Life

Lost Benjamin Franklin Limerick – to William Dawes

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For those following the Palin historical fiasco over Paul Revere’s ride, just a quick note. Paul Revere rode off got distracted, and was captured by the British … but he got all the credit… another guy, William Dawes, ALSO rode out yelling “The British are Coming” with a much different outcome…he actually completed the job. Such is the fickle finger of history. I was rustling about some old parchments and suddenly – I felt the presence of Benjamin Franklin…I grabbed my ball-point quill and began to scribble…

There once was a fellow named Dawes,
Who rode off on his horse for a cause.
But a guy named Revere
Hollered HEY! OVER HERE!
And made off with the fame and applause

BF (poorly channled by DNW)

Kindle Star (With a nod to Nickelback)

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SUNG TO THE TUNE OF ROCKSTAR – by Nickelback 

 

I’m tired of writing for publishers who never give in,
I’m a genius, they don’t see it and I just can’t win
this famous writer gig ain’t turned out how I thought it’d be…

I want a mega-best-seller on the New York Times list,
with some killer cover art no one could ever resist,
and a glass-fronted shelf for my books so everyone can see…

I want a new bookcase full of old first editions
and a Mont Blanc pen with some gold ink in it
and a hot librarian to keep it polished up for me…

I want to sign some books, and trade ’em for money,
and a bunch of author groupies who will call me honey,
and my whole life’s work made available fully digitally…

I want to trade this life for fortune and fame,
I’ll even comb my hair and dress up lame,

 

Cause we all just wanna be Kindle Stars
and write a pile of bestsellers from the stools of bars,
Every new ereader’s gonna have my books,
and I’ll be on the menu of all their Nooks

And I’ll hang out in the coolest blogs,
with their kid’s bat mitzvah’s and their cool loldogs,
every avatar you see will be my cover art,
while they’re waiting for the day when the blog tour starts…

and we’ll cruise You Tube and the Web-TV,
Fill everybody’s monitor with videos of me,
hit the Twitter and Facebook and the online mall,
everybody has my address saved in Paypal…
oh yeah, I wanna be a Kindle Star.

Sung to the tune, you know?  Maybe I’ll get the guitar out someday and record it … Meanwhile, you can go to AMAZON.COM and the DNW LINKS and make it happen for me…

 

From the Past …D. G. K. Goldberg Interviews Me…

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This is another excerpt from my Live Journal back in the day.  One of my friends – someone I lost back then, D. G. K. Goldberg, she of the sharp wit and love of NASCAR, sent me some questions one day as a sort of “challenge,” or “meme,” or whatever.  I answered them…this is what I said.  I’m saddened to see that some oriental spam-bot website has assumed control of the url dgkgoldberg.com – but in actuality, I can imagine what she would have said/written about it, and smile…

 

Current mood: amused

Current music: Still Nick Cave…

Questions From dgkgoldberg and answers from Me

 

This is a five question “challenge” sort of interview spawned in the live journal of dgkgoldberg I decided to post her questions and my answers here so everyone could share in the nonsense. Besides, I almost never get interviewed….

1. What do you know now that you wish you had known when you started writing?
This is obviously a trick question assuming that I know things now. I can hardly even figure out where to START an answer, because if I’d known any particular thing, all the other things that led up to me knowing the rest of what I know would be skewed. I guess that if there was one thing I sort of hoped to be true at the beginning, but know to be true now, it’s simply that I am good enough to do it. The writing, I mean. When I started outI was not good enough – I was the best who ever lived and would soon eclipse everyone. Now I know that the truth is simply that I have some things to say, and a way of saying them, that people are interested enough to read, and in the end, it’s better than eclipsing things would be. If you cause an eclipse, one side of you always gets burned.

2. What is the one item for resale that you would most like to come across and resell?
There are a lot of things that would fall on the most like to find column, but the hard part is making yourself resell. I think if you are talking actual items that really exist, I would like to find that last existing copy of The Declaration of Independence that is still missing. Why? Not because it’s the most valuable thing I could find, because it isn’t, though I’d be rich for the rest of my life after selling it. The reason is because I’d like to hold it in my hand, read the words inscribed there for myself, and then – when I got the chance to return it to the country and to whatever weasel-snouted politician is currently called Mr. President to his face and a laughingstock on the Jay Lenno show, I’d get the chance to commentate. I have a lot to say about the Declaration of Independence, the rights of Americans, and the country in general, and I think if I found and resold that particular piece of parchment, I might get the chance to make those comments, and actually have a few people hear them. It would be spitting in the wind, but at least – for a change – it would be my spit.
Barring that, there are some lost films that no copies of have survived that it would be cool to locate in a frigid vault somewhere.
If you allow the fanciful, I’d probably take something simple like The Holy Grail, or Jesus’ actual remains – both of which would be worth enough to bankrupt the Catholic church. I remember what happened when a guy found that body in a novel called “Another Roadside Attraction,” though, and it might be more trouble than it’s worth.
3. What is the one thing that if you came across it at a yard sale you would most fear?
Hmm. A lot of things would bring downright terror, but the question says specifically at a yard sale. Again, you open two doors with one question. Should I be artsy and interpret this to mean anything real or fanciful, or should I interpret it as straightforward and pertaining to something one might find at a yard sale.
Cursed objects would bring me that fear, particularly if the person ‘s item was up for sale because the curse took them out. Let’s do this with a bulleted list, all organized and some junk:
· A painting of myself, beginning to molder right where my hair is thinnest on top? · A cheesy romance novel with #1 Bestseller at the top, a raunchy pirate bending back a buxom maid with my byline on it in a dusty box of books I didn’t write, dated 3001? · A sealed, carved box with a label that says “If found, please return to Pandora”· Any relic or holy object that proved the narrow-minded Christians have been right all along.· Any relic or holy object that proved Christians were, without a doubt, absolutely WRONG, because it would be like a train wreck. I would have to buy it, and I would have to make it known, and they would kill me, as they have so many others – not to protect their faith, but to protect their power.

4. Which writer who has not been alive in your lifetime would you most like to spend an evening with?
It I only get an evening, I would have to go with Byron. I love his poetry, and only the dim among us don’t know he has inspired everyone up through Stephen King. He wrote about vampires, and he provided us with lines like, “She walks in beauty, as the night…” while instilling Polidori with dreams of Dracula, and Mary Shelley those of Frankenstein. He played Cricket though he was lame, and drank like a fish (thankfully before there was any driving to be done, and in any case, he was rich enough to BE driven). I think the night would be memorable, and if he can send others off with the inspirations that became classics, why not myself?
Many who know me would have guessed the Marquis de Sade, who, while a horrible author of porn and nonsense, was also a brilliant man, but I suspect he wouldn’t have been much fun at dinner, and I’d hate to think what sort of entertainment he might provide.
5. If you had to be a character in a book and live it out as it was written who would you be and in what book?
I could cheat again. I could say Judas Iscariot from “This is My Blood” – my own novel, because I would be the real hero of the gospel, and being a vampire-born-of-fallen-angels would still be alive to tell the tale, but that would be wrong.I think I’d have to say I’d like to be Roland of Gilead in King’s Gunslinger novels. He’s a hero, and a desperado, an asshole, and a legend. He had abilities and memories that others can only dream of, and his destiny? To save not only this world, but all worlds…or die trying. He has loved, been loved – yep. Roland of Gilead for me.
Of course, I wouldn’t turn my nose up at being Harry Potter, though his life tends to suck at times. (Don’t’ they all?).
DNW

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This is the entry I made long ago about Bunting Miles’ tombstone, which does, indeed, still live in our living room, propped up against the NEW fireplace.  It’s an interesting story.  We have since learned that he was probably a laborer, a black man living in a portion of Norfolk that used to be called something else.  We have not been (quite) able to track relatives.  He is welcome right where he is, if he traveled with the stone.  We’ve had some odd, ghost-like goings-on near where the stone has been placed for years…anyway, here’s what I wrote a few years back:

deep_bluze (deep_bluze) wrote,
20040305 08:41:00
Current mood: awake
Current music: Bauhaus – 1979-1983 – Volume II

I own a tombstone. It isn’t MY tombstone, but it does live in my living room (perhaps not so well named), propped against the fireplace in the main living room where all our most precious, gaudy, and should-be-living-in-a-Victorian Whorehouse furniture, gold gilt, dark velvets, old wood are kept. And Bunting. Bunting Miles, to be precise.

Years back, my good friend Richard Rowand came to visit. Richard was then editor of a sci-fi mag called STARSHORE – four glorious, full-color national distribution issues, one of which carried “A Candle in the Sun,” My first really big sale, the story that was reprinted in Karl Wagner’s Year’s Best Horror (despite his threat never to print anything with a vampire in it) and later became This is My Blood, my first critically acclaimed work (that no mass-market place will touch, despite the great PW review). But that’s neither here nor there.

Richard came to visit me in a house I’d just bought at the time (long gone down the drain of bad marriage and bankruptcy). He brought a house-warming gift. Sort of.

He brought me a concrete tombstone. It is so old the material threatens to crumble slowly away. It is marked, simply, Bunting Miles – who died in 1867 ( or it could be 1857, I will put up a picture, eventually). I have searched the net. I have contacted the freaking MORMONS who have a great database for this. I have consulted libraries, the 1870 census, have discussed it at length over food and wine and whiskey and I cannot find a trace of this man. I do not know who he is, where he came from. I have his tombstone. Every year I put lilies on it and drink a glass of cognac while I’m watching them wilt.

The tombstone came in a load of fill dirt. The fill dirt was delivered to Richard’s neighbor, and when he went to spread it, there was the stone. The dirt came from either Portsmouth VA or North Carolina. It was delivered to Virginia Beach. The neighbor, knowing Richard was “Strange,” brought it to him. Richard’s wife, who is NOT strange, consigned it to his garage, and later on, just wanted it gone. Thus it passed to the next strangest acquaintance up the chain. Me.

The fact is, it probably leaped and bounded its way to the top of the strange pile, because I kept it. I have tried to find its original home.

I’ve had it suggested that this was the marker of a freed black slave, or a native American. I have had it suggested the fill dirt actually came from the ballast in the bottom of a cargo ship and could be European. Many scenarios have been offered. At one point I was nearly certain I’d nailed it down to a freedman who worked a farm in Virginia who actually worked for an ancestor of mine, but that fizzled.

I intend, when time permits (soon I hope) to put a link from www.deepblues.net called the Hunting Bunting page with all pertinent info in pace. I’d love to bring him home.

If not, there’s probably a book in the hunt somewhere…

DNW

Browsing Through Time…

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Today I decided to try and go back through my old Live Journal in search of the first time I mentioned a particular project.  That project, a three-way collaboration that is very important to me, turned out to date all the way back to December of 2003.  In fact, it dates back to about a week before Katie was born – because when I found it, I also found another memory – the realization that Trish and I were going to create a life together…a collaboration of a much more intimate and important kind…still in progress, and doing very well, in case you wonder.

I discovered a lot of things digging through all those years of blog posts.  I found, for instance, that I used to post every day.  I always talked about writing, because I was always writing.  We were in our “American Pickers” stage, using eBay and local auctions to fill in the gaps in our ability to pay bills – so there were descriptions of antiques and collectibles.  I actually reviewed every CD in my collection (at least the ones I had at work) which was about 200 reviews…four or five a day.

Now I post irregularly.  I write the same way.  I am caught up in ghost-writing projects to supplement our income, which takes up a lot less of our house than the eBay business did, but also takes up a lot of creative energy…and I post about publishing.  Digital publishing, audiobooks – I’m caught up in a whole lot of new things that I hadn’t even dreamed up back in 2003.

I’m going to go digging some more and find some of the cool things I posted back then…and share them here.  I’m also going to try to be more “in the moment” – more creative, and more “real.”  AND…

If that one author out there who could finish the project I went all the way back in time to discover the roots of sees this (unlikely as he is immeasurably more famous than I am and incredibly busy) I hope he finds the other half of the words needed for the last story in that book…

I want to see it published…and to see what people think.  I finished my five stories for the book back in 2005 – and I have records (in the Live Journal) of the process of writing most of them.  Those are five stories no one has read…and that makes me sad…because it’s readers that matter.  Writers are a dime a dozen…

-DNW

Moving, Changing, Feeling the Flow

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New Digs During Construction

There are two more days until we uproot everything we own and move it about twenty minutes away from where it now rests. That probably seems a lot less significant when you put it that way than it really is.  Honestly, we’re moving from a 100 year old historic home to a brand new home.  We’re going to save a lot on utilities and taxes.  We’re going to halve all commutes and school trips.  We’re going to have a house without drafts, where the doors and windows work…there are are many other things.

As a writer and publisher, I hope it will free up more time, help me organize the clutter, and in general give me a better attitude.  All of these are productive things moving into a new year.  I hope it will bring more serenity to the family.  I hope we’ll like the new place, the neighborhood, and the situation.  I don’t know where my computer will sit, or where I’ll write – that will be new.

Still, I can’t imagine anything more refreshing than a total reboot, and that’s basically what has been accomplished here.  I won’t take much credit for it – Trish worked long and hard to find a place; providence dropped buyers into our lap in a market when we had no good expectation of finding one…the stars apparently aligned.  I’m good with that.

Exciting things will happen with publishing this year – both digital and audio – and if all works out, even some print.  Who knows?  Maybe the long-awaited book featuring myself and Neil Gaimain writing fiction inspired by the art of Lisa Snellings will happen.  I believe it might…we are one story away, and Neil has begun writing it.

For now, I have to wait.  In a few days, we’ll be in a new place.  I’ll have more to say then.  For now, I will fill the hours with the current ghost-writing project and some publishing catch-up…

Change that makes a difference…

-DNW

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