29 April 2007

Poetry corner!

That Time of Year

by William Trowbridge

Leave marvel at how light they've grown, discover flight,
learn the barrel roll, the Immelmann. Grizzlies doze
over their morning salmon.
In Algebra I, it's time for the hard stuff already.
Hurricane Darleen and Hurricane Randy try the Swim,
the Tighten-Up, the Mashed Potato.
In the face of thirty-seven straight defeats, the Plattsmouth Eagles
Booster Club decrees a two-story homecoming bonfire,
which spreads through downtown.
The new moon's back at it, trading colors with the pumpkins.
In Halloween XXXII, Michael Meyers thins out another group
of tiresome though basically good kids, slashing every girl
too big for an A cup. Hitler is played by Frankie Avalon.
Rain-soaked patios and lawns just stand around, forlorn
as abandoned pets. A water gun settles under forsythia.
The 700 Club and the NRA lobby for a bill banning Halloween
as a Satanic feminist holiday and allowing gun owners
to shoot trick-or-treaters out after 9 p.m. The President will veto
unless a warning shot's required.
Dark as ever, our lost hour returns from daylight savings time,
tasting like icicles used to.
Inside the Mall of America, now petitioning for statehood,
it might as well be spring.
Opened once more, the steam pipes clank out their ghostly signals.

From The Four Seasons, published by Red Dragonfly Press. Reprinted with permission.

23 April 2007

A squirrley story.

During my daily lunchtime walk, I saw a squirrel with a closed dandelion blossom in his paws. I immediately stopped to see what his deal was. The squirrel went to a nearby Norway spruce and sat by the trunk and looked at me, getting a little curious about what I was up to, the way squirrels do. And then he took the flower and placed it crossways in his mouth, like a dog carrying a bone, and climbed up the back of the tree. I couldn't see him, but the closed dandelion ascended the tree under its own power.

Then he reached a branch and took the dandelion out of his mouth and shook his tail and gave me the once-over. He picked up the dandelion and stripped some of the outer layer of the stem off, holding the dandelion much as you would hold a flute. I was enchanted.

Then he turned the bottom of the dandelion stem up and started to eat it with little crunches. I watched him for a while, then moved on.

I began to eye the dandelions. Did dandelions taste good to a squirrel? I have seen them eating maple blossoms off trees. Was a dandelion a spring tonic to a squirrel? I picked one of my own, and the white sap oozed out of the stem. Put a teeny bit between my teeth. The bitter went straight to the back of my tongue. whoo! Glad I'm not a squirrel.

12 April 2007

Story update!

Deadline time is approaching for the raccoon story. I said I'd get it done by May and by God I'm going to do it.

I have 100 pages to go, most of which will have to be torn up and totally rewritten. I need to do 4 pages/day to get 'er done by Mother's Day. After which I want to go back and start rewriting it from the beginning. Lord willing.

I have told myself to stay off the damn computer. This means I can' t go trolling the blogosphere if I want to get out of doing work. Or procrastinate. There's this little issue I've been having about developing bad work habits and that's one of them.

The internet is the debbil.

Tonight I got some plotting issues lined out because the plot lines converged all at once and got into a hairy tangle. Part of the problem was that the novel's pacing has gone right out the window. The other part of the problem is that I'm just now figuring out what the heck is going on in this story. In this version, anyway. (You know it's going to change in future versions.)

Haven't heard back from any agents since my last post. I might send out a few more queries. But otherwise I'm just going to sit tight and write. And not check the Gmail every five minutes.

Thought you-all should know.

08 April 2007

Poetry corner!

I forgot that April was National Poetry Month. Here's some Gerard Manley Hopkins, just for that Easter spirit.

God's Grandeur

The world is charged with the grandeur of God.
It will flame out, like shining from shook foil;
It gathers to a greatness, like the ooze of oil
Crushed. Why do men then now not reck his rod?
Generations have trod, have trod, have trod;
And all is seared with trade; bleared, smeared with toil;
And wears man's smudge and shares man's smell: the soil
Is bare now, nor can foot feel, being shod.

And for all this, nature is never spent;
There lives the dearest freshness deep down things;
And though the last lights off the black West went
Oh, morning, at the brown brink eastward, springs --
Because the Holy Ghost over the bent
World broods with warm breast and ah! bright wings.