Let's Speak The Same Language

Monday, February 23, 2015


My friends, it's time to leave the library where I'm writing and get my car out of the parking lot before my two hours expire and I get a ticket. Going to walk down by the Columbia River and drink in the 63 degree weather and the feeling of being done with the first rough draft of Ghoul World. I cheated the finish just a little bit and before I start a rewrite on page one, I do have to go back over closing paragraphs to tweak out the exact feeling I want to end the novel with. My feelings about this being the final day of rough draft are a little ambiguous. Still I'm calling this the last day of rough draft.

Monday, February 9, 2015


I'm smack in the middle of the last section of the novel. I thought I'd be done by now, but what I'm writing so interests me that my imagination is constantly adding to it. I wish I'd thought about writing science fiction when I was younger. I can't tell you much about the concluding scene because it contains so much spoiler stuff. If you think evolution is interesting, be sure and read my novel, Ghoul World [aka the Manning novel] when it comes out. It touches on some of the same stuff. 

As I write this, I'm sitting in a Starbucks in the World Trade Center, Portland, waiting for the PIFF film, NUOC 2030, to begin upstairs at six pm. Spent an hour, earlier, walking in the cold drizzle of Portland's streets. Better, if you ask me, than snow, and, like a smart kid, I wore the raincoat Mertie bought for me when we first moved to Vancouver to wear during my rainy walks. I'm loving life pretty much right at this moment, thinking about my wonderful wife. 

Monday, February 2, 2015


Just finished the penultimate chapter. I enter the last chapter, see the final scene before my eyes, at last. First draft, of course. Tentatively, I'm going to end the novel on a sad note, but if the team that makes my Manning novel into a movie wants to make it a happy ending there's plenty of room for that too. I don't care. Just pay me well. I'll happily go along. I'm easy after a lifetime of turning my nose up at writing profits. 

Seattle lost. Brady is among the best quarterbacks—if not the best ever. What a way to lose too. I didn't watch. I can't take the stress anymore. I identify too completely and my spirits rise and fall with wins and loses. I've tried to understand why some people so completely identify with sports teams while others don't. Like almost everything in life, self-worth plays a part. It drenches the sport follower's psyche with gloom or celebration. The less self worth one has, the more important the outcome of his favorite team becomes. I'm pretty sure I'm onto something there if I'm any example.  

Ghoul World is, at this moment, my chosen title for the Manning novel. 

PS: Just met Gabriel in Starbucks today, a young man with a Phd who has returned to US and PNW from Korea. I see much success ahead for him. He writes tech pieces at this time, with a book on his mind. 

Tuesday, January 27, 2015


I completed Chapter 43 and commenced on Chapter 44 of the Manning novel. Forty-four may be the final chapter, but I'm not certain. I believe 44 might be the penultimate chapter with a brief info-bearing conclusion in a Chapter 45.

I had an interesting creative experience recently. I came to a place in Chapter 39 where Charley Manning had to already possess certain information in order to make sense of something happening there. I soon realized I could easily add a fourth person to a luncheon in Chapter 25 that would allow Manning to know what he must know in Chapter 39. So I paged back to the luncheon to add a character only to discover I'd already added a fourth person to that luncheon, an unnamed character. That caused me to recall I'd added the fourth character when I wrote Chapter 25 for the purpose of giving certain info to Charley Manning, then, I forgot he was there waiting for me when I returned to that luncheon. Even this old writer has  subconscious mojo working for him, eh?

It's nice, also, for a writer to see manuscripts lying about in his home. What would a writer's house look like without them?

Tuesday, January 20, 2015


When my father turned 77, he was diagnosed with prostate cancer. I recall the time we stood side by side at a public urinal in Dayton, Ohio when he said, mournfully, "I guess mine is the aggressive kind." He died a few months after he turned 80. The cancer had spread into his hips, spine and into his brain. From that time, I've been waiting for my own aggressive prostate cancer to appear. 

Since arriving in Vancouver, WA. 7 or 10 years ago, I've been expressing that worry to my new physician, and we've been testing my PSA. I've watched it climb above four [0 - 4 is normal] and into the fives. A growing prostate is common in elderly men as almost everyone knows, but not always cancerous, then, a little over a year ago, after my wife switched me to a vegan [according to her, cancer fighting] diet, my PSA declined to 4.7, then 4.3, but two weeks ago my PSA made a 2.8 point leap to 6.1. The leap was enough to cause my doctor to set up an appointment for 3 months from now to check my PSA again. I'm 77 as this situation begins to unfold. Already, in my vivid imagination, I'll be dead sometime after I turn 80, and I'm slightly pissed my doctor didn't give me a rectal exam on the spot to see if cancer nodes might already be malforming my prostate. I believe I'll have many things to say about all the odd ways my life feels to me with this intensified worry plaguing me—death portrayed in emotional movies I see with my wife, incidents recalled from my past, sports games that ought to seem trivial now, but I still get worked up over, my suicide attempt when I was 31—or was it 32—everything that enters my head is suddenly coated with a patina of unsettling emotion. This sudden leap in PSA also slightly alters the question I began writing this blog with: Can I get someone other than myself to publish a novel of mine before I die [with the new stipulation, of course] die of prostate cancer? Just saying it aloud scares hell out of me, and that's why I'm saying it. 

The photo is of me and my dad during WWII when I felt like an orphan, living with my grandparents, and he was working in Bridgeport, Connecticut, making bombs long before either of us had the slightest worry about prostate cancer, the number two cause of death in the male half of the population. 

Thursday, January 15, 2015


Wrote five straight hours this morning and early afternoon. Now 2 pm. On my feet the entire time, leaning over my laptop at a tall table in Brewed Awakening, a coffee shop on 164th Avenue not far from home. I like that clever name, one of the better ones. Makes me think of film noir.  Raining out, and I'm less than 20 pages from finishing this sci fi novel, soon to be a movie, appearing at your neighborhood theater. What? No more neighborhood theaters like the one in Belmont, in Dayton, Ohio, where I saw "Attack Of the 50 Foot Woman"? No single screen venues where first run movies appear? So you'll have to go to a movie complex in a mall to view it when it becomes a movie. I believe it has the legs for it, the sex appeal of a mystery combined with all sorts of mysterious characters. Go see it as soon as it comes out. Mertie and I will invite you to our Portland condo for a celebration if you do and can go to the movie.

Why, you might ask was I on my feet the whole time? I came across a television show in which it was demonstrated that staying off your ass causes our fat burning equipment to increase its potential by 500% ... or some such huge factor. No exercise required. Just don't sit your lazy ass down all day. Oh, my aching feet!

Thursday, January 8, 2015


Find photo source here.
The years 2013-14 have turned out to be a most successful period. Poetry published in three places and anthologized in two other places, a poem won a spot in a local contest that joined art to poetry, a humorous health piece appeared in a local senior's magazine, a creative tribute to the Kiggins, our local art house, in another publication (thanks Olin Unterwegner), and a short story in a third (tip of hat to Julie Madsen). Three opportunities to be a featured poet, due to the help of poet and friend, Christopher Luna. A complete rewrite of one novel finished and, as you who read this know, I'm nearing completion of the first draft of a new science fiction novel. Stimulated by these events, in the last two weeks, I dug out three of my best short stories and reworked them, intending to submit, and, tonight, I finished a two day stint of reworking of Chapter One of an old novel, The Porno Writer, that I have great ambitions for. I've put in close to 8 hours of writing each day recently and can't wait for each new day's dawning to do more writing. Finally, I'm looking seriously at putting together a ms of short stories and, perhaps, looking at my accumulated unpublished poetry to find enough suitable ones to make up a third poetry ms. Ambition, hopes and lots of writing? Pretty good for a 77 year old once upon a time beatnik writer. In 2012, I wouldn't have imagined these last two years turning out this way. Now wouldn't it be nice if a little money came along with it?