Monday, January 24, 2011

Coming soon...

I'm polishing up an old novel. A generous friend just read the manuscript and pointed out inconsistencies and a few out-of-order scenes that I'm in the process of fixing. The story has been essentially complete since the 1990s and once had an agent but not a publisher. One small publisher did say he wanted it, then went out of business instead. After that, one thing led to another--you know how it goes--and for a long time I'd largely forgotten about the project. So I'm going to self-publish it soon. You could call it an ethnic murder mystery, since the protagonist is a Cambodian homicide cop. So whatever else readers might say about it, they're not likely to call it trite.

Sunday, January 02, 2011

An uncommon sight

Temps dropped into the high teens last night and didn't climb out of the 20s until well into today. Meanwhile, an automatic sprinkler went on down the street from us. I hurried on down with my camera and found two other folks with the same idea.

My Dad used to take his camera everywhere and made pocket change selling photos to the local newspaper in Massachusetts, so that inspired me to do the same with this one. Who knows if the Las Cruces Sun-News will use it, but ice is something of a phenomenon in these parts.

A photo can spark memories and inspire a writer to record them. Dad chased many a fire in his day, and I recall seeing old black and white photos of burnt-out houses coated in ice, or firefighters with icicles hanging from their hats and fire hoses. He'd spend hours in his dark room, developing prints that smelled of acetate and placing them between soft towels to dry. When he died, his prints and color slides stayed with Mom in dusty closets, drawers, and cabinets. When she died, they all wound up with me. Unfortunately, Dad didn't label many of them, and I can only guess at the ages and locations. He left behind a glossy 8 x 10 portrait of four young men who were members of a band. They were all dressed up in plaid jackets and skinny ties, smiling at the camera. I can picture Dad with the camera on his tripod, barking instructions on how to pose. He was quite a curmudgeon, and many people found him hard to like. Anyway, in this particular print,  one of the young gents has his hands by his side and is giving my Dad the finger.