Vampire Porn

This is a Vampire

This is a Vampire

The audio version of this post appears below. Just click “play”.

 

 

I’m not immune to the wiles of Nosferatu. I’ve loved vampire stories for as long as I can remember. I have a vivid recollection of being very young, I’m guessing about eight years old, this was in the late ‘70’s, – I’m really taxing my mind here. A brother of a friend of mine packed the two of us into his wickedly cool Barracuda, popped a eight track of Seals & Crofts into a player the size of a friggin’ Wurlitzer and hauled us off to our local library to watch a Friday night screening of Dracula, like, the original one with Bela Lugosi. That was a vampire! Scared the hell out of us. In fact, that night at my friend’s house I puked just to get a pass on the sleepover so I could go home and sleep with mom.

Let’s see, Dracula couldn’t go out in the dark, hated garlic and crucifixes and could only be killed with a stake through the heart. Purism, baby. They were fond of black and red velvet, had VERY pointy incisors and absolutely had to survive by sucking the blood of their victims. Well, what the hell happened? A century and a half later, we’ve got a bunch of ripped, half naked Romeos and seductresses infiltrating our high schools, colleges and holding jobs from baristas to rock stars. Vampire porn, that’s what it is. The only difference between it being actual porn and figurative porn is that it exists in the mainstream.

I believe in evolution and maybe my disdain for the current status of Vampire-dom is because I really am getting old, but I just think it’s gone too far. A few years after my Dracula experience at the library I read and watched Stephen King’s Salem’s Lot and although I loved it (still do), it seemed to go off script. Now that seems completely ridiculous if you look what’s out there today. I’m not going to mention any specific authors or titles – that’s just hacky and bitter, but compared to what the public is exposed to today, Salem’s Lot was damn close to the original vampire script. It was the writing that made it so great. There’s the challenge I think, writing around the original vampire structure. A little tinkering is fine, but stay as close to script as possible. It’s a great framework – like the Constitution! Try and make it better, but keep the structure.

This is another Vampire

This is another Vampire

So, if Salem’s Lot threw me off a bit imagine what it was like when I started reading Anne Rice. To me, Anne is the second and my favorite generation of vampire lore. I won’t belabor what an amazing genius Mrs. Rice is, but her work does two very important things; she stays very close to the original framework of the vampire as created by Bram Stoker and the progenitor of it all John Polidori, and then adds in all the human elements to her characters which are relatable and thus, believable. She works from the vampire out, discreetly and erotically including all the human emotions we love to read and fantasize about. If Dracula reigned as the standard from the end of the 19th to the middle of the 20th centuries, then Lestat is the vampire ruler from then on.

No clues as to what this is

No clues as to what this is

The vampire world of Anne Rice is exactly as it should be – perfection. If it took almost a hundred years to aptly change the world of Dracula, it certainly will take another hundred to de-throne Lestat and crew. In my opinion what has been going on in the last decade is drivel. Don’t get me wrong, if this is what the readers’ want and someone is willing to serve them – more power to all. I may be intellectualizing Vampire-dom a little too much, but I like quality and I’m not seeing a lot of that in the writing these days – the production values of television and the big screen are stupendous, however. But, it’s the ol’ lipstick on a pig thing. Those big budget screen ventures are pretty, but the substance lying underneath is flimsy and insulting as hell.

Maybe I am just getting old and let’s face it, I won’t be here when the next great vampire story surfaces, but I’m ok with that.

Dickens 2013

DickensIt’s that time of the year again: Dickens season. I love the holidays despite my dark nature. We don’t mince our holiday spirit around here. We celebrate Christmas, tell our kids Santa’s real and we have a Christmas tree not a holiday tree, although I’ve considered a Festivus Tree. I also go on a Dickens bender.

One would read this and figure I’m talking about the obvious Christmas classic and I do revisit A Christmas Carol every year and always take something else away from it. But, it’s his letters I like to read. Like Twain, Dickens was one hell of a letter writer and some of his most interesting and entertaining stuff is contained in these scribblings to friends, family and business associates. These writings more than any others in his body of work give real insight into his motivation in life and work. I also look for any new biographical material showcasing his amazing grasp on the business of making money from his craft. Believe it or not, people are still writing about Dickens after lo these two centuries.

Dickens as a youth was himself the classic Dickensonian waif, dirt poor with not much of an education and forced to go to work at a very young age, which fostered a tremendous passion to succeed. Dickens became extremely creative in monetizing his endeavors while also studying the wants of his readership and tailoring his work to their desires through his innovative use of serializing his work. By putting out portions of his novels weekly or monthly he could capitalize on the feedback he would get from readers in the interim. It also created anticipation, which is always one of the best marketing tools. Think iPhone launches. Often Dickens would gently change a characters’ nature based on information he received from readers between installments thus allowing him to create a better product – very innovative for the times.

When I first learned this, hell – I don’t know, probably in high school, I remember thinking that’s not very sportsmanlike. There’s no risk in that, like shooting fish in an aquarium. That’s not art, its just business. It’s funny that a guy like me – in commerce all my life, hadn’t caught onto that idea immediately – the guy was driven to make money. I think my young self was probably a lot more romantic about writing and I wanted to think all my heroes were just literary genius’s who weren’t in it for the money. I realize how stupid I was now that I’m trying to make a living in a writing career.

I don’t think anyone would argue that Dickens was a pretty successful guy. But, just imagine how successful he would be if he was starting out in 2013. Blogs, social media, the Internet in general – Dickens would be a billionaire! He wrote like crazy so imagine with the advantage of instant feedback from his readers and all the other tools of modern society how much output he would have today. His business model applies today more than ever before. In a world (Don LaFontaine just possessed me for a second there) where self-publishing is becoming more and more the norm and author’s are gaining success by doing their own marketing thanks to social media, a dude like Dickens would succeed like the dickens.

Imagine what a day for Dickens would be like now. Wakes up in the morning, checks his Facebook, pops off a private message of “f u 2” to Charlotte Bronte then tells his followers in a little synopsis what he’s working on today and to be sure to read his blog post and like his author page if they haven’t already. Then he spends a couple minutes coming up with hashtags to plaster all over everything for the day. He spends half an hour putting up his WordPress and Tumblr posts and tweeting about it at exactly the right time for his demographic, followed by checking out his sales rankings on Amazon from where he goes to Bookbaby to see if they owe him any dough for last month’s book sales. Reluctantly, he goes to Goodreads to see who has added his work to their list and decides whether or not to forgive Virginia Woolf and add one of her books to his list (she wasn’t THAT bad to him after all). By this time Dickens has to ramp up the webcam and tell the servants to be quiet because he’s conducting a webinar on how to be a successful writer in the 21st century. After that, he takes ten minutes to check all his blog views and traffic. Everything is up of course because, well, he is Dickens. Now, it’s finally time to write. He whips out a blog post for tomorrow with awesome content and hashtags because again, he’s Dickens. The next few hours are for the big works followed by dinner where he infuriates his wife by checking the mobile apps on his iPhone tapped into his social media numbers. Then it’s a sherry in the parlor followed by a few notes typed into Evernote for tomorrow’s ponderings before popping off to bed.

Oh yeah, you bet your ass Dickens would rock this age.

Free Your Mind – Drinking & Writing

Chasing the Green Faery - So great, and tasty too.

Chasing the Green Faery – So great, and tasty too.

The audio version of this post appears below. Just click “play”.

 

 

Writers who were drinkers throughout history are as easy to find as writers who committed suicide. Yeah, I know one probably goes with the other but we shouldn’t assume that. I drink and write – not all the time, but a lot of what I consider to be my best stuff has been written when I was a few martinis or Absinthes in. Some people right now are going – “ah, that explains it” and clicking back to their Facebook page.

The thing is I’m a relatively uptight person whose mind never leaves me alone. Most of what is going on in there is a scattered mess of song lyrics from the ‘70’s and philosophizing on anything from intellectual subjects on high literature to how South Park episodes could possibly be the best morality plays in history. Yup, stuff like that.  And, to get in front of that oncoming train about to wreck is no easy task. So, occasionally I need help. Not like Bukowski Barfly help, or three-week binge help, quite frankly anything I’ve written plastered is atrocious, but the kind of help that comes from a mild buzz at twilight. Of course, the product usually needs some light editing the morning after, but during the time I’m writing I find myself able to disengage enough to get to those things lurking behind synapses that remain generally out of reach when I’m full on engulfed in real life.

Writing is hard. I don’t care what anyone says, and anything that helps get your ramblings unleashed from within and out to whatever audience you’re looking for – even if it’s just for yourself, is fine with me. Now, I really don’t want anyone to think I’m condoning getting hammered just to find your inner voice – I’m not. I have a plethora of friends who are recovering alcoholics and I’m sympathetic to their disease and if I found myself on the wrong side of the bottle I hope I would have the strength to do what they have. But, if you can keep yourself in a controlled environment and need a little boost, then I say go for it. You’ll hear a lot of romance writers say they write with a glass of wine. It’s probably why they’re so prodigious.

Timothy Leary's dead.

Timothy Leary’s dead.

Obviously, liquor is the not the only muse of artists. The examples of drug use throughout history are tremendous when you think about it. Drugs just don’t do it for me at all; I wouldn’t be able to write a single coherent sentence on anything stronger than Ibuprofen. But, that’s me, and again I don’t judge and think whatever works, works.  The brain to me is like the universe – too much out there just waiting to be discovered. I’m not sure the Timothy Leary method of discovering what the brain holds is the healthiest way to do it, but who knows – maybe it is.

This is more than a little weird, but when I was a private investigator, I did a few exhumations and autopsies. On one case I was holding someone’s brain in my hand during an autopsy and had this vision in my mind of a little guy with a shovel digging into the grey matter figuratively excavating everything there was inside of it. (And, I was sober as a judge. Scary, right?) Then as the coroner was slicing it in layers, I thought, wow, imagine all that science out there devoted to pulling out every little piece of one’s consciousness. All those drugs whether legal, illegal, or experimental constantly working to peel away the secrets of a capacity we may never know we have. If I weren’t such a pussy, I’d try some of those drugs and see where they take me. But, I’m comfortable with the boost I get from the occasional mini-vat of vodka and am not willing to take the risk.

The risk being what I believe led to those suicides. I feel very succinctly that if I were to take it up four or five notches, I could easily go the way so many have before. Going too far into a dark mind like mine could be dangerous – hell, at this age I don’t even want to teeter on the edge. It’s probably a good thing I didn’t start to write until my late ‘30’s. I was pretty ballsy in my youth and if I started experimenting with drugs and writing it probably would have ended badly. As much as I live in my own head – I wouldn’t want to blow it up! (or off)

Inspiration – You Fickle Thing You

Headline: "Pretty Bridge Inspires Gruesome Story"

Headline: “Pretty Bridge Inspires Gruesome Story”

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It’s a pretty picture isn’t it? That’s the day of the re-opening ceremony of the Taftsville covered bridge in Taftsville, VT this past September. The bridge got totaled in tropical storm Irene and in true Vermont style the community came together and made sure the structure was perfectly restored to its original 1836 condition. It took two years and a serious amount of work, but it was well worth it. The finished product is beautiful and the celebration of its reopening was a picture perfect apropos New England morning fete. There were politicians, dignitaries, American Flags flying, horses and carriages, an antique car parade, ice cream and kettle corn. Perfect. A little too perfect.

While sitting on the riverbank trying to keep my two and four year olds from getting burnt into human jerky by the unseasonably hot sun and suffering through the blathering of the local pols, a story started to percolate in my overheated brain. What if just as the ribbon were cut this perfect scene turned to chaos? What if something happened to the bridge – like, it collapsed as the first horse driven buggy full of period dressed dignitaries were to fall into the river underneath? Not too many deaths, but of course someone would have to go. And, what if it tore the little town apart – a split between the newcomers to Vermont and the old timers, a divide that resonates all over the state. For instance, what if after all the accusations and blame were thrown around there were a battle as to whether to keep the historic structure or build something modern to avoid this tragedy from ever happening again.

Maybe not the best story, but it was a germ of something I could work with and it fit into my genre. After a few weeks I began working on it, playing around with the characters and such, and although it isn’t finished, I kind of like where the story is going and will probably include it in the follow up book to 5 Tales.

It’s seems overly obvious to say that inspiration can come from anywhere. But, that’s what I like about inspiration – it’s so different for everyone. Mine usually comes from a location, or as I mentioned in my very first blog post, cemeteries. With two young rambunctious children I find cemeteries a great place to let them run free without breaking anything, running out into the road, or falling into the lake we live on. So while they’re getting enough energy out to sleep, I roam around thinking about the people lying underneath my L.L. Bean moccasins. I think it’s the energy in the bone yards that sparks my imagination. I create stories behind the names on the stones and if one hits, I take notes and go back to it later. (By the way, Absinthe helps a lot too. No, really it does.)

My good friend the author R.A. Diane, whose blog you should check out, wrote her book Coffee with my Brother as a way to try and help her Sister-In-Law through the pain of her husband’s death. She had been thinking about it for a while, wanting very badly to alleviate her Sister-In-Law’s grief and then one morning while pouring water into her French press to make coffee, she heard her dead brother say to her: “tell her my story”. There’s some inspiration for ya! The book came out of her at light speed.

To me location is so important for inspiration. Most of my stuff thus far has been born in either Southern California or Vermont, and I have a list of other places I would like to live and write in. I could wreak serious havoc in Charleston, Savannah, or Atlanta. My native state of Connecticut isn’t one of them, and the reason is how ubiquitous it is. The state itself is beautiful, in my opinion one of the most beautiful in the country. But, the pulse of Connecticut is just white noise to me. It’s like this level of static I can’t break through. It’s as if New York City bleeds over into Connecticut, only not enough so to be interesting – just a cauldron of ambition and upward mobility. In SoCal, there is a slowing down of the pace providing time to reflect and the people are much more relaxed – the funny part being most of them are New England transplants. In Vermont, well, Vermont is like it’s own universe with its unspoiled beauty and commitment to self-reliance. Vermonters are simple in their way of life but by no means are they simple and extremely interesting conversationalists when you break though their granite facades. And, man do they make for great character development.

Come on - this doesn't look like a guy who didn't try.

Come on – this doesn’t look like a guy who didn’t try.

Chasing inspiration can be very gratifying as long as you don’t force it. I’ve given up sitting around trying to think up story ideas in a vacuum; it just doesn’t work. If I’m not struck by something I don’t try and wrangle up a plot. One of my favorite quotes is from Charles Bukowski, it actually appears on his tombstone – when asked what the key to life and art is, he replied, “Don’t try.”

Editing? – Pffft!

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If you’ve read any of my stuff and you have anything north of an 8th grade education, then you’ve noticed I wield a lot of power over my editors. My grammar ain’t so good at times, my sentence structure occasionally makes one think I just go around creating my own languages and my punctuation reflects exactly how I talk. In fact, one of the reasons I got such a late start to writing is my fear of editors. I’ve always seen editors as judges, which is completely ridiculous. The writer/editor relationship is one of the most important aspects of a successful writing career.

However, and to me this is a big however – my feeling is that I prefer my editors to be more involved in the story aspect of the business. I like a lot of input and I use quite a bit of what I get. Of course, the egotist in me does kick in and I do my share of overriding, but if my stuff is any good at all, it’s hugely because of the input of my proofreaders and editors. I am a perfectionist in terms of spelling ( I was enraged when I found the e-published version of my book 5 Tales had a small spelling error) and the flow of the story, but if there is an errant comma somewhere it’s usually because I want the sentence to read in a cadence that reflects how I would tell the story orally.

It’s also the way I want to read other people’s work. I want to know what it is they are thinking, not their editors. I can tell when something has lost its original message even if it’s ever so slightly and that just pisses me off. I’ll forgive a misplaced gerund if the main message comes through loud and clear. I think things need to be cohesive and flow, of course. For instance Gertrude Stein’s work, which I’ve mentioned before makes me want to commit seppuku. Her editors must have had to smoke a lot of opium before trying to make sense of that rubble.

Where were all those ramblings really going?

Where were all those ramblings really going?

Hunter S. Thompson is easily one of my favorite personalities ever. I don’t really enjoy reading his stuff but I do love reading about him and I think that’s a tragedy. We all know the good doctor thrived and worked hard to keep his reputation as a drug addled genius – so hard, that many believe he’d lost the ability to write decades before his death. There are scads of accounts told by his editors at Rolling Stone including Jann Wenner, about how hard they worked editing Hunter’s stuff. It’s legendary. I would love to see the originals of all Hunter’s work – I bet I would like that a lot more than the edited versions floating around out there. Hunter was a genius for sure, you can tell just from his quotes, but like Hunter’s love of the booze and drugs, I want my Hunter un-watered down and straight up.

Self publishing in my humble opinion has helped to bring some really good writing to the table that if it were to be heavily edited by some big publisher would lose it’s panache. It has also brought some real shit into the picture, some of which is just unreadable, but the savvy reader has always known how to separate the wheat from the chafe. I write for the readers to tell what I hope are entertaining stories I have somehow harnessed from the chaos in my head. Obviously, I don’t wish to appear a literary idiot, but I also don’t want the content or tone of my work changed. I want my work to come out the literary birth canal exactly as I envisioned.

As you can probably tell – I don’t send these posts to the editors! (who probably will never speak to me again)

That Salinger Thing

Salinger's Price Chopper - Sexy, right?

Salinger’s Price Chopper – Sexy, right?

The audio version of “That Salinger Thing”, appears below. Just click on “play”.

 

I didn’t like Catcher in the Rye so much. I didn’t hate it, I just didn’t think it was all that. Even after doing the requisite reading and re-reading at different points in my life I still don’t get the big fuss. To me Catcher is a pithy little story that while mildly entertaining certainly wasn’t worth the myriad analyses that have flitted about the high levels of the intelligentsia lo these sixty some odd years. I mean, teenage angst and rebellion wasn’t exactly a new phenomenon even as far back as the thirties and forties. That doesn’t mean like millions of other people I don’t idolize Salinger, I certainly do.

Salinger’s Holden Caufield makes me want to reach through every metaphysic layer of creation into Salinger’s imagination and strangle him, however, I absolutely love every other character found in Salinger’s limited catalog. 9 Stories has given me countless hours of enjoyable entertainment. For Esme – With Love and Squalor in my opinion is one of the best short stories to come out of the twentieth century. (My 5 Tales is a complete rip-off of Salinger’s title. I’m not proud.) I look with gleeful anticipation towards the release of his never before seen work and also plan on reading David Shields and Shane Salerno’s new biography aptly named: Salinger, although, I’m hesitant to do so. If you’ve read my blog post The Thing About Biographies then you know I do not suffer inaccurate biographies gladly and from the reviews of Salinger, it sounds as if I may be disappointed and I don’t want that especially when it comes to this particular man’s life.

Unlike scads of doting Salinger pilgrims I have never had the desire to seek out his stomping grounds even though I live in and amongst them. But, this past summer as Shields and Salerno were doing press junkets, I started to get curious. So much mystique has been built up regarding Salinger’s reclusiveness I do have to admit it’s hard to resist investigating, especially since I live so close to his Cornish, NH lair.

So, one Saturday afternoon I tossed the kids in the sled and took off in search of Salinger’s spirit. I was determined like all those aforementioned pilgrims to find where he lived. I really had no idea what I was doing but I know the area pretty well and just figured I’d let the wind blow me in whatever direction seemed Salinger. I also knew I would probably get no help from the locals who have always protected the privacy and mystery of his house like a national secret.

I knew from what local lore actually made it into the ethos that Salinger liked to hang out in Windsor and Hartland, VT even more so than Cornish. Going into Windsor for JD was going into town. His house was pretty remote. But, it’s well known that he enjoyed a little socialization regardless of his reclusive reputation. He crossed the covered bridge every morning in his Toyota Land Cruiser from New Hampshire into Vermont, stopped at his post office box at the Windsor post office, had breakfast at a little diner in town and did his shopping at the Price Chopper. Sometimes on the way home he would go into Lebanon, NH where you can find every kind of big box store imaginable and stop at Friendly’s for an ice cream. On Saturday nights he would show up early for the roast beef dinner at one of the churches in Hartland.

Windsor is charming and quaint in that New England-y way, but by no means is it sexy. It seems completely incongruous with the largesse of Salinger created by the public. But, driving down the main drag, I got it. I felt why Salinger would choose this place to remain for all those years. I can relate one hundred percent. I love living in the country. There are days I don’t come down off the mountain at all. But, when I do I have almost the same kind of pattern that Salinger did. I go to the post office box, I do the shopping, I gossip with the locals, but instead of ice cream, I enjoy a martini or ten over at the local watering hole before heading home.

This is the covered bridge between Cornish & Windsor. Remember to walk your horse!

This is the covered bridge between Cornish & Windsor. Remember to walk your horse!

After driving through Windsor I crossed the covered bridge into Cornish and drove right to Salinger’s house. How did I find it? I’m not really sure. I looked at some satellite pictures on the computer and I knew what road it was he lived off of. It’s a normal place with some great views but nothing to write home about. I could absolutely picture him there.

The town I live in now is about twenty miles from Cornish but I live less than a mile from where Salinger married Claire Alison Douglas in 1955. Although none of the locals here talk about him at all, I can absolutely feel his force and see why he chose to be married here. It’s a great place, quiet, picturesque and very easy to write in. It’s an escape to decide to live in a rural area, and I admit I’ve escaped. I miss New York, San Diego and even my hometown in Connecticut on occasion, but not enough to go back.

This is what I gleaned from my little trip down the Salinger road: JD Salinger was just a normal person living the small town experience, except for the fact that Salinger was brilliantly successful as a writer and I’m not, I could be him, anyone who chooses this lifestyle could be Salinger. I’m sure moving to and spending his life in Cornish was the cure for his well-documented emotional baggage packed up from the War, his childhood, love affairs etc. He wasn’t this curmudgeonly recluse who thought of himself as some kind of literary God. He was a guy who wanted to be left alone up until the point he didn’t want to be left alone. Salinger was sociable – his neighbors in Cornish referred to him as a “townie” who got involved in the community. Now, there are stories of his private proclivities, but I don’t care about that. We’re all weird in some way behind closed doors. That’s nobody’s business and I can relate to protecting it to the best of one’s abilities.

It’s not a very exciting picture compared to the legend created by the press and the public who have been steadfast in preserving the mystery and perhaps his life is better left shadowed in intrigue; we do tend to like our idols quirky and over the top. But, for me, it’s comforting to know that Salinger was just a private small town guy from a huge background and was actually personable and likeable. So, you wanna know his address and see pictures of his house? Nah, I’ve given up too many secrets already.

Am I an Artist?

Image

Just recently I had someone in my office and as I was rummaging through all the red ink laden papers and moving my two Mac Books out of the way and generally just repositioning the debris of writing, she said to me: “It’s hard work being an artist isn’t it?”

I couldn’t really answer her because I’ve never seen writing as an art. I know that seems ridiculous but I came into the writing thing a little late. My problem was I never listened to my mom who spent thirty-five years telling me I was a writer. So, I’ve been slow on the uptake to recognize what I see as a guilty pleasure as art.

I do love art, but I’m no expert on it. I’m a guy who knows what he likes when he sees it, but I couldn’t tell you why. Art has so many forms; I could make this blog post 10,000 words, so I’m going to use painting to make my case.

I have a friend who is a great artist and I’ve spent some time watching him paint. It was fascinating and frightening all at the same time. He would set up these ridiculously expensive canvasses on an antique easel, take a few tokes of weed and then actually squirt a half tube of four or five different colors of oil paint (also insanely expensive) into this absolutely impossible blob of goo. Then he’d take another toke, lean back, look at the mess and start a conversation.

During the confab, which could be on just about anything, my friend is a very interesting guy, he would start working his brush occasionally scraping away excess paint with some sort of knife like instrument. Pretty soon something would start to take form. It’s like watching magic. Without fail on the occasions I watched this process, it would seem to me just as the painting was finished, he would step back smoke some more pot and then put a huge X over the whole thing. That was the frightening part. The first time this happened, I completely freaked. But, he remained absolutely calm – still talking about whatever while he whitewashed the canvas and started the whole thing over again. And once again, out of all that chaos something amazing would be born.

Talent in its purest form is amazing – watching it happen is a privilege. Which is why I never thought of myself as an artist. I don’t feel like what I do is art or drips with talent. I think about my friend being about to talk while he works (I scream at everyone in the house if I hear a glass clink), get stoned and pull this amazing work out of wherever he pulls it out of – that’s talent.

My work product comes out of constant agonizing. My brain is replete with the white noise of stories whipping around and bouncing off of every receptor of my grey matter going into places I never knew existed and then eventually (usually after years) finding its way out my fingertips onto the keyboard and into the Mac. It never stops even when I’m sleeping. Right now as I write this I have three things cramming up my thought process at the same time. I’m thinking about the ending for a short story that’s going into the follow up to 5 Tales, I’m toying with changing a chapter in one of my novels and I’m thinking about tomorrow’s blog post. With all of that there are related notes on each of those topics everywhere – in reporters notebooks, on napkins, in my iPhone, on Evernote in both computers and I’m sure in places I’ve completely forgotten about. It’s a mess.

Obviously, there is a very blatant analogy just pulsing, ready to burst here. The mess on the canvas compared to the mess in my head and on my desk. So, I guess if I really want to analyze what it is I do, one could say it is art. I’m not sure. I can’t decide if I’m ready to call myself an artist. I guess I’m still a work in progress.