Thursday, November 1, 2012

We Are Now

 We Are Now has launched. A story a day, every weekday through National Novel Writing Month. My contribution is a serial novella called Helping Henry. Today's chapter, the first, is called Dinosaurs. Neil Vogler contributes a neat little bit of the old vino, and P.T. Dilloway pushes at the edges of reality and consciousness.

On November the sixteenth, I'll be reading from Helping Henry at Diesel Books in Oakland. Here are the details. And it will be possible to pre-order the e-book of We Are Now from Diesel, that night.


I can read at a bookstore, and the bookstore profits. Huh. Well, I did not know.

That's my name there, all right.

Oh, my.

I have a confession to make. I've been freaking out, and having mixed success in my attempts at avoiding self-sabotage.

That's because these stories weren't written for me. Most of my work has been done for personal reasons, and whether or not anyone else liked them was beside the point.

These were written to be read. These were written to entertain.

It matters to me whether or not people read and like these. I'm secure enough so I don't need the world to love them, but I'll be unhappy unless a few people I don't know take a shine to these.

It's a lot easier to think, "Fuck 'em if they can't take a joke," than it is to write a joke that makes them laugh, if you're a person of a certain nature.

So I'm actually vulnerable here. That's a new position for me, creatively.

The thing that gets me, is that I'll find out nothing today, nothing tomorrow. It won't be until after all this is done that I find out what it actually means, and until then, I live in world of fog and cobwebs.

Does this mean I'm a real writer now?

Monday, October 29, 2012

Breathing Water

So last night we went over to my sister's, and I drank a lot of wine and had a big dinner, and wound up getting one of my episodes of nausea.

This time, I tried handling things differently, and it went well. Rather than focusing on taking care of my stomach, I addressed the issue of stress. When I was in Dallas, I learned that laying in the shower and letting the tub fill up around me was an intensely comforting experience. Our tub is such that I can only fit half my body in at one time, and it's pretty uncomfortable, but the flow of warm water soothed me greatly, and as a result the nausea was minimal, and relatively brief-lived. The missus, bless her, kept asking me if there was any blood (no) and did I want her to take me to the hospital (no again).

This morning, I found myself with the chills and shakes, and I returned to the tub. I lay there for a couple of hours, water as hot as it could get, and after a time, I entered into a state of consciousness entirely new to me.

When my counselor read the stream-of-consciousness novel devoted to my experience of life, she was horrified at how painful and demanding it was. I am continually talking to myself, playing or composing mental music, throwing up images -- this is how I go to sleep, is to the continual flow of brain chatter.

But as I lay in the tub, body shifting as my buoyancy changed with my breathing, I went away. I found myself conscious of nothing but the water, and the ripples that ran through it. I was nothing but a tub of hot, cleanish water, and it was terrific.

I had no idea how much of a burden consciousness is.

I've never had any luck with traditional meditation forms due to my over-busy mind, but this struck me as very close to what I'd read about in the works of zazen practitioners, what I had previously failed to achieve.

My basic cycle runs from hysteria to collapse. It's interesting to contemplate the possibility of something gentler, at least here and there... and now? A little broth.