Facts, just the facts…


Opinion from the Editorial Board of The New York Times

“In a nation where the long decline in unions has led to a pervasive slump in wages, Republicans’ support for anti-union legislation is at odds with their professed commitments to helping the middle class. Right-to-work laws do not attract businesses and create jobs, as proponents claim. Rather, they are linked to lower wages, fewer benefits and higher poverty. They win support among conservative lawmakers not because they are in the public interest but because cutting labor costs is a priority of far-right groups like the American Legislative Exchange Council, which is tied to the Koch brothers. The Wisconsin bill is almost verbatim from a model provided by ALEC.”

Words in progress: “Salt of the Earth”

A comment from David Boushey, Founder and Director of the International Stunt School (http://www.stuntschool.com) after reading chapters from my work-in-progress novel, “Salt of the Earth”: “Your book is progressing very nicely. Your writing style is captivating. Keep up the good work. You have a quality work in hand. Keep me in the loop!”

I am he as you are he as you are me (And we are all together?)

This Blog is connected to by Amazon Author Page, on which I peddle my books. It should always be brimming with pithy proclamations and wily witticisms that would cause the reader to say, “Ah yes, if he writes this well, his books must be  worth reading.” So far, I have been letting myself down. And you, dear reader, for that matter. I know why. I self-edit the blog obsessively as I do my books. I love Jack Kerouac and admire his ability to write “Spontaneous Prose”, but that is not for me. Yes, I like to write without massive outlining, but my outlining follows with the immediate edit. As a Poet, my obsessions is with words, not just what they say but how they sound, how they connect, how they hint and convey and provide conjecture of truth. This is all fine and good while writing a novel (see “The Last Resort”, available at Amazon.com). But when writing my Blog, self-editing is a form of lying. Blogs are meant to be soul-searching in a very self-indulgent way. Fear has driven me away from being honest. I fear, as most Sanitarians and Progressives, of offending someone. We like to be liked. Who doesn’t? Well, lots of people. Those who would rather be feared, which is often mistaken for respect. Those who believe in spanking to mold a child; in war to prove a cause and influence others; in the righteousness of being closed-minded; in possessing the One and Only True Religion; in feeling sorry for the pathetic Others God did not ordain the Chosen Ones… “Nice” people watch in awe as the Bullies of the Neighborhoods (choose your Neighborhood) browbeat those with differing opinions into silence. I have been told that us Old White Guy Baby Boomers (me) yell at young people to get off our lawns. I still cling to the Ideals of the Sixties, not out of nostalgia, but because they were correct then and even more valid today. Make Love not War? Why not Give Peace a Chance? We have tried the alternative since I was born a Korean War Baby. World War Two taught us that the Army can right all wrongs, like killing the Alien Monsters either from Outer Space or giant ants created by our nuclear tests in the desert. We are still calling in the Army. When will we ever learn? Thomas Mann said, “Everything is politics.” It is. It is tribal. It is hate, on all sides. It says that compromise is death. It says that the infidel must die. It says that God is On Our Side. Since few will probably every read this blog, I feel fairly safe (cowardly, what?) in stepping out of my cultural closet and actually saying, at times, what I think and feel. As George Wallace was wont to say, I am going to stop “Pussy footing” around. Thank you.

page a day…

Steven King advice: write a page a day (300 words approx.). and in one year, a novel is done. Doesn’t sound that difficult, does it? At the moment, I have around 40 pages of “Salt of the Earth”. Of course, my technique is editing as I go. I did that for “The Last Resort” and it worked for me–not for everyone, I am sure, but it works for me. I have written, now, approx. 11,000 words. My goal is for between 80,000 and 90,000 words. Let’s say I have 70,500 words left to write, and I write 300 per day, I could have “Salt of the Earth” finished in approx. 250 days. Projecting, that would be approx 36 weeks into the future, which would make it approx. August 24th, give or take. In other words, finishing in 2015 is possible if not probable. I cannot guarantee 300 words, or one page every single day. There are surgeries and storms and other interferences, but it is the average to strive for. So, today is the first day of the rest of “Salt of the Earth” and I must finish the next page before I go to bed to get up to go back to work…

time passages

From last night…

Judy is in our study. She is on the iMac, looking back on years of Facebook entries. She is “liking” things she didn’t take the time to “like” when she was being sucked into the work-a-day vortex. Since her brain surgery, her relationship with Time has become much more friendly and fluid. She is not impelled by external schedules or deviled by feelings of failing to accomplish tasks. She has discovered a NOW where Time is more flexible. And she is teaching me to find that place.

We went for a walk today. I took a book back to the library and dropped it into the outside Book Depository. I did not go into the building. I have plenty of books at home to read (I keep a reserve). Checking out another book would have been to burden my mind with the worry of returning it before its due date. I chose not to impose the stress. I am learning.

It was raining. But I had told Judy we needed the walk. She agreed. We kept each others’ promise. We had walked to Tommy’s Guitar Shop to buy a stand for my new Fender acoustic (first new guitar in 45 years) on the way to the library. I bought the stand from an old guy with a grey beard. He looked as if he liked his job. Later we walked to QFC. Our corner store we have been shopping at for twenty years has been remodeled. Everything has been moved. It was determined by the grocery gods that if items were more difficult to find, impulse shopping would increase. We are slowly getting a handle on where things are, restructuring our mental maps. We are learning.

Which brings me to Judy. Her surgery has brought us closer. Not out of any death threat or fear of loss, but out of altered Passages of Time. Judy appreciates more. She is thankful. She is teaching me to temper my impatience. She is my life lesson and my guide.