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May 17, 2013


Inspiring. Reminds me of> this article from Harpers that I read some years ago.

In the photos, can you see the rising tide lifting all the yachts?

Humans can make music with ANYTHING.

In other news, to a toddler, EVERYTHING is a DRUM.

Shameless bragging alert!

About a month ago LJ was kind enough to post a story I wrote, “The Christmas Rats.” It’s now in the archive, I guess. The story is part of a book I was preparing for publication, and some commenters said they’d like to know when the book came out.

Well, it’s out! The title is The Dog Thief and Other Stories. It’s available as a Kindle download. The author is listed as Jill Kearney, which is not my real name. One of the stories is about stealing a dog, so I needed to distance myself somewhat. The stories are fictional, but composed of snippets of truth, kind of like a collage made of pieces of photographs.

I am surprised to find myself writing narratives, since I have never thought of myself as a writer. I was born able to draw realistically. One of my childhood memories is of being humiliated because I drew realistic pictures of horses in landscapes with perspective when all the other little girls drew princesses with a band of green at the bottom of the page and a band of blue at the top. Like most kids, I did not want to stand out. By high school, being artistic was part of my identity, one of the few things about myself of which I had some pride. But I didn’t write stories.

My sister celebrated her divorce by taking classes. One of her classes was in acrylic painting. She fell into the hands of a wonderful teacher and now my sister, who had never seen herself as artistically talented, has produced a body of work and has pieces in some small galleries in Chicago.

I have tentatively come to the conclusion that perhaps the difference between a “talented” person and an “untalented” one is that talented people can teach themselves what others need to be taught. At any rate, I’m sure that most of us have untapped potentials that we don’t realize.

It has been a joyous experience for me to see my sister become an artist. It has also been a joyous experience for me to find out that I can write narratives. I wish my parents were still alive so they would know and be able to share in our fun.

The book contains six stories and a novella. The themes are the limits of responsibility, memory, and dying. Yes, some of the stories are downers. I got about half of it professionally edited, all I could afford, and had the rest read and reread by friends to clean up the mistakes. I wrote the stories over a period of two years.

My ambition with the book was just to get it done and have it be good enough that I could feel satisfied with it. It would be nice to have some readers that aren’t acquainted with me, though.

Well, thanks for letting me blow my horn!

Good on ya, Laura.

I wish I was the IRS so I could target this talk radio guy:

He wants to kill Obama, Hillary Clinton (a bullet in the vagina), and the Bush family, so I guess he is one of those "both sides should have it done to them" fair and balanced types conservatives call journalists.

the society than can make a cello out of an oil drum is the society that will adapt and survive.

also - well done Laura!

Unfortunately my own - growing out of hand - saga is in German and I am not willing to translate what by now has already passed 4000 lines of text. Otherwise I can only offer about 80 sonnets in English (that can be googled under "Swato's squidly sonnets").
No serious publishing intent. The sonnets were originally inspired by a haiku game on a webforum, where I proposed to try sonnets for a change to increase the challenge.

Your sonnets sound like fun!

I saw this video awhile back when it was making the Facebook rounds. Really inspirational. People at their best.

Just to give an impression of my style

Dragon Daydreams

For ages I've been lying on this hoard
It's quite a big one, that should give me pride
Draws in all thieves and heroes far and wide
But honestly, I'm terminally bored

Day in day out guys come with lance and sword
I have lost count how many knights I fried
The job does come with this reptilian hide
Oh that I were an evil overlord

Then virgins I could ravish, not devour
I know all tricks and pitfalls of the trade
In other words, I'd always strike full score

But back to work, there's hoofbeat in the glade
'Welcome brave knight. Tell, have we met before?
Oh let me guess, you're here to test your blade'

It kind of reminds me of "The Knight's Tale": the tournament and the audience chanting, "We will, we will rock you!"

Hartmut, I like it. A little like T.H. White, a little like Cynthia McQuillin.

For some reason, the biggest seller I have had so far among my short stories is "The Men Who Saved JFK" (possibly it's the keywords):

"Fred Hatch had decided while still a small boy that he needed to be the man who discovered time travel. He needed to have time travel, in order to go back to November 22nd, 1963, and save President Kennedy from assassination. And he needed to be the one who discovered time travel because he couldn’t trust anyone but himself with such an awesome power.
"Hatch worked hard to become a time traveller. In high school, he studied math and physics, but also took shop classes, because he wanted to be able to make any special parts the time machine might need. He studied history, of course, and worked out various turning points where he thought he could improve matters by intervening. He took drama classes, so he could learn to blend in with the crowd in different time periods. He got into shape, learned to shoot, learned to drive. He paid one of the school’s bad boys to teach him how to pick locks and hotwire cars, and regretted paying so much money to learn such simple tricks.
"He joined the Marines out of high school, partly in order to fund his education and partly because he was a sincere and passionate patriot. That was why he wanted to save JFK, and do all the other things he had in mind to do...."

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