Tuesday, December 9, 2014

New Excerpt and New Title

O.K., so I've decided I hated "Sins of the Fathers" almost as much as "To Walk in Newness of Life" for the second book. I still want some sort of Episcopal/Anglican reference, though, so now, tentatively, it's "Grievous Unto Us." This is taken from the Rite I form of the general confession in the 1979 Book of Common Prayer. The entire text is as follows:

Almighty God,

Father of our Lord Jesus Christ,
maker of all things, judge of all men:
We acknowledge and bewail our manifold sins
 and wickedness,
which we from time to time most grievously have committed,
by thought, word, and deed, against thy divine Majesty,
provoking most justly thy wrath and indignation against us.
We do earnestly repent,
and are heartily sorry for these our misdoings;
the remembrance of them is grievous unto us,
the burden of them is intolerable.
Have mercy upon us,
have mercy upon us, most merciful Father;
for thy Son our Lord Jesus Christ's sake,
forgive us all that is past;
and grant that we may ever hereafter
serve and please thee in newness of life,
to the honor and glory of thy Name;
through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

There is no question that Neal, and a few others in the book, find the remembrances of their "misdoings" grievous indeed, so for the moment, at least, this new title seems the most appropriate so far.

I've also got a new excerpt to share. It's a flashback sequence from the second book, and I actually posted it a few weeks ago, then forgot to post a link here. Music is an excellent trigger for all sorts of writing, and this excerpt was triggered by one of the best: Olivier Messiaen's Turangalila Symphony. I was actually in attendance at the concert documented, and Messiaen himself was sitting a few rows in front of me in the audience. He had just turned (or was about to turn) 80, and I was astounded when he was invited to take a bow, and there he was, suddenly, almost within touching distance! Neal is blown away by the same movement of the symphony as I was: the fifth. I was weeping openly by the end of it. Why? I'm not sure. It was simply overwhelming, and utterly beautiful on more levels than I can count. Listening to it on a record, CD, or mp3 is not the same, but one hears glimmers of it.

All that said, Messiaen is an acquired taste. I did not appreciate or understand the symphony half so well in 1988 as I do now. I expect I may understand it still more deeply in twenty years' time, if I live that long.

I have to say, it was a really exciting moment when I happened to remember the time frame and realized that Neal could easily have been part of it, and I an unknowing witness to that. Google helped fill in the gaps in my memory, and I began to write in earnest.

Here's the result: Turangalila. Hope you enjoy it, and if you feel inclined to comment, please do. E-mail is also welcome.

Sunday, October 26, 2014

New Author Photo

I'm sometimes not sure whether these crazy smartphones are a blessing or a curse. I love playing with the camera and then manipulating the resulting "selfies" with my graphics program. Graphics programs are very good at hiding a multitude of flaws. Don't like that double chin or those crows' feet? Blur them and use the sketchbook feature, and get rid of the real-life color in favor of black and white, which looks oh so much more artsy. I'm liking it. :-)

Back to writing now. Enough Fun with Graphics for today!

Sunday, October 19, 2014

Stepping in the Flashback Zone

Sitting at work day in and day out, mostly doing repetitive manual tasks it's not at all difficult to memorize, my mind wanders. This is why I like working in manufacturing so much. Most of the time, my hands are busy and my mind is free to go off on its own. "Wot larx, eh, Pip?"

Now that Book I is complete and published, I have begun work on Book II, which will be subtitled (I think, at least) "Sins of the Fathers." Since the day when I first saw the cover for the book, back in 2001, I really, really didn't like "To Walk in Newness of Life" as a title, but it was too late to change it, and I couldn't think of anything better, no matter how much I wracked my brains at the time of publication.


Anyway, as I have been working through the re-edit of that second book, all sorts of interesting ideas are popping into my head, and as I sit at my station mucking about with wires and small electrical assembly parts, whole scenes are forming in my mind. Bare bones ideas are noted on scrap paper during breaks, and carried home to the computer at the end of the day.

Neal being Neal, these scenes are memories that come back to him in various situations. Very much like me, his mind often wanders to the past, and to things that actually occurred, or to things that he wishes could have occurred.

Some of these scenes are terribly inappropriate to be thinking of at work, but as far as I know, none of my co-workers is able to read minds. Thank God, because "oh, the  places you would go!" Yikes!

So, in short, it may be awhile yet before "Sins of the Fathers" is ready, but it's coming, and it will be bigger and better than the original. Guaranteed.

Thanks for your patience.

Saturday, September 27, 2014

Formatting Woes Fixed!

Of course, I f*cked up the formatting. Of course! Damned "en dash" or "em dash" -- whatever -- will NOT come out properly. Instead of said dash, everywhere I had one entered, lo and behold, it read 3/4. Why???? Substituted "space hyphen space" and got something readable that doesn't look exactly like what I wanted visually, but it will do. Hopefully, it will not be anywhere near as annoying to my readers as having 3/4 appear in umpteen random places in the manuscript!

So, the revised edition is currently being uploaded and reviewed, and should be available in a few hours. You can find it here, on Amazon, but maybe it would be best to wait until tomorrow morning to purchase it, if indeed you feel so inclined.

In the meantime, here's a copy of the original drawing done for the cover of the book. I like black and white covers, but there is still something awfully nice about the color version of this portrait.

Friday, September 26, 2014


...I am in the home stretch on my Kindle project!

Like Leaves, We Touch, Book I: O Fortuna will soon be available on Amazon, in Kindle format only, for the time being.

This is a revised and expanded edition of O Fortuna, which was published in print-on-demand format, via iUniverse in 2000. It's still out there, as is the sequel, To Walk in Newness of Life (published in 2001). When I figure out how to go about it, I will most likely discontinue these editions. The sequel is really going to need a serious reconstruction in order to be properly paired with the new edition of O Fortuna!

What I did not know was that I cannot "preview" a book after clicking "publish," and to have access to the book on Amazon, it must be "reviewed" first. Oops. We live and learn, do we not? Hopefully it will be available for my perusal sometime tomorrow. If all is well, I'll post the link here. If I f*cked up, I'll be taking a wee trip "back to the drawing board," as they say, and there will be a delay of a couple of days, maybe, until the book is available for purchase/download.

List price is going to be $7.99. Not bad, eh, considering how many years of my life I have been wrestling with this book in one form or other?

Egad! If I penned my first bits in 1984, that means...egad! 30 years ago! 30 YEARS!!!!!

Well, at least now I truly believe it is the best it could possibly be.

Now, onward to Book 2, and then to Book 3, which is done but has yet to see the light of day...