Monday, September 2, 2013

Day 239 of the 365 Days of Blogging

The author, Dane F. Baylis






Not to be too cliched about this, but it was one of those days. The weather's been abnormally warm and humid for Southern California and, in a house without air conditioning, I'm reminded what it was like trying to sleep in New England summers. I woke up dragging ass with a laundry list of things to do.
The Editor-in-Wife was nice enough to suggest a little take-out for breakfast so we could save some time. My motorcycle, which is my main mode of transportation, is a little overdue for scheduled maintenance. Not wanting to face the ribbing for bringing it in to the shop in its road worn look, I spent most of the morning cleaning, polishing, and tightening.
Then there was the matter of a goose-necked faucet in the master bath which had sprung a leak right in the curve of the spout. So off to the big box store to spend a few bucks. Back at the ranch, the Editor-in-Wife had already cleared away the accumulated cleansers, toiletries, and first aid items from beneath the vanity. In I crawled and, with a minimum of foul language, changed out the faucet.
After that came a chore I haven't been looking forward to. The neighbor lady passed away recently and her husband is moving in with his kids. He offered the Editor-in-Wife a nice glass topped patio table and four matching chairs. She'd made arrangements to take a look at it today.
It's not that I've never dealt with death. Let's face it, if you've lived my life, and for this long, you grow used to that part. What I never can seem to do is find the words I feel I should have when talking to survivors. Again, thank god for the Editor-in Wife. She ran interference while I provided physical labor.
Finally, or at least prior to sitting down here, we worked on a short story I had promised to send to one of my contacts. If you don't have someone reading your work and offering input, find someone. I have an annoying habit of arguing over some of the more substantive changes the Editor-in-Wife suggests, but, in retrospect, I almost always agree with what she proposes. Her suggestions have made a better author out of me, even when I won't admit it right away.
In your writing, as in your life, there are some things you are good at and some things that take a little prodding to get through. The easier things are generally the most mechanical, while the hardest are the intuitive and empathetic things. If you stick with just the mechanical qualities, you'll probably get by - in life and in writing. But, if you just shut up and listen once in a while, and then act on the things you hear, honestly and with earnestness, you will probably become a more appreciative and appreciated human being and author.

There’s supposed to be a dependable gravity. A natural attraction through this passage of calendars. That keeps me from sliding away…Swooping through canyons, halls, or windowless rooms. Flitting up and down on the wings of a word borrowed for a moment from jealous ether, then spiraling gone like bebop and into wholly (as complete) or holy (as if any of us truly even then might comprehend such universes of falsehoods) or merely completely and we would be liars irreverent in a blaspheming surge of creative litany.

This…Plunging ride on a word wave…should be put aside to contemplate with atomic precision those imponderable realities of…How – and – When, this foolish mind will hush, this heart will cool and fade. Perhaps, but that depends on the sanctity tendered to each word. I have the acquaintance of the first…Lying like a tiger along my path, the mystery of stripes and dappled shadow, waiting for my back…Exposing the nape to sudden maw and ceasing…

All this, glimpsed in the universe of a blood drop, written as an inviolate description with all its proper measurement and severity. So simple is ‘HOW’. The WHEN left only as the steady tick, tock, ticking metronome to song and sonnet, overture and requiem…The wax to bind feathers and send a rhyme flying across a page - or a night - or a dream.

Knowing where the tiger hides, time becomes infernal, a beater gone ahead to scare up the beast when it must come. Unlikely there will be gun, or bow, or spear to offer chance to that moment of inevitable meeting, but move, I will, forward, I will, with my life’s resolution, I will…and I will bare my throat…and sing my way to nothing.
------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------, love, write.
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Dane F. Baylis

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