Once more the little girl pushed the red ball into the empty middle of the big room. She steadied it, let go, stepped back and watched. It swayed a moment as though getting some balance, then slowly moved on its own, returning in a slow roll back to the corner where it always seemed to want to be.
The girl watched it roll to the corner. Once there it stayed there. She went over and poked it with her index finger but it did not move. She did it once again and once more and once again the same thing happened. Every time. Ball in middle of the room. Ball roll to the empty corner on its own. Stop, stay, there.
In another corner was all the furniture of the room. All the lamps and rugs, the sofa and tables and stuff had gone to that corner all on its own and the girl didn’t know how it happened. One day everything of the living room was in its place. The next it was in the corner.
In another corner was her mother and her father and her little baby brother. They had stayed in the same position in the same way for two days now like rag-dolls one flopped on the other. The girl went to her father, and grabbed the cuff of his jacket, pulled it and pointed to the ball in the opposite corner. “Dad, the ball. It’s doing funny things.” Dad did not respond.
The girl walked once again and once more over to the ball all the way over on the opposite corner and picked it up and carried and put it smack dab in the middle of the room and sat between the ball and its favorite corner. The red ball swayed again again again and rolled at her and at the last moment it served around smoothly without hesitation and went to its corner. The girl quietly followed it with her eyes.
“Weird ball,” she told it.
The girl looked at the last of the four corners where an unmoving figure seemed to be sitting on a stool with a long blanket over him her it. If she watched there were movements sometimes. Like a hand reaching up to scratch an itch on its nose, but also like a rat running around restlessly behind. The girl stayed away from that corner.
She went to the ball again. She picked it up, brought it to the middle of the room, put it down, then draped herself over it, holding it down, holding it still, with all her body weight, which was a bit less than it had been two days ago because she hadn’t eaten much in two days. She looked to one corner. “Watch, daddy! Watch, mommy!”
She tried to lay more heavily on the ball, using all her small power, flopped atop it like a rag-doll herself. She waited for the red ball to move.
Archive for January, 2010
As I’ve doing this blog, I’m finding what I want to put here (getting a better focus on it).
Here’s my new routine on this blog thingie:
Monday’s I’ll post audio clips of my books. I’m beginning here with the very beginning”Self-Portrait of Someone Else”. Each Monday, the next chapter…until it’s all there….
Wednesday’s I’ll post info on my writing or publishing or new videos or stuff in general.
Friday’s I’ll post a story. Often a “Noise in the House” short fiction piece (less than 1000 words, usually not more than 500 words). Or bits from whatever book I’m releasing into the world as a publication at that moment.
There, that will keep me out of trouble and, for interested visitors, a guideline to go by. Of course, if I evolve another idea for running this thing, you’ll be the second to know (I’ll be the first).
So, without further delay, my first audio post.
PART ONE, CHAPTER 1, “Self-Portrait of Someone Else”
Click here (option to download and make it a podcast if you right click and Save Source – listen when you want) :01 – PART ONE-Chap1
(Sound like a plan?) See you Wednesday….
Once upon a time, Viking-Penguin big time publisher put out my first novel, “Self-Portrait of Someone Else”. It was re-issued in late 2009.
It is available in paperback.
BOOKLIST reviewed it by saying, “…a dramatically suspenseful yarn, imaginatively told…”. Bridgeport Post said, “…compelling…strong suspense…harrowing…”
Here’s a free .pdf file of a self-contained excerpt, called “It must have been great to be alive before I was born”, for downloading and reading at your leisure.
Here’s a link to the Hidden People publishing site if this excerpt gives you a tingle and you want to explore further
Enjoy the read…
(To download as pdf file and read Poncho and the things of life for pdf.)
I opened the door to the service porch and D was sitting on the closed top of the washing machine, her legs stretched out before her, her feet resting on the open ironing board. She didn’t look at me as I looked at her. She stared ahead as though sighting along an invisible string from her nose to her boot tip. She wasn’t moving, she wasn’t even blinking. She was just being beautiful and absorbed.
“I’m thinking about the things of life.”
“How’s it going?”
“About how you’d expect.”
She still wasn’t blinking or moving so I left her to her thinking and closed the door and walked back through the living room and past Poncho, the bulldog she had brought with her from another relationship, and Poncho always eyed me when I went by. Nothing major, just lifting an eye without lifting his head, eyebrow cocked, as though asking, You making any headway about how things are? And I always just shrugged. “Don’t ask me, I’m just a guest here myself.”
Poncho flicked his eyes away, as though if I couldn’t figure things out, what chance was there for a lowly mammal a couple of levels down on the pecking order? He sighed with all the force of exhausted bellows. Poncho settled further into the rug than he had before, resigned to waiting it out.
I wanted to go back to the service porch and stare at D again, just sitting there, her mind wrestling with obscure muscles in her brain. She was beautiful and I just liked looking. It calmed me. Or it gave me something soothing to do. Her face was like a purpose in life for my eyes. But when I did that too much she would ask, “There a problem?”
I wanted to say, “No, your face solves things,” but I wasn’t sure how she would take this, or whether it was maybe something nice she would like to hear, something that sounded like the truth.
I carried on walking passed Poncho and into the bedroom, which was a mess. The bed looked like a fight had taken place recently. D’s and my clothes were islands of color on the rug, from door to bed to chest of drawers. I stepped around them to get to the bed and lay on it. I stared up at the ceiling and thought I’d consider the things of life, too, like D., like Poncho.
Except both of them were better at this stuff than me. I blinked too much. And thought about beauty. I could sigh like Poncho, but that was about as deep as it went. So waited for D to finish in the service porch and come find me on the bed, ready to make another new mess.
Following up on yesterday’s post on initial steps to take when setting up a indie publishing company, on a technical level, here’s how I put the first two books together:
1.Set-up a publishing company, Hidden People Limited, bought a series of my own ISBN numbers fromNeilson — UK as it’s cheaper than USA branch.
2.Signed contract withLightning Source (which I knew about 10 years ago) as my primary printer–United Kingdom rather than the USA, as I am UK-based Limited company.
3.Book cover design by Fontana identity & design.
4.Since I work on every story for years (unless I get lucky and it comes out in a couple of hours), they don’t need huge amounts of editing. My “Self-Portrait of Someone Else” was edited by Viking-Penguin, and the pages from the original book was scanned and directly used in my paperback reissue. The Viking-Penguin editor suggested two paragraph deletions and a few sentences. I agreed with half. Otherwise, on proofing, after one less successful episode with an American proof-reader in Scotland, I do had two upcoming titles (novella and children’s book) line edited by Scribendi.
All this is ongoing and evolving and changes constant.
5.I’m still engaged in getting ebooks off the grounds via Smashwords and Amazon throughout the world.
6.Audiobooks, which I’m recording in my home studio, are still finding their best home via ongoing research and then more research.
That’s some of the basics that fills out yesterdays impressionistic piece….
This week I offered a somewhat serious side to business, called The Job Interview. Today, a more humorous (or still somewhat serious?) story about a man who wants to find himself in business.
This story to read here is from my How To Find Yourself humor book. It is called Business & Identity. Or how to find yourself through business.
We’re just trying to keep the universe in balance here….
Once upon a time, Viking-Penguin big time publisher put out my first novel, “Self-Portrait of Someone Else”. It was quietly re-issued in late 2009.
That means it is for sale in its new paperback form.
The New York Times Sunday Book Review called it “a brave literary debut”. Publisher’s Weekly called it “ striking first novel”.
Here’s a free .pdf file of a self-contained excerpt, called “The Job Interview”, for downloading and reading at your leisure.
Here’s a link to the Hidden People publishing site if this excerpt gives you a tingle and you want to buy the novel.
Enjoy your read…