a weblog for readers and writers

Tuesday, June 27, 2006

Simon Still Rhymin'

Paul Simon kicks off his 2006 Surprise tour in Columbus, Ohio tomorrow. I'll be there, front row, center stage.

The next day, I'm going to Cleveland (not Graceland), where Paul continues his tour in the hometown of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. I scored second row seats for that show.

Why is Paul Simon featured on this writing-focused weblog? Because despite his knack for surrounding himself with diversely talented backup musicians, Paul Simon's true talent is in his ability to write poetry. And after fifty years of writing and composing, his voice remains fresh.

On a related note, two newspaper editors expressed interest in a feature story on my Graceland-style pilgrimage. It'll take hours of research, trekking to these concerts with my Simon-loaded iPod, but I'm dedicated to my craft.

To sample Paul Simon's new Surprise, visit his website.

Friday, June 23, 2006

The Restless Writer

For father's day, my daughter and son (with a little help from their mommy) presented me with Paul Simon's Surprise inside a handsome manuscript box. The manuscript box is shaped like an oversized book of dark wood, with brass hinges and a nameplate on the front where a book title would normally reside. "It's for Tracks."

Tracks is the novel in stories I've been revising, editing and polishing. The gift of this box reminds me that sometimes you've got to stop tinkering and print the manuscript. A work of fiction breathes -- expands and contracts with editing and rewriting -- and is never really complete. I've heard authors reading from their published books at lecterns, editing their own "finished" work aloud, finding better ways to express what they'd already committed to print. For the restless artist, art never rests.

The manuscript box sits empty on my desk, near my laptop, hungry. It's time to print Tracks and feed the box.

Tuesday, June 20, 2006

Freedom Part 2: The Story Continues

The second installment "Freedom" has been published in Coloquio. Join the newsletter's 800,000 readers by visiting the link below. If you missed Part 1 or want to review, there's even a convenient link to last month's installment. The installments are short, designed for online reading, so don't worry about finding time -- just plunge in now!


Thursday, June 15, 2006

Shakespeare's Bad Side

Think form rejection letters are bad? Just be glad you don't have Shakespeare as a critic! "Thou crusty botch of nature," he said. "(Thou hast) not so much brain as ear wax." He could be rather harsh. "(Thou) hath more hair than wit, and more faults than hairs, and more wealth than faults."

Check the link below, where Shakespeare will be happy to taunt you with lines like "There's no more faith in thee than in a stewed prune," "(Thou art) a wretch whose natural gifts were poor," and "(Your) brain is as dry as a remainder biscuit after a voyage."

"Methink'st thou art a general offence and every man should beat thee." More literary insults await!