Let's Speak The Same Language

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.

Tuesday, November 4, 2014


You can find the image here.
This entry will be rough and ready, folks. Today, I roughed out an outline for the final chapters. Something I was told I ought to do for the whole novel. Now that I see how easy it is, I might do it on my next novel. Next novel? Am I kidding myself? The final scenes might be as many as five chapters. Don't know, yet, how many words each step I've outlined will take to reveal. Funny how this writing process leads to ups and downs. I'm stimulated again, and I ain't seen the sun for many a day. I'm learning to love my rainy morning drives. Bottoms up and look out ahead! My windshield wiper's broke ... I guess. 

Sunday, November 2, 2014


The Manning novel is moving to a foreign city. You can see it by clicking and going for a ride in a city full of mopeds. Of course, no one knows how the city will look in the Fifth Century AS [Age of Science] as opposed to Sixteenth Century BS [Before Science]. Probably all transportation will be electric vehicles and called trics. That's the time this scifi piece is set in. Had a great week of writing. Moving ahead full steam. Momentum is building. Even after I finish this first draft, there will remain a rewrite for style, consistency and polish. You know, friends, in the last two years, I've rewritten two novels and written nearly a completely new novel. Pretty solid effort.

Thursday, October 23, 2014


Today, I've been bent over my laptop for 4 straight hours at Starbucks. My bones and my back ache. I remember when I could sit 8 hours at a time, writing away, with nary a pinch of pain. I'm not the only person to realize this connection between physical effort and writing. Many writers have commented on the physical difficulty of the writer at his laptop i.e. the old typewriter. Let me tell you all, however, "The End" is soon, relatively soon, to be put to the Manning novel. I can feel it winding down in my aching bones, only a few chapters ahead. I can see it out there in the mists in the middle of the moors. Thus, I'm tired and this blog entry is kaput.  

Sunday, October 19, 2014


Six am. Did anyone other than myself catch the error in the title of my last entry? The title of this entry is correct. I was drowsing in my old man's recliner yesterday, thinking about that title and realized I'd made an error in writing out 101,357


But this blog is a writer's blog, not a mathematician's blog so
I forgive myself. Beside that, I've also surpassed that number with the writing I did yesterday. 

Following the writing of this early a.m. blog, I'm going to send off The Man In the Mirror today for its first trial run into the hands of an agent. I believe it ought to be labelled "... something along the lines of Crime and Punishment" in the cover letter, plus "the story of a murderous little high school teacher"? Something along those lines. Speaking of Crime and Punishment, a couple of weeks ago, I caught Woody Allen's "Crimes and Misdemeanors" which I think is much closer to the way things might happen than the way they happen in Dostoievski's novel. Unless, human nature has really changed that much in a hundred or so years.

Wednesday, October 15, 2014


The current novel now stands at 101,357 words. The first of the secrets are being revealed to P.I. Charley Manning [and reader] as he pursues his investigation. His employer is still not clear. Manning is beginning to distinguish "bad guys" from "good guys", if only because one side seems to be doing the most damage. But who knows? Twists and turns are still in the offing. He must find out what "the research project" is all about, then he'll know which side is which. 

Yesterday, I walked at Fred Meyers, and I observed a very old couple. The woman was in a wheelchair, and her mate was pushing her through the aisles. As I often do, I began to inhabit one of their minds as in a story point of view. I was in the wheelchair pusher's p.o.v., and I imagined him, feeling sad, because he remembers their days of intimacy. Then, I made fun of myself. Why should I think that, I wondered? So many stories could be told that didn't include their sexual lives. As if I don't already know, generalizations are impossible in the world of fiction. The man could just as well be totally pissed at his wife for making him wander so many aisles in search of things he could care less about.  

Odd thing! In my internet search to find photos or art work that portrayed an old man pushing an old woman in a wheelchair, I couldn't find one. Does that speak a thousand truths?