Castle (1999)

Originally posted on interruptingcow:

a simple complex sandcastle
with steady sturdy towers
walls glistening in the sun
with the moistness
and the magic
of brand new built.

many doors, mostly open
only one locked shut
only the castle itself in possession
of the key to free
what’s inside.

the sun smiles
on the beauty
the complex simpleness
what is now, and what will ever be
the land’s barrier,
the tide’s punching bag.
but for this time, this moment
she stands firm
on the sand of the beach that forms her.

A sand castle at Cannon Beach, Oregon.

By Curt Smith from Bellevue, WA, USA (Sand Castle at Cannon Beach) [CC-BY-2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0)%5D, via Wikimedia Commons

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Time Ride (Oct 1999)

Originally posted on interruptingcow:

wear out the ever present smiles
tick the talks of past, feelings, and desires
stretch this new found love across the miles
and see if our wanting one another tires.

The Passage of Time

The Passage of Time (Photo credit: ToniVC)

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Vantage Point 2

Originally posted on interruptingcow:

Carting around the catch all day was bad enough; it seemed the smell never left her nostrils fully after there were no more buyers in the streets.  This was only intensified by the oils and other fluids that remained after the fish were sold or returned to the market.  Molly used the lye soap and tried lemon juice, wincing at the sting as it seeped into the cuts and cracks.  Her hands smelled so badly of fish, she sometimes soaked them in vanilla liquor or wood alcohol, other times in pickle vinegar, in an attempt to get rid of the stench.

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one writer morning

Originally posted on interruptingcow:

the wideness of my headspace
yawns the hunger open
the coffee slides
fatigue presides

sly glances of bright outside
push into my groggy
cold whispers my skin
where to begin

a magic show swallowed my genius
disappeared my idea bodies
scratching inward i dig for the prisoners
dreaded yearnings seek
for letters ... words ... 
a string of story
to explain my empty.

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that thing

Originally posted on interruptingcow:

i sit here thinking, trying to write
and worry what i’m scrawling won’t sound right.
flowers and tingles and rhymes and such
never end up amounting to much.

i could tell you i love you but i always do.
i could use cliche and sunshine describing you.
i could write about heartbeats, breathing, and flight,
or miracles, blessings, devotion, and fright …

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Simon, Garfunkel, Sly & the Family Stone Days

Originally posted on interruptingcow:

Sometimes a day feels like a conglomeration of Simon and Garfunkel songs.  It’s the sound of rainy fog, vacant hollows, and poetic harmonies that pour longing and a patient strife onto the table and unswept floor.  In between guitar strings, there’s an almost silence that gets eaten by another note, and another, until the song ends and a resonance purrs to completion.  The tune would be comforting, except in the end it gets snuffed out and those ignorant to its complexities fail to appreciate it, and don’t seek an encore.  Then the roadies (who think they’ve heard it all before) pack up the instruments and don’t think to tip the 20th waitress they’ve seen this year.

When that happens to you, don’t fret.  There’s always a  Sly & the Family Stone day around the corner!

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TimeKeeper

Originally posted on interruptingcow:

Old Town Square, Prague 06

on this day is a morning
of similar build
to a stretch and a coffee - 
my grogginess killed.

in the clock is an hour hand,
outstretched to no one,
pushing obstacles at me - 
wainscoting the sun.

i could write of a hero, 
a "save-the-day" sort,
fighting hand-to-hand combat;
i'd level the court.

with a name like "Time Stopper,"
"Time Keeper" perhaps,
she would introduce friction
to Time's brutal laps.

wash those lines above!
i shall name her "Love."

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In Praise of the Ampersand

Originally posted on interruptingcow:

A scrap of red paper
stuck in a book
at Salvation Army
made this gal look

pages of poetry
poet of note 
ee of cummings 
& much that he wrote

I wondered if a meaningful poem could be constructed solely for twitter (with just 140 characters) and was pleasantly surprised when I built this one.   I was saved, as you can see, by the ampersand.  It’s a true story too.

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What I’m Reading and Why, v2

Writers have to read.  It’s not a chore.   Chef’s taste food; athletes watch footage of other athletes; cars get waxed.

St. Lucy’s Home for Girls Raised by Wolves by Karen Russell

It occurs to me as a writer with a full time job that short stories may be the way to start.  I was fearful after I read a preface by Stephen King in one of his short story collections (“Until Sunset” I think).  He said short stories are a totally different creature than books and left me with the impression that it would be hard to break out of one mold (that of a short story writer) to become another (author of a novel).  So I delayed, dabbled, delayed some more.  Then I started reading this book.

I didn’t realize it was a collection of short stories when I started.  It may be possible that the stories will overlap somehow as I read more.  I’m less than half way through this book and so thrilled at the way it allows the author to flex more than one writing muscle.  The first story tells of a pair of girls who live in swamp lands and have been left alone for a time.  I could state its storyline follows that of the children of Alligator wrestlers but that wouldn’t even cover it.  Besides, you’d miss out on the sister’s jaw dropping relationship with the ghost/demon, and then might abandon it altogether for fear it’s a paranormal story when, in fact, it is not.  My favorite story tells of a camp for youth who suffer from a myriad of sleep disorders (some that will make you want to google them to see if they are indeed real).  I could state that the campers must band together to solve the mystery of a serial sheep killer, but you’d probably mistake that to mean this is full of cliches and a “cute” story.  It is not on either of those counts.

My point here, and I do have one, is how lovely it feels to dip my feet in, and even at ankle deep, this author has shown me how refreshing it can be to shift gears, change paradigms, and even genres, all within the same book.  My fear erased, I will honor the summer and start writing some shorts!  While I’m at it, I’m definitely adding some of her other books to my reading list: Vampires in the Lemon Grove, Swamplandia, and Sleep Donation.

 

Writing Mysteries

by Sue Grafton (Editor), Michael Connelly, Tess Gerritsen, Tony Hillerman, Sara Paretsky, Fay Kellerman, Ann Rule, Linda Fairstein, Jonathan Kellerman, John Lutz, Nancy Pickard, Jan Burke, Barry Zeman, Lawrence Block, Laurie R. King, Margaret Maron, Loren D. Estleman

WritingMysteriesCoverI know what you’re thinking – “Who are these people and why should I care?”  If you’re a mystery writer and this is, indeed, what you were thinking, you might want to consider writing for dairy ads.

Yes, it’s true!  In just one book you can have the mentoring of all those mystery writers.  Sue Grafton edited it and each chapter speaks to a different aspect of the genre.  I’m reading this book because, to not read it and go on writing mysteries would be like the child who pulls away from his parent and says, “No!  I can cut my own food!” and then progresses to let fly everything on the plate.  My favorite sections so far have been Faye and Jonathan Kellerman’s piece on research and Julie Smith’s on “Background, Location, and Setting.”

I hope you’re listening – mystery writers – this book has it all.  From dialogue and perspectives to short story mysteries and YA, you’ll find some inspiration or new information here.  The only thing better than reading this book would be to sit in my writing tank while listening to this as an audio book being read by each of the contributors.  Wait.  Is that too creepy?  Did I cross a line?  #authorgroupie

 

New Knew New

A new page has been added to the site in response to those that want all the series stories in one, easy to navigate area.  Click the “Series Stories” link in the menu above and enjoy.

Also, today I discovered that I can change the name of the site without conflicting with the web address … thus the title’s spelling has been corrected.  Perhaps many of you didn’t realize … or thought I just couldn’t spell.  While it’s true I’m an “open minded” speller and in my haste to set the site up in 2013 I jumped before checking … I knew for some time that the error had been made.  It was embarrassing to say the least.   I fretted, “Will all the grammar and spelling gurus pass over my site with their noses pinched?”  But alas, it was not so.

Stay tuned for another episode of a writer’s, “What I’m Reading and Why.”

Vernon Montel

Originally posted on interruptingcow:

He had so many visitors passes to retirement and assisted living homes he had to keep them organized in several index card boxes. He knew this obsession of his was strange and morbid, but something compelled him to go, each weekend or afternoon after he clocked out of his mundane job.  It had started as a tiny idea. After all, maybe this would form the body of work that would become THE BOOK that he always wanted to write before dying. The idea was a survey. He had always assumed that there was a large majority out there that wanted to write a book but never did before dying. But was this truth?

And then the troubling dilemma of how to find out. If he asked people in health, how would he keep track if they did or didn’t before they kicked the bucket? If he asked them in sickness…

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Eight Seconds

Originally posted on interruptingcow:

The incessant engine humming, no – more of a roaring moan, will probably echo in my head for hours after I land.  That guy looks as nervous as I feel.  “We can do this, Joe!”  Yeah, that smile looks totally forced, but thumbs up buddy.

I can’t imagine this would be very comfortable without these packs on our backs.  Makes a good spot for resting my head while we wait to reach altitude over the jump zone.  Oh, wow.  Stomach isn’t having that right now.  Better sit up and think happy thoughts.  This helmet feels tighter all of a sudden.  Let’s do an equipment check again to get my mind right.  Yep … check, check.  This harness itches right here.  Heck, I’d wear a suit of armor if they guaranteed me nothing bad would happen.

Oh, Lord.  They’re moving around up there.  Okay.  Okay.  It’s happening.  Stand up.  Shuffle forward. …

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nothing to write

Originally posted on interruptingcow:

It is with deep regret that the author informs you (in verse) …

there is nothing.
my heart cannot tell you
what my soul declines to loose
and my mind considers refuse
when the time ticks pock marks 
            in the chalk marks
                    around my dead hope.

i trust elsewhere
there is strength of will
where exists fortitude -
a dimension without latitude
for any volume of fragility
            no amount of civility
                    for lame excuses.

but tonight ...
on this section
of the fabric of time,
and here ...
past the inflection
of my flattened rhyme,
there is nothing.

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Vantage Point

Originally posted on interruptingcow:

He’d been washing his flatbed trailer full of four-wheelers for over two hours.  The sound of high powered spray on fiberglass was driving her mad.  Besides, it had rained on and off all day long.  What the hell was wrong with this guy?  She leaned out the window, stretched just enough to see around the tree that blocked her view, and donned her best, “Forget to take your meds this morning, Mr?” face.  No effect.

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The Croissant of Self-Consciousness

Originally posted on interruptingcow:

La parisienne almond croissant
What I love about this story is the extreme concern the narrator has for what others think, yet most of the concerns stem from his or her own prejudices and opinions about weight and others.  Also, I was careful not to expose the gender of the main character, but how fascinating that most readers will assume it is a female.  Enjoy and please tell me what you think!

The little cardboard box is small enough to stay on my lap during takeoff but large enough to be a nuisance.  When it is clear the box will not fit the seat pocket under the tray table, a tradeoff occurs between the newly deadened cell phone and the absorbing book that beckons, “What will he do next?  How will he live?”  The book wins and, before the plane finishes its taxi to the runway, the story resumes its previous bombardment.  This makes…

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