owls call the breathless moonchristmas 2014 – 1st entry
sunrise (pgh) – 7:35

dec-moonAI shot the image last Sunday morning; I was up early with the dogs. And there, as if hanging from the fire-escape, was the full moon. My favorite aspect of the image is that it came out as a black-and-white photograph. In the past to achieve a B&W effect, I’d strip all the color from and image, but the stripped image lost its contrast giving it a pale blurry finish. The outline is the west wall of the Mattress Factory.

I leave for my trek into the wilds of the Upper Peninsula and Northern Ontario later in the week. The weather forecast for the Gaylord and St. Ignace areas includes no snow. If this holds, it will be the first time in five years that I won’t have to deal with winter storms and dangerous driving conditions. Sault Ste Marie has had snow since the middle of November. But my dad says the city-roads are clear.

Have been spending my time writing opinion pieces and finishing a short-story. (18,000 words take up 90 pages double-spaced.) The first opinion piece is the posting – dual citizenship. It the posting opinion #1 in the footer. I am in the process of shopping it around. (Out of civic duty, I sent it to the local paper, but I hold up no hope with them.)

The second piece I’m trying to write is more an essay than an opinion. I want to write about finding the lead into a story, finding the character that can take me into the narrative. I’ve titled it Finding Vigil. The premise is that a person from one’s real life can act as the guide into a fictional narrative. And that the real-life person changes and becomes a fictional character as the narrative gets written.

The short-story took about four weeks. I write first in long-hand using an HB .9 mechanical pencil and after a couple of re-writes, word-process what is on the loose-leaf sheets. Every two or three day, I read the word-processed file out loud. Word-sounds and word-rhythms are critical for me and the reading aloud gives me a way of checking both. I also eliminate as many words as possible during the read-aloud. I believe writing should be free of words that don’t contribute to meaning. (I give myself license to add descriptive words when describing landscape.) A friend, that I did a lot of academic writing with, would always comment that my edits made the piece we were working on ping. I am proud of that comment.

The short-story is not ready to be sent out. I have about another two/three weeks of edits. I also need a title. (The working title – Year after Year – made sense when I first began, but by the end it no longer reflects the story. The working title along with the real-life person I used to lead me into the story got lost in the fictionalization.)