Thursday, April 23, 2015

A Pleasant Synchronicity

I had a somewhat surreal, but very pleasant, experience last night. I was invited to a pulp fiction reading group meeting at St. Joseph's Abbey and Seminary College. This is on the North Shore of Lake Pontchartrain, about a twenty minute drive from my house now. As I turned across the one lane bridge onto the grounds, I glimpsed a small lake/pond off to my right, with several stone benches located around it for meditation purposes. Although I thought I’d never been to St. Joseph’s before, I realized as I saw the lake that I had in fact been there, and that certain elements of the location had stayed with me for over twenty-five years.

A couple of years after I came to Xavier, probably about 1987/88, I went on a retreat with some other Xavier faculty to an abbey. We all rode together so I didn’t drive, and at that time I lived in the New Orleans area and had no idea what the “North shore” was. Years later, I still had pleasant memories of the peacefulness of the location and began using that remembered setting in a post-apocalyptic story called “The Razored Land.” I tried to figure out where the real location was so that I could do some research on it, but no one that I remembered from that retreat was still at Xavier so I had no luck finding the place. I went ahead and constructed the story with an abbey I called “St. Peter’s” as an important setting. 

Just a few weeks ago I submitted “The Razored Land” to a publisher and it looks like it will indeed be published (although I never count my chickens before they hatch). Last night, as I turned onto the grounds of St. Joseph’s, I realized I’d rediscovered that lost setting. It gave me a nice feeling of synchronicity. And, the pulp meeting and discussion went very well. It was extremely nice to talk about Robert E. Howard, and Lovecraft, and pulp fiction with folks I could physically set down at a table with. The group had wide ranging experience with the pulps. Some were extremely well versed while for others it was an introduction. It was certainly fun, though.


Thanks to Casey Edler for the invite. 

Also, by the way, I start giving final exams and getting final papers tomorrow so I will likely be largely out of touch on the blog until Wednesday of so of next week. I trust there won't be any blogpocalyse while I'm gone. I'm leaving Riot Kitty in charge until I return!

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24 comments:

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Congratulations, Charles! Hope that chicken hatches.
And what a time to find that lost setting again.

Robert said...

Coincidence: wife and I on (near) south shore last night for dinner at East of Italy, small hole in the wall in unlikely neighborhood but great eggplant parmesan sandwiches.

Good luck with finals. Hang in there. Finals for me end in two weeks. Then summer on the road.

Vesper said...

This is so incredibly cool! Surreal indeed...

Charles Gramlich said...

Alex, it was definitely pretty cool. gave me a good feeling.

Robert, summer of writing for me. I hope.

Vesper, yes indeed.

pattinase (abbott) said...

Sounds like the force is with you.

Cloudia said...

Such synchronicity stimulates creativity - or grows from it?




ALOHA from Honolulu,
ComfortSpiral
=^..^=

sage said...

Glad it all came back to you and congratulations on more publications!

Charles Gramlich said...

Patti, that would be nice for a change.

Cloudia, let's hope so.

Sage, thanks, man

Randy Johnson said...

Good post. And a nice find after so long,

Look forward to the story.

Prashant C. Trikannad said...

Deja vu, Charles? North Shore sounds like a very tranquil and my kind of place. Many congratulations on the impending publication of "The Razored Land." Look forward to reading it.

Charles Gramlich said...

Randy, hoping it will be out in a couple of months.

Prashant, lots of trees on the north shore. I really like being out in the country

Oscar said...

The first trip must have never left your subconscious. Congrats on the story.

Erik Donald France said...

That is the coolest ~! A return to Xanadu!

Love it ~ good luck with exam grading, always a treat . . .

Shauna Roberts said...

I've been to the abbey once or twice to hear concerts. Yes, a very peaceful setting, and a nice place to hear music. If I remember correctly, the chapel was beautiful.

Good luck with your book!

Ty said...

That's a nice coincidence. Congrats on reconnecting with a place that held an impression for you.

Bernard Lee DeLeo said...

A very memorable connection you will be able to recall at will now.

Charles Gramlich said...

Oscar, absolutely.

Erik, getting tired of grading already.

Shauna, I didn't get to go in the chapel this time and don't remember much about it from my first trip.

Ty, I liked it.

Bernard, yes indeed.

the walking man said...

Isn't life curious like that? i could use some of that magic when i see in my head a town with an old school cafe, grain silos competing with church steeples for the crown of tallest. here were chairs out along main street in the shady spots for folks to sit outside and talk about the crops or whatever. I can see it clear as day but not remember the where of it. Passed through about 75 or 76.

Aimless Writer said...

Finding a lost setting must be weird but incredible at the same time.
Good luck with publication!

Lisa said...

anywhere in America is beautiful and interesting and your description brings out that feeling of wanting to explore America

Charles Gramlich said...

Mark, There's a couple of places in Texas I wouldn't mind revisiting that are kind of like that.

Aimless writer, definitely a surreal experience.

Lisa, there is a lot to explore.

Greg said...

That's pretty cool. Always neat to rediscover something like that.

Riot Kitty said...

HAHAHA! Excellent, I'll try to hold down the fort ;)

Snowbrush said...

Where I'm from in Mississippi is so close yet so far in many ways from where you live. Which do you prefer, where you are now or where you're from in Arkansas?