I think my hardest job right now is learning how to spell “judgment” correctly. It’s not even the title I wanted for my lousy novel… Everything there is just one, huge placeholder for a project I can’t seem to return to. So I’m sorry for the error on Friday and, here during a rare moment where I have my wits, I corrected the problem in scheduled entries. Now…if I can only correct the weak story!
Tag Archive for 'writing'
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This is the mundane power of a name. A thing they call you, and when they say it, you turn your head. Whether you turn toward them to acknowledge or turn away, keep shuffling forward as if you didn’t hear, it doesn’t matter. A name is a tug on a leash.
This is the enduring flow of a name. The source can be the slightest spark of imagination inside a kid’s head, just one look at you and he makes some connection in that underfed brain of his, somewhere in that primordial muck of cartoons and big daddy’s drunk talk. And when it pops out of his mouth, everyone else picks it up and spreads it around because, however clever or inane it is, it’s catchy—quick and apt. Toss it around the playground, make sure everyone knows. And, years later, when everyone’s forgotten that afternoon when you first got your common name, when whatever was on your birth certificate got erased and redrawn in scrawling, elementary letters, when all aspects of that day—falling, scattered leaves, tough rubber ball, the scrape of girls’ shoes on the pavement—have faded only one thing will remain. Intangible as it is, they grip it tight like a ticket, their admission into the culture. A name is the longest unit of time.
Ghost, he called you.
Launch party update here – with a link to some pics. There are no pictures of the after party, where I camped out in a corner with Lonnie Martin and his wife Cindy, my landlady, a drunken co-worker from my day job, and a certain strawberry blonde.
I probably should have wandered around gladhanding folks but…well, it was drinkin’ time! And when it’s drinkin’ time, I don’t socialize. Being out in the sun was bad enough. Usually, during drinkin’ time, I’m naked and sitting in a dark apartment. Or…endlessly watching classic episodes of Doctor Who on DVD.
Late afternoon performed a decrescendo, strong light withdrawing down to its subtler tones. Paul drove, holding his left arm awkwardly in his lap to relieve the strain on his shoulder. Remo had waved a prescription bottle under his nose, but Paul waved it away. “Those make me itchy.”
They finally arrived at the two story building that currently housed the law offices of MacQuincy, et al. The skinny structure seemed to be squeezed on both sides by its direct neighbors, a barber shop and an empty storefront. Remo advised Paul to drive by slowly then park around the corner.
“Now, here’s the keys.” He handed Paul a large ring crammed to capacity with jangling brass.
Paul Peter Hinckley, our protagonist, is an over-educated tax preparation man in his fifties who has just watched his father, an esteemed and popular attorney in New Orleans, die on the seventh green of the Audubon Golf Course. In the midst of awkwardly coping with his grief and his family’s apparent lack of the appropriate reactions, he has reunited with an old friend, a not-so-esteemed and infamous attorney named Remo MacQuincy, whose firm has been reduced through the ill will and rumors of old enemies to a staff of a few wide-eyed recent graduates from Tulane Law School. Remo is suffering from unpopularity, he feels, because he was the first and only private attorney to sue the federal government for their role in the damages sustained during Hurricane Katrina. Unfortunately, many of the suitors in his class action lawsuit are “impatient” black families who have ponied up an undisclosed “small, administrative fee” to Remo to get the ball rolling and, seeing no progress or even the beginnings of a trial, have begun to demand their money back. Feeling cornered and threatened, Remo has asked Paul if he can hide out at his house through hurricane season for protection.
All of this, of course, is unknown to Liza Rosenstein, Paul’s longtime girlfriend who is making plans of her own on how to spend the large inheritance Paul is about to receive from his father’s estate and who has been advised by a friend to seek out a “Discretionary Consultant” to peer into Paul’s affairs to make sure he is true Uptown Husband material. Paul’s older brothers, Robert, a real estate mogul, and Joseph, a construction company executive, have also expressed their displeasure at Paul’s recent behavior, but are also unaware of the pact he has made with Remo, whom they consider “dead unbalanced.” The only family member Paul seems to have avoided irritating is his teenage niece, Kendra, the daughter of his globe-trotting sister, Noel.
As we rejoin our story, Paul and Remo have just finished a morning of drinking and banging out the details of their covert co-inhabitance. Paul has just remembered that he is supposed to drive his sister’s stateside BMW to the airport and leave it in short-term parking for when she returns for their father’s funeral. He has enlisted Remo to help him, but as soon as they split up into two cars, Remo roars off like a bandit, cathartically racing the Beamer far ahead of Paul.
Things, as they say, are about to get complicated. Continue reading ‘Recap and Chapter 7: Tolerable Pricks’
Last July, I decided to return to the idea of “regular articles” here at GS. The plan, as outlined there, changed a bit and we ended up with just The Boble on Wednesdays and the Sunday Archives.
Now I’m adding to the idea, because I love programming articles a year in advance.
Ah, winter’s angry hold has finally broken. The first signs of Spring in Washington are upon us – namely, fleets of landscapers out preparing our corporate greenspaces for the warm weather.
Whilst they labor with their hoes and clippers, surrounded by bags of mulch and soil, I’m somewhat nostalgic about my own attempt to change my direction in life.
Well, still coming down from all of the nail-biting freakout that circles around the production of a book. Now sitting around, powerless, still nail-biting, waiting for inventory to arrive at the distribution center. I remain convinced that something will fuck up, because…well, everything always fucks up.
Continue reading ‘Big Darkness’
Oh my god! I think my brain is dead. But I did it – our latest book hit the printer on Friday morning, and now I just have to sit back, drink vodka, and wait for the proofs…