July 31, 2008

well earned respite...

monkey knife fight lager...chef's burger...pesto mussels...and grog...@ nodding head brewery...

July 30, 2008

ideas in the ether...

the creative process...fascinates me...to non creative types, it can look like...magic...for me, it's about...habit...and...passion...and paying attention...

case in point...ms scribe...

she's the only natural artist i've ever known...she started painting/drawing at age 4...i'm talking about images with an innate maturity and confidence...i wish i had images to show you...let's put that on my to do list...

anyway...like i said, Amy's a natural...she's formally trained and educated in many media...yet her work comes from an unconscious place...this piece for example...



this was a custom job...she had three weeks...and a description...flower cocktail ring...she went through three different versions until she got something...that felt right...that's how she works...by feel...from her heart...

which brings me to this point...we went to the philadelphia museum of art today to see an exhibition of jewelry by Alexander Calder...an artist known primarily for his sculpture...

as we walked through the exhibit, Amy and i were astounded by how comparable Amy's work is with Calder's...not just because they use some of the same methods and materials...


spirals...swirls...stars...flowers...



"Although it is less well-known, Calder's work in jewelry fits smoothly with his wider oeuvre, according to the show's curator, Elisabeth Agro.

"The jewelry is not a separate thing he did," Agro said. "He did it alongside everything he did. It's another aspect of his sculpture."

Agro says one reason Calder's jewelry is less familiar is that the artist made the pieces mostly for family and friends."


it's uncanny...

Chinatown...



Philly...

July 27, 2008

new terrain...new words to contemplate...

just as the hearts of others deals with...love, sex, and death...the new thing i'm working on seems to be an attempt to view those same themes through...an awakening sense of spirituality...

don't run...this is an exploration...not a sermon...

so...acknowledging that i am by no means the first person to consider this approach to telling a story...and that the estimation of...the level and/or presence of my talent...is untested...at best...let's add some context to to the discussion...

i first came across this combination of themes in William Burrough's Cities of the Red Night trilogy...The Western Lands in particular...



it is here that he most fully describes his Seven Souls concept...


a concept inspired by Norman Mailer...

how does any of this inform what i am working on...not much...except...it forces the question...what is the nature of the human soul...where does it come from...and where does it go...

as a man who doesn't believe in heaven or hell...and because i'm obsessed with questions of mortality...i've spent a long time thinking about this...the new story is, in part, an attempt to illuminate some of my thought...

which brings us to language...because it is the foundation of thought...i've had to expand my lexicon in order to expand my thinking...

so...in no particular order...some new words, and their meanings...as an introduction to some of the new themes i am working on...

theism...

noun

the belief in the existence of one or more divinities or deities. There is also a narrower sense in which theism refers to the belief that one or more divinities are immanent in the world, yet transcend it, along with the idea that divinity(s) is/are omniscient, omnipotent and omnipresent.

pantheism...

noun

a doctrine that identifies God with the universe, or regards the universe as a manifestation of God.

polytheism...

noun

the belief in or worship of more than one god.

misotheism...

noun

is the "hatred of God" or "hatred of the gods". In some varieties of polytheism, it was considered possible to inflict punishment on gods by ceasing to worship them.

(thanks to mr Murray for providing the impetus for my research)

July 26, 2008

weekend wrap up...

two things...

first...i joined this group...book-in-a-week...the objective...to write as many pages as you can in a week...you set daily page goals...and report on your progress...their motto...BIC HOK TAM...butt in chair, hands on keyboard, typing away madly...i'm optimistic...here's why...

this adds accountability to my process...at least one week a month i have to produce or fail...and then stand by the results...

i enjoy the solitary nature of writing...yet...i've always been frustrated by my inability to connect to a community of writers...there is a long list of reasons why this has not happened...most of them are mine...book in a week is my latest attempt to get over it...

second...

this week at my new job...i worked with this temp...a 21 year old serbian immigrant...a good kid...hard worker...diligent...enthusiastic to...do the work...newly engaged...fascinated with dubai architecture...and tricked out cars...



and he knows the price tag on everything...and the value of nothing...you can be sure he will turn up somewhere in my writing...

July 21, 2008

shift...again...

i've been unemployed 4 months...not coincidentally...there's been an explosion of activity here...notice that did not contain the words...writing...or, more important...work...

and it's not because no work is getting done...here is a list of everything i'm working on...but haven't told you about...

a short story involving characters from the first bsb book...who knows...maybe it's a first chapter...i am planning on submitting it...here...or maybe here...who knows...i hear Shoun is plotting a new publishing ad(venture)...the point is...for the first time i am writing something with intent to submit...

the very early stages of what i hope will grow into my first novel...partially growing out of the seed of the above mentioned short story...

the continued saga of Del, Mountain, John, and Nighttrain...the artwork Justin did for it...makes me want to raise my game up...



for some reason, that's just not enough for me...i've got something else up my sleeve...just as soon as i can clear one or two of these other works off my plate...

all of this...honest to god, it may sound like bragging...but it feels like whining...is to underline a point...two points really...

first...i start working at my new job tomorrow...so...you may see a slow down in...activity...here...to be honest, i'm looking forward to it...

second...you will see an uptick in posts regarding...my continued affair with writing...

the words the words the words the wordswordswordswordswordswordswordswordswordswordswordswordswordswordswordswordswordswordswordswords

July 19, 2008

Msg from ms scribe...

If you have to advertise...it's probably not true...

corollary...no one buys if you don't advertise...

My wife gave me permission...

Really...

weekly round robin...

was never much of a Mr T fan...but this is hilarious...(via Denver Egotist)...



a long winded...but very important...reminder from Ira Glass that...persistence...is the key...to success...and better quality work...(via ThePublishingSpot)



which brings me to this post from mr. Bransford...

the point being to get to the root of...why...why write...i write because i have to...need to...yes...being good at it...getting published...and generating an income from it...are important to me...but these are not the reasons why...i have to breathe...i have to eat, drink, sleep...etc...and i have to write...

meanwhile...

i'm still digesting these numbers...i've downloaded the full poll...and I think there's a story in them...of course, it's not the story they're selling...

and now...off to the music festival...will it be heaven...will it be hell...hopefully, the photos will tell...

and oh yeah...book trailers???now i have to make book trailers...another distraction begging for my attention...

July 15, 2008

our word of the week...

provenance...

noun...

the place of origin or earliest known history of something...

the beginning of something's existence; something's origin...

a record of ownership of a work of art or an antique, used as a guide to authenticity or quality...

July 11, 2008

by definition...a quandary...

the recent excavation that turned my office from this...



to this...



revealed that either I have too many books...or not enough bookshelves...so i have issued a book buying moratorium...seriously...

problem is...i need this one for research...



and this one sounds irresistible...



good thing my birthday is this month...

July 10, 2008

a few quick hits...before i close my eyes...

there's this...article in this week's Time...about the gambling habits of our presidential candidates...which in and of itself...is unremarkable...the journalism is lightweight...the analysis is slight...the bias obvious...the article is notable simply because because it exists...

is there a story here...sure...several...

"Don't lie, cheat or steal — anything else is fair game," McCain told his son Jack when the boy left for the U.S. Naval Academy at Annapolis, Md."

just what qualifies as...anything else...

"When his aides stopped him, fearing a public relations disaster, McCain suggested that they ask the casino to take a craps table to a private room, a high-roller privilege McCain had indulged in before."

really...how much...how often...

"Obama used the sessions to bond with those who could aid his political ascent, including several lawmakers with whom he forged lasting political alliances, as well as some lobbyists. The banks, utilities and insurance agents were often represented...When he announced his plans to run for the U.S. Senate, his poker pals — white guys from small-town Illinois — were among his earliest supporters."

and...just how...and how much...have they supported him...

instead of following any of these questions...wherever they might lead...Time gives us this puff piece...

the candidates like to play games...they like to win...big deal...a competitive will is a valuable leadership trait...the space this article takes up is wasted...of all the things Time could have these reporters spilling words over...this is the least of our cares...

next up is this story from wired...about how the military is getting all...blofeld...with their weapons research...the most chilling passage...

"Dr. Sadovnik also makes the intriguing suggestion that, instead of being used at high power to create an intolerable noise, it might be used at low power to produce a whisper that was too quiet to perceive consciously but might be able to subconsciously influence someone. The directional beam could be used for targeted messages, such as in-store promotions. Sadovnik even suggests subliminal advertising, beaming information that is not consciously heard..."

finally, there's this gem from Grace Jones...



i love it...can't wait to put that in my hot rotation...

July 9, 2008

our word of the week...

manqué...

adjective

having failed to become what one might have been; unfulfilled...

in other words...my worst nightmare...

July 5, 2008

clearly the best column writer over at Westword...

well, maybe a close second to ms. wittman...

sheehan is rock'n and rollin' recently...especially his latest post...i can't decide if i'm experiencing sympathy...or schadenfreude...

hilarious...genius...

July 4, 2008

July 2, 2008

yeah...that happened...

yesterday...this idiot...sung the national black anthem to the tune of the national anthem...



(i hesitate to name her, or even give her the exposure she so obviously craves...but i believe everyone has the right to make asses of themself...if that's their inclination...)

some have said...what'ev...here's three reasons why i have a problem with what she did...

one...it's unprofessional...if she had simply asked the mayor's office if she could sing both anthems...i sure they would have approved it...Hickenlooper is a forward thinker...

"Hickenlooper said in a statement: "We were as surprised as anyone that jazz singer René Marie did not sing our national anthem at Tuesday's State of the City ceremony, as our staff had requested. As I listened to her sing, I assumed she would eventually move into the traditional Star Spangled Banner."

but no...instead of asking...or at the very least...informing people of her intention...she made up her mind...and did her own thing...

"I pulled a switcheroonie on them," Marie said later.
She explained that she decided months ago to switch the lyrics because she will no longer sing the national anthem."


and that's fine...as far as that goes...i'm all for public protest...but she was asked to sing the national anthem...if she had no intent to honor that request...she should not have agreed to do it...

two...it's disrespectful...to her audience...to the people who asked her to perform...and mostly...it's disrespectful to the very ideas that allow her the freedom to protest...

"She said that she made the decision after a Russian broadcaster interviewed her and asked her what it was like to be an American.
At that moment, she said, she realized that as an African-American she at times feels like a foreigner in her home country.
"And I was going to correct her," Marie said. "And I realized I didn't feel like an American, and that bothered me a great deal."


fine...then don't take the job...make a public statement as to why you didn't take the job...organize a public protest against the national anthem...whatever...you want to be taken seriously...don't use subterfuge to promote your ideas...have some integrity...act like a responsible adult...

i'll repeat myself for the sake of clarity...freedom requires responsibility...

three...it's counterproductive...this is exactly the kind of bullshit the ignorant and ill informed will point to...as a reason why black folks aren't ready to lead this country...

watch...not only will this be dragged out all week by intellectual midgets on the right...but you can bet the ranch that this will show up in the presidential election...

heck of a job...
Total screw-up. Usually used ironically, to indicate when someone's self-delusion is in direct contradiction to well-known and easily-observed facts.
"Brownie, you're doing a heck of a job."