Friday, December 15, 2017

'Build, Break, Rebuild' — a free novella on WattPad.

During National Novel Writing Month, I completed over 30,000 words. The result is an anti-racist. anti-fascist novella (not Antifa, who advocate anonymous violence) novella titled Build Break Rebuild. Which started out as a chapter for the novel I've been hammering away at, called Livewire Voodoo, but soon took on a life of its own.

I'm nearing the final edits and will print galley proofs for family and local writers group members in January. If you're interested, I am posting it on WattPad for free (available here) as I complete my edits. With a caveat: there may be tiny errors in this text, which is often a little out of sync with my Word document. And even that is not perfect.

When done, I'll make it available on Kindle and remove the text from WattPad.

As a thumbnail, it's sort of like a literary Bruce Springsteen of Run DMC song. For more detail, here's a stab at the blurb. 

It's 1978, and Frank has it all: a great wife, a solid family, and a job he loves as an ironworker, raising buildings in the booming rustbelt for an owner whom he respects. Smooth sailing. Until his boss stirs racial animosity causing tempers to boil.

Thing is, as a WW2 Vet, Frank can handle fisticuffs. He's used to standing on his own, fighting the good fight, but fighting that fight grows thornier by the minute. The cops are looking for him. His wife boots him because of that. And if that's not tough enough, a schizophrenic street vendor sends him tumbling twelve years into the past, and into the middle of Cleveland's explosive Hough Riots.

Things ain't never easy for working stiffs. 

Thursday, December 14, 2017

I'm Smart... But Kind of Dumb

Picture of an embarrassed man.
Embarrassed (and eating crow)
I’m smart. Not Stephen Hawking smart, but I received a good education and have a solid grasp of basic knowledge. In fact, my brain teems with trivia, leading my family to suggest I try out for Jeopardy. So I’m used to being right about facts. But a recent public error left me red-faced after I spent a few moments arguing an incorrect “fact” — which cannot be a fact if it’s false by definition.

Anyways, here’s the story. During a writer’s group meeting, I read from a burial scene set in November from a novel-in-progress. Death is hard to write about without sounding maudlin, so I wanted feedback, hoping I dodged melodrama. Based on group comments, I succeeded.

Things ripped along, encouraging me, until a group member. a published mid-list military historian of some repute, cleared his throat to make an editorial observation. The text included this line: “A flock of geese honked north.”  We live in northeastern Ohio, he pointed out, so our geese fly south during the winter.

Monday, January 9, 2017

Fake News and Post-Truth: Does truth matter… or even exist?


“Does truth exist?” When I stumbled on this question on GoodReads forum, I rolled my eyes. Sophomoric, dorm room rap-session stuff.  But the more I thought, the more I realized the inquiry relevant in contemporary “post-truth” society, rife with “fake news.”

 My take is that facts matter since they get us closer to reality.  So by ignoring facts, fake news is dangerous. You cannot even run a household without facts. Like your checking account balance and electric bill amount.