When I talk about meeting my muse, I want you to understand. I do not refer to something a guitar-carrying (though not playing) hipster might say trying to wrangle his way into a co-ed’s bed. I am talking full-on Ancient Greek Goddess (though I haven’t yet figured out which one, since the novel didn’t exist when the Muses were extant). But, extant they still are. Continue reading
Last week, a friend of mine emailed me and said if I did an article on little-known European authors, he would give it a bump on the Red Lemon Twitter feed. Drive some traffic my way, spread the word about writers most people have never heard of. I thought this was the definition of a win-win. Because, if it’s one thing I know, it’s European Modernist writers.
When I went back to College of Charleston, I took Ancient Greek because that was the start of the Western Literary Tradition. Slowly over the years, I have been reading my way from that time to ours. Not everything, of course, there is never enough time for all the books (that will be my epitaph). When I got to the modernists, I got stuck. Yes, given my degree in English Literature, I am very familiar with the British and American writers of the time. But then I went across the channel.
What I have found has consumed my time for the last five years. Italy, Germany, France, Norway, Czechoslovakia, Spain, Austria, Russia, dozens and dozens of writers spanning decades inventing, adopting, discarding different styles of writing. A true feast of the literary arts. Continue reading
I can’t remember what model it was, but I do remember two things about it. It was made of metal with that particular pebbly coat of paint. Also I remember the sound it made. It was the first typewriter I ever struck a key on. As a child, many things of your parents and grandparents held a great deal of mystique. Even though I had no idea how to type, nor did I have anything in particular that I wanted to write, I enjoyed playing on that typewriter. The sound of an old manual typewriter is one of those pure sounds, like breaking glass or the scissors cutting paper. It is pure, unmistakable. Continue reading
In one of my first posts, I spoke about change and how people and companies handle it. We can see now that a vast majority of the people want the status quo to change but they are afraid that it simply won’t. The people who didn’t vote for Obama seem to have forgotten the recession was a long time in coming, that it was his fault. His supporters blame him for the fact that he hasn’t lived up to their ideological standard. Everybody is expecting change, in the economy, in politics and it appears it may not show up anytime soon.
Now loom darker clouds on the horizon-the dread double dip recession (key thunder-clap and spooky pipe organ music). I don’t agree. I don’t know if it could be called optimism or pessimism, but tend to agree with Larry Doyle’s assessment. We can’t be entering a double dip because we haven’t really come out of the first phase of the recession. Continue reading
Whenever politicians talk about Americans and the jobs they do, they always mention that the US has the highest productivity rate in the world. You would think this would be a good thing, right? I guess that all depends on who you are looking at and what you consider the roll of business to be.
One would think that as productivity rose, the workers who were being more productive would be able to see a greater increase in their wages. After all, If production increases while sales remain constant, then those things produced, whether goods or services, are going to cost less. This means increased profits for the business owners. But wages have not been linked to tremendous advances in technology that have made American workers as productive as they are. Continue reading
When I tell people I used to be in communications while I was in the Army, they immediately jump to what communications means today and in the civi world–PR and marketing.
That is not the case!
What I am talking about is the technological feat of communicating over long distances without the use of the internet, cell phones, satellites, land lines (aka telephones) or even smoke signals. When it was new it was called the Wireless, later it became known as radio. From the Korean War on it was known as RATT (an acronym for Radio And TeleType–the Army loves acronyms), which I must say has a bad-ass name. (Please recall the Rat Patrol.) Continue reading
Everybody is wondering where the jobs are?
Every time you see a story about why more hiring isn’t going on, the reporters always seem to be talking to this or that manager of a major investment firm. The lead figures of these investment firms always begin talking about companies levels of uncertainty, with Washington, with debt crisis in Europe, instability in the markets. See this.
But why aren’t they talking to the guy who owns the hardware shop down the road, or the steam cleaning service, or the dog grooming/boarding company or the widget manufacturer or any of the thousands of small business across the country that employ the vast majority of Americans. It isn’t because they can’t get loans; loan requests by business are down. And who needs a loan when American businesses are sitting on bucket loads of cash? Continue reading
I didn’t want to do it at first. Of course, I don’t actually remember this but both of my parents have told me this story on separate occasions. I simply didn’t want to read. Told them, I would have none of it. No surprise, really, as this behavior was to reproduce itself again and again. I imagine I saw my older brother and sister reading and simply said, if they are doing it, I won’t. At some point, say the older gen, they sat me down and told me I simply had to learn to read. It appears life hinged on it. Did I want to be some sort of hobo or something? Actually, that did kind of appeal to me back then. This kind of psychological gamesmanship often failed where my behavior was concerned. Later I was told if I didn’t start behaving, I would be given away to the gypsies. I was older then, perhaps 10 or 11, but old enough to know that, having seen Sophia Loren playing a gypsy girl, a potential existed there that I could enjoy. Continue reading
-Note: This post was one of my columns I did for the West Of community paper, written at the end of April, 2010 while still living in Charleston, SC. It is one of my favorites. Enjoy.-
Two nights ago I went into my backyard. It is difficult to spend time indoors during this time of year. I take some music, I take my sketchbook and utensils, I take a bottle of poetry. The backyard is my epi-centric zenith of creativity. I prefer to work by candle light, the ebb and flow creating highlights and shadows, flitting like so many thoughts through the mind. The wax flows quicker than, but much in the same manner as, a glacier.
I fire the wicks. Continue reading