clues at the scene

clues at the scene

Thursday, October 13, 2016

Nobel, Not Noble

At left, a picture of horse dung courtesy an image hosted on wiklicommons as photographed by Basotxerri. Very nice photograph which is rewarded by qualifying as a "quality image" under wikicommons image standards. Nice job, and thanks for letting us use it here!

Bobby Zimmerman gets the Nobel in Literature.

What else can you expect from a Nobel committee who saw fit to give the Peace Prize to a President Obama.

Hey - before you lean all left and huff-up the indignant dial to "full-hater" consider: Carter brought Begin and Sadat together for the Camp David Accords and if you read the history of that little effort, you'll clearly see how much Carter's personal involvement produced the outcome of the agreement. This wasn't a  staff job.

Carter got the Peace prize. That's a pretty high bar.

Martin Luther King also has won the Peace Prize. Pretty high bar.

I don't think Obama has risen to Peace Prize level -- unless we give it to him for the effective use of drone strikes to combat world terror organizations. I do love me some remote control extra-judicial executions!

I love a constitutional scholar who believes in ordering the "unfortunate demise" of individuals not members of a recognized foreign government without due process or judicial review.

Obama qualifies for the ink job of "Kill 'em all - let God sort 'em out"  worn on the deltoid of Staff Sgt. Hernadez who was a nasty piece of work in every possible respect.

Hemingway won for Literature. Kipling. Yeats. George Bernard Shaw. Mann.O'Neil. Buck. Hesse. Elliot. Faulkner. Steinbeck. Becket. Solzhenitsyn. Bellow. Marquez. Munro.

I'm saying Dylan's verse does not rise to the level literature that the works of these other authors illustrate.

Everyone has an off day at the office. Today is the off day for this century's Nobel committee for the prize in literature.

It's a horseshit decision.

Everyone has opinions and assholes. In your eyes, I might be indistinguishable from either.

In my opinion, this is a poor choice that is insulting to the writers previously so honored.

Wednesday, September 14, 2016

One Giant Step

The image at left hosted on wikicommons is by Skytouch who allows its use here for merely the attribution. Giant's Causeway, County Antrim, Northern Ireland (U.K.).

I've had an itch just like all of you. It's more than my constant summer's bout of poison ivy.

I've a series of stories I couldn't quite piece together into a cognitive whole. They've formed parts of a couple of abortive novels but whose plot and revelation lags and fails to knit as a whole.

I've solved that problem this week.

Now, this problem -- challenge? -- has been languishing inside me for almost thirty-six months.

It's been a most troubling aspect of these stories in that I have great joy in them but their integration into something more has failed so desperately. They were more than short-stories to stand alone but less than a novel whose strings could be pulled by a reader into any sort of whole cloth.

I've solved the puzzle of the broken pieces. What's more, I have tens of thousands of words invested in different drafts of the pieces and so making productive use of this effort is extremely gratifying.

I have these little stories with characters like a sheriff wearing snakeskin boots made of rattlesnakes sans rattles left in his mailbox, alive. I have a boy who learns early to play the game beyond the game and kill with words. I have a priest whose conviction is compelled by the association with a demon who drove his father to suicide.

I have unfaithful partners, untrustworthy guardians, duplicitous motives for both, and a confidence in my characters that tomorrow may not be better than today.

I carry a little soul in each abortive story so far and the prospect of resolving them into a work that might be read by somebody - anybody. Well.

You know that joy in a project when you pass from "this is all rubbish no one will ever want to read" to "unworthy as it is, it remains my best work right now." It's an odd sort of transition.

There's always doubt. That in itself is worth the ink.

Spill some on the page soon. You never know when giants will again walk the Earth and scare away all your literary devices.

Wednesday, August 31, 2016

I Found My Book

Image at left of Shakespeare & Co. as photographed by Christine Zenino of Chicago, IL from 2011.

She hosts the image on wikicommons and allows us to use it here for the attribution. Thanks, Christine! (And thanks to Shakespeare & Co. who in no manner condone or endorse this post, blog, or any materials displayed or referenced herein. They might however endorse some of the Shakespeare quotes if they're asked nicely, I'd guess.)

I found a book tonight I'd misfiled in my library and so thought it gone forever.

It's a simple thing finding a book that one believed had gotten away. Some of my books travel and I'd guess some of yours might as well.

I'm not a good book loaner because I've sometimes been a poor book borrower. I have a volume -- Bogmail by Patrick McGinley -- that I borrowed years ago and have to this day as a precious reminder of a very good friend.

Anyway, I found a book that really is a bit inconsequential on the surface covering various aquatic insects; except, it is inscribed by the author (just a general signing ...doesn't know me from Adam)  and I've come to use it as a nearly unimpeachable reference.

I thought it lost.

Now I have it.

I'm as happy as if it were my birthday and someone made me a cake.

I hope you tonight find something you've been missing and thought gone forever. Maybe a volume. Maybe a set of notes. Perhaps a pen with just the right feel.

Maybe a plot element or even just a word.

Maybe a single, precisely sonorous word which you will now use in the opening sentence of your next work and for that you too will smile, each time you read the sentence, before an audience of enchanted readers.

Yes. Happy finding, you.

Sunday, August 21, 2016

Nosing Around

At left, Lou the foxhound helping me with my re-writes. He's an in-close type of writing consultant. Likes to stick his nose right in my coffee, too.

The blog is static ...not dead yet!

It's been a tough summer for the ink. I've been working a story since late June and am now deep in a third re-write. I'm finishing that effort this week and putting together pages for a buddy to read.

This one goes out.

I hope your summer projects are progressing - even at a summer's pace.

They'll hound you for attention so there's no sense ignoring them. I could use a little fall. The weather has finally broken here and the house is open this morning. Highs in the low 70's.

You earn that sort of weather. You earn it roasting like dinner for a couple months.

Add a drop of water to the ink pot and stir. It comes right back to life, just like your writing.