Saturday, January 23, 2016

First lines in the dying days of January

So my friend Loren Rhoads tagged me. She recently wrote a blog that included the first lines of everything she is working on now. Whoa, she is way amore ambitious than me!  Go take a look. But anyway, she tagged the rest of us to do that same. So, here goes my stuff:

The book I'm revising about a rock and roll band in 1983 and a psychic vampire is called The Black Light: Trace stands in the wings backstage at the Refugee Club, a narrow shadow.

So, then there's the short story about same psychic vampire's youth, called Knives: I light a fresh cigarette off the butt of the dying one before crushing it into the tray set in the door of the car.

And of course there's The Night Was Not, which is the NeoVictorian third gender romance that I'm stuck in the middle of: Kerry Hazard slid into the pilot's seat of the Starshine as he toggled the print switch on the com console. 
Yep. There you have it. Or at least there you have some of it. I'm not a very fast writer, and some of these things I've  been working on for quite a while. I'm trying to write more every day, and faster too. I'll never be one of those writers who can write ten thousand words a day. But  I think I'm ready to get to the ends of at least these things. Wish me luck.

So, I'll ask the question of the other writers I know: What are your first lines? 

Wednesday, January 13, 2016

In Which I Fail to Explain What a Crappy Day Monday Was

I'm not sorry that David Bowie is dead. I mean, I've seen enough people suffer to the end of their lives. I don't wish it on anyone. Certainly not on a man that I owe so much. I do feel for his children. I just lost a father, and I didn't even want to be the one to call the family. I can't imagine how hard it was for his son to tell the world.

 Now, this is the place where I tell you that I'm not crazy. I didn't know the man. Yet, I got the news at three a.m. the next day--the very same time that I got the news of my father's death. Soul's Midnight, Bradbury called it in "Something Wicked This Way Comes". When my Dad died, I knew it was coming. I got up, put my pants on and went over to his house.

 No tears. But for Bowie, I cried. And my phone continued to go off until it went dead at about ten that morning. At first it was, "Are you okay?" and "I thought of you when I heard." I heard from people I hadn't seen in a decade. It was all very sweet. But with each text or call, I realized, no, I'm not okay. Not today. There's a hole in the world. Not just mine, Bowie left a hole in people's lives that don't even know that he affected them. He was part of the bones of this century, with his influences in everything from men's fashion to gender politics to children's cartoons. And what wrecks me now that all's said and done is he left us in the gentlest way he could. "It's not that I don't love you," he said. "It's that I can't stay." And he made it as strange and beautiful as everything else he did.

 I'm not sad for Bowie. I'm sad for me. Most of the important things I know about myself, I came to know through his filter. When I was thirteen years old, an insomniac in a small town, I found him, long before MTV, on Don Kirshner's Rock Concert. It was I Am a DJ, and it answered so many questions that I hadn't even begun to ask yet. It was a shrill piece of desperation that I could hang onto in the middle of the night. I wasn't alone, suddenly.

 Nothing I could ever say would explain how grateful I am for that. His influences on my writing are obvious, and, again, I'm so grateful that words fail. For everything, really. Thank you for being there to save me in the middle of the night.