Wednesday, August 1, 2007

This Month's Exciting Goals

Time to do this again....

Exercise: walk at least five times a week, and do weight cycle at least two times a week. I had this theory about being in better shape before going to see my parents in September.

Listen to self-hypnosis tape for anxiety, also advisable if I'm flying in six weeks.

Read: Middlemarch by George Eliot. I've been trying to read one big honking book each summer to get through August. Previously I tackled Les Mis and Proust. (That's right, I've actually read Remembrance of Things Past all the way through and I'm a lit major and all.) But I owe this one to Dr. Loesberg, my old lit prof. One of the first podcasts I listened to when we got broadband was his appearance on the Diane Rehm show in DC talking about Middlemarch. It's got to be easier going than Proust. If I have time, I'll try a writing book and rereading Barbara Hand Clow's Heart of the Christos.

Writing: Keep up with Musing Pens, and my new, very demanding crit group, Long Story Short's My Writing Friend. Three drafts of one poem and one short story, and critiquing half a dozen other people's stuff. The goal of LSS's group is to get you published. From the last two week's participation, I already have a poem the moderator thinks I should submit. So I need to get it together and submit it, first to LSS's magazine.

I started doing ten-minute writing for CC (Coach Creative) Space's Thirty Days of Creativity Challenge. My attendance has been spotty, but I can see where simply showing up at the page may lead to other things.

Here's a mini-noir from a prompt, "Take the B Train:"

It don't mean a thing 'cause it aint got that swing... I was thinking this while watching Flo Edwards bump and grind her way through an Ellington rhythm number. There's being fashionably behind the beat, and then there's missing the express entirely. So I turned back to my unfortunate bourbon--Leo said it was top shelf, but the way it lay on my tongue was unmistakable. Like soggy industrial carpeting. The whole evening was turning out to be watered down. Flo launched into an ill-advised rendition of "Cry Me A River" to keep with the waterlogged theme and I was humming Benny Goodman's "Goodbye" all the way out the stage door, where the hophead drummer's anxious beat was the only thing I could hear.

I lit a cigarette to burn off the stench, and was glad to have escaped into the alley. The alley was no great shakes, either, but I could hear myself think. A distant wail told me "Lips" Lipman had launched into a trumpet solo--she must have made it all the way to through one chorus.

"What are you doing out here, Ned?" Caught red-handed by Flo.

"Could ask the same of you."

"I'm singing in there."

"Really. You've got eight more bars 'til you're back on."

"Nah, he'll take another solo." Her arms wrapped around that rack of hers like she was cold. It pooked the bones in her bodice out and showed me her assets. Give it to Flo--she couldn't hold a note if her life depended on it, but her landscape was great. The white satin number was a mistake in this heat--you could see the sweat stains from here--and the gardenias in her hair were turning. She was going through a major Lady Day phase, her self-tan splotchy. Suddenly I forgot to be a music critic, and remembered what a good-hearted kid she was. And a great roll in the hay....

Which reminds me, I'm also test driving Dan Goodwin's Procrastination course...I really must keep from putting that off further :)

1 comment:

darlene said...

Wow. Love it. That piece with Flo - damn good. As usual. You are starting to depress me, kid. Thank god we're not competing in the same genres!