An original story of mine was recently published by the well-known and reputable online publication The Cortland Review.
It is called “Shoulder” and is part of my story collection Intimate Dialogues.
It’s available for reading, and just just click anywhere here if you want to read it.
Hope you like, and thanks for dropping by. - Vincent
Archive for the ‘Writing (extracts from longer works)’ Category
An autobiographical piece of mine was recently published online by a non-fiction story site called “Airplane Reading”. Called “Barely Airborne” (and will be part of non-fiction collection called “Intimate Details & Bodily Functions”), you can read the piece by CLICKING HERE TO READ BARELY AIRBORNE.
But here is how it begins:
“Over there is your airplane, sir.”
The Munich airport employee had checked my one-way ticket to Rome, then gestured to the bright tarmac of that reflected a bright winter day. There, over a ways all alone and looking suspect, squatted a small airplane with twirly propeller things on its wings. It seemed more suitable for a low-grade millionaire on a budget; I expected a jet.
“Yes. As there are only two passengers scheduled for this flight, it has been shifted to this plane.”
“But I have paid business class.” My company had paid business class. This was the week where I was following a very portable electronics conference around Europe and “managing” it; we had visited Paris, London, Stockholm, Munich, and now finally Rome. My job was to arrive in a hotel with a very large room, ask technicians and other sub-manager types if everything was okay as they set things up, and then hang around watching everything go well.
My ticket-taker walked away, leaving me to venture unaided across the tarmac and board. Carrying my bag, I stepped outside, and instinctively glanced left and right in case I had to dodge any zooming incoming or outgoing planes. But nothing stirred anywhere. Things went roar on the other side of the building, but here? No other airplanes but mine, no people, no hustle, no bustle. The air was still. I walked across the tarmac, arriving at the five stairs leading up to the entry. I stopped, looking around for someone to lead me in, be interested—anything at all. Nothing. I stepped up, peeked inside the entryway, eight seats, tightly packed, no one. No one sitting or standing, no one in the cockpit. I turned and looked out and over my new desolate world. Someone appeared from the same entry hole I had. I went back down the stairs, and waited for the man, also attired to do some business, who nodded at me as he came up.
“Strange,” he said, looking back over his shoulder.
You can read the rest of it by CLICKING HERE TO READ BARELY AIRBORNE
Thanks for coming round.
Recently had this story, from my forthcoming short story collection, Intimate Dialogues accepted for online publication by Fiction365.
It is called “Not Mama,” and you can read it by clicking on THIS LINK HERE.
Thanks for dropping by.
In this part, “The Boy in the Sandwich” is being eaten by his brother–that’s the above illustration…
From the beginning of Chapter 4:
I found out that blue spiders, who do all sorts of recreating and lots of creating most of the time, resulting in lots and lots of a million and more spider babies, find it easier to have everyone’s birthday on the same day every three weeks, because they figured who could remember a million and more birthday dates for the members of just your immediate family?
“So Happy Birthday Everybody!” everybody screamed, shouted and yelled at one another inside my sandwich, all blowing out the candles on the million and more cakes at the same time.
After the last free sample of the beginning of the book (click here to see/read/listen), and here I am to offer for your reading pleasure chapters 4 to 6 that follow–in easy-to-read .pdf format:
The Boy in the Sandwich, Chapter 4 to 6
I’ll post the (also free) audio version of these shortly for those who like listening to my voice narrating the story….
Thanks for reading this. – Vincent
FOR MORE ON THIS BOOK!
As I come to the end of releasing the first seven chapters of this book, I think, There it is. I wrote this, liking all those stories of expat writers in the 1920s and 30s of the last century in Paris being geniuses together. Thought I’d do the same thing, except not. Just one guy, who may or may not be a genius, alone, determined, full of temperament, getting on with the art making. Throw in a commercial writer friend, a woman (a cat, a baby), see what happens. This book happened.
This week’s extract from Brussegem, a snug hell, following on from last week’s. You will find chapters 6 and 7 in a .pdf file format below, but here’s how Chapter 6 begins:
It was a few days later, while Brussegem was putting the final, exact touches on his latest canvas, when he heard a car come crunching up the gravel of his driveway, the slamming of its door, then the hard knocking at his main entrance—all this smack in the middle of his working afternoon, when all sensible people, and his few acquaintances, knew he was to be left strictly in peace with no interruptions, no matter what the death and destruction. He went to answer the door.
“Who the h—”
Veronica Weise gave him a kiss to close his mouth, patted his cheek, smiled, came in, and took off her coat, tossing it on the sofa. She strode about the room, looking at his painting, looking out the rear window, avoiding his eyes.
“Hello! I’m here! Returned to the scene of the crime. Guess what happened? My husband kicked me out! Just like that!” She fiddled with her bracelet. “Who would’ve ever thought that you would be the last straw! That’s what he called you. You, he said, are one lover too many—out. As if I’ve had dozens.”
She put down the candle holder she was toying with and turned to him, throwing up her arms.
“I don’t know why I’m here, but here I am!” she said brightly, and went into his arms. But his arms remained inert by his sides. He stared at her.
Click below to read on:
Brussegem, a snug hell – Part Three – 6 & 7
See the short video on this book:
Click here to view video.
Last audio clip on this goes up next Sunday/Monday. Thanks for looking. –Vincent
This week’s novel extract, following on from last week’s. You will find chapters 4 and 5 in a pdf file below, but here’s how this section begins (foretaste…)
A further word about Brussegem. As time performed its main function–that is, as it passed—becoming, day-by-day, a week, two weeks, more—this solitary painter, stuck in the sticks, developed a carnal need for a simple, unburdening sexual affair. It had little to do with love. At sixty‑two, Brussegem had a love‑empty lifetime to look back upon, and be philosophical about. In his life, there was little need, desire, or want for the tedious daily demands of kisses, devotion, and intolerable everyday companionship that love implied. Had he been impotent, he might have had a fine, uneventful, untroubling artistic life for the rest of his whatever. Unfortunately, in this respect he was still robust. Other reliefs were unacceptable, such as dreamy, sneaky nocturnal pollutions—they were only semi‑pleasurable, undependable in occurrence, and rather annoying in their sudden sticky surprise to be sufficiently gratifying. The other private solution, masturbation, was out; he had never bothered to acquire this skill during adolescence and saw no reason why he should begin to perfect the belittling act now. Finally, being far too proud to take an occasional bus into Brussels to spend his lust on a blasé prostitute, he instead resolved to make a few contacts out in the world in order to find a place his penis could call home.
Yates’ party was thus convenient.
Yates’ party turned out to be fifty or more people, mainly American‑British cliques with bits and pieces of broken Belgian accents dispersed within the humming murmurs; they stood around with glasses in their hands, being subdued and semi‑attentive to light conversation. Brussegem observed them with their glinting sociable smiles as they talked shop and sipped liquor.
Cigarette smoke was thick in the air; someone spilt a drink on the carpet and laughed; the initially subdued, polite talk gained in volume, becoming more of a constant, unpleasant din of strident voices scrambled together, as dense as the smoke. Pre-recorded music came constantly from somewhere.
Brussegem was increasingly displeased; the gathering was swiftly reminding him why he usually avoided such things. Every six months or so he would attend one of these social affairs, as the reality of them dimmed in his mind, simply to recall how horrible the experience was. Such gatherings replenished his aversion. It was much like witnessing another imperfect sunset, the world just did not work the way he wished. The earth, parties and all, should have been a quiet, un-agitated, reposeful place, a place built for musing and art, much like his atelier. Yet, here he found himself, much like any other silly smiling fool, attending a semi‑happy gathering, when he could be painting, or sitting cozily, thinking, in his slippers at home.
He nearly departed straightway, yet he remained, his overpowering sexual appetite required it. He took a silent moment to curse the needs of his sexual equipment.
Click below read on, read all of chapter 4 and 5:
Brussegem,a snug hell – Part Two – chapter 4 & 5
Audio clip of next chapter Sunday/Monday coming up… Thanks, Vincent
Hello. Short post.
Following from last Friday’s posting of the first chapter of my new novel, “Brussegem, a snug hell, Chapter 1“, I’m posting, just as promised, the next two chapters (2 & 3), in pdf file format: BRUSSEGEM, A SNUG HELL — PART ONE Chapters 2 & 3 — CLICK HERE TO READ OR DOWNLOAD.
Go here for more on the book.
That’s it. Thanks for dropping by, and hope you enjoy the read. — Vincent
Okay, here I finally go. Getting into the meat of this particular matter.
Ring some bells, shout some slogans, clap your hands. This is my official launch blog of my new novel, Brussegem, a snug hell.
Good, got that out of the way.
This book is the first in a series of novels I’ll be putting out that explore the contemporary concept of being and living as an artist. I’ve already completed or near-completed six novels about this subject. It’s something I’ve been exploring from all sorts of angles over the years. The other books feature a screenwriter, a stand-up, an actor’s widow, a wanna-be genius, an elderly photographer…. But we’re not here to talk of the future. We are here for this painter Brussegem – Now!
Now, what this book is all about, how it came about? Oh who cares… I’m not going to interview myself and give some semi-academic explanation. I liked the idea of a grumpy dedicated artist of a certain talent being invaded by woman who is innocent in these matters yet passionate in others. And watch what happened, with some humor, drama and discussion of the matter.
And size-wise, the novel’s more what the Anglo-Saxons like to call a novella than a novel. It’s around 110 pages in length, and in France, that’s rather normal. I like a good novella. So it’s a relatively short read, so the pace moves at a clip….
I’m going to get around to giving you a link to the first chapter and a link to buy the sucker, which brings me to pricing. After wondering whether I should price some books more when there’s more pages, and less when there’s less pages and so I figured on this and wondered and eventually told myself, No, I’ll sell everything at 10 dollars (the equivalent in euros and pounds) for all books, no matter the size. I need to keep my life simple. That’s my whole sophisticated economic basis for this….
So, economics. CLICK on this link to go get yourself a copy right this very minute. You’ll find links to the USA, UK and Europe Amazon bookstores, as well as the eBook you can buy from the Kindle bookstore — from Europe, you have to buy via the USA. If you have the right app, you can buy from Kindle the ebook that’ll suit your reading device. I’ll be getting the eBook versions for the reading devices from Barnes and Noble, iBooks, and others … but everything in good time…or the time I can find to get this done….
You’ll notice on the link above there’s no audio book offering yet. I’m working on it. The recording/editing on this has been completed, and I’m querying various distributors, and expect this to happen sooner rather than later. And, as I’m a voice over professional and video maker, it’s pretty well done, if I do say so myself and I do. So keep your eyes peeled, or reading my blogs, whatever’s easiest.
There’s also short promo book launch video coming. Probably next week.
Okay, I’m getting exhausted with the length of this entry, but hey, I’m launching a book so I’ve some bases to cover. I’ll be posting about four excerpts, Chapters 1 to 5. So right now here’s BRUSSEGEM, a snug hell: Part ONE, Chapter 1 in a pdf file… I’ll be putting these up every Friday for the next few weeks (I have other books coming quickly). Of course, if you can’t wait, you can read the first four chapters already on THIS LINK – just click on the Read section.
Here’s the opening of this novel, Brussegem, a snug hell, in case you don’t want to link to the whole chapter right now:
A word about Brussegem: look hard at a detailed map of the small European country of Belgium and you may, with perseverance, find the faint dot of the village of Brussegem. It’s a prosaic village, where hardworking peasants reap and sow food and fodder year after year on their little pitted patches of land. It’s a fairly safe place to live—all is calm and decent—little crime, little litter, little anything.
In Brussegem, they still ride in wooden wagons pulled by broad-chested horses, and they lead cows through the streets with rope harnesses. The streets still have the same lumpy cobblestones of years gone by. There’s an ancient, crumbling mishmash of a church in the center of the village, where, over the warring ages, passing conquerors have stopped briefly to stick a Kilroy‑was‑here brick in the façade before moving on. The right wing of the church is Romanesque, the left wing Germanic, the steeple Scandinavian—the live bird perched upon it Brussegemish—and the whole thing a bore. Nothing any culture vulture tourist need bother about.
So … tidy, snug Brussegem—a quiet place—a benign place—a place that keeps up, day after day, its small promise of being, and forever remaining, a faint dot on the map.
Just on the outskirts of this dot lived an American painter—secluded, aloof, an odd part of this unhurried heaven. Also odd, his name was just like the village’s: Brussegem. And he possessed as bumpy a disposition as any cobblestoned street in the village: a moody man with gray hair, a full beard, and beady eyes. Children irritated him, he disliked fluffy animals, and hated sounds that kept him awake at night. Neither was he very fond of taking walks, but take them he did; for between finishing one painting and beginning another, there was not all that much to do in this little corner of the world, save walk.
Meanwhile, just a bit of useless news for you. I started this blog 13 months ago, and, bit by bit, just as I was forewarned, there’s been growth: comparing this week with a year ago, according to my Google statistics, I’m up 880% during these past 12 months. So some folks, many I don’t know, are visiting. Enjoying the fact that I’m a storyteller here, and not much else. Again, folks, you’ll mostly only get storytelling stuff on this blog, not badgering and daily opinions on this and that: just stories in words, images and performance. On my personal Facebook Page you get all sorts of other junk. And, if you did not know, there’s a Hidden People Fan/Like page, if you care to join that…CLICK HERE!
That’s it (better be). If you know of anyone else might like this stuff, my sort of stuff, please Spread It (this) Around.
And thanks for reading. –Vincent