The Poetry of Winter Driving (a haiku)

I had forgotten the thrill

Of a four-way stop

On a hill coated with ice.

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Eli’s Coming

Apropos of nothing, I thought I would share with you something that has been lurking in the back of my mind for several years now. I’m sure that every fiction writer dreams of his/her stories being adapted to either small screen or big screen, but I’m not sure how many of them daydream about possible “extras” to put at the end of the final credits, for the benefit of those who stay all the way to the end.

I am one of those few. Since the Makkarios series was initially envisioned as an anime, this is what I had in mind for the end of the credits of the second installment: the men of the team as a band, performing “Eli’s Coming” (for obvious reasons). Rai would be the lead vocalist, of course, with Lavi as second vocalist and keyboard player; Tru would be on electric guitar and vocals, Damek on bass, and Ronin on drums. It amuses me now that, whenever I hear the song “Eli’s Coming,” this is the scene in my head. For those of you who have never heard the song, I refer you to the Youtube clip below.

Lost for Words

Now that the Makkarios series has been made available on the iBooks platform, I have turned my attention to the same for the Last Book of the Kings series. Several years have passed since I last revisited the first volume of this series, The Keeper House Unending — the first of all my novels, in fact. Now that I’m looking at it again, I’ve discovered that I have a problem.

[So embarrassing!] It is terribly obvious that a seventeen-year-old wrote this. I can hardly read it without flinching. Or squirming. Or both, to be honest, though I’m not sure how that actually works in physiological terms. It is almost as bad as the time I rediscovered the spiral notebooks of my actual first novel, which will never see daylight unless in those few moments while I try to get the match to ignite against the matchbook cover. Those I wrote when I was fifteen and, though technically they qualify as plain teen fiction, are far more of a fantasy than any speculative fiction I’ve written since then.

So I find myself wondering the following: does this mean that I have grown as a writer? Or have I just grown as a critical reader? One can recognize literary rubbish without being able to write good stories, after all, just as a music lover can detect bad pitch without being able to sing a note. And so the natural contemplative’s eternal process of self-examination goes on…

But in the meanwhile, for those of you who have an active life outside that of the mind, I have begun an experiment in nonfiction. It is called the One Word Devotions series and will consist of brief “exegetical” devotions, intended to instruct as well as to give fodder for the meditative processes. You may find it here on Amazon; it will not be made available in ebook format, because that defeats the purpose of the book.

reminder_cover

First wave: H. M. Snow stories on iBookstore

We have begun! Now The Genesis of Max Variel and the first two books in the Faerie Tales for Travelers trilogy are available for purchase on iTunes!

Ultra-short story

Reggae Rope Monster: A True (?) Story

I had an urgent noontime appointment to keep and only just enough time to get there from work without any delays when I noticed the car ahead of me, a red hatchback. The hatch stood wide open, revealing a bewildering jumble of items crammed into the back of the vehicle. All that restrained the mess was a length of yellow nylon rope tied so slack that its middle waved as much as its loose ends did. That is so useless, I thought.

The upper end bounced and bobbed, an untidy clump of rope-ends like dreadlocks around the heavy knot that anchored them. Longer ends, maybe three or four of them, danced around the middle, flying upward with every bump in the road. Their undulations looked so free, so carefree, that I felt mesmerized.

One piece of the jumble slid toward the open hatch. I stepped on the clutch, ready to slow down and avoid the debris, but it never came. I accelerated with caution, thinking the object was just delayed in falling, but when I got nearer, I could see that everything was in place as it had been. Peculiar, I thought.

The traffic signal ahead turned red. We slowed to a halt in tandem, the hatchback and I. The dancing nylon rope sank into fitful rest, but an occasional ripple ran through it when the wind gusted. I rolled down my window to catch some of the chilly autumn breeze. From the red hatchback ahead of me, I heard strains of reggae tossed here and there by the wind.

Then the traffic signal turned green. The hatchback rolled forward, dislodging two or three objects from the jumble. This time, I was near enough to see the waving rope-ends gently tap each item back into place, always maintaining the buoyant reggae rhythm. One rope end waved at me.

The driver behind me honked irritably at me, and I remembered to drive through the intersection. My appointment took me to the next right turn, which I almost missed because my attention still clung to the strange dancing rope creature that guarded the open hatchback. I have almost no recollection of the meeting I attended that day, but every time I hear a strain of reggae or see a red hatchback on the street, I remember that curious creature, the Reggae Rope Monster.

Faerie Tales for Travelers now available for Apple users!

If you read your books on iPhone, iPad or Mac, just click here for the iBooks edition of Faerie Tales for Travelers! (Apple ID 1151215308)

Free iBook “Dominion” now available

The novellas and The Genesis of Max Variel are taking rather longer than anticipated to post to the iBooks platform, but the free novella ‘Dominion’ is now available for Apple users to download to iPhone, iPad, or Mac.