“I know not with what weapons World War III will be fought, but World War IV will be fought with sticks and stones” — Albert Einstein

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Next Big Thing

Tricia O'Brien, who blogs at Talespinning has tagged me for the Next Big Thing blog hop. Tricia is currently working on a dark fairy tale, PRINCESS CHARMING: A DIFFERENT KNIGHT’S TALE and shares a snippet of the story in her interview. I was delighted she asked me to share some details of what I’m currently working on, so without further ado,  here are my answers to the Next Big Thing.
What is your working title of your next novel? BLACK RIVER

Where did the idea come from for this novel? I can’t answer that question, because I’m not sure. I was sitting on the couch one night with my laptop and started writing about this guy who sets out across a wintering field to see what the vultures circling overhead are after. And then...things started happening. I think it came to fruition partly because of a secret desire I had to write a loose sequel to my first novel.
What genre does it fall under? I see it as a crossover between literary, commercial and contemporary NA.

Which actors would you choose to play the part of your characters in a movie rendition? I hate to hitch up the horse when I don’t have a cart to sit in, but that said….my female protagonist should be played by a gutsy Girl-With-The-Dragon-Tattoo type, (minus the tattoos and the piercings) and the male protagonist would best be portrayed by Ben Affleck with Argo hair or someone like that guy who led his gang safely back to Coney Island in The Warriors.  
What is the one-sentence synopsis of your novel? The comfortable life of the son of a landed fourth-generation farmer collides with that of the daughter of an itinerant migrant worker with a troubled past.

Will your book be self-published or represented by an agency? I hope to be represented but I have not yet queried. This has actually been a good exercise for me in preparing to do so.

How long did it take you to write the first draft of the manuscript? The first draft took me five months to write.

What other books would you compare this story to within your genre? That’s hard since this novel is a crossover. I’ve been told by some that my writing reminds them of Jodi Picoult. Personally (don’t think me pretentious), I see this novel as a blend of Picoult, Scott Spencer, and Andre DuBus with a bit of the grit in All The Pretty Horses, and I hope it appeals to those readers who like those books.
Who or what inspired you to write this book? The earth under my feet, the world around me, and the climate change that threatens to overtake us and bury us.

What else about your book might pique the reader's interest? The characters wrestle with some of the most contentious social issues of our day while dealing with a small matter of murder, cover-up, and police malfeasance and then there is the forbidden love that the main character treks through the Canadian woods across thin ice in a warming world to claim.
And since Tricia shared a snippet, here’s one from BLACK RIVER: He’d never been cut with a knife before, and he wondered why his father hadn’t warned him about the aftermath of that, the crushing humiliation of having one’s mortality laid open for all to see.

As per the rules of being tagged, I hereby tag the following authors to share their next big thing.  J.B. Chicoine, Anne Gallagher, Deborah LawrensonStina Lindenblatt, and Liza Salerno.  Deborah has already done this here  but has agreed to post an update.

I can’t wait to see what these talented writers are currently working on.

Sunday, February 24, 2013

A Bad Girl

Venus de Milo with Drawers, 1936, Salvador Dali

At the age of twelve
I was instructed to wash my hands
when I got up in case
I'd touched myself in my sleep.

Curious at what I should be doing
but wasn't doing
I touched myself
here, here, and here.

Nobody else knows what they did
with my arms
but I can't touch myself

The writing prompt comes to us from Magpie Tales,

A blog dedicated to writers and poets for the purpose of honing their craft. I hope you enjoyed my Magpie Tale. The Venus de Milo has always mystified me.

Friday, February 22, 2013

Better Than Jumping Off A Bridge (FF55)

Her albums are arranged
in alphabetical order facing left.
The silver is polished
with serrated edges pointing right.
Bottles in the rack are arranged
with the labels facing up.
Her life is a pattern pinned to the fabric
so as not to waste an inch,
edges cut with a pinking shears
so they won’t unravel.

It's fictional Friday and time to tell a story in 55 words. Check out the G-Man for links to more of the same, or better yet... post one of your own and let Mr. Knowitall alias G-Man know.


Sunday, February 17, 2013

Magpie Dreams

Wind of History by Jacek Yerka
My recurring dream of water
sloshing in the wheel wells
on a drive along the crumbling beach
forested wtih trees which would never be
to swim without a suit like a hedonist
in waves crashing over the breakwater
gave way to a fork in the road
and a house of many rooms
waiting to be refurbished,
like an antique in need of buffing,
a loving hand to awaken the patina of wood
harvested from the property
and you under the covers in a room with a dormer.

If dreams are to be minded,
I will die of drowning and you and I
will never lie under the covers in the bedroom
on the property of a dream.

The image comes to us from Magpie Tales.  Follow the link to join the Mag Creative Writing Group and read other poems and vignettes using the Wind Of History for inspiration.

Friday, February 15, 2013

How To Make Mary Stay

Mary will stay
for days and days
if we pour boiling water
on her head
and strip her naked
like a dead thing with no privacy
in the cemetery of the living.

Mary comes but never stays
breezes in and bakes brie soufflé,
polishes the floor then off she goes
because Mary can never stay.

This is fifty-five words for the G-Man's Friday Flash 55. He prefers it be fiction, but it doesn't have to be, but he will rap your knuckles if you don't have exactly fifty-five. If you have a story you can tell in such a succinct fashion, you'd best let the big guy know. Enter his fold; he won't let you go.


Thursday, February 14, 2013

Arrest Me! New Agent On A Rampage & Eros Sleeping

It seems that some notable authors are willing to be arrested for a cause. Citizen involvment is alive and well, and who better to lead the charge than poets and writers?  There are more causes to stand up for these days than books to be read.

In other news, Ethan Vaughan, who did a reader's report for me some time ago and has recently been promoted from intern to agent at Kimberly Cameron and Associates has made himself available for private editing, a task for which he comes highly recommended. Check out his blog here to see testimonials and get further information.

This morning there is a warning here from Jessica Bell in regards to CreateSpace. It appears there is no end to the trouble we face. Can one never let their guard down?

I leave you with this image from the Metropolitan Museum of Art. There is something very moving and sensual about the sleeping Eros who has been out all day shooting arrows and now rests.

Happy Valentine's Day.

Monday, February 11, 2013

A Novel Should Break Your Heart

The only story that seems worth writing is a cry, a shot, a scream. A story should break the reader’s heart. – Susan Sontag 1933-2004

I’ve often wondered if I could write such a story. I have a hate/love relationship with sad endings. Should I challenge myself to write one? Would it make a masterpiece out of a cheesy, happily-ever-after? Have you written a story that Sontag would approve of? One that breaks your heart?

 As writers, should we be purveyors of escape at the end of the day?  Dealing out lighthearted romps, whodonits with neat endings, and happily-ever-afters, floating comfortably above controversy and reality? Or should we be shining a light into the dark corners of human existence and misfortune? There is no harder profession than writing and no higher calling than to tell the truth as we see it. But what is truth and do people want to read it? I don't want or even expect a happy ending, but I want a satisfying one.

Atonement (remember that one?) broke my heart. (I hated it!) Cormac McCarthy breaks my heart every time, yet I return to his stories again and again. I’m a glutton for tragedy, so why can’t I write one?  I fear it’s a flaw, the sign of an immature writer. And while it’s true, that I hate novels with sad endings, those are the ones that stick with me, the ones I can’t forget. So I wonder…do I have it in me to write the only story that seems worth writing? I fear it would break my heart.

Friday, February 8, 2013

The Dance (Fri.Flash 55)

Daddy taught me how to dance
how to step and how to follow
how to twirl like a top,
knowing he would find me. 

I collect the scattered coin
from off the floor and search
for the hearing aid remote
that gets lost
like the cane and the thoughts
and the steps for the dance.
This is 55 words for the G-Man's Friday Flash 55.
TGIF and may you always have someone to dance with.