The Filing Cabinet. And a Poem

What began in fellowship of open arms, broad smiles and welcoming words soon fell into routine. The wonder of the inchworm’s humped-back crawl faded as attention drifted elsewhere. Like a prairie dog village, heads sank into oblivious existence as curiosity waned. \ I could not describe the Bavarian village, framed by towering Alpine mountains and last seen as a child, well-enough so you’d know it … Continue reading The Filing Cabinet. And a Poem

Beelzebub – I Lost a Draft!

Somehow I’ve contrived to lose a draft post of a little over 200 words. It’s quite deflating to see a work of two months flushed away into WordlessPress Land and not know how it happened. When I left the draft yesterday evening I felt it was shaping up into something I would be ready to post this weekend. My six verses of lyrics titled “Shake … Continue reading Beelzebub – I Lost a Draft!

On Love: Its Toll and Reward

Love isn’t cheap, although love can be cheapened. Love at any cost exacts an incalculable toll on the human soul. A five-dollar short time will get you love in Olongapo City, but what kind of love is that? Even a ten-dollar long time, an all-nighter, gets you nothing but relief, one more conquest to secure your manhood, and another sea story for the guys at work. Where’s the love? Where’s the … Continue reading On Love: Its Toll and Reward

Of Love and Fragrance

Your fragrance often wafts into my head guided by the metaphysical pinings of two souls and the bond between spirits not tethered to temporal moorings. Mortal boundaries span six feet of earthly separation but the heavenly plane exists within our senses. Comforting, that thought, and breathing your scent brings thoughts of your heaven wafting through my mind. For heaven is where you took me taking … Continue reading Of Love and Fragrance

Eighteen Thousand Two Hundred and Fifty

For Dad John William Pennington 12/29/1926 – 12/10/1994. GM2C US Navy WWII; SSGT USAF Korea, Vietnam There are two kinds of dead in war: those who die and those who live. Those who die stay dead; those who live die again and again and again until, someday, they too stay dead. He died in World War II during the Battle of Okinawa, but lived another … Continue reading Eighteen Thousand Two Hundred and Fifty

A Wished-For Love, Chapter One

. Olongapo, Philippines 1991 Aida, sweet and lovely like the opera, a pretty and petite Filipina in the full bloom of her twenty-one years, searched bare-footed for treasure among debris washed ashore by the late storm. She collected her treasure, a bright and colorful smörgåsbord of seashells, pebbles, smooth-worn glass, and curious shapes of driftwood, in a net bag that let sand fall away rather than … Continue reading A Wished-For Love, Chapter One

On Writing: What Makes Literary Fiction Literary? By Nathan Bransford

This article by Nathan Bransford describes the difference between Commercial, or Mainstream, Fiction and Literary Fiction. There are dozens of articles devoted to the differences between the main genres of fiction, but Nathan’s unique definition makes it clear enough to understand. I think a lot of writers believe “literary” means smarter or intellectual. Maybe so. It may be tempting for some writers to use the thesaurus … Continue reading On Writing: What Makes Literary Fiction Literary? By Nathan Bransford

My Little Story

I feel so much satisfaction watching the word count grow in the little story flowing from my pen. This joyful enterprise, this crafting of a universe built from memories of a lifetime. This imaginary world I have peopled with those I’ve grown up with, played, schooled, worshiped, worked, and served with. Decorated with scenes that have thrilled my eyes and my mind and lifted my … Continue reading My Little Story

Mai Lee

Swish, swish, swish, her tail sweeps the air, Shining eyes, she crouches there. Arcing high, the ball flies up, Leaping now, my flying pup. She takes the ball, prances ‘round, Twinkle toes, not earthbound. Come here, girl! but, oh, not she, Away, away, chase after me! Faster, farther, prancing still, She smiles at me, such a pill. Lets me near, then lies down, I come … Continue reading Mai Lee

Editing — A Wished-For Love

I read constantly that editing is hard. No. Editing is not hard. Writing is hard. Editing is tedious. Excruciatingly boring. Gut-wrenchingly, the-sun-is-shining-for-the-first-time-in-weeks, birds-are-singing, optimism-is-everywhere, but-I’m-stuck-behind-this-desk-in-pursuit-of-my-laudable-goal, boring. Oh, look; Gone With the Wind is on TV! Oh, oh, oh! A Gilligan’s Island rerun marathon! Continue reading Editing — A Wished-For Love

Write Crisp – Word Choice

I apologize if the new title for my writing posts makes you hungry. I cannot stop thinking of Rice Crispies; does any cereal hold more sugar? As a ten-year old boy, I reached for unsweetened cereal in the cupboard. I wanted to choose the amount of sugar on my own. Some cereals tantalized my tongue with lots of added sugar, while others were delicious with … Continue reading Write Crisp – Word Choice

Write Tight

Writer’s dilemmas are a part of writing. They occur with every well-thought out novel. If you don’t find yourself boxed in somehow, then you probably have not written a plot complex enough to grab the reader and hold her attention. Plots should resemble life in its complexities. They need twists and turns, unexpected outcomes, surprises, and falls from cliffs with protagonists clinging by fingertips to … Continue reading Write Tight

Mr. Grundy’s English Class

I often see writers use the term “aircrafts” when referring to two or more aircraft. “Aircraft” is the correct term for both singular and plural cases. Example the first: “The aircraft flew until it ran out of fuel. Then it made a sudden landing.” Example the second: “The aircraft were parked wingtip to wingtip making them easy targets for strafing by treacherous seagulls. It’s one … Continue reading Mr. Grundy’s English Class

Sasi and Tom, A Wished-For Love, Chapter Twenty-One

I’m pretty happy with this chapter 🙂 Ten minute read Tom grinned when Sasi waved and called to him from her balcony. He returned her wave and walked faster. When he looked again she had gone. He pushed through the revolving door and strode through the lobby to the elevator. The clerk called to him but the words didn’t register. The elevator doors opened and … Continue reading Sasi and Tom, A Wished-For Love, Chapter Twenty-One

Wake of the Wahoo, a non-Book Review Review

I’ve never written a book review; this is not one, sort of. Book critics who use William Faulkner words and philosophical language to sell books, or not, intimidate me so I leave that skill to others. However, Wake of the Wahoo, by Forest J. Sterling, struck a chord with me and I wanted to share a few observations. Wake of the Wahoo is the story of … Continue reading Wake of the Wahoo, a non-Book Review Review

The Wedding Band

They bury their dead in vaults. Long rows of casket-sized holes stacked six bodies high. Mourners shuffle along behind the men struggling beneath the weight, the dead weight, inside the casket. Mostly, they do. Her casket was featherlight, the body inside so nearly weightless it seemed heartless to call it dead weight. The men carrying her body stood ramrod straight, as men are wont to do … Continue reading The Wedding Band

Mirror

Lines, creases, crinkles Wrinkles, crow’s feet Haunted eyes Joyless smile Emptiness and sorrow The wonder whys Regrets Mirror receives them all Graying hair, Bags Dark circles Neck once nuzzled by Lovers and babies Sagging skin Sinking heart Withering hopes Curse the years Look at me Look at me See? See? You are what you see See beauty See love See wonder Hold your head up … Continue reading Mirror

Cubism

Cubism Angles Corners Planes Perspective Front Back Side Side Up Down Above Beneath Inside Outside Around Within Without Through Trans-dimensional Complex Permeable, Impenetrable Fixed, Moving Opaque, Transparent Open, Closed Masked, Unmasked Active, Still Lost, Alert Quiet Quiet Quiet Loving, Hurtful Laughing, Crying Frowning, Smiling Joyful, Sad Gloomy, Gleeful Ecstatic, Pained Tears joyful Tears hurtful Tears sad Tears Tears Tears Tears Tears Smiling Loving Angry Loving … Continue reading Cubism

Reblog from The Sea Berry

bless / witness i am blessed to bear witness to these moments when my students unravel themselves before me. whether consciously or as a result of their playful, unconscious instinct – they douse me with their light spirit, momentary fears, their honesty. my wonder is unceasing as they tap dance around me with their whole hearted purity and […] via bless / witness — The Sea … Continue reading Reblog from The Sea Berry

In One Sentence

The thought occurred to me a few minutes ago that I wouldn’t know how to respond if I were asked to describe myself in one sentence. Oprah: “Welcome Will, and congratulations on the publication of your Great American Novel, A Wished-For Love, debuting at number one on the NYT, LAT, ChiTrib, WSJ, Sing Sing, and Tampa Bay Voc. Tech High School Best Sellers Lists! What an … Continue reading In One Sentence

Happy Anniversary!

Six years ago today, I registered on WordPress. How has my writing progressed? Well, let’s see. I joined my first writing group, Writers World on Facebook, in May 2014. I submitted a 500-word extract of my draft novel, Honey ko, for critique that same day. I sat back, confident that my writing would be nominated for acclaim and recognition. Hoo boy. Was I wrong. Although … Continue reading Happy Anniversary!

Writing, and Phantom Stories

Nearly a year ago, I began submitting my novel, Honey Ko, to agents. In all, I queried about 65 agents, 24 of whom were kind enough to respond with a gentle “decline.” One agent’s response was so kind I imagined her typing my rejection while crying and feeling dreadful, just dreadful that she couldn’t represent me. I nearly responded with a “There, there. It’s okay. It’s … Continue reading Writing, and Phantom Stories

The Satisfied Life

When I was in the Navy, I was stationed, among many other places, in Brunswick, Maine, and Barbers Point, Hawaii. At both duty stations, there were places overlooking the sea that I frequently visited to relax, take photos, and swim or scramble around the cliff faces. In Maine, that place was on Bailey Island at a place along the cliffs called The Giant’s Stairs. There … Continue reading The Satisfied Life

Home. With me.

The old, old house stands brooding, silent, empty, shuttered. Peeling paint, peeling memories, peeling years, decaying. Squeaking gate unhinged, cracked stone steps, black holes gape between them, Give way to wild rose and dandelions, crabgrass, spurge and apples. Skinned shins on broken porch boards; cobwebs make me shrink. Ancient knocker of green-tinged brass, dolphins dancing on their tails. Quiet the knocker, there’s no one home, … Continue reading Home. With me.