Wednesday, February 03, 2010

All Good Things: Or Almost All

Generally, good stuff going on at the moment. First, my mom had to have the batteries in her pacemaker changed yesterday. It’s supposedly routine, but nothing is quite routine when you’re 93. However, they didn’t have to put her under deep anesthesia and she came through fine and is already home. She has developed “Shingles,” but is being treated for that.

Second, Choice Words has been released by Borgo Press. The book is edited by Robert Reginald and is subtitled: “The Borgo Press Book of Writers Writing About Writing.” Besides the fact that I always enjoy seeing new books come out for writers, I also have three essays in the book. These are reprints. Two of them come from Write With Fire and the other from Writing in Psychology: A Guidebook. The last is a collaboration piece, of course, with Elliott Hammer and Du Bois Irvin.

Third, the new Illuminata is up and looks very interesting this month. My essay on “Evolution of a Genre” is included. You can download it for free here. If you haven’t signed up for the free newsletter you can also do so on that same page.

Fourth, I just finished reading J. Bruce Fuller’s 28 Blackbirds at the End of the World and I raved about it over on Goodreads. Below is what I said there:

I originally read this collection in manuscript form and enjoyed it very much. I gave the author a blurb, which appears on the back cover. Here's what the blurb says:

"J. Bruce Fuller's "28 Blackbirds" is to haiku what Cormac McCarthy's "The Road" is to apocalyptic novels. A masterpiece."

I stand by that.

The printed version has a great cover, as seen above, and contains a short introduction by the author. If you like haiku, especially connected haiku on the same theme, you will surely enjoy this book. All the haiku revolve around the theme of blackbirds surviving, and sometimes dying, at world's end.

Here's one of my favorites:

world burned black
the hearts of men are black
blackbird's eye is black

If you're interested in the collection you can get it from Bandersnatch Books

Fifth, the Saints are still going to the Super Bowl. And I think that’s enough good news for one day!


BernardL said...

It's always nice to read good news. The Haiku was very good.

Kathleen A. Ryan said...

So wonderful to hear good news! I hope your mom feels better real soon. Wow - 93! God Bless her!

Congrats on the publication of CHOICE WORDS - that's terrific.
I will check out your "Evolution of a Genre" essay - thank you for that.
J. Bruce Fuller must be thrilled with your blurb. Nicely done.

I'm not rooting for either team, I usually watch the commercials, but since you're a Saints fan, I'll be pulling for them! Enjoy it!

May your good news streak continue for years and years to come!

ivan said...

The good news keeps comin' and comin'.

I say, way to go!

Charles Gramlich said...

Bernardl, Yes, I love the repetition of black in so many ways there.

Kathleen, Thanks. Yes it would be nice if 2010 was just the year of good luck! I haven't gotten my copies of Choice words yet but am looking forward to seeing what other writers have said.

Ivan, thanks. It has been a pretty good year so far, although I've been awfully lazy too much of the time.

nephite blood spartan heart said...

Excellent I have soimne reading I'm gonna do right after lunch and get back to you about.

nephite blood spartan heart said...

some reading

Cloudia said...

Thanks for the tips for reading!
You sure are successful in my eyes.
Feel better, Mom

Aloha, Friend!

Comfort Spiral

Anonymous said...

I'm glad your mom is doing well.

Congrats on your essays coming out in Choice Words.

I'm going to go read Evolution of Genre

Issa's Untidy Hut said...


Sidney said...

Cool news on all fronts.

nephite blood spartan heart said...

That was a great article, funny how even who I think is one of my favorite genius writers, KEW, could be making that fundamental slip-up when it comes to readers.

jodi said...

Charles, Yay to Mom on the recharge! I've heard that shingles are VERY painful! Go Saints on Sunday! They should win just for the name!

Rick said...

Great stuff, Charles. I hope your mom is okay! I'll have to pick up a copy of "Choice Words." "Evolution of a Genre" sounds very cool. I'll check it out.

Charles Gramlich said...

David J. West, the Illuminata is a pretty good newsletter, especially being free!

Cloudia, thanks!

Christine Purcell, thanks. she seems to be feeling so much better today. Probably not being so worried, I guess.

Don, nuff said.

Sidney, yes, if only work hadn't sucked so royally today. guess you can't have everything.

David J. West, I always wanted to talk to KEW about that but never ran into him again. I think it was something of an attitude among editors at that time feeding off each other too. And KEW was such a fine editor, and great writer.

jodi, my son had the shingles once and found them pretty painful. I've never had them, but anyone who has had chicken pox can show them.

Rick, thanks. I'll do a report on the other pieces in Choice Words once I get the copy. I know you've already read the two pieces by me from Write with fire.

laughingwolf said...

glad mama is home again, safe and sound, charles :)

will look into the books...

Travis Cody said...

Excellent news all around!

And you remind me that I have neglected my Goodreads account.

Erik Donald France said...

That is all very good news indeed. Strangely enough, my mother was just treated for Shingles, too.

Congrats are in order for many things. Cheers to the Saints'

X. Dell said...

Looks like everything is going your way. Still, I'm betting on the Colts.

With respect to one of your earlier posts, I'd like to offer a thought in defense of cliche: in an age of narrowcasting and focus-group-demographic marketing, cliches might one day become the last bit of language we all share.

Besides, isn't berating cliches in itself a cliche?

cs harris said...

Charles, good to hear about your mom. And congrats on the publication of Choice Words!

Spy Scribbler said...

A whole lot of cool in that post!

I'm dying for that Blackbird book, for sure!

Bernita said...

A stellar and satisfying week, Charles. Congratulations.

Gary Dobbs/Jack Martin said...

Great that things are going well, my friend

pattinase (abbott) said...

My first thought is "get a shingle's shot" if you had chicken pox. I know so many older people who suffer with this and it is avoidable usually.
Glad February is turning out to be a good month for you.

the walking man said...

Charles if you are on a treadmill it certainly is producing some fine results.

I loved the haiku. It takes on more of the Japanese form than the Western and that is a fine thing.

Charles Gramlich said...

laughingwolf, yes, me too. I’m very far away from her so I can’t always be there when she has these issues.

Travis, I’ve been having a lot of fun on Goodreads.

Erik Donald France, hope your mom is recovered. And thanks.

X. Dell, I can visualize a story where two urban tribes meet in the future and can only communicate via cliché. That might make a good tale. And trust you to throw a “monkey wrench” into the works with your “isn’t berating clichés a cliché.”

Candy, thanks.

Natasha Fondren, I haven’t really seen much like that book in haiku. I think it’s a breakthrough perhaps.

Bernita, thankee!

Gary, ARCHAVIST, thanks, man.

pattinase (abbott), I had chicken pox but have never had shingles. I didn’t even know they had a “shingles shot.”

Mark, the treadmill analogy seems apt at the moment but the nature of teaching is that it changes.

Steve Malley said...

Your advice on writing is so good, I'm not surprised it keeps finding a wider and wider audience!


Charles Gramlich said...

Steve, you say the nicest things.

Greg said...

congrats on the new publications! enjoy the game Sunday... either way it looks to be a good one.

LoveRundle said...

You're right, mostly good things, but having the batteries changed would have made me nervous and my uncle-in-law's mother had shingles and they can get very painful. I hope she is staying comfortable.

As for the books! BOOH-YEAH!! As cyclops would say.

Charles Gramlich said...

Greg, I'm looking forward to the game big time!

Christina, her shingles haven't been bothering her too much, she said. It may be partly the relief for her of having the pacemaker change completed. She was really nervous about that.

SQT said...

I hope your mom is doing alright. I hear shingles can be painful.

Charles Gramlich said...

SQT, so far she hasn't had a lot of pain. I hope that continues. Thanks for your well wishes.

Anonymous said...

Great news. Love the title of your blog.

BernardL said...

One more thought on the Superbowl. I keep hearing the sports people wondering which Reggie Bush will show up for the Saints - the one who ran wild over the Cardinals or the one who played against the Vikings. I don't know what game they saw, but that squirming, reaching touchdown towards the game's end against the Vikings and Bush's earlier clutch catches were vital to the win. I guess those chuckle-heads think a running back can just show up and rattle off a couple hundred yards against anybody.

Charles Gramlich said...

And so our stories go, thanks for visiting. I appreciate the kind words.

Bernardl, I've been pretty impressed with Bush in general this year. He's really lowered his head and laid some wood. He's also a great decoy even when he doesn't have the ball. But yeah, people shouldn't expect superhuman things from him.

Lana Gramlich said...

I didn't know about "Choice Words"...did I? Congrats, hon. That's cool.

Charles Gramlich said...

Lana, I didn't mention the title to you, I don't think. It's those reprint articles I was talking about the other night.

j said...

Ha! Yes, the Saints in the Super Bowl is very good news.

Congrats on the publication. That is excellent.

Have a great weekend Charles. Geaux Saints!

j said...

I'm sorry, I forgot!! Prayers that your mother will get over her Shingles quickly. I've heard that is a fairly painful thing to have.

I'm glad she went through the battery change on her pace maker well.

sage said...

Congratulations on having essays published and may the Saints win (but I can't say that too loud as there are two folks in this house in love with that Manning guy)

Tom Bailey said...

If it were not based on location but based on musical tastes I would have had you pegged as a Raider fan.

Your haiku was excellent.


Randy Johnson said...

Best to your mother. Mine has been through shingles. She'll come through fine.

Charles Gramlich said...

jennifer, thanks. I've never had shingles myself but my son did and said it was pretty painful.

sage, yes, you're in Enemy territory. :) Actually most everyone down here loves Peyton too and the Mannings, since they grew up down here. Still, I'm rootin' for the Saints.

Tom Bailey, Yes, I'm not a big fan of Jazz, which is usually the local music of distinction. If you're talking about the haiku in the post, that is J. Bruce Fuller's. I wish I'd written it though.

Randy Johnson, thanks, my friend.

Leigh Russell said...

You've been busy, Charles. Good for you, and your feisty mum.

Charles Gramlich said...

Leigh, thanks.

X. Dell said...

Congrats to your Saints. Are you sober yet?

Charles Gramlich said...

X-Dell, I didn't even get drunk, my friend. I couldn't have said that if this had happened a few years back.

Merisi said...

I have been so busy this morning, I had only now time to look up the Super Bowl winner! :-))))

Peter Newland said...

Congratulations Saints Fans!

Enjoy it.

I was pulling for them also, since they had never been there before. I like parity.

Nice haiku there, also by the way. I'll have to check out that book.

Charles Gramlich said...

Merisi, yes, we're still walking on air here.

Peter, thanks, and thanks for visiting.

Vesper said...

All the best to your mother, Charles!

28 Blackbirds at the End of the World seems like a great book, starting with the title and the cover. What an interesting idea...