This isn't about that, but I had to mention it anyway. Some author got his tighties in a wad and said he thought Autumn was pretentious, why not just say Fall. Maybe it was Andy Rooney, that was his kind of BS. Or Hemingway used to get all uptight too. (Truman Capote said on late night TV, "I think Ernest was really more like me than he preferred known," or words to that effect. Anyway i was out walking with the dogs and humming "Autumn Leaves," an old favorite. I decided to substitute Fall for Autumn and the result was really crappy. Made me laugh (at a lot of these guys who say shit, like they had little else to do). So much for that. Hey if they can, I can too. Hence my glob. Blog.
Anyway. September. Big month. I got a contract for Ruined Days. Cool. Paperback and ebooks, hardbacks if sales warrant. Thought it was the other way around but what do I know? Really. Anyway, I'll have two books out. More on the way. We'll see how that goes. In the works are these covers. Plus a collection of short stories titled Resume Speed. Awaiting word on these. (All the covers are Ben Carmean designs, wizard stuff)
Also this: "Life Illuminated" by two brilliant minds from VML, Mars Denton and Stefania Accardo. These young ladies put together a "mural" that won the competition hands down--I'll try to explain it: It's a big board that has moss or some growing, living plant that represents the oceans, and on the land areas a myriad of colored, flashing LED pinpoint lights showing conversation about various current exciters such as #GMO, #Gaza, #Ebola, other topics. The moss has to be spritzed and cared for periodically which, to me, exemplifies the care we should be taking with our world water. Ideally, the hashtags will change to reflect the various topics of world social media. The thing is mind-bending in its implications. And, important enough, in my opinion, to be in a museum or at CNN or NBC news headquarters or somewhere. Just SO impressive.
The same night I saw that, I saw an airplane of mine installed at the VML-Wise Gallery, which they kindly named after me when I left. I'm so proud it houses that Life Illumination mural for now, and my plane along with it as a permanent fixture.
They asked me to put some words on it and here they are:
Something in the air.
Might have been the various chemicals I ingested as a kid building model planes, planes that flew with fuel-propelled engines. The balsa wood frames were covered with a tissue-thin paperlike substance that, once glued in place, was painted with something called airplane dope that tightened and strengthened it into a shell. Dope. That's what it was called. You asked for it at the hobby shop and they sold it over the counter, no furtiveness. No asking if you were a cop.
Dope. That and the tube of cement, or glue, emitted fumes. As did the glo-fuel with which you filled the little hornet engines. Heady fumes. No wonder some kids went on building these things into high school and beyond. The aerospace industry is filled with these happy people.
And when I hear a piston-prop plane, I shade my eyes and look for it in the clouds, sometimes a dot, sometimes low enough to read the numbers. And it means freedom.
When I came upon the fuselage-looking thing in a flea market, the stove dashboard, it beckoned to me. I didn't know quite why until I started on it. Without the benefit of dope I might add. Some loom spindles became floats. A discarded motor from the old days supplied the dream power. Parts jumped to it as to a magnet. It became the ultimate in freedom; a bush plane! In my mind it flew over the hump and landed in glasslike fjords in shangri-la and the whitecaps of moose country. Anywhere. The great uncharted Anywhere.
There were no directions, no instructions. Sort of like VML when it took its maiden flight. Dreamers built it. And the damn thing flew! Did it ever. Flight has been a constant thread from the pre-VML TWA days, the Northwest adventure, the Southwest and Korean Air clients of today. And this bush plane symbolizes the audaciousness of that dream.
Thanks, VML, for letting me be a part of it. And for the honor of the gallery name, and for lots more.
Late addendum: Got two new stories into the literary journals. Noteworthy (to me, anyway) since they get 500+ submissions per issue, and accept few. One editor said " Not our usual stuff, but I like it very much. I'd like to have it in the Winter issue, if still available. No sir, not my usual stuff, but tight, well-written, and I was on page 4 before I knew I started. That's what I'm looking for." Feedback like this is pure nourishment to a writer, as we get little feedback at all except rejections, and they don't really have time to send you anything but a form note. They could be saying why are you sending us this crap, or hey just missed, try again. Sometimes they "strongly suggest" you continue to send them material. Which is feedback of a sort, thus welcome.
If you care to see other, older blogs, on everything from skiing to Dylan Thomas to Revelations click "Next" when you see it at the bottom. Thanks for reading.