Saturday, October 7, 2017

Musclewood: a Labor of Love Revisited

In 2014, I set aside a mostly finished manuscript into which I had poured my heart. A dark but hopeful tale, and the reasons I stepped away from it were very personal, but it was something to which I knew I would always return. That's the way of things, after all. Our truth will always call us back home.

It needs an overhaul, and it'll take time. Anything worthwhile does. I'll keep you posted along the way, and as always, I'm grateful to have your support as I sojourn. To those of you beside me when I was living this--2012-2014--you have my thanks, and my heart, as ever.

Here's the opening. Musclewood.




“In a room where people unanimously maintain a conspiracy of silence, one word of truth sounds like a pistol shot.” 
Czesław Miłosz




​Buried things, it seems, have a knack for not remaining so.

In 1978, the small, Midwest town of Jacksonburg having agreed by democratic majority to submerge itself, watched as the Serpent River was dammed and its banks spilled over and flooded the entire municipality.  Once a prime source of commerce and life, the river now became an angel of death, consuming the town with indifference.  Sherriff’s deputies had performed a walk-through the evening prior, to ensure every living soul had in fact been evacuated. No official report exists confirming the result; one may perhaps assume in this town numbering fewer than 2000 souls, one gone missing would have been noteworthy, or perhaps even floated to the surface.


Monday, September 4, 2017

It's Alive! How to Find the Heartbeat of your Story

Very grateful to the great folks at Author Magazine for running my piece on the importance of finding the heartbeat of your tale....what do you think? What has that process been like for you?

I hope you enjoy the article, and your feedback as always is welcomed!



Tuesday, January 31, 2017

Book Report: Draft 1, Done

Finishing draft 1 of Cucariva tonight, and dispatching it to some wonderful beta readers. Will process the feedback and revise and seek a publisher, and in interim will get a little work on D Rose 2, David Rose & the Forbidden Tournament.

Thanks as always for your support. Here's sample from the climax of Cucariva, hope you enjoy...

They met full stride at the center of the bridge, an uncertain congress in the glare and shadow of this uncertain hour. Not quite day; no longer night. That smallest of hours just before things begin to happen. Before the birds sing, and the breeze lifts up from the river; before children rise, and give voice to the waking day. A space between, and unto this breach they stepped, two men, arrived at last at final Calvary.  



Sunday, January 15, 2017

Rachel's Room: A Scene

Here's Rachel's latest entry. Her turn on some good characterization & dialogue. I asked her what it was from--a short, a school assignment, or what, and she just shrugged. "Something I wrote," she said. She is, after all, a writer....


 Jane couldn't believe what she was hearing. Elias was lecturing her about his disappointment in her, going on about how he couldn't understand why she was still like this, a sly criminal. But for years Elias would say, “ You are a terrible person. What is wrong with you?” Every time Jane attempted to change, the response was always, “ You'll never change. You just can't.” He was partially right about that, however. Jane sighed. How could he complain about how she was when he never helped me? He never suggested that she could be a better person. Only a worse one.
    “Enough!” she screamed. Elias stood there in place, not at all shook by the sudden outbreak and anger.
    “What?” he said calmly. Elias had an expression that showed that he was angry, despite his sweet tone. Jane shook her head at him and took a deep breath.
     “ You're my brother by relation, but you're not my brother by heart. You never were.”
     “Ouch,” Elias joked. Jane flared with madness and pushed him against the bland walls.
     “This is no joke, you may take it like one, but I don't.  I'm willing to do anything, you know. You best watch yourself.” She pushed Elias harder and then let go. He gasped to catch his breath and smiled.
      “If you do anything to me, that'll just prove me right. You're a criminal that doesn't deserve anything you have.”
     “I have nothing to say to you Elias,” she stated. She knew that he was in fact right. If she did do anything to him, that would be giving into what he said about her.  Jane bit her lip.  She looked at her brother and studied him for a second. Elias shared a passing resemblance to her. They both had the same piercing blue eyes, and the same caramel colored hair. It bother Jane that they looked so similar.
     “Then leave, Jane,” he told her. Jane blinked. His three words had actually ended up hurting her. She hadn't expected him to say that. She shrugged it off, knowing that those hurt feelings weren't gone.
     “Ok.” Jane nodded at him as she walked out the door. She turned the corner and headed outside. She kept on walking, she didn’t know where she was going, but it didn't matter. Jane recalled everything they had said today, and let it sink in. As she sat on a dirty bench, she started breaking down. The tears began to flood, but Jane tried with all of her willpower to hold them in.
    “Are you ok?” a woman asked her.
    “No, I'm not,” Jane fiercely answered. “I never will be.”

Monday, December 19, 2016

At the End of the Tunnel, Light: Update on Work in Progress

Pleased to report my literary-suspense manuscript, Cucariva, is nearing the end of first draft. I'm pretty excited about it but like any first draft I know it may be improved: I have a few terrific beta-readers lined up but if you are interested, please let me know. Here's an excerpt:

With dark comes cold and he shivers but does not rouse from his slumber against the stone, grown cold against his back. Rather sees himself from on high, some celestial remove, telescoping eye of a voyeuristic moon. Lunar eyebrow raised at this strange hominid figure drawn up in chilled repose against this marker of the dead. He feels in his sleep for what covering there might be, but his hands find only a ghost-white latticework of cobwebs, garish, of the sort sold to Halloween revelers. He sheaths himself no matter, cocooning for the viscid warmth. Mummified creature, All Hallows Eve has passed, save here, where lives only death and spirits abide no aegis but the explication of their demise.
And now such spirits as here dwell amble forth from out the shadows, coin of the realm for all days to come. Approach this prostrate, swaddled figure, raise him up, these non-corporeals, by force of will reserved for the indignant dead. The earth beneath him tremulous, shifting, falling away, dark waters rising in its wake. He is trussed up in his cobweb suit, Sunday best, and is it Sunday or who rightly knows, in this madness which time forgot? Limbs splayed, flush against this sacred stone, come before this patronage of peers who row into the onyx waters of this world fallen away. Strange and spectral oarsmen sallied forth for this the hour of midnight judgment. Through gauzy lens he watches a giant, moonlit hare lope uncertainly across the firmament. Put down your bow, Orion, I'm only grazing here. 



Tuesday, November 1, 2016

What's in a Word(or 500)?

Honored my microfiction tale got 2nd place for this esteemed site. 500 word limit, post-apocalyptic theme. Also if you click on Featured Authors there's a piece on me. Hope you enjoy, and as always thanks for your support!

PS would love your thoughts on micro/flash fiction. Enjoy writing it? Reading it?

https://amidtheimaginary.wordpress.com/2016/11/01/2016-micro-fiction-contest-2nd-place-winner/

Wednesday, October 12, 2016

A Writer's Soul

Every secret of a writer’s soul, every experience of his life, every quality of his mind, is written large in his works.”
—Virginia Woolf

I tend with each passing day to believe this.

All those facets to storytelling—to writing—plot, characterization, description, theme….all but variations on the explication of one’s heart and soul. No matter the form—novel, short story, poem—even the musings of a blog like this—all at its essence some manner of veracity Even in a work of fiction—maybe especially then.

My words my truth, do you remember the first day I opened these pages of my soul to your searching eyes? Those eyes and this story so brimming with possibility and hope. I want you to know, dear reader, that those words I professed then--those truths--remain  true to this day--like any story even if it be forsaken, its pages unopened and collecting dust, do not its words once written, endure?

One year in high school, submissions were solicited for a time capsule, summative and representative words which would in 50 maybe 'twas 100 years' time be opened to reveal to whosever eyes clues about what things were like at our school all those decades previous. Mine was chosen. Things doubtless changed there in all that time, people I knew doubtless changed but my words so preserved, resolute and fixed. 

So too here my clues to you, dear reader, and yes I do mean you. If you shall read this no matter just when, know I am  speaking unequivocally to you. Those words  set down as a promise those years ago. Once written, inviolate, for the deepest truths adhere no revision but only ingrain more indelibly upon the page. Those words my story, my story my truth, and for you, for those eyes to fall once more upon them, do they await, dear reader, and only for you, no matter the years and occurrences between. Open the pages, love, dust them off, should ever you sojourn this way again. You shall find in them no hint of recrimination for your absence, they shall open willingly and lovingly to your touch. A story resuming, for its words, its truth, its promise, has known no end~