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Notes and Bits and Pieces

I'm nobody. Who are you? Are you nobody too? -- Emily Dickinson

illustration by Gareth Southwell

There's a certain freedom, if you're a writer, in the knowledge that very few people are going to read your blog posts. Sure, it's good practice to put together the best sentences and paragraphs you can manage, and do it on a regular basis in your blog. Me, I just look at my blog as a place to tell a few close friends what's on my mind without actually talking to them. And that's a suspect activity, if you think about it. I would rather talk with my friends. Many of my colleagues will raise an eyebrow, thinking I'm not being very smart to denigrate the blog, one of the few outlets allowed our literary voices, after all. I, however, feel on the verge of calling ykw on it, this idea that we need or should have such an outlet. I'll explain later, maybe, unless I change my mind. There is, of course, the reality of the situation to consider -- PLATFORM!! Omigod! -- but keep in mind that reality is different for each of us.

Were you at the salon at the Microscopic Theater when Dawn T. Jones read from and discussed her fiction? Dawn has just let me know that her short story, "The Witch Road," will be published in Luna Station Quarterly on June 1st. This is a very handsome (and paying) magazine publishing speculative fiction by women writers. Dawn T. Jones. I'm telling you, keep an eye on that one!

Peter Gregutt, who spoke about his world travels at the salon in March of '17, sent me a batch of song lyrics he's recently written. I think of Peter as a poet and writer, but the song lyrics were a surprise. What's not a surprise is that they are top notch. Any musicians out there looking for words to set to music?

Hang On! -- that's the novel I finished in the fall -- is sitting here cooling off. I need to give it some time so I can look at it with fresh eyes, as I believe it will need some more work. Meanwhile I've begun work on a new novel. So far, it's just a bunch of notes and bits and pieces based on a short story, "Punishment," I wrote a few years ago. But now, I'm off to create a first draft, or at least a full outline of the novel. I'm fortunate to have two months in an isolated but not boring retreat, Cuenca, Ecuador, where I can work uninterrupted throughout May and June.

Poem I Dreamed

Internet no! The Internet blocked the way out.

Out of what?

Well, the quadrangle,

the partially paved and otherwise rutted enclosure.

No shortage of egress --

it's just that when I tried to leave,

Internet hurried to my chosen exit

and stood there, right in my way.

The true test is upon us.

This bad boy works.

Mr. Greenjeans! Always dependable.

I'm sure it'll start off right

but this is not the way I'm supposed to write.

Or is it?

Hard to say, I'll warrant.

I woke up wanting to tell the above story, to write it down and publish it for the entertainment and enlightenment of all. But this is all there is to say: Like so many of my dreams, the poem contained only the shadow of the shade of the complexity and profundity it seemed during its moment.

A final note: I've gone through my desk drawers, retrieved all the old fountain pens and made whatever minor repairs I could to try and get them working. I now have no fewer than three fountain pens in working order. I'm ready to take on this new novel project. Give me a good pen and there's no stopping me.

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