Thursday, March 26, 2009

The Die is Cast

Forgive my Julius Caesar reference, but I've found myself reading Rosemary Sutcliff these last few days, The Lantern Bearers, which is the third in a loosely connected series of novels about Roman Britain. Even though they all take place long after Caesar's murder, he was still the first Roman general to set foot in Britain, so the quote isn't a huge stretch. Anyway, Rosemary Sutcliff is fantastic; her novels are geared toward young adults but they're not childish, and anyone can enjoy them. She's pretty much my ideal for historical fiction at this point: accurate but streamlined and accessible to anyone.

So, the die is cast, and I'm crossing my own version of the Rubicon. I've decided to forgo the search for a publisher for Ghost of Iga and go it on my own. And I have to say that I feel good about the decision. As I've said before, I love doing my own thing, my way. The book's in the design and editing phase now and I look for it to be out before the year's end. It's a lot of work, but I think it will be worth it.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009


Well, that's that. My reading's done and it went pretty well. Having never read any of the poems aloud, my biggest fear was that my delivery would be boring, but everyone seemed entertained. I read eight or nine poems, including one I had written a few days before that's not in the book. It was inspired by the spiffy Monkey King t shirt which I bought just for this reading.

There were about thirty or so people present, some I knew, some I didn't, but I have to say I was definitely out of my comfort zone, putting myself in front of a crowd. It really underscores the general isolation of the writing experience. I'm not sure which surprised me more, the audience's positive reaction to the reading, or the emotional connection I felt to each piece as I said each line aloud.

Of course, like any self respecting poet/writer (involuntary roll of the eyes)as soon as the reading was over I went out with my friends for drinks, where we talked about everything but writing (thank god). Then, like any self respecting post boomer, I spent the rest of the night playing video games. Marlowe would have done no different, and he might have lived longer if he had Tekken to play.

I'll leave you with the last poem I read, the one not in the book, though it fits the tone.

The Monkey King's Mechanical Children

When he was their age Old Monkey had a pair-

of cloud-treading shoes
a cuirass and a cap
with phoenix plumes
a compliant rod
and a bad attitude

There were three of them, three brothers-

They seared the sky with their plasma boots
and towered in their mecha suits
above the ruin of Buddha's garden
Reclined in peaceful meditation
at first he denied paternity

But beneath the gaze of their monstrous guns-

He stood at last
grabbed his staff
and winked and spat and said:

"It's true in those days I was frequently drunk,
so I might have known your mother after all."

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

My grocery list. . .

Not quite, but I thought I'd type up a list of things that I'm in the process of doing as a ***WRITER*** (pause for aplause). I hope it's more interesting than a grocery list.

1. Preparing for my poetry reading at Changing Hands this Friday. (my next post will be about that. yikes.)

2. Finishing the first draft of the sixth chapter of my second novel, tentatively titled Dogs of Edo.

3. Editing Ghost of Iga, the first novel.

4. Researching, which means reading, reading, reading.

5. Reading for fun to keep my mind flexible. I generally read a lot of comics and graphic novels when I'm in the midst of a project.

6. Thinking very,very hard about things.