, please be careful to fully check them out.

Wednesday, September 13, 2017

The Shorts

The new shorts to accompany Spelville:

Peace: Murder against a backdrop of realized world peace.

The Twelian: A boy and his extraterrestrial.

Untitled: The secrets in Grandpa's attic.

This list to be expanded as work prgresses.

Monday, September 11, 2017

New Direction

Instead of trying to peddle Spelville, individually, it now seems doable to make up a collection of stories. I had not expected publishers to be receptive, but, it turns out, some are requesting it. I have some ready and and a new one is taking shape as I write.

Friday, September 8, 2017

Formatting to submit

I am formatting three stories. I hope to submit them by Monday.

A woman friend of mine has seen my stories. "Why do you kill everyone?" she asked, one day. Why do butterflies sing? Why does the walrus soar? Nobody knows.

Thursday, September 7, 2017

well, about the storm

I never flooded, was never in danger. I lost the internet before the storm even hit and it took me until now to get it back. Lots of things to make up. I hope all is well with those who endured Harvey and also who may be attacked by Irma.

Saturday, August 19, 2017

Feedback on Spelville

I wrote the first two chapters in a fairly distant past. My writer friend - now deceased, so I will not name him - told me he liked it better than Nevil Shute's "On the Beach." While I am not vainglorious enough to compare myself to such a fine writer, I totally love to be praised. The other day, I sent the complete draft to a lifetime friend, who lives in a state distant from mine. Of course, I first made certain he was interested. This friend will be totally honest with me, which is why I trust him with my stuff. He has ripped into a couple of things I showed him and I hope he will give me the works, once again. Anyway, I anxiously await a response and while I let this version cool a while, I am at work on one concerning a stranded extraterrestrial. (It's no imitation of E. T. by any means.)   

Monday, August 14, 2017

Zimbell House Publishing

I submitted Poppy Fields manuscript to these folks. I suspected they ask the authors to pay them, so made it clear up front I am not looking to pay a publisher. They thanked me for letting them know, thus saving us each our time. 

Saturday, August 12, 2017

Book Promotion

Seems the Indie authors may have broken down a wall. Maybe it was never there. Publishers leave most of the 'leg work' to the authors, these days, from something I have been reading.That is, unless your name is Stephen King or John Grisham.  I always believed that when, or if, one becomes published, the publisher does all of that and sends your royalties.  I knew about book signings and readings, but had no idea it was key to your success. Boy am I dumb. Well, nothing to do but keep plugging away. 

Thursday, August 3, 2017

Spelville last chapter written

Now to fill out certain sparsely written passages. After that will ensue a cooling off period before I do a final edit.

Wednesday, August 2, 2017

Progressing

I read through Spelville, from page one, yesterday. Not to polish, but to check for cohesiveness and obvious errors. I had read a particular passage a number of times without realizing I had the character of Annie born after her brother, Joseph, but as of the very next page had Annie the eldest. Caught that, yesterday. Some errors were comical - almost. For 'tome,' I somehow managed to write 'tomb.' It's too soon for a final polish, but I can proceed with a feeling it is coming together.

Sunday, July 30, 2017

Sold more copies than I expected

I have said all along that Beyond the Dark Water was never expected by me to sell too many copies. True enough it will never take off, but it is doing pretty well. Thanks to all who gave it a try.

Sunday, July 23, 2017

Agents

I think if I wish to avoid Indie publishers, I have to seek an agent. Spelville is far from completion, but I decided to begin a list of potential representatives, to be ready. I feel lost, going through so many websites. I am keeping a copy of my book in a non formatted form, to make it easier to set it up as each agent or publisher specifies. I plan to explore the possibility that this story could be of interest as a movie.

Friday, July 14, 2017

Poppy Fields of Mars and Henry Miller

There were two Henry Millers. First, he was a notorious writer of explicit, often crude, sexual encounters and fantasies, for which he was banned, before a court allowed that his books had redeeming value. He dared to pen what others thought, but were reluctant to make a literature of. In my book, I took up this aspect of his work to inspire my own. I make no apologies for my choice of words, or the implied point of view. Like Miller, I have incorporated other aspects of storytelling, of a non sexual content, to round out a tale that is essentially a love story between two, who become separated and must await the end of odyssey to be reunited.

Second, for Miller, his observations of culture, art and personal angst fill far more volumes than the sex. It would be an honor for me to be able to claim similar skills, but not so in Poppy Fields of Mars. It is straightforward storytelling, minus the abstruse, told as sparsely and simply as I could manage.

It would be presumptuous, as well as delusional, for me to claim my work in any way equates to Henry Miller's genius. But, I think, if someone loves Tropic of Cancer or The Rosy Crucifixion, they may be slightly amused by my own efforts.   

Wednesday, July 12, 2017

On the Rewrite

Notes to self:
1. Sprinkle cars and trucks about some of the descriptive passages. (Joseph playing in a few as a child.)
2. Explain how Nicole got her spine twisted by Joe Kerr.
3. Explain about the mysterious concoction in a barrel that saved lives.
4. Add clever chapter titles
5. Revisit this list from time to time.

Tuesday, July 11, 2017

Knowledge Gaps When Writing

On social media I asked friends the following question:


"Has anybody here ever installed or removed an outboard motor? Specifically, does the motor bolt in place or merely slip in a bracket and then simply lift up and out? It's important to know for a story I am working on."


I got the answers I needed. Then:

  I got it now. Thanks. You may have helped - or hindered - my efforts to save the captives on board a boat.

Wednesday, July 5, 2017

After Three Months an Answer

I submitted Poppy Fields of Mars to Inkling, via Authors.me, three months ago. This week they emailed me to let me know they no longer use that site. I can resubmit to their other site, but the manuscript has a different set of rules to follow, after I spent a week making changes for the Authors.me app. A manuscript can be blowin' in the wind for a long time before its fate is settled. Another problem with the book, it is oriented mainly to heterosexuality, told from the male point of view. It is hard to find somebody to allow it as a submission. I have to keep it circulating until somebody gives it a chance.  

Monday, June 26, 2017

Spelville

That's the working title for my tale of the few to survive a disease that one could almost describe as the Earth acting in revolt against infestation. Every major species was stricken. Spelville is the name of a riverside settlement where a family of three resides, living in isolation for years before getting discovered by an expedition of twelve men on a mission to learn if any women at all survived. Before they came to Spelville they had found none - 

Sunday, June 18, 2017

Multiple Stories

I think nearly all writers have more than one work in progress. I have recently made considerable progress revising an older tale of mine and expanding it into a longer, more rounded, more readable, manuscript. It's a dystopian tale about a woman who lives alone for the first ten years, before being discovered by another survivor, and then things start to happen to her. 

Saturday, June 10, 2017

Poppy Fields of Mars

I never wrote anything remotely like this before. It is a book of sub plots, with a giant cast of characters. It careens from dark to light, from humor to tragedy.  Mars and his wife, Joanna, are a team of sexual adventurers, until his wife strikes out on her own. Wounded by the betrayal, he discovers within himself a desire to go mainstream and abandons her. There is a strong element of revenge in his subsequent sexual encounters, before he selects a woman named Dance to share his future. Theirs is a troubled relationship, destined to fail. Her depression  as a gang rape victim drives her to suicide. In the dreamscape of sexual adventures, Mars encounters a bizarre list of partners. He finally breaks away from the life of the player, and has a series of adventures, before the plot is resolved and like Ulysses goes home. It has yet to be picked by a publisher.


Tuesday, June 6, 2017

I Knew it Was no Best Seller

I wrote Beyond the Deep Water with the full realization it would likely have few readers. It was my life mission, at the time, to gain the catharsis the writing afforded and also to state my case to the ones who would pay attention. Until one has read this book, one knows virtually nothing about me, whether as friend, acquaintance or otherwise. I lived the greater portion of my life like a cockroach hiding in cracks and shadows during the history of the greatest decades of the wealthiest nation in history. With the exception of a few episodes I maintained sanity in the face of being ridiculed and ignored. I quit school at age 16 and worked for relatives, framing houses. They most reluctantly employed me, for I was considered too slow, too stupid. Thoughts of approaching a stranger to ask for a real job terrified me and I stuck with them. The year I turned 20, desperation drove me to hitch hike across four states, with two dollars in my pocket and no change of clothes. A car wash hired me to vacuum cars, in Long Beach, CA.

Every day was a climb up a rugged slope, with a raging beast strapped across my back. Even when I married, the struggle never abated. Only the calm that comes with old age has eased my burden in the slightest. During the writing of my book I gained self knowledge I might otherwise have remained ignorant of the whole of my days.

When I set out to write it, I intended to tell the whole story of my entire family. For years I turned out a chapter here, some pages more now and again, but was unable to combine the whole into a cohesive narrative. Discord with some of my siblings made me delete most references to living persons, leaving me with a short tale indeed. I turned to fiction to bind it together and was able at last to wrap it up, with the introduction of Rusty as a ghost.        

Tuesday, May 30, 2017

Message from a Reader

This was a quick and easy read, I enjoyed the geographical details, I don't know how you do it! The diagnosis at the end...brilliant!