Thursday, April 28, 2011

melancholy morning

December 28, 1920 - April 28, 2011

Patillo Ainsworth Finlayson, all of Westbrook's kids called him Uncle Pat.  All his siblings and friends called him Ainsworth.

Jennie called me this morning with the news that Uncle Pat passed away during the night.  This one hurts.  I'm sure it affects all my siblings on the same level.  Pat was a sweet and lovable fellow.  He is loved and will be missed.  He is well now. 

A few years ago, on this blog, I posted stories about Pat's wartime experiences aboard the USS LST-312.  Anyone who has kept up with this blog has come across his name on many occasions.  A while back my niece Sara Noojin had interviewed Pat for a school project.  I thought it well written and thought you all might appreciate reading it.

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Yo, Narcissus

The effort to improve a child's self-esteem has backfired.  I've been looking at studies where the younger Generation Y (aka: Millennial Generation) is self-absorbed, self-entitled, with an excessive helping self-regard.  Often rudeness is a trait of the Gen Y'er.  I hope you guys grow up to prove us old timer's wrong.  In the meantime, if you want the respect - show some respect.  If you want to get somewhere - do the work.  Your opinions really doesn't count for much - especially the snarky ones.  Snark doesn't compensate for lack of wisdom or facts. You really don't know how absurd you look from here.  Walk on down this road of life a little more and then we'll talk.

Monday, April 25, 2011

last place - where to next?

Last week I finished the story 'Places' off-line.  What you've read since September 19, 2010 was the first draft.  I don't know what I'm going to do with the story.  I have been thinking about starting another - a different kind of tale.  It might be from a Zombie dream I had last winter, a dream that was delivered with a great outline and unusual twist.  The only thing that the dream did not provide me with was a clear ending.  I am confident I can come up with one.  The other idea is a book I started writing over two decades ago that I never finished - about a serial killer.  The later is 'Dark Savior' which started out to be a novel, but after writing 'Places', I may revisit the old text and whittle it down to a novella.

'Places' isn't really that long of a read.   My good friend Dr. Clay Rowe was kind enough to help edit much of this book.  He stated on several occasions that I might want to beef up the noir a little if it's ever to be published.  I thought about it, but feel that the story has a nice pace to it.  I don't really see expanding it.  There's some stuff that I left out of the telling, and think it appropriate to leave into it a little mystery.  The story is what it is.  The story has been  told.

Some of my favorite reads as a young man were the short stories of O' Henry, Edgar Allen Poe and Robert Benchley.  I also enjoyed pulp fiction as a young man - books my brother had collected on his bookshelf.  I leaped from comic books to The Man of Bronze: Doc Savage!  It proved to be great reading for a Saturday morning and afternoon.  I read a lot of pulp that Brooky had left in his wake.

In a roundabout way, Clay has helped me to keep writing.  What if I kept pouring out short stories, novellas and simply combine as a collective work?  This way I wouldn't have to bulk up a story, but rather give the reader more stories to peruse?

My mind then went to how Steven King combined four very different stories in Different Seasons.  Three of the four stories were turned into motion pictures, Rita Hayworth and The Shawshank Redemption (Shawshank Redemption, The Body (Stand By Me), and Apt Pupil (Apt Pupil).  At the time King was writing  nothing but horror.  These stories were a completely different offering.  Different Seasons is one of my favorite of King's works.  I recommend you reading this book, even if you've seen the movies.  As always, the book is better than the movie.

At present, I don't really know where to go next.  I have this idea, but will probably take a break from writing another story...just do a little posting to cleanse my palate.  As of late, business has taken most of my time and attention.  I finished Places in my spare time late at night - early mornings - determined to finish what I had started.  Don't get me wrong, I enjoyed following Johnny Hale's black and white narrative - but I need to a little time to reset.  This break is also going to be used to polish the story I just finished.  At present, the manuscript is in the hands of my neighbors - one being an FBI agent.   I am looking forward to getting some technical advice and some editing/feedback from the story from them.  I'm sure I'll be doing some rewrites when they hand it back to me.  There's also some family members that I'd like to read it.

So for now I'm going to revert to what I did before.  I've missed making the day to day random posting.  I'll change the banner from the blog-noir back to Long Journey Home (or something else) and post about life as it comes.  You'll know when it's time for another story when the banner changes.  I hope you enjoyed the read.

P.S.  If you've read the blog-noir posts of Places, did you enjoy it?  Was it difficult to read?  Was the trail hard to follow?  I'd appreciate your feedback - any constructive criticism.