Tuesday, November 15, 2011


…I have a new story, “The Drunk” up at Troubadour 21 and here under “Words in Print.”
This was one of the twenty or so "label" pieces ("Daughter," "Brother," "Son," "The Fan," "The Prosecutor") that I wrote for a chapbook (which never came out) called, "People You Know By Heart."

…Yesterday I sent some stories out to people who had queried me and I got the fastest acceptance of my life. I sent the piece out at 11:01 am and got a reply accepting it for publication at 11:09.
Now that's greased lightning.

…I thought this news was encouraging, or somewhat anyway:
When asked by CBS News, “Have you read a book in the last month?” these were the answers:
Yes –68% 74% of those were women, 65% under 30 years of age)
Yes –62% Men
No —32%

…I thought this was discouraging:
73% of critics gave last week’s #1 grossing film (“Immortals”) an unfavorable rating.
3% of all critics gave Adam Sandler’s new film a favorable rating versus the 61% of audience-goers who liked it.
That seems to be a big disconnect. The message is: Dumb down you movies. Go ahead, make inane films because people will not only pay to watch them, but afterward they will say bizarre things such as, “That was a really good motion picture. I think I’ll recommend this to my friends!”
I’m not a snob berating family-friendly fare, but when theaters are saturated with week after week of horrid films it gets discouraging. Film is an art form. They are print stories brought to life.
Just makes me a little sad.

…Did you know that there are now 7 billion people on the planet?
Did you know that the world consumes 1.7 cans of Coke every day?
That’s a lot of folks.
That’s a lot of soda.

…How do you feel about airports?
I had never flow on a real airplane until I was 24. I was terrified. Not only am I afraid of heights, but I was frightened by airports, not knowing how they functioned, where to go, what to do, etc.
My very first flight on a plane was from Seattle to Hong Kong. Yikes. And then three days later Tokyo. A month later it was New York City. Within a year it was Scotland, Italy, England and NY again.
I was a clothing buyer and that’s what buyers did—they flew to places and bought merchandise from vendors so as to resell it to intrigued customers.
Since then I’ve flown scads and scads of miles. Even still, airports still make me nervous and agitated. I always feel like I’m doing it wrong, that I’m going to make a mistake and get in the B lane instead of the D lane, miss my flight, miss my connecting flight, arrive at my destination hours late, thereby screwing things up for my waiting ride.
Mostly, though, when I’m in an airport I feel very small and insignificant. I especially feel that way in any airport that is not SeaTac.
To be surrounded by thousands of people and not know a single person is, to me, very daunting. Watching all those people with their lives and cell phones and packs and bags, purses and ear buds going wherever it is they’re going—it all sort of turns me inside out.
Shit starts to get deep for me sometime.
Questions can start to fly:
“Who are all these people?”
“Where are they going?”
“Why do they all seem so busy, focused and full of direction?”
“Why am I here?”
“What the hell am I doing?”
“What’s my purpose?”
“Am I sure I’m going in the right direction?”
Inside airports, the world seems both big and compressed. Inside airports, you can hide but not really ever get lost. Everyone inside an airport is a little like a convict looking to get out, eager to get on with their lives.
I don’t know about you, but it kind of fascinates me.

…More wind today. Right now. Bold and belligerent as hell, it comes right at me, right at my windows, spitting cedar spikes, clawing at the glass like an unleashed animal, a hungry demon with razor tipped paws, a rabid Doberman that might actually crack through no different than one of the Darkseekers from I Am Legend.
Behind and beneath is the black old man water wrinkled foaming without foam ridge after ridge lapping slapping turbulent black tea green tea no duck or gull brave enough to sit there no eagle or hawk flying overhead. Even the sky looks worried, as if there’s not enough light getting through the patchy areas, as if this place on the planet has decided to play a different game, using its own rules, having turned Mother Nature against herself.
All I can do is watch and listen and write. My defense is that weak. If I’m taken captured or swallowed up into the vortex, tell them there’s nothing to worry about. Tell them I am writing a better story from all the way up there.


  1. Hey, Len. It is encouraging to know that so many people say they'd read a book. I have to say I absolutely hate Adam Sandler, don't get why he's supposed to be funny, haven't seen the movie but would defer to the critics based on the wonky way he funny-speaks. There are so many talented screenwriters out there who never get their movie made, and so many who get their movie made just because they know someone. It's a sad business that's strangling American culture.

  2. It's good to know I'm keeping the soda consumption average up. :p

  3. christopher, see i knew i liked you right away.
    jason, keep drinking. if we all just popped a few more cans a day, tossed in a few extra bags of chips and pretzels, maybe a few added hot dogs, the economy would right itself in no time.