Friday, October 9, 2015

Free Lunch

  I met a white guy today. This dude was bleached out. Not really albino, but pretty damned close. Wore a lot of whites and pastel solids, too. He invited me to lunch after reading through my submission. I had to go into the city, but it was worth the 45 minute drive, if I get published.

  His name is Georgie and he wants to become my literary agent. It is a step toward being paid. It is a step away from the mutterings from the soon to be ex-family.

  Connections, connections, connections…

  He’s pretty well connected, as it turns out. He’s been out this way for a decade and has managed a lot of other authors in the Southeast side of the state into steady incomes. That should show the ex-ball and chain. Or her mother.
  Guys, do you ever wonder how much string pulling (umbilical cord pulling?) goes on between the mother and the daughter? Weird and heavy power-struggle psych stuff right there. It really shows the capacity of what the ‘fair’ sex feels is Fair. A lot of wasted energy, if you ask me.

  I digress! Payday! Income based upon capability!

  As steady as the author’s capabilities are, I suppose.

  Georgie gave me some advice, too. After reading through my proposal, he suggested that I complete and polish the intro piece. Something to set the characters into the world. I’ve been fooling around with a ‘14th chapter’, but I guess it took a professional’s suggestion to make the played into the paid. He also kept coming back to this being expanded into a series of books, should the first book be well received. I have to admit; since this thing is down on paper now, I've been kicking around some ideas for another book. The funny thing is, the dreams have stopped. I haven't been dreaming at all lately. Shoot, I haven't been sleeping more than 4 hours a night either. I wonder what would happen if I jumped back into this thing with a fresh story arc.
  I ought to throw a shout out to Georgie while I’m editing. I've got a character in mind that fits the bill...

- I.K.

Friday, September 25, 2015

The Blunders, That's Where!

  I blundered into some shorthand elements of Socrates’ Republic. I got hung up on something that was in Book 5: “a just city is one in which citizens have no family ties.”

  Of course, this made me consider my situation. How many times have I had to bow down do the ‘family values’ rather than the things that are important to me?

  I further blundered into some of Alister Crowley’s writings about that “Horrid word, family!” rant.

  Then there is Ayn Rand and Marty Nemko’s ideals against ‘family’.

  So where does that leave me these days?


Friday, September 18, 2015

Side Story 1: Chief Wessel's Secret

Runny eggs and cold coffee was the love coming from Aaron Wessel’s wife this morning.
Hell of a way to start a long day. Heh… weekend. As the chief of police on a Friday before Memorial day, the weekend was going to prove to be a nasty one. He finished up, gave the kid a rub on the head and his wife the peck on the cheek.

Check and check.

The squad car was parked in the drive. He had brought it home after topping it up at the yard. Holiday weekends were never quiet for the force. He liked to be able to be a presence at whatever was going to happen this weekend. That meant making his on-call office as mobile as possible.

Prior to making it into the office, he had to run back-up at a high school party ‘morning after’ bust. Then it was off to the church for a heads up to some of the kid’s parents. Politics and more politics.

After checking in downtown, he got back into the cruiser. One block over, he got back out.

There was a bus parked around back of the town hall. One of the smaller ones. He noted that a basement window had been opened a few inches. Soothing rhythms of piano jazz whispered from it. The speakers must have been set up right underneath the window, because the murmurs and sudden outbursts of laughter wasn’t drowning it out. He heard a voice say “Looks like the Chief is here…”

The voice might have been Jimmy’s. Could be his brother Jack. A year apart, but those two could be twins. Wessel smiled as he took the steps two at a time. Jimmy’s voice sounded happy.
For almost an hour, Wessel had a second breakfast with his other family. Five kids; all orphans, victims of tragedy and personal horrors that had taken their families away from them. He played a few hands of poker with the older ones, always making sure to never let anything other than a pair end up in his hand. He left that table with handshakes all around and a wallet that was twenty-three bucks lighter. He sat with Sandra for a bit and watched her draw in the small sketchbook that he had brought along. She was into portraits these days. She talked about shading verses hard lines, off-set eyes to add realism, and (quietly) whispered her concern that she felt kind of weird drawing ethnic groups outside of her own. It wasn’t a racist thing; more of a sense of invaded space, she felt she was invading a personal space because of her need to study different ethnic details. Wessel suggested that she pick up some National Geographic’s and copy out a few of the folks from that. He couldn’t help but smile as a light of inspiration sparked behind those soft hazel eyes. The phone beeped and vibrated.

He blinked at the sound. The smile never left, but the warmth sure did. Aaron was pulled back into the real world. It was a text from the matriarch of Blocgarten, Gaam Onondaga.

Before leaving, he collected the billing invoice from Mrs. Sommers (looking at the total, he figured that he would be eating runny eggs for the next week).There were hugs and handshakes all around. A second text from Gaam pulled Aaron out of the building, making him put on his Chief face. Some hippy had been slaughtered by a beast out on her property.

The chief was glad he packed extra bags in the back of the cruiser. Yes sir, it was going to be a busy weekend.

Sunday, August 30, 2015

The Dust Settles

Good news! I'm out of the basement.

Last Wednesday, I worked on getting my mother-in-law moved into the house. It was quite a day; as none of us have a car larger than a four-door coupe. Nothing was boxed, either. There were a few close calls with chairs and smaller furniture pieces almost leaping out of trunks, but everything made it through with only minor nicks. We had loads of room around the house. The wife had been donating 'gently loved furniture' to local groups.

Yep. We all slept like the dead on Wednesday night.

Thursday, I was contacted by the office of an "R.T."; the good Dr. Tan. I had a 10 a.m. appointment that had been set up by my wife. Tan is a Reality Therapist, which is a kind of Cognitive Behavioral Therapist that deals with a real-world approach of planning and implementing social interaction. My wife had apparently stepped up her game plan. Apparently, there is a head shrinking element in her benefit package.

After the rage subsided, I decided to jump through the hoop. We spoke for an hour, then I came home to a letter.

Dearest Ian;

I am writing this in the hope that you will see the error in judgement that you have made in regard to your home, family, and promise to me. I cannot believe that this man who worked so hard to woo me, to promise his eternal Love to me, to surround me with the wonderful children who are in our lives; would choose a BOOK over a real LIFE.

I understand that the past months have been difficult for you. It must be traumatizing to have dedicated your mind and time to a job, only to have it taken away from you through a single error in communication. For this, I am truly sorry.

However; you MUST return to your feet and take care of your family. We are supporting you, just as you have supported us in the past. It is time to let go of the past and look to the present. Look to the future! We are all right here!

I would have spoken to you about the contents of this letter face to face, but you would have stared blankly at me and return to your basement. What is the point of breath and emotion when the person whose eyes you are seeking can only see ink and paper? This letter is my Final Go at this topic. I am tired of crying. I am tired of feeling cut to the bone.

You know something? I just don't care. I'm tired of trying. That's why I've turned you over to a doctor. I've moved your clothes, some furniture, and your precious writing over to an apartment on West Street. The key and brochure is enclosed. You are paid for the next six months. Go be a lump. Beg someone to feed you. I just don't care anymore. I've spoken to my attorney and have begun divorce proceedings.

Enjoy your life alone. You know where to reach me whenever you decide to TRULY return to the real world.


Saturday, August 22, 2015

I Swear It Was Only One Week.


Ever have one of those days?

The time stamp on this post was supposed to have read July 22. You can see the August stamp. It looks like I missed some time, right?

Missed time. Right.

So I beat everyone out of bed the other morning, the 'other morning' being July 22; got the breakfasts around and the to-do list in order. Everyone had things to do. They were out the door by 7:43 a.m. I know this, because I remember looking at the clock in the kitchen when I waved the troops goodbye.

Then I went downstairs to type.

You see, I had a project for the book that needed to get sorted out. After reading the completed chapters, good old Georgie informed me that it would need a preface to 'immerse the reader' into the short stories. It turns out that simply throwing a reader into this series is too much too soon. Turns out that there has to be a kind of 'primer' that will create a sense of familiarity for the interconnected tissue tracing its way through each chapter.

Georgie gave me two choices: Re-write each chapter as a novel; with the reader able to travel along with characters established in the first ten pages, or create a Preface that would introduce everybody.

The Preface sounded a lot more manageable.

So here I was, cursing under my breath as I jotted notes on the first five short stories. I would have to open my mind to these dream-tales; bring the inhalation of what set each of them on their merry way into the Preface. I worked. I drank coffee. I diagramed. I ate snacks. Wrote stuff down. Nuked some cheddar over tortilla chips. Notes notes notes. Cooked up some pasta with a ton of parmesan. Then I started sketching a map of the town.

The screwing around stopped.

I lost track of the afternoon, skipped dinner, and never heard anyone come home. I worked well into the night. When it was all said and done, I had a map of the town and region. I also had a punch list of events that would carry the reader through the almighty Preface. The numbers on the clock glowed a red 1:19.

I stumbled up the stairs and hit the bathroom. Washed and made it to the bedroom. I think I was asleep before I really sank into the pillow.

Next thing I know, there are flashlights bobbing around the room. A knee in the back and my left arm getting yanked out of its socket as the cuffs are slapped on. Shouts of "KEEP DOWN" and other less kind things. The overhead lights blazed on and I was surrounded by uniforms and the business end of a couple hundred pistols.

Glad I hit the can before I fell asleep. I remember the clock reading 1:40, then changing to 1:41. I remember getting yanked out of the bed and dragged down the hall of my own house. Squad cars. Shouting. Some of it from them. A LOT of it from me. I was groggy and I was furious. A face in the crowd. My wife. The kids looking on from the neighbors bay window. The whole block had their lights on. As I was driven down the street; I remember the stink of the back seat, the mesh separating me from the two cops up front, and the silhouettes of neighbors at their windows.

There was 'processing'. There was questioning. I was so confused, I didn't even think to ask for a lawyer, even after the Maranda rights were read to me. Yah, I nodded that I understood the words. Didn't register what they meant, but I understood the words.

No, I had no idea if I had been abducted or if I had left my family of my own free will a month ago.
I was in the basement!

No, I had no idea that it was August 20th!
It is July 23rd! Well, it felt like July 22nd. Cripes, I had just fallen asleep.

Yes that is my wife. Yes, those are my kids in that picture. No I don't use recreational drugs. No I don't have favors or debts to private citizens. No, I have no record of mental illness. Yes, that is the name of my family doctor.

Long story short, I'm sleeping on a blow up mattress in the basement until the family figures out what to do with me. I haven't even looked at the paperwork for Blocgarten since I've been home. I get a chill just looking at that side of the room. My life is a cocoon of simmering fear and scalding silence right now. The only up side is that Georgie wants to have a face to face at some point over the next few days.

Whenever I can free up some time...


Thursday, July 16, 2015

The Conscious Values of Sleep Debt

I got 8.5 hours last night!

This is pretty good. In case you didn't know, I've been operating on 3-4 hours of sleep for the past two months. If the slightest thing wakes me up, then all I can do is think about that book. I sit down to edit the book, I'm too tired to work on it. I muddle around the house, then all I'm doing is thinking about what I would like to do for the book.

Today, I am clear.

First off, I can't believe how attuned my senses are. Small nuances, like the hints of chocolate and cherry in the artisan coffee that my wife buys. Walking into the dining room and smelling the garlic of last nights dinner. Spotting all the little nicks and scrapes that need to be painted over. None of it bugs me; it simply gets filed into one of my mental buckets and I move on.

Second, I am not hungry. Sure, food tastes good. I can feel the good stuff making my body feel sated and energized. I don't have a deep desire to get into the sweets and salty stuff. No stress eating. I'm calm today. I feel strong.

Today is a project day!

There are a number of half-started projects that my <ahem> free time has allowed me to get into. Apparently, I begin something and then move on to begin something else. I believe publishers call that ability "stacking" when writers do it. I've got me some project stacks!

Now I have to figure out where to begin. There are some strange things that have been going on since my little sleep debt project. The most obvious of these is misplaced or missing things. After wandering the house, I looks like about half of the kids toys have vanished. I'm assuming that this is due to my wife's 'organizing' thing that she has started up. Lots of totes full of seasonal or seldom used items; labeled and stacked for our convince. Most of those totes are in the guest bedroom, which is still destined to become my mother-in-law's room.

Yep. THAT'S still happening. She's trying to figure out a paint scheme right now. It could take weeks.

Well; on that note, I'm going to sign off before the negative energy rolls in. Things to do and all of that!


Tuesday, July 14, 2015

The editing is done.

Got it done.

Somehow, it has become July. Working down in the basement while the rest of the family putters around in Summer Vacation bliss has made me somewhat lost to the perception of hours of days. Sometimes, I lose days as well.

Regardless of that little sticking point, I've got my 63,000 + words done. They are in an order that I like, too. All I have to do is run it all past Georgie and get his OK.

Then I release it upon the EARTH.