Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Stories in the mists...

Morning fog on Darrow Pond, East Lyme, Connecticut.

Believe it or not, this is not a black & white photo of a color world,
it's a color photo of a black & white world.

Thing One: I went to New York.
Thing Two: Really? What was it like? 
Thing One: I don't know, I didn't see it!

It was very foggy today in the Big Apple. (Seriously, does anyone call it that?) So while I spent the better part of a day in Queens and Long Island, I can't say as I once saw more than the shadow of a glimpse of the famed city skyline. Maybe next time.

We weren't there to sightsee. We enurned my wife's grandfather at Calvary Catholic Cemetary, which is a beautiful and haunting place (photos tomorrow for Wordless Wednesday). It all took several hours because of scheduling problems with the priest and the military honor guard. Which left the younger cousins and myself free to wander the aisles of weathered statues, taking pictures of marble angels and mausoleums in the fog.

Once again I was struck by how many people tell me that they would write a book if only they had an idea. Today was one of those days where I was surrounded by them. From the weathered statuary of the mausoleums to the names engraved in the granite, too weathered to be clearly read... there are stories everywhere. From the family that surrounded me and the elders that greeted me with the gravity and willingness to open up about the dim and fading past as befitted the occaision... there are stories everywhere.

Open your eyes, your heart and your ears.

My next novel came to me today. In total. I have only to write it down, dictation from my subconscious mind, distilled from a dozen conversations I've had over the past few days watering a nugget planted last winter in a conversation I had with my father right before he passed away. Or maybe it's just that New York really is a city with a thousand stories...

I'll be back in the Pac Northwest and writing about writing in nothing flat. I appreciate your patience as I sort through these things. So much has happened and I have so much to write about it that it's all at war in my head. As soon as something slips free from the melee and claims the flag, I'll let you know...

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Pages to Type is a blog about books, writing and literary culture (with the occasional digression into coffee and the care and feeding of giant robots).