Tuesday, February 21, 2012

The Big Ticket...

...alas, basketball playoffs are upon us, rendering my time limited at best. On a positive note, however, the longer my absence, may in fact represent my young team's successful tourney run ;) After all, we're a feisty bunch!

Just a quick reminder that we are but a few short hours from the anticipated ticket release of The Hunger Games, the theatrical version.

Having devoured all three novels quite some time ago, I'm cautiously optimistic that Hollywood can pull off a success. And yes, like a feverish teen riding the vibes of a high school crush, I've agreed to accompany the kids and wife on opening night.

Therefore, in honor of Suzanne Collins's big night, I've attached a link to "Katnissss..." a short story I penned some time ago involving the young huntress from The Games, and a pair of "pale-skins" from the Pacific Northwest by the names of Bella and Edward, (perhaps you've heard of them ;)

Having read the Twilight series as well, a fair amount of time was sacrificed playing around with a simple thought, "so what would happen if those vamps were to be on the hunt one day and find themselves within aim of an Everdeen arrow?

When released, this one ran amuck on Facebook for about a month, give or take, and remains one of the funner stories I've hammered out in recent memory.

Enjoy ;)


Monday, February 13, 2012

Game Day

...this is so cool.

Saturday afternoon. On the road. Game day.

Despite the sun's distant grin, the recent freeze has resulted in an ice-packed layer of crust holding firm to our corner of the world. But the roads are clear, the traffic steady, the car's heater keeping the frost at bay.

Aside from the purr of tires, the world has offered us a moment of peace.

Glancing into the rear view mirror, I spot my son in the back seat, head tilted, eyes focused on the passing scenery. But yet, not really.

His gaze seems to follow a row of naked elms as we cruise by, but if I were to ask him which one stood the tallest, he could offer me no more than a shrug. For while his eyes are aimed at the snow-covered landscape, his thoughts rest elsewhere.

Afterall, its game day.

I continue to watch him, an eleven year old now, a dusty blond, still wiry as a twig, but gifted with a burst that can't be taught. A set of thin fingers drum upon his thigh, as if feigning the play of an imaginary instrument. And if studied closely, one may catch the movement of his lips...thinking through the plays, the various scenarios he will surely face in less than an hour, when he steps onto the court.

I study his focus, the flush of his cheeks, and smile to the passing traffic, remembering my days in the game, so long ago.

The intensity of game day, of sweaty palms and twitching muscles. Pent up excitement, and those bursts of adrenaline. The magical sound of a leather ball slipping unscathed through an iron hoop. Swish!

Such fun that was, those days of competition. And yet, more than two decades later, the real fun is about to begin...

We pull into the parking lot. The engine settles to a hum. I twist around in my seat. "It's time, Son. You ready?"

A pair of eyes, green like the sea, lift their gaze from the pair of scuffed Reebok's on the floor, and offer me a twinkle.

"Let's do this."

El ;)

Thursday, February 2, 2012

...Playing Field

...in a few short days, the world as we know it will come to a grinding halt. Ever-present worries and tedious affairs being cast aside for an evening, as a multitude of countless observers lay siege to family rooms and man caves spanning the globe, all channels tuned to Super Bowl Sunday.

We set our ovens ablaze with pizza and bowls of festering chili. We stuff our faces, share some laughs, and cheer on as two rival combatants partake in good-natured bloodshed.

For they are the final two, dueling for the right to be the last man standing. They've accomplished what their opposition stumbled upon...survival. And regardless of Sunday evening's eventual victor, both teams have experienced that feeling of confidence. Of falling into a groove.

As writers, it's an experience worth treasuring. When every word is perfect, the diaglogue as natural as a conversation on a street corner, a performance worthy of tears.

I've read of storytellers being unable to remember penning a particular scene, their minds too engrossed in the drama being played out to focus on words spattering across the monitor. Throbbing fingers hammering on keys, where only the seizing of cramps can slow one's pace. Where days grow somber, and the hours pass to a sun's rise before one ponders as to wherever the night has gone.

For only then will we make it onto that playing field. Where the likes of Gaiman and King, Sandford and Clark, come out to play. To wine and dance. Speaking of such tales as "Neverwhere," and "Salem's Lot." Of "Horns," "Jonathan Strange & Mr. Norrell," and "The Story of Edgar Sawtelle," whispering of secrets that only those on the playing field have earned the right to hear.

Perhaps over time we'll get there. Perhaps not. I've heard them say however, those who've been there, whose creations have been deemed worthy, that we'll know it when it happens. When the story's ebb and flow is reminiscent of life itself, one built of extraordinary circumstance.

And when asked how to get there, how to reach that point of literary supremacy, the great ones, they all shrug and say, "Just keep writing."

Enjoy the game!