Monday, October 19, 2015

These Days

     I'm sitting by the small manmade lake in the next town over.  Shadows of leaves reflect on the water and an egret lifts one leg, steps carefully in the water.  What's wrong with this scene?
     The jarring blast of a leaf blower reverberates across the neighborhood.  This is the most American of all devices.  It's loud, it burns fuel, and it doesn't really solve the leaf problem.  It just blows the leaves off the property onto the street to be dealt with by someone else. 
     What happened to rakes?  I remember combing  grass and piling leaves high enough to jump into.  They were never as soft as you could imagine but there was a warm earthy fragrance I can still catch in the ancient part of my brain.  My apologies to my friends in the north who have had their first dusting of snow.  I'm still in fall here in this most alien of lands- the deep south. 

Here's my poem- the title has no connection to the song:

     These Days          

These days I reject
that summer could end,
that frost covers window panes,
that you could die.

I head to school each day
fill minds with words
take a train
back and forth
while bigger battles are fought.

Sunday, October 4, 2015

The New World of Work

Recently my first novel was published and that has been a wonderful event!  I’ve been on an intense learning curve ever since.

The writer’s world no longer resembles what one imagined- the writer sitting at the computer and churning out page after page of prose.  That may be the most pleasurable part.  Then what  happens is editing.  Of course, every writer knows editing and rewriting are essential parts of the process.  Now to add to that, there is copywriting and proofreading.  Years ago when I lived in New York I was a proofreader and though it wasn’t the most exciting job, it was necessary.  These days the writer must submit a ready perfect text. Apparently, proofreading is a profession like so many others that has fallen by the wayside.

There are too many to count.  Do you remember when travel agents found the best deals for you and you didn’t spend hours on every internet site comparing flight prices and trying to figure out the best day to book a trip?  When you didn’t have to check out your own groceries?  When someone pumped gas and cleaned windshields? 

After my novel came out, there was something new that has entered my life.  Marketing.  I almost need an MBA to figure out how to keep my novel from totally disappearing.  Even large publishing houses can leave a big part of that up to the writer.  At a book fair I was next to a writer whose publisher paid for only half of his book tour.  Will that leave only the independently wealthy or the extremely lucky able to write?  I don’t have large expectations for my novel.  I only hope that readers may enjoy it and perhaps find something in it that has some relevance to their lives. 


Here’s a link to a flash fiction piece that just came out: