Writers Writing about Writing? And talking too…

One of the cool things about being a writer is, just the fact that you are one, you automatically belong to an eclectic extended family.  Through the shared misery and elations of our common obsession, we are related.  I love hanging out with my writer family.  That’s turning out to be more literal than not — both my kids are now writers as well.

Thank you everyone for your feedback on that snippet I was working on.  I’ve made changes and now hopefully it reads smoother and more natural.

On a related note — my good friend and fellow writer Melanie has gotten involved with podcasting and has put together her own show, perfectly titled:  “Don’t Quit Your Day Job.”  She extended to me the ultimate honor of being her co-host, and we did our first show last night.  Listen to it either on iTunes or here on the official website:  http://dqydjpodcast.blogspot.com/

Back On My Novel…

For the first time in I don’t know how long, this morning I’m actually doing some work on my novel.

My question to you, my trusted friends:  Does this sound like an outright info-dump, or two guys talking about a controversial subject about which they both share a passion?  The information itself is a key part of the plot…

Leon was still deeply involved in his religious discussion.  The blond man was arguing, “Wine!  All over the Bible, it says wine.”

“Read my lips,” Leon said, “it is mis-trans-lated.  Can you say that?  Mistranslated.  Misssss-transssss-lated.”

“What’s mistranslated?” Jon asked.

“He’s saying that Jesus changed water to beer, not to wine,” the blond man said.

“That’s true,” Jon said.  “References to Jesus changing water to wine is misinterpreted.  He was a holy man, a priest, and one of the normal everyday duties of a priest was to brew beer for weddings.”

“Exactly!” Leon exclaimed.  “Beer is what they considered Holy Water.”

“When the scriptures refer to Jesus changing water to wine, he was brewing a simple beer.”

“Not only is that blasphemy,” the blond man said, “it’s ridiculous!”

“No it’s not,” Jon said.  “It’s well documented — but, as you can tell, it’s not very popular.  People don’t want to hear it.”

“You know why it’s not popular, don’t you?” Leon said to Jon.  “The wine industry has been doing its best to discredit this knowledge for two thousand years.”

“Oh, that’s rich,” the blond said, rolling his eyes.  “A wine conspiracy against beer.  I suppose space aliens gave the beer knowledge to Jesus, right?”

“Beer was discovered thousands of years before Christ,” Jon told him.  “It’s the product of wet bread.”

“It was around before wine,” Leon added.

“Oh, definitely,” Jon said.  “The accidental fermentation of bread is most likely what caused man to search for other things to ferment, which then lead to wine.  Even coffee berries were used to make a fermented beverage hundreds of years before someone figured out how to brew it as coffee.”

“And it all started with beer!”  Leon smacked his hand down on the bar, like a judge pounding a gavel.  “Beer is Holy.  We even have a monk that comes in here and drinks it.”

“You guys are wacko,” the blond man said.  He got up, leaving his full mug on the bar, and walked out.

“Fuck him,” Leon said to Jon, “goddamn wino.”

Drunken Texas Storm Poetry

We should see if after drinking a
Whole lotta very strong barley wine
Poetry floats to the surface of the brain
Flowing, floating and flowing, spilling over
Like something not unlike vomit
Onto this big blank Xanga screen
While meanwhile deep in the bowels of a
Very powerful Texas storm
Several possible tornadoes, potential tornados
Tornadoes that are still just spinning air in a cloud
March insistently toward where this would be poet
Types these alcohol infused words
Wondering, hoping, praying for something so totally exiting
That it will rivet his readers here to this place
Hanging on every word, breath suspended
Waiting to find the symbols of meaning in these lines
To tell them whether there is life or death
After drunken Texas storm poetry

this stuff is to blame

Returned, With Photos

I just returned from an amazingly wonderful two weeks with my love.  Some highlights in pictures…


Evil McDonalds Toy


My Love’s Cat, ML


ML Looking Stoned (too much catnip, meow?)


Self portrait, thought it might make a good “author’s photo”


OMG I love this woman!


Barn At Sunset (a B&W study)


Contrail Madness


Freaky Riverboat Capt

She Rocks My World — Literally!

Apparently my Lady and I caused a 5.4 magnitude earthquake in the Quad Cities area this morning.  Sorry about that!

We were celebrating Bobby Wilson day.

Two years ago today, I sent my Lady a email about a new employee who needed access to the documentation system, which started a rather flirtatious series of missives that led directly to us both falling completely in love with each other.

To celebrate, we both, separately, sent Bobby a thank you email today … without explaining why.  I’m sure he’s totally confused.

And about this morning’s earthquake … the funny thing is, neither of us realized there was an earthquake going on.  We felt it, but we seriously thought it was us! 

Ford, Powered by Microsoft

My current rental car is powered by Microsoft.

If that isn’t enough to strike fear into a mortal heart, I don’t know what is.

The first thing I noticed at the airport last week, climbing into this ugly dark gray Ford Fusion, is a big reset button on the dashboard.  My eyes trailed down to a logo next to the gearshift, and they immediately bugged out.  “Powered by Microsoft.”  What the f*%#?

I looked at the reset button.  I looked back at the logo.  I kept thinking, “So, what, does this car ‘crash’ and give you the Blue Screen of Death?”  I could imagine driving down the highway and having the engine, brakes and steering suddenly lock up for no reason, and me desperately jabbing at the reset button and waiting for the car to reboot as it spins out of control and tumbles off the pavement.

Fortunately, the only thing Microsoft powers is the voice activated sync between the car stereo and your Bluetooth enabled phone, and your iPod (or whatever) plugged into a USB port in the center console. 

I’d been playing with it all weekend, and this morning my love and I were driving to work and she said she wanted to hear some Meatloaf.  So I said, per the Microsoft instructions, “Play artist Meatloaf.”

The car made a pleasant tone and a female computer voice responded, “Playing artist Vivaldi.”

I looked at my love.  “How did it get ‘Vivaldi’ out of ‘Meatloaf’?”

She shrugged.  “It’ll do.”

I thought to myself, do I really want a car that has better musical tastes than I do?  I eyed the reset button, ready to push it.  Just in case.