I really didn’t want one, but I tend to roll with Fate, and this one came my way. She’s a she I think and big and red, and not afraid of anything but my grandkids and the vacuum cleaner.
If time doesn.t exist,
how does evolution work?
Where did mathematics
Does any life have meaning?
Does all life have meaning?
Where do you draw the line?
What does meaning mean?
This should go into the Journal category but I’ve been remiss in keeping it updated. I’m still alive, tho I guess it’s been a year since I last touched base. I’ve been visiting Mandy every Sunday at GDC and my son and his family once a month in Columbus. Someone was able to connect with me by writing to my son’s blog, sonicist.com. I would welcome comments but almost all of them (okay, all) are spam. If anyone wants to communicate anything that’s not spam, I’m at email@example.com. You may accurately guess that I’m no longer 70 — 73 right now, but 70 sounds better (and IS better, I think). Right now I’m trying to figure out how to post photos. My son did the 2 or 3 now on the site, of his family when they visited Croatia. I think I’ll stop now and experiment with uploading photos.
I’m so rusty I don’t know if I’m going to post this silly poem twice or not. Here goes:
We always thought her meek and mild
until the day that she went wild
and fell in love with an antique Greek,
or should I say a Greek antique?
She gave a moan and then a shriek
that echoed through the whole boutique
and without a pause
with hands like claws
she clasped him to her ample bust,
moved not by piety I think but lust.
As a matter of fact he was scantily clad
and to tell the truth I think she was glad.
Well, this includes some of April, too. I won’t go into the details but on April 15 I underwent unanticipated open heart surgery at Riverside Hospital in Columbus. The problem was discovered without either a heart attack or stroke, or even pain. My luck was with me in more ways than one — I had an appointment for help with my tax filing for 9 a.m. that day. Turns out, seniors had been given an extension until October…
I’m going to begin a cardiopulmonary program that meets three times a week for twelve weeks, beginning Friday, June 30….The aftermath finds me lazy, still.
Looks like I lost two whole months. As perhaps mentioned earlier, I finished my fantasy novel and began again on the third or fourth draft of “Why Did I Do It? What incest offenders learn in treatment,” based on my 12 years doing therapy with sex offenders in the prison system. Non-fiction may be easier to find an agent for than fiction — I hope so, because I’m not getting any younger (and other cliches.)
As luck would have it, John Kachuba gave me the book “Writing Fiction; A Guide to Narrative Craft” by Janet Burroway last Sunday night. It was his and Mary’s last night attending the Spiritual Growth Group since they have bought a HUD fixer upper in Cincinnatti, and they have given most of their books to the Athens Friends of the Library Book Sale. He has taught creative writing at OU and this is the text he and others use.
The two sample stories-for-criticism early in the book are “The Use of Force” by William Carlos Williams and “How Far She Went,” by Mary Hood. Reading them as a potential writer I was impressed beyond words, I guess, since I can’t seem to be able to put my experience into words. Very subtly done.
In the third, “Showing and Telling” chapter Hood explicates the importance of significant details, filtering, use of the active voice, prose rhythm and mechanics.
Significant detail: specific, definite, concrete particular details are the life of fiction. A detail is concrete if it appeals to one of the five senses
Filtering: Vividness urges that almost every occurrence of such phrases as “she noticed” and “she saw” be suppressed in favor of direct presentation of the thing seen.
Active Voice: Always use the active voice except when the actor is unknown or insignificant, or for stylistic effect. Watch out for “linking verbs” which are passive, as “She was beautiful.” Instead, let the reader experience.
Prose Rhythm: The rhythm of an action and emotion can be imitated by the rhythm of a sentence in a rich variety of ways. (”The stops and starts of prose flow.”)
Mechanics: You can depart from standardized mechanics whenever you produce an effect that adequately compensates for it. Usually, stick to the grammatical magic whose purpose is to be invisible.
I’ve just been using this space to help me focus on some good writing tips. I’m signing off now to read “Where Are You Going, Where Have You Been?” by Joyce Carol Oates “for Bob Dylan,” next in the book.
It’s the 30th so I have a chance to begin a new leaf on the first month of the year. Last night I attended a showing of a 9/11 video at the library — the one by the architect. After seeing it I now believe I believe that explosives were involved in the destruction. At this point in time I believe I believe that the government’s cover-up was because of their security failure and that “the bad foreign guys” got into the building(s) and set the complicated widespread explosives, to be detonated at a strategic time by the bad guys. (As it turns out about 3 months previously a new elevator system was installed — involving 4 elevators — with access to the crawl space between floors.) I have wondered and never seen an explanation for the government giving money to the victims (and having them sign a release). Maybe that’s why.
My novella turned into a novel, and is finished. It’s called “Sight Unseen: Are we our bodies?” and I haven’t been able to get an agent to look at it. It is pretty cross-sectioned, dealing fictionally with homosexuality, AIDS, astral projection, the Shadow, the Other Side, incest, feminism and body swapping. None of the genres — not even fantasy — seem to fit that content. Only one person has read it all, and she doesn’t like the heroine because of how irresponsible she is. (I didn’t tell her it’s me).
I’m not keeping up with this blog very well but at least I’d like to post one entry a month, and this month is drawing near the end.
I don’t know if it’s my imagination but it seems people are less willing to be straight with me than when I was younger. When someone is honest with me I feel validated. The behavior of younger people towards the elderly seems like a mixture of protectiveness and repugnance, a wanting to keep a safe distance. The truth is, I experience the same attitude towards other old people. I can remember not wanting to touch my mother, of feeling very impatient with her fraillties. I recall her saying “You’ll see how it is when you’re old,” and I felt like she was putting a curse on me. Now I come closer to understanding. I really regret not knowing how to tell her to turn so she could stand up in the bath tub. Instead, I grew impatient. Now I have figured it out, but it’s too late to help her.
I’m trying to remember if I still feel irritated by old people driving slowly. I like letting my car go at its own speed, with the idea that it will last longer. Maybe that’s my attiude toward myself, too.
I was reading “Start the Conversation” by Ganga Stone the other day and shed talks about “the Witness of the Waking State,” the “One we always were.” She’s discussing it in terms of a part of ourselves that survives death. I’m only recognizing it as really being a part of us, since I can recall at age 5 wondering if I would still be me when I was grown. I decided to re-connect with this topic consciously every birthday, and by and large I have continued to do just that, and I find that I am still “me” inside.
That is the part that can recognize itself in the mirror at 70, with memories of itself at all preceding ages. You can never step in the same river twice — all our cells are dying and being replaced so that nothing remains the same but our memory of former selves.
That’s enough for this month, I think. I’ve been looking for a poem called I think The Old Mexican Woman who regards herself in the looking glass…it’s around here somewhere.