Let's Speak The Same Language

Monday, August 24, 2015


Didn't sleep well last night but hammered out the 3rd rewrite of Chapter -2- of Ghoul World today, this morning. That's all this dude has to report. About time for my walk in hazy Vancouver, surrounded by discouraging PNW fires. Tomorrow, at seven pm, as I've pointed out numerous times, I'll be the featured poet at Barnes and Noble in Vancouver. Looking forward to it. Nice of Rainy Knight and David Hill to invite me.

Got a nice rejection letter for a short story I submitted to a contest. Invited to submit again. Was it just a polite form letter or a special sort of rejection letter that was a real invite? Monetary concerns twist and distort all communications. I know the story is well done. I've worked it over a couple of dozen of times over the past decade. All I see nowadays in it are small quibbles with my language that aren't strong enough to change. They're the sort of quibbles that can go back and forth, endlessly.

Monday, August 17, 2015


Just finished my walk. 85 degrees outside. Tomorrow, back into the 90s. Spent between 4 and 4 1/2 hours, as promised to myself, sending off 4 queries to agents this morning. Three went out for Programming Frank Singletary and one went out for Ghoul World. Even as I rewrite Ghoul World for the third time, I intend to send out the second version. It's good enough to go as is, I think, but another rewrite won't hurt. If someone likes the current version, that's all to the good. As a younger writer, I don't think I'd do it this way, but my age rushes me a bit. 
Part of my walk, as usual, was through an expensive neighborhood to the north. I look at those homes and would like to see us in one of the smaller, one story homes there [$500,000]. Of course, she might reject such a move, being the woman she is. When I was young, and city neighborhoods were Pete Seeger ticky-tack in my head, I could not entertain such an ambition. I was full of hate for the middle class, but my hate turned out to be my hate for my bourgeois self that I feared made me very ordinary and unable to achieve success in the creative world. Now, here I am, 77, and still striving. Speaking of success, my wife and I took along audio books to listen to during our drive to Yellowstone. We listened to a mystery by a woman author who shall go nameless. Not a name I recognized, but my wife has read other of her books. The writer was making stylistic "errors" that I've been upset at myself for making, yet, there her work was, on an audio tape. The story line was intriguing. I feel that Ghoul World has a solid story line. We'll see.

Saturday, August 15, 2015


Four am on a sleepless morning, Still kicked back and not writing on a self-imposed vacation. Went to Yellowstone with my wife where I found the altitude exhausted me from time to time. I appreciate all of you who continue to check in to see if my goal—to get someone other than myself to publish one of my novels—has been accomplished. I'm still looking for an ambitious agent and struggling occasionally with the idea that my goal is a futile one for someone of my age. Anyhow, my goal for this coming Monday is to query more agents and, on Tuesday, to begin rewrite of my sci-fi novel, Ghoul World. Am contemplating taking a course at the Northwest Film Center in script writing. Maybe I could find a young gun to co-write the script with me. Or not. Other than that, I will be the featured poet this August 25th at Barnes & Noble in Vancouver. Stop by, buy a book, any book, at B&N.

Wednesday, July 29, 2015


I stole this picture here:
Third rewrite is done, Programming Frank Singletary. Finished yesterday morning then drove into Portland to attend the monthly lunch with Humanist of Greater Portland men. All old timers, we talked about the various ways to maintain erections after prostate removal. Laughing, we said we were relieved no younger members were at the lunch. They'd be traumatized. 

I haven't mentioned that my novel, Angie's Choice, was rejected for publication in a contest I entered. It was 9 1/2 months in process. 

This morning I've tried to do some poetry rewriting to put another poetry ms. together. A practice run for self-publishing on Amazon, but I wasn't inspired. My heart wasn't in it. I must get busy on rewrite of Ghoul World. Think I'll take a course in screenplay writing at Northwest Film Center so I can turn the novel into a screen play too. It still needs work, I'm sure. Tighten up the tension.  

This morning I also gave myself permission to take it easy for a month or a couple of weeks, kick back and read. Can't seem to do it. Think I fear my mental powers further declining.

Sunday, July 26, 2015


Still, I'm working on the final chapter of Programming Frank Singletary, but I'm over the hump, the anguish subsided, and happy to be saying what I want to say at the end of a pornographic novel about sexual obsession. Should wrap up this rewrite within a day or two. 

Also, reading with respect and affection the most recent FOURBYTWO, subtitled, elsewheres. The poetry of Klipschutz and translations of several German poets by Scott J. Thompson are inside. Thompson's translation skills from the German are beyond my talents to evaluate but reading the English versions is satisfaction enough for me. Below is one of Thompson's translations of Georg Trakl's (1887-1914) imagistic poems:


Be damned, you dark poisons,
White sleep!
This most eccentric garden
Of twilit trees
Full of snakes, night moths,
Spiders, bats.
Stranger! Your abandoned shadow
In the sunset,
A sinister corsair
In the salty sea of anguish.
White birds flutter up at night's edge
Over collapsing cities
Of steel.

Tuesday, July 21, 2015


Hopeful today even though I'm still  rewriting the last chapter of Programming Frank Singletary, the uncomfortable tale of a dysfunctional relationship between two badly damaged human beans.
Find these photos at following link.

I think I'm emerging from the anxiety that had me blocked in such a way I couldn't see my way clear to the end of this novel. I still don't see my way clearly to the ending, but hope that I will has returned.

The very act of writing is critical to my mental health because when I'm blocked, unable to go forward, I'm frantic and in pain. I believe this is a childhood thing when I felt so many things I was unable to articulate. I could only feel and twist in the wind. The act of communication is critical to my mental health. Which makes me feel grateful all over again for the wife with whom I can share most anything. I have not one secret from her. I've shared the most shameful things from my past with her. 

Thursday, July 16, 2015


Find photo here:

AAAAARG! I'm still on rewrite of Programming Frank Singletary. Who would of thought it would take so long when I began? I'm wondering if my unconscious is heeding my oft spoken wish about writing something beautiful? Of course, a graphically precise novel about dysfunctional relationships in which things very close to rape happen is not the sort of novel that most people would call "beautiful". Still, if it's writ true enough, it might have a "truth is beauty" of its own. The past week has been terrible at times. I've nearly regressed mentally to the heavy drinking past when I'd experience weeks of anguish, thinking everything I wrote was garbage. I had days, back then, when I could not bear to read my own work without twisting in the wind. Everything I wrote, I was convinced, was garbage. However, currently, as I slave away at one or two paragraphs for a couple of hours, and I see they are becoming more closely related to reality as I know it...I continually see improvement. Only problem, now, is will I be able to rewrite my entire cannon of novels before I die. I awoke in the middle of the night last night with the awful knowledge that the novel, Ghoul World, I've put so much hope into is badly flawed. It's set too far into the future, but if I bring it toward the now, then many other problems present themselves. I already know I must improve the beginning or Angie's Choice. Oh, woe, is me—the plight of the aging novelist.