Tuesday, April 5, 2011

…What is happening today is that nothing is happening. Oh, sure things are happening in other parts of the world and in other houses and even in other rooms in this house, but here, precisely here--in this office overlooking a lake--nothing is occurring. Outside, on the water there are waterfowl dunking under the wrinkled gray surface. That is happening, but it is not happening here. The eagle just flew by and maybe winked at me. He could tell I didn’t have anything going on in my office.
What I could do is I could poke myself in the eye with a pencil. I could gouge my eye out. That would hurt like hell, but it’d be me making something happen. It’d be ridiculous, self-destructive and stupid, but it’d be me creating an occurrence.
Let’s see… What do I wish I could right here in this office?
I wish I could go get my Taylor guitar and whip out the world’s most wonderful love song, replete with soaring choruses and lyrics that would be profound but also easily understood.
I wish I could paint a picture of a tin man, only his metal would be bright, Asian red. Sunlight would hit the canvas just so and the paint would look wet even when dry, and it would undulate.
I wish a new puppy would come barging in here, all rambunctious and happy to see me, his tail beating my ankles, his nose wet and cold.
I wish Raymond Carved would come in right behind that little dog and say, “Hey there, partner. I’ve always wanted to shake your hand and do some talking about writing with you.”
I wish I could make my children young again, me young again, too.
I wish I could make you appear. Right here. Right now. That would be some kind of happening.

…Here’s the randomness I like on a Tuesday:

“Far more than any other medium, books contain civilizations, the ongoing conversation between present and past. Without this conversation we are lost.” Jason Epstein

"The stuff people call impossible is just the stuff they've never seen before." What Dreams May Come

"Some day, in years to come, you will be wrestling with the great temptation, or trembling under the great sorrow of your life. But the real struggle is here, now, in these quiet weeks. Now it is being decided whether, in the day of your supreme sorrow or temptation, you shall miserably fail or gloriously conquer. Character cannot be made except by a steady, long continued process." Phillips Brooks

"Writing is not an indulgence. You must give up other indulgences to write."

"The best inheritance you can leave your kids is an example of how to live a full and meaningful life." Dan Zadra


  1. So, My favorite Writer and My Hero,

    this morning, while pretending to work, I read two of your stories in Necessary Fiction. You rock. Did anyone tell you that recently?
    One Out of Two is mind-blowing. Mockingbird is, too, but I must confess to a lacuna in my life experience for I don't know what "the device" is that the boy is blowing into. Pass/Fail? Breathalyzer? The jaw at the end and the way he speaks suggest incendiary? The tension is incredible, but I don't quite get it.

    But I do need to share my admiration again.

  2. andrew,
    you're a kind man. thank you!
    yes. "the device" is a breathalyzer. if you get a dui, you have to have it installed in your car, thus your car won't start if you blow into the device with alcohol on your breath. i had just read about charles barkley having had to get one installed for 2 years. so in the story, the dad forces the son to do it for him, but the son refuses, and yeah, well, there it goes...
    steve himmer, the editor at necessary fiction, worked with me on that story. he's one of the rare sorts that partner to shape a story.
    thanks again for reading. i really appreciate your support.

  3. So I am reading more of your stuff, and I just ordered the Nutting book because you recommended it and I am thinking, "So how the hell can he do this?" Everything you write available free, no novel royalties, no talk from you about a novel-about-to-be-released by a major publisher which will make you as rich and famous as J.K. Rowling. ARE you writing a novel? Is the answer independent wealth which allows writing with no expectation of income? You can tell me it's none of my business, of course. The short story collections I buy from small presses, I know the author make nothing out of those, too. So they teach or pour coffee in diners, or pretend to be working, like me, while writing notes to favorite writers. I would love to write full-time. I know now I have the stories. I think I have the discipline now, too, in my fifties. But it's not about to happen.

  4. andrew!
    thanks, as always for reading.
    yes, i have written a novel. several, in fact. but last year i wrote one i think is strong and worthy of being published. it's currently at an agent's office. i sent him a note today, as he's had it for two months, which, for the life of me, i'm not sure if a good sign or bad one.
    i also sent a story/poem collection to a publisher a few weeks back. she's terrific and i'm hoping she'll like what she sees. you're correct about the money thing when it comes to collections, as they are usally labors of love. i just write so much (700 pieces in less than two years) that i need to do something with it or else it sits in drawers and dies.
    i do write full-time. i'v wanted to be a writer since age nine. if you read my true short piece here called, "Terminal" you'll get a sense of why i postponed that dream. i retired five years ago, at a youngish age (45), and so here i am, doing my best to make up for lost time.
    thanks for reading, commenting and for caring. i really appreciate it.