Sunday, March 30, 2014

Two Writes Don't Make A Right.

I've allowed my blog page to become an empty wine glass left atop a mantle and forgotten. The lip stick smears are still there as are the faint traces of oily fingerprints all around the belly of the glass, but the contents have long been downed and the good time that followed is nothing more than a sex stain on bedroom sheets. Where have I been, you might ask? Around, I would answer. Around this town like a lonely lover looking for a warm place to stay each night. Sure, I still have my own place, but these walls seem so much closer now and I feel somewhat claustrophobic. My place was already small enough before the walls started closing in, now it's damn near impossible to breathe. My cat, however, doesn't seem to mind one bit. Actually I take that back, he does mind me being gone all the time. He sits by the door waiting for me to return while I'm out on the town seeking friendships, aka, full glasses of wine.

I deleted my account profile at All Poetry. I had been a member there since 2006, had written hundreds upon hundreds of poems and made many friends, but recently felt like I no longer wanted to be a part of that community. And so, after printing out every poem, I finally said goodbye. Actually, there was no goodbye. I simply... vanished. So to any of you from AP who came here looking for me and wondered what happened, now you know. Your poetry will be missed. I haven't written a poem since deleting my account; I sure hope I didn't sever a creative connection. Time will tell.

What else has been going on? My novel. I completed my fictional novel and have since edited
it to the best of my ability. My three beta readers have all dropped the ball, so it's left to me to figure out where my story is weak and fix it before sending it to a professional editor. By using beta readers I was hoping to lessen my expense on an editor, but I guess when I finally hire someone I'll have them do the deep story editing too instead of mere punctuation and grammar. Out of the three, only one has told me that my story is even any good, so thanks goes out to her at least for boosting my confidence. She also pointed out a few helpful tips during a beer session, but I didn't write anything down because I thought I was getting her notes back. I'm a little frustrated, but hey, it's all part of the publishing process I guess. It's not supposed to be easy and there will always be bumps in the road, I just didn't expect them so soon. So now it's time to go shopping for an editor and take things from there.

I met a very awesome local writer here in Salem who has also written a novel. Two novels actually, but I only read one of them. She is a true talent in every sense of the word and I was honored when she asked if I wanted to beta read her book, which I did. After reading it I tagged two places in her story that felt a little... off. She has since went back to the drawing board and is editing her book fiercely. We're both doing the same stuff at the exact same time and it's all pretty cool. We're both also looking to self-publish and become indie authors. Fame and glory and riches await! Haha. She recently tapped me to take part in a blog tour that features writers and highlights their writing process, to which I accepted. So I guess that sort of explains my sudden return to my blog site. I abandoned it but am now trying to quickly resurrect it in time for this blog tour thing. It's happening write now, so I need to get snappy.

I'll end this blog entry with my latest hiking video. Me and two friends drove out to Maxwell Butte and hiked up to the top where we then skied and snowshoed around for awhile. It was a lot of fun even though there wasn't very much snow. A nice little getaway and a small taste of many harder/longer hikes to come. The nice weather is finally upon us! Ok, that's all I have for now. See you rascals next time.

Sunday, March 23, 2014

     It was 8:37 and still she hadn't shown. Kenneth sighed, looked up from his phone and watched as the bartender made her usual swipes across the bar with a damp terrycloth towel. It was knotted up into a ball and looked stupid in her hand as she slid it back and forth in figure eight motions, cleaning nothing. Her half-ass attempt at cleaning infuriated him as he took another drink and continued watching. She appeared disinterested in life. The clothes she wore were trademarks of hard times and her hair was tied back in a simple ponytail as to avoid any effort at making herself look pretty. Make-up never met her face and her attitude towards customers was irreverent at best. Basically, this bitch was one bad moment away from losing her proverbial shit.
     "I can't take it anymore. You're killing me here, Janice."
     Janice set her balled up rag aside and walked over to Kenneth. "Whattaya need there, Kenny boy? Nutha fountain?"
     "No, I do not need a 'nutha fountain'." Kenneth used a girl's voice as he pronounced 'nutha fountain' mockingly. This was exclusively a Janice phrase and it too infuriated him. For as long as he'd been coming here she had always referred to the pouring of beer as pouring a fountain. "What I need is for you to use that rag as a normal person would. Can you do that, Janice? Can you not knot the rag up when you clean? I mean, is it even possible?"
     Janice glanced over at the rag. It was still balled up like a snake. She looked back at Kenneth.
     "You think you got it all figured out, donchya. You're one of those smarty fart wise asses who think they're better than everyone else. Ain't that so?" Janice walked back over and picked up the rag and slowly unraveled it. "Well lemme tell you sumthin, Kenny boy. I got your number, mother fucker. Yeh, that's right. Every night you sit there in that bar seat drinking alone, and every night I watch you pretend to text people on your expensive little smart phone there, hoping to avoid anyone noticing just how alone you are. And tonight you got stood up again. That's the third time in two weeks. You think I'm too stupid to notice things? Well you're wrong, asshole. And I can clean this goddamn elbow rest however I want. You hear me?"
     She walked down to the far end of the bar and started cleaning again. Kenneth watched as she swiped back and forth lazily, this time with the rag spread out flat like a normal person. He turned and stared at his beer. He looked down at his phone and pressed the home button... zero new text messages. He opened his message history and scrolled through the texts that Rachel had sent him. He read them all, it didn't take long. She spoke in abbreviated thoughts and kept her intentions hidden well. Their correspondence played out like a bingo hall romance. Each message neatly trimmed of all importance and letters omitted for the sake of brevity. He re-read her last text that said she'd meet him at the bar.