Let's Speak The Same Language

Wednesday, December 17, 2014


Find photo here!
Luge! I had the sensation, yesterday, as I put in four hours of steady writing, that I was racing downhill toward the finish line. I was in a state of grace, knowing that certainly, come hell or high water, the novel will be completed. It's like when I ran the mile and half mile in high school and stood, bent over just beyond the finish line to catch my breath, my body coming back strong, my flesh tingling with the surge of oxygenated blood pumping in my system. Only that was after the run was completed. Yesterday, I only sensed the end rather than the actual end. I wonder if I'll feel any different when its done than when, as a younger man, I finished other novels? 

Sunday, December 14, 2014


I can't imagine this entry will run long. It's Sunday, the Seahawks are playing, and they're behind by 4 points, and, even though the Zags and Blazers won last night, I just do not feel any sort of cleverness coming on that would pad this account of my progress in sports viewing, excuse me, writing. Must keep my priorities prioritized. In the Manning novel, I'm just completing a lengthy scene in which much is revealed to the reader about many of the incidents throughout the novel. Seriously, I'm not very far from the end. Maybe three more chapters or scenes. Only a couple more things to get into the book and it'll be finished.

Wednesday, December 3, 2014


Find his photo here.
Needs dramatic shadowing.

Woody Allen and his films, I love. His short stories too. At one time in my life, his films so often reminded me of myself and my insecurities and my comical woundings (they felt nearly mortal) ... well, that's what good art does, doesn't it, it touches us? I just watched Hannah and Her Sisters for the who knows how manyieth time? One of my favorite films of his, and as the film closed to that wonderful piano playing, "I'm In Love Again", while the camera moves through the apartment to touch on all the relationships and how they worked out ... I got misty, and, next, I think how my first draft of the novel will soon reach its ending after all this long time of work, and how much I'm in love with my wife and our relationship after 20 years together, and my curious Facebook debates with my Southern antagonists who hope to see a second civil war so this time they can win, and, the conflagration of love and war of which my childhood was made when I, feeling the orphan, lived with my paternal grandparents all through WWII ... well ... my feelings well up and splash all over in my head, and my fired up synapses tell all my organs to get busy and create the chemical reactions this robot calls feelings, and I rush to my desktop Mac and sit to spill this rush of emotion out to you who follow this old man, trying to write a book someone other than himself will publish. The dream still lives.

Tuesday, November 25, 2014


Find photo source here:
This writing machine will shut down, most likely, for several days. In two hours, I'm off to get a tooth pulled. #21. Then comes Thanksgiving. P'rhaps some family will show up? Who knows?

I'm not going to say much this morning ... I don't think. I had a short burst of creative juice yesterday, saw my way through to a new ending that will cause the novel to run one or two more chapters longer. Several potential endings are in mind. One is a pretty nifty surprise. Some are upbeat and some not so upbeat. Not sure which will win out. 

Just because I see the ending, doesn't mean it's a done deal. Truth is, though I know what "actions" need to happen, there's still the problem of making sure I get all the information in too and in proper order, i.e. the background stuff that's been hidden from the reader so that everything makes sense and comes to a neat conclusion. I do have one line I want Charley Manning to assert near the end: "This investigation ain't no neatly plotted book, pal. There ain't no smoking gun. Just a lot of smoke, mostly, and a dozen suspicions."

More than once, lately, I've felt no impulse to finish the book, almost a fear of completing it. Could it be that I don't want to have to send it around and find out no agent wants it? I'm reading a Sam Beckett bio too. Don't know why I do it to myself. That's not my ambition at this time ... to win a Nobel Prize.

Wrote more than I planned to, didn't I?

Saturday, November 22, 2014


"Good evening, Mr. and Mrs. America from border to border and coast to coast and all the ships at sea. Let's go to press."

It has been reported to this columnist, your pal among the infamous, friend of Joe McCarthy and Milhous Nixon, that the novel of communist sympathizer and loose cannon, Mr. George Thomas, is suffering from faulty plumbing. The strings of his violin are snapped. Mr. Thomas was spotted at his favorite club, the Torque, in the heart of downtown Vancouver, crying the blues to his ever-loving partner and confidant, Ms. Mertie Duncan. It has been reported to this columnist from various sources around town that novelist Thomas hasn't got a finish. He hasn't got an ending. He's hanging out there in his communist commune, his pinko heaven, surrounded by various cronies and communist saps, and he's going bust. That you can take as golden from this columnist, your truly, 

You Know Who?

Monday, November 17, 2014


In the Vancouver library downtown, 4th floor, in winter gear, eyes on Portland in the distance. Mertie started her new job today, and my thoughts are with her. They've got a 6 months trial period. The job will carry a load of responsibility and human contact. She likes working with people. She'll get lots of that. I'm hoping she relishes the work and is happy there. 

The Manning novel continues apace. The conclusion is not that far ahead. Yesterday, I was unexplainably joyous, even though the Seahawks lost. What happened to all their brag about a dynasty? Meanwhile, the real American team, the Patriots, continues to chalk up wins and perform well season after season and, also, so do the Gonzaga Bulldogs who play SMU tonight at 8pm. Whoever decided the Dallas Cowboys was America's team when it's, obviously, the Patriots? 

Monday, November 10, 2014


Walked by the Columbia River this afternoon, a golden time, the sun slanting low toward the horizon and long shadows spilled across the grass. 
only 3:30 and looks eveningish

An old phantom came to haunt my morning as I was writing at the Torque. How do I explain it? It's a destructive little snot. I've no idea how to explain why it comes nor where it comes from. It appears in my consciousness unasked and carries with it a troubling sensation. The sum total of the sensation is that I don't feel like a writer. The sensation says: "Hey, who do you think you are, trying to write a novel? You're not a writer, silly goose." I deeply experience this sensation, so deeply that it convinces me momentarily of its undeniable truth. 

My father seems to haunt the edges of it when it comes. Could be that when I sent him a bound copy of my MFA poetry thesis, he told me he hadn't read it because he didn't understand it. Maybe that's why his image is always a part of the sensation that materializes within the synapses of my brain. The thoughts that become clear when I'm feeling this sensation is my middle class, working class background and my wage earning dad who, actually, was a self-taught tool designer, a pretty technically difficult job that he learned on the job. Anyway, I put my head down and kept at, and, finally, had a pretty good morning and early afternoon of writing.