Wednesday, March 2, 2016


The last couple of months have been rather hairy; lots of wonderful things have happened and, some not so wonderful things have happened as well. I've been writing sporadically, but have been trying to keep up on deadlines; so far that has also been sporadic; #IWSG is easier at this time (for you #ROW80 folks who wonder what happened), but I've been practicing more and reading a lot for the language and tone.

Currently, I'm reading two different books that couldn't be more unalike in tone and gravity, but both are simply wonderful. I'm reading “11/22/63” by Stephen King, recommended by a dear friend.      

11/22/63” is so much like the Stephen King of old. It is fraught with suspense and the atmosphere of the 60s is captured perfectly by King, and his language is again beautiful. His characterizations are sharp and he has lost the coyness that pissed me off in his later works. You cannot help but feel for Jake as he tries his damnedest to foil an assassination that will change the world completely. And as Al, Jake's mentor says, “With Kennedy alive, there would be no Viet Nam, no Watergate”, and that lends a desperate quality to Jake's actions, but he's always thinking and trying to stay one step ahead. But, not having finished it yet, I have no idea what the foiling of Oswald's plan will bring about in the present day.                                        

The Fourth Hand” by John Irving, is much like “A Son of the Circus” in tone, which I enjoyed immensely. Irving can take the most absurd situations and make them hilarious, even when they're really pretty tragic. This book involved Patrick Wallingford, or “the lion-guy” as everyone calls him, after he has his left hand bitten off, fought over and eaten by a pack of hungry circus lions in India, while on assignment. It doesn't get any better for Patrick, or "disaster man" when he takes an assignment in Japan and his clothes are “sent for a day to the Philippines, because that always happens”, according to his Japanese hosts. “They are only misplacing, they will be back.” says one of the hosts. They come back, but apparently, the Customs Agents used drug-sniffing dogs and they pissed all over his clothes, so Irving refers to Wallingford's clothes as “pissed on by Filipino dogs clothing” throughout the rest of this trip. Wallingford is used to all of this and just sort of goes along with anything that happens to him.

This is another book I haven't finished yet, but it is extremely enjoyable and Irving's writing is of the type that always makes me laugh. “A Son of the Circus” was just hilarious, even when it was tragic, again.

So, that's pretty much for it for last month. I wrote some on "The Nebraska Creepers" and now have my own special little episode to add. I want to keep the reader in the dark as much as possible as to who are really the good guys and who are the bad eggs. Working through that is a bit tough. I'm not that great at fiction and even worse when it comes to editing. 

The symphony managed to put on some nice concerts, and we are now in rehearsal for “Swan Lake” by Tchaikovsky, “The Blue Danube Waltz” by Johann Strauss (I forget which one) and Franz Liszt's Piano Concerto. It should be a good one! 
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