Monday, January 26, 2015

One of Mine: Dysphoric Notions

Dysphoric Notions
Available here
Cigarettes and booze, cigarettes and booze, cigarettes and booze. What does it mean, suddenly, to be a mother fucker? What does it mean to change? Dysphoric Notions addresses this difference: is boring someone to death the same as fucking someone to death?

A bartender, a loose lawyer, a bookstore owner, a drought crusader, and a traveling chef grace the streets of Dysphoric Denver in this novel of latent self-realization and loss. Every character wants so badly to change, to grow, to leave, and some change by not changing at all. Dysphoric Notions enter the mind during the morning's hangover; after a neighborhood party in Denver, Colorado, and before making love to J.D. Salinger in a dirty sublet apartment just outside of Lisbon, Portugal.

Monday, January 19, 2015

One of Mine: From Ansbach to Color

From Ansbach to Color
There are ways to touch her, the best ways, the appropriate ways. Carmicheal knows it too. There are ways to climb the stairs, the quiet ways, the stealthy ways, stepping on the outside of each rise in elevation, the stairs. This way, there are no creaks as he climbs to Aisling's bedroom on the second floor landing. This way, they do not wake the sleeping Merchant Marine.

From Ansbach to Color is a novel of firsts. Carmicheal is a recently orphaned seventeen year old American boy. Through clever paperwork, he gets to pass his last year of childhood as an exchange student in the small town of Ansbach, Germany. It's his first time outside of his hometown, his country. Once in Germany, nearly every experience is the first: the first time making love, the first drunk, the first breath after the loss of his mother. The episodic and lyrical ride of From Ansbach to Color moves over borders and time, from Balla the Futurist to Batman the Superhero right back to the view outside the window where the town below is up to secret things like daily life.

235 Pages. 48,000 Words.

Monday, January 12, 2015

The Sophia Ballou Project

The collaborative project at Sophia Ballou  has been one of the most rewarding facets of my career as a writer.  Sophia Ballou has been elemental in my process during these last few years.  It began on a sunny day in April, 2010 in the dingy basement of Hooked on Colfax when Corrie Vela and I first talked about writing and the Internet.  If you have been following my blog during these months, please note that this also marks the beginning of Anthony ILacqua.  The subsequent conversations are still coming to fruition.  She has generously given me a forum for my first novel Sand and Asbestos which you can read in its entirety here.

Monday, January 5, 2015

Casio EX-S10

Thistle 1
It's impossible to count how many moody nights I have had. Many, to say the least. Holed up in someone's living room after the late night businesses have all closed, listening to old recordings of Otis Redding or The Cure on cassette tape, or just simply listening to the rain fall cleaning the world outside. There have been cold nights when the sky has that orange-pink hue that means the snow falls through pollution. There have been nights under summer skies so vast and filled with darkness and stars and there is no beginning, no end, only now, and that ain't much.

Thistle 2
Then, there have been the nights of fast talking, easy listening and chance encounters that are the things of fiction and recollection. There have been incredibly rare steaks in forgotten bistros now long gone after the wake of Katrina. There have been Theremin duals near the sight where John Dillinger was arrested. There have been nights in the sleepy wintertime of the Willamette Valley sipping prohibition style cocktails. Yes, nights and nights and nights. I'm afraid much of my life is reduced to just that, nights, or in many ways, one very long continuous night. Oddly enough, I never set out in life to live only at night. It just developed that way.

Thistle 3
Over the years I have carried a camera. In the past, however, one really needed to think about carrying a camera. See, today, everyone who has a cellphone has a camera. I'm no different. But, that's now. And over the years I have carried a camera the way some fellows may carry a pocketknife.

I became aware of digital cameras later than most. I was gifted one in 2005. That camera was stolen from my house in a burglary in 2008. I was gifted the Casio EX-S10 shortly thereafter. I like this camera because of its size. It takes decent pictures. I have learned how to use it. Admittedly,
Thistle 4
the whole notion of f/stop, ISO or shutter speed, means very little with such a point and shoot sort of automatic device. The camera understands these things and the operator doesn't need to. So, when I tinker with this thing, I only know what the camera has done when I see the results. But it's been fun.

As close as I can tell, photography is the practice of capturing light. That light is translated into image. So, let me ask you, how does one capture light at night?

Roadside Botany 1
I am moving and doing things in the daytime too. I have little free time in the day. I also capture images in the day. Daytime images are a little more straightforward. Daytime images don't happen in dimly lit places like gin joints or jazz clubs. Fun is fun. It's absolutely amazing what you can do with the simplest of digital cameras, or the simplest of film cameras for that matter. The case might be this, it isn't what you have, whether it's a point and shoot or the top of the line DSLR camera, it's what you do with it.