Tuesday, January 10, 2012


“Histories of ages past
Unenlightened shadows cast
Down through all eternity
The crying of humanity.
'Tis then when the Hurdy Gurdy Man
Comes singing songs of love”
-- Donovan

Dr. Eye, Dr. I., Doctor Ifekuanim, a feeling of hope she can’t name, and feeling of wonder she can, a dread that hides in clear sight. She smiles when he enters the room, rocking back and forth as he walks like his knees won’t bend. He’s a roly-poly man, roly-poly, roly-poly, roly-poly man, he’s a Christmas toy nobody wants but all the children squeal and squeal. Grace sits on the edge of her bed, waiting. She waits for Dr. I, her own sweet Da, to come closer, to offer the hug and kiss he offers always. And he does. Leaning back on his heels -- Grace is afraid he might fall over and bounce -- Da says, Grace, I’ve missed you terrifically. It’s the same way he would say the a footballer played terrifically. And Grace is not sure where she fits in this picture. The happy striped ball bouncing, the lightning flash of the boot, the flight, the great white enclosure of the goal, beyond the futile grasp of the keeper. She say, I missed you too, Dad. It’s not so hard to bring things back to the everyday normal, the cut and flow of mealtimes and school assignments. Dr. I comes to sit next to her on the bed and puts his arm around little Grace. I went to America, he tells her, and I met a boy who reminded me of you. Grace wonders what he had done to the boy, and whether he had liked it or not. Perhaps he’s still trying to remember, it was like that with Dr. I, her Da, a bright light and then a long time trying to remember what might have happened. There’s that feeling of dread again, plain sight denied, she leans into his soft side. Tell me about America, she says. What was it like? 
The main thing, Dr. I says, almost sings, is the size of it, the time involved in getting from one place to another, and all the nothing in between. We traveled in an enormous vehicle -- he raised his hands and spread them as far apart as he could -- and I would fall asleep looking at one thing and wake up hours later looking at the same thing. It was spectacular. How have you spent your time? He asks.
Where did you meet the boy? What was he like? There would be time for the accounting of her time.
He was a black boy, blacker even than you, purple as indica juice, and what eyes this boy had, a different color every time you looked and I felt like he could see right through me. Not the only one seeing through you, Da, adds Grace, twitching her nose. Not the only one, not the only one at all, I’m seeing through you right now. She has to reign his in, willful mare. Dr. I goes on, and he lived in a little town in the middle of the middle of the middle of nowhere, but charming in its own way too, with only his father. Blue sky, red sun, bushes flying across the ground. Spectacular.

Why, Dad, did you go to see him, all that way?

It’s altogether too complicated to explain, he says, and asks again about her time and what had been in it. 
I have read a great long book, she says to him, and crawls away from him, across the bed. Dr. I doesn’t turn, but he watches Grace in the mirror on the opposite wall. She opens the door on the nightstand next to the bed and pulls out a giant hardbound slab of a book made the way they stopped making them a very long time ago, but thanks to Dr. I they have a whole room full of such books. Listen, she says, and begins to read

“It is good thus to try in our imagination to give any form some advantage over another. Probably in no single instance should we know what to do, so as to succeed. It will convince us of our ignorance on the mutual relations of all organic beings; a conviction as necessary, as it seems to be difficult to acquire. All that we can do, is to keep steadily in mind that each organic being is striving to increase at a geometrical ratio; that each at some period of its life, during some season of the year, during each generation or at intervals, has to struggle for life, and to suffer great destruction. When we reflect on this struggle, we may console ourselves with the full belief, that the war of nature is not incessant, that no fear is felt, that death is generally prompt, and that the vigorous, the healthy, and the happy survive and multiply.”
Darwin, Dr. I says. Rather grown up business for a little girl, don’t you think? 

I looked up some words. Grace pulls suddenly at her hair, already a mass of curls and knots and friz. I console myself with the full belief that the war of nature is not incessant, that’s the part I like best. No fear is felt, death is generally prompt. I like that too. She stands on her bed and begins to bounce up and down, three strands of black hair swinging across her eyes and mouth. No fear is felt, death is prompt, she sings.
Dr. I stands and turns, his face between expressions, stuck there. The vigourous, the healthy, the happy survive and multiply, she repeats to herself. Her eyes close, they roll, they open, rolled over and close again. She pulls at her hair. Dr. I does not get unstuck. He has seen now how his daughter has spent her time and he doesn’t like it even a little bit but he doesn’t show that. Or thinks he doesn’t. Grace sees with eyes of boy in the desert, he knows that too, she sees right through him. Maybe not the same kind of seeing through, more like a running through with a sword, this seeing. He’s having a hard time keeping his balance, and there’s a pain in his chest he’d rather not know about. She bounces and she sings her little song. No fear is felt, death is generally prompt. He wonders as he leaves the room, catching finally his breath, if she knows what she’s doing, or if she just does what she does unknowing, and he wonders which would be better. No matter. Won’t be long until she knows exactly and then some more after that. 
Grace feels the urge to dance draining through her little toes. That went well, someone in her head says, and she has no quick answer to that. Her feet are still and she is hungry.


Momma sits at the glass table in the kitchen doing nothing. What you doing, Momma? Grace asks and sits down with a tall glass of purple juice. 

I’m just thinking. About you. Grace knows she ought to say something but she sips instead. No tricks for her, no games with words and sentences and frowns. She sips.

I love this stuff, she says. I can see it all the way down, purpler and purpler. Is that a word? It doesn’t sound like a word.

There’s nothing wrong with purpler, Momma says. That’s just what I was thinking. About you. Owsy wowsy, says Grace inside, good play Momma, you little sneak. She gives in.

What are you thinking about me, Momma? Tell me it’s a box full of chocolate.

That’s what I’m thinking about indeed. She stands walks around the table away from Grace. Left arm hanging, then a little swing, then hanging like a flag with no wind. There had been an experiment. Circles the table and comes back to Grace, sucking still on her purple juice. The right arm around the shoulders, all the way around and some still for grabbing hold, for caressing the sharp shoulder blades of little Grace. I was thinking, Momma whispers, that you must be nicer to your father. You hurt his feelings.

I don’t mean to hurt him, Grace whispers, and all the purple juice is gone, down down below. They look at each other. Just a little, she says, so he knows that I know what I know. I see what he is.

We both know, Grace, what he is. And we know what you are too. He means no harm.

Hah! Grace shouts and jumps from her chair. I looked inside his little round head, Momma, and there’s plenty of harm he’s meaning. I saw it. She jumps back into her chair, or simply appears there, under her Momma’s arm and caressing fingers. The startle in Momma’s face doesn’t stay long, she fights it back, she puts it in its place, she hides it. But she knows it’s hard to hide from little Grace who can look into your head and see what’s stomping about.

I worry about you, Grace. I worry that you know too much, that all this knowing makes you ...
What, Momma, what does it make me? Sincere she is. But her Momma just squeezes her a little harder. It makes me me, that what, Grace says. And then she is gone as if she had never been there and both of Momma’s arms hang limp.


Grace goes out the door with some kind of chocolate shape in her chocolate hand. Her hair frizzes and flies, her features are mobile but her smile has fled the country. She thinks that she would like to meet this boy that Dr. I had spoken about, to see if she could see what he sees. To have someone to talk to. A kindred spirit, they call them in the books. It makes her made what her mother doesn’t see, in all her worrying about what they have made. Her. Grace. She’d like to take it all back, Grace thinks, go back behind the experiment that left her one-armed, that gave her this strange little girl getting not so little any more, and not so lovable either. It seems. Because she really did want to hurt her Da, hurt him bad, turn him inside out and set him up in front of a mirror to have a good long look. Look! Da, look at what’s inside you!

In the park she plays at sneaking up behind the rabbits. Lovely little rabbits who don’t nibble the flowers, a nip here and tuck there, and the genetic code is improved. Just have keep the kibble coming now that they’ve forgotten what they like to eat. They sit, in pair mostly, just under shrub cover, noses twitching and then there’s Grace, laying down in the dirt behind them. The rabbits bolt and she lets them, though she could hold them down if she wanted. What she wants is for them to turn around and look her in the eye but that would take some more nips and tucks she thinks, and Dr. I is too busy now for such foolery and Momma has given up the nipping and tucking altogether since her arm went missing, and what else with it she doesn’t say but Grace knows that there’s more and maybe more important that went poof! Now Momma drinks her tea and worries that Grace will grow up to be who she is, or that she’s already grown up to be what she is. But Grace is just guessing, because she can’t get inside Momma’s head like she can simple brilliant Da’s, he’s like a wheel of swiss cheese, so many holes to waltz through. But Momma, when Grace opens the door she finds she is looking at herself.

I would have you be more humble, Momma says. I would have you know your powers but I would have you know your blindnesses better. Sometime she and Grace talk serious, no matter what Grace wants. And it makes her queasy, this seriousness, and it makes her think once or twice about running her father through with the sword of her thoughts. Then she chases the rabbits like the not so little girls as she was that she now is, and they like that a lot better, not just because they can easily get away but because they know what a little girl is and what she can do. But Grace can’t resist causing a wee disappointment. There she is where the rabbits are running, before them, and they have no choice but leap over what was a second before running behind them, and Grace laughs and laughs and laughs.


One morning, when Grace is eleven, Dr. I and Momma come to her room and they have the serious painted on their black faces, it’s enough to make you weep all this seriousness. Grace thinks of doing a runner. She learned that phrase in an American book her Da brought her from across the sea. Yes she could do it, but no it would not make the seriousness disappear.  Why the death came calling looks? She asks them. I haven’t done nothing to aggravate the Watsons in more than a month. The Watsons live next door and they are disagreeable people, the whole bloody tribe, with their collection of modified wallabies and wallaroos cavorting on the lawn, the kids all the time bonzo on drugs and drink, and the music streaming from the lawn gnomes. Disagreeable. Putrid more like. Grace had taught the wallaroos to do bad things, real live wallaroo things she found in her books and on the net. Shit on the floor, all the house plant consumed, at least the ones worth eating. The Watsons didn’t care much for that but they sure weren’t going to put them down much as they must have cost. 

We have decided to send you to school, Grace. We feel you should spend more time around other children. This was Dr. I. Her Momma couldn’t send her away, Grace knew that as well as she knew that she really ought to go. What about Momma, though? She would need to go away too. They might talk about that later, after Dr. I had gone off to his room to do no harm. Grace had a wriggle around in a set of thoughts he’d thought to keep to himself, made his lip curl, made him almost say something. But not quite. Don’t want to talk about that, do you Da? Grace has given up pretending about her Da.

Where? She says. Where are these other children I need to be around?

We had thought of Prague, they say in unison. How cute, Grace thinks, choral thinking. There is a wonderful school for special children there. You might learn to channel your gifts. This was Dr. I again.
Be careful what you wish for, sweet Da, Grace thinks, loud enough for him to hear. Almost. Her Momma looks about to cry and it makes Grace so so so sad. She has to make that stop, so she says yes, it would be lovely to go to Prague. 

I understand there are real Golems there now. Might I learn how to make one myself from Czechish mud? This makes her Momma smile. I would make one that would play the violin like a gypsy. Momma loved the Gypsy music. When do I leave, she says, and Dr. I smiles.  

Friday, November 04, 2011

NaNoWriMo Day 4

Already I'm behind. But I've gotten somewhere, though I'm still in Oklahoma.


We didn’t have a watch but we’d left our home in the liquor warehouse offices with plenty of time to spare. It seemed like forever under the awning of the Provine Service Station and every minute hotter than the one before. I was thirsty but my father never got thirsty or hungry. I went out on the highway and looked up and down, up and down, up and down. Nothing. Then I did it again. Nothing. I couldn’t remember the last time anything came up the highway. Then I did it again. There was a baby blur of silver to the south, getting bigger and bigger, but not making a noise. If it was any kind of normal vehicle I would have heard it because the world was near empty of sound, the sun having driven all the noise underground with the snakes and the desert rats. I stepped back onto the dirt next to the road and waited. Coming closer it looked like a bullet, silver gray with the light dancing off its rounded point. The Genotype International mobile unit traveled on four enormous bicycle tires that did not seem to touch the pavement. They floated over the cracks in the road. The tapered top of the vehicle reflected the blue of the sky, then lit up like a bulb. It slowed only a little and then was standing stock still in front of me. Behind me my father rose from the bench and shambled between two saguaro. The Genotype International mobile unit looked to me near as big as the Provine Service Station, standing right next to it. A door appeared in its silver skin and out of the door came a ladder, and down the ladder came two men, one the messenger in the same white jump suit and the same pink face he was wearing before and behind him a round-bellied black man wearing a doctor’s white coat and large white hat like fake cowboys once wore. This is Abaeze, the pink-faced man said to the black man, and the black man held out his hand to me. I didn’t know what to do but to take it, and he wriggled his fingers around until he could give my hand a squeeze that like to have broken all those little bones. I am Doctor Eye, he said. He looked and stepped past me toward my father, and held out his hand as he had to me, and said as he had to me, My name is Doctor Eye. My father knew how to shake a hand but he seemed to lose interest when flesh met flesh and his gaze wandered up to the giant bullet of the Genotype International mobile unit. I had a gun that shot bullets looked just like that truck thing of yours, he said. Don't know what happened to that gun.

It's hot outside, Dr. Eye said, why don't we go inside where it's cool. And we swept out his white-suited arm like a bullfighter.

I reckon stay out here and settle up with your man, my father said. You go ahead with the boy. Go ahead, Abaeze, go on up the ladder. Dr. Eye smiled and spread his arms wide.

I ought to have been scared but I had never met a doctor before that day. Nobody had ever done a thing to hurt me, unless you count my mother who died or my sisters who left or my father who often seemed to look right through me. Though in fairness to him, he had taken to looking right through everything, like there was something off in the distance that was just coming into sight, something he couldn't afford to miss seeing. He surprised me later, my father, with what he wasn't showing and what he saw out there where the blue dust met the blue sky. I climbed as I had been told, and Dr. Eye came after me, much faster than I would have expected. When I got to the top, before I went through the door, I look back and down at my father, who was talking to the man in the white jump suit. Business was being taken care of, so I went in. Just behind me Dr. Eye popped through the door, and then the door snapped shut.

It was cool in the Genotype International mobile unit, though I did not properly appreciate the raw wonderfulness of air con when I was little. We had the air-con in our warehouse office, thanks to the solar the liquor distributers had left behind, and we kept it on low to keep the worst of the heat outside. But mostly we lived outdoors, flitting from sun to shade, sleeping under the trillion stars, letting the breeze wash over us. I stared forgetting what was outside the second I entered the mobile unit, and it was only a couple minutes, in the cool bright light that seeped from the walls, before I couldn't remember where I had come from or where I was. Dr. Eye was smiling, all the time smiling. This is only going to take a few minutes, Abaeze, and the words seeped from this mouth like the light from the walls. Just sit down over here on this table. I hopped my butt up on the metal table he pointed at, and he handed me an open, old-timey bottle of Coca-Cola, cold enough to suck the skin off my hand. He probably thought this was some kind of treat for me but we had a mountain of old-timey Coca-Cola in our warehouse. Drink it down, son, you'll feel better.

I felt fine but I drank it anyway and that's the last thing I recall about the Genotype International mobile unit or Dr. Eye. Some time later I woke up on my cot in the warehouse office, feeling like it was morning and I might be going somewhere I’ve never been, later on.


It took nearly five years before all the Japanese plum wine was all gone, plus the few cases of Canadian Club I’d found in the stack of orange fizz, my personal favorite. I expected something dramatic. But my father just went on like he had before, only spending more time outside in the sun, looking off toward the whisper of blue mountains in the west. There was a bench downtown he preferred because, I guessed, it gave him a clear view down the cross street, into the desert, to where the sun set. Sometimes I sat there with him and watched the light leak out of the sky, from blue to orange to black. At first, I could barely make out a ripple in the flat horizon line, but then I began to see more, as if there was a wind out there kicking up the surface of the earth. Then I began to see the individual shapes of the mountains, the two tall peaks, sometimes with snow, sometimes bare golden stone. You see them now, don’t you, my father asked, and I nodded. And he nodded in return. There’s more and bigger on the other side, he said. I saw it on the map. I think I can almost see them. Any day now. But I saw them before he did, the Sangre de Cristo, white-capped, carving the blue and orange twilight, the air so clear I reached out and cut my finger on the sharpest peak.

One day I realized that my father had stopped eating. Nothing else seemed to have changed, though soon I realized that he was radiating heat, like a stone that had set in the sun all day. I could see the surface of his skin with great clarity, the dry gullies and gulches, a glistening that had nothing to do with water. More like the hazy glow that hovered above the desert when the sun was highest. It was not long after that he stopped speaking. He left me notes written in bright red on the liquor warehouse stationary -- there were boxes and boxes of company stationary -- and left them on my cot. The money is in the safe, one note said. The next day he wrote down the combination. The next day he told what a safe was and where to find it. I had to move the desk where the boss had once sat, and lifted a hidden door, made of the same wood-like material as the floor, to find the steel safe and its smooth black dials. The spun with hardly a sound, and kept spinning. I tried to open the safe using the three numbers my father had written for me, but the handle would never turn and I gave up. It would be easier to ask my father to open the safe for me. Outside it was nearly dark, just a collar of blue sky resting on the horizon. My father was not on his bench or on any of his favorite sitting stone. I walked behind what had been the bank, across the parking lot -- there were three ancient cars still parked there, still looking fine, like someone would return any minute from their business at the bank and drive them home -- and then into the desert. The ground was hard with flinty bits of stone that drove their fingers into my bare feet. It was loud with the noise of bugs and night birds. There was a kind of path, mostly in my head, between the creosote bushes and the mesquite, that led to a ring of stones in an open place where my father sometimes came. I asked him about the ring of stones but he said he had no idea who put them there or what they were for. He did like that they were there, that was enough reason for him to come and sit, and sometimes even lie between them. And that’s how I found him, lying face up studying the constellations, all the breath in him breathed out, all the heartbeats used up, not smiling and not frowning.

I was grieved but not surprised and the grief did not reach to the place inside from where the things that need to be done get done. The thought it had in my mind the minute after thinking that he was truly dead, was the thought that I couldn’t leave him out laying the dirt all night or the animals would have him for dinner. It wouldn’t be much of a dinner, the way he hadn’t been eating at all, and it might take a while before everyone came for their taste, and it wouldn’t be something I would want to see. I wouldn’t want to see some coyote gnawing on a bone the next week and wonder it was the bone that connected my father’s hand to his elbow. I began to circle slowly from ring of stones, picking up the branches and bits of bush that had been set free, slowly outward until my arms were full. I found a full-sized tumbleweed about thirty yards from where my father lay and I brought that book too. I piled all the plant matter on my father, and went back to searching. I didn’t stop gathering until I had a pile of dried grass, branch and leaf, as tall as my head, and nothing of my father to be seen. Then I walked back to the liquor warehouse and filled up a gasoline can from the pump -- folks had left a lot behind in Hydro and most of it had yet to see any reason to stop working. There was lighter by the gas stove in Mrs. Lutigan’s kitchen -- she was near the last person to leave her home and it was as tidy now as it had been when she lived in it. I didn’t expect that she would be back to Hydro, but the refrigerator would be ready for her if she did, still purring away, thanks to the the solar fixed on her roof. I took the gasoline and matches, and a can of Vienna sausages from Mrs. Lutigan’s pantry, back to where my father was lying under the hill of branch and bush.

I sat down in the dirt next to the pile of brush and sticks and pried open the little can of Vienna sausages. One at a time I at them, three bits apiece. The last one I wanted to eat whole but I resisted the temptation. There was a warehouse full of canned food in Hydro too. Must be someone thought highly of Hydro's prospects at one time, with the tomatoes springing up and the well's flowing. They must have taken the prospects with them when they left, the ones that piled up and left behind all the cans of orange fizz, Japanese plum wine, and Vienna sausages. I couldn't think of anything else to do, or anything else that needed to be thought about, and the coyotes had crept a little closer, howling crazy. I could see their red eyes rolling out there, deep in the purple sage. With my hands on the bottom of the gas can, I danced around the pile of brush, arms outstretched gyrating and the gasoline shooting out. Twice around I got before the can was empty. I picked up a piece of tumbleweed and held the lighter to the branches, thinking I should have saved a little of the gas for this part, but finally it caught and then blossomed, looking ready to take my hand and arm. So I threw it on the top of the pile of brush and it was hardly a second before the whole thing was throwing fire into the black sky, and the coyotes howled even louder and whatever else was out in the desert joined in, clicking, moaning, rustling, keening, singing altogether. I wished I knew the right song to sing when you set your father on fire. But I stayed silent, walking around and around the blaze until it was just a small coffin of deep orange, and from there I heard my father sigh one last time, the sigh he'd been saving through all the days and weeks and years and long minutes since my mother died. And when the first went out there was not a sign of his having ever been underneath, not a bone, not the charred zipper of his blue jeans, not a thing left for the coyotes and the desert mice and buzzards. The it began to rain, the first time that year, and it kept raining for days and days, and when it finally stopped and the sun returned, the desert was aflame with flowers of every possible color. I could see right into the sweet heart of every one.

Tuesday, November 01, 2011

NaNoWriMo Day 1


“There are days when my soul drifts away
To the thought of staying in place
But when I do, will I be loyal and true
With a love that begs me to stay?
But until then
Oh honey until thennnnnnnnnnn ...

Oh. Oh. Oh. Oh.
I'm wandering, yea I'm wandering’”

-- David Ramirez

They told my father to bring me to the old Provine Service Station on what used to be Route 66, to be there at three. Everything in Hydro was what used to be, there was nothing that still was except people like us, turning to lizards skittering through the tumble weeds. There was a hyproponic tomato farm that brought my father, and then my mother, to Hydro, and then the wells went dry. They never talked about where they came from but I gathered it was some place even worse off, and far away. I never had much interest in where they came from, still don’t. I can’t remember not thinking about where else I could be going to. My mother died of something and my father couldn’t move on. My oldest sister left one day, didn’t say where, and we never heard again from her, and my next oldest sister went off with the Indians when she was sixteen and we hardly saw her after that. Once in a while, in what was left of winter, she and her people would ride their little horses through Hydro, feathers tied up in her nappy hair and paint on her face, like she thought she’d cancelled out a couple centuries of bad history and the world was new again. Maybe it was, for her, though I never had much interest in mounting up and riding with her. By the time I was six years old I felt responsible for my father, who was working his way through what had been left when the owners had walked away from the liquor warehouse. He was judicious, my father, a steady sipper, but by the time we got to the Provine Service Station there wasn’t much left but Japanese plum wine. There was brown grass straggling through the broken pavement on old 66, but the gas station looked like it had been build yesterday, blistering white in the midday sun. We sat under cover on a wooden bench near where the gas tanks had been and waited. I was a specialist at waiting, but not so expert as my father, who had devoted his whole life to waiting. His black skin was dry as a snake’s hide, and there was nothing but bones underneath that I could see. He gave off his own heat in the day, and was cold as a bare rock when the sun went down. It was snake’s life, without the sudden rush of the kill to break the monotony. We were sitting there at the Provine Service Station waiting for the Genotype International mobile unit to appear because they had offered my father a certain large amount of money to volunteer me for a study. I was, according to the representative of Genotype International who rode his silent motorcycle into Hydro one day, potentially a very interesting case, which they knew from having examined the genetic record of my mother and father from when they first came to farm the hydroponics. Potentially a fascinating case. They would not do anything to harm me. It was only a study. My father didn’t know anything about what a study might be, and neither did I. We didn’t even know what we might do with all the money the Genotype International representative, in his white jumpsuit, had promised for my participation in the study. There wasn’t much left in Hydro to buy. I didn’t give it much thought, being only nine or ten and not used to thinking about what adults other than my father might be up to. I guess I didn’t even give much thought to what my father was up to. That’s what happens when a boy turns into a lizard.

Monday, July 25, 2011

The Golden Hotel, part 2

At the end of the block the city ended and the sea began. The sun had dropped now below the horizon, leaving the sea only slightly ruffled, rolling silver blue. A wide road half overgrown by weeds and grass ran along the cement sea wall in both directions. To the left were industrial buildings crouched on the shore with remains of piers sticking here and there from the water. To the right was the golden hotel, glowing on the open shore like an object from space just now dropped to earth. Four tall pine trees grew at the front door, obscuring it from view. Bloem guess they had once been ornamental bushes. The hotel was three stories tall, built from some kind of smooth pale stone that might have been golden in the proper sunlight, but was now fading. The ghosts of past visitors strolled in full view on the narrow beach between the hotel and the sea, speaking among themselves.

Friday, July 22, 2011

The Golden Hotel, part 1

The pioneers trudged through wide, empty streets and the ghosts peered down on them knowingly from the glittering windows, where the last of the sun was captured. What did they know? You were once me, walking from here to there, looking forward, dreading the next step, uncertain. Bloem was first in line behind their drunken captain. His broad shoulders rolled from side to side like waves, his stride described an old river's winding course, but Bloem walked the tightrope. The buildings were an odd assortment of bright red brick and dusty concrete gray. If anyone lived in them, they were keeping to themselves. The captain spit on the broken pavement. "Not far," he muttered. But he kept on walking, farther than they had already come, before finally turning to the left down a narrow alley cut in a block of old houses with broken gargoyles peering down from the broad window sills. Down the alley Bloem saw the sea, framed like the concrete between the end of the road and the pink and blue horizon.

Wednesday, March 09, 2011

a need for some inspiration

For the past two months I've written very little by way of fiction and my imagination has been a barren sink in some off-world desert. But I've been reading this epic fantasy series by George R.R. Martin (I think) full of kings and knights and blood and gore, even three baby dragons have appeared. It's not that I aspire to write this kind of book, though I have a hard time putting it down, but that I am newly inspired by the imaginative power, the worlds and people created, the words. It reminds me of what I do want to do, what I've wanted to do since I was eight years old, which was to write novels, not just to read them. Not to write them is, at this point, would be craven (to borrow one of Martin's characters' favorite words), dishonorable to a high degree. There will, it turns out, not always be time. There is just the present.

Got to go!

Monday, January 31, 2011

We begin again ...

Today is the day to resume. I have caught up with all my school work, finished off a good deal of research work, calmed my mind somewhat, but not must leap back in before I lose all momentum. Perhaps it is time to schedule myself another mini-NaNoWriMO, since tomorrow is the first day of February, a short month. I could start and count today. The full 50,000 is probably unrealistic, but 25,000 is not. That would be two large chapters and then some, perhaps even three chapters. I have some photos to help stimulate the writing.