Fiction Daily Archive 2007-08

June 30, 2009

New blog is live

June 12, 2008

PLEASE VISIT FICTION DAILY 2.

I have opened a new blog using the WordPress platform and will post new entries there.

Over the next few weeks I will archive the old blog posts and add categories that will allow them to be searched.

If you use an RSS feed, it’s probably not worked well for some time …  if you have problems finding the new blog or setting up an RSS feed, please let me know.

Thanks for reading Fiction Daily!

Under construction

June 11, 2008

Dear Fiction Daily Readers! I apologize profoundly for the lapse in blog entries. When the bugs began last week, I jumped ship and started a new blog.

I am so excited!  At last, I have a WordPress blog … it’s like Christmas! I’ve wanted a WordPress blog for some time, but was afraid to try it. Being my Now, the WordPress blog is running in its most basic, experimental form, but I am working out the … well … bugs. I will post the link as soon as it’s Fiction-Daily-worthy.

In the meantime, I will post here and hope you can continue to read these entries.

NEWSPAPER FEATURE SUNDAY: On Sunday in the Daily Reflector, my feature story on seeing Jack Kerouac’s original manuscript for On the Road will publish. You can go to the newspaper and read it online.

PUBLIC RADIO FEATURE: On Monday, Wednesday, Friday and Saturday, the public radio audio diary about the trip will air on Public Radio East. Times are 6:40 a.m. Monday, 8:40 a.m. Wednesday, noon Friday and Saturday. On the station’s Web site you can stream the broadcasts. I will post them later.

Bugged!!

June 9, 2008

As an ironic twist, after writing Friday’s Figuratively Speaking about the things that interfere with human progress … my blog was struck by a pernicous bug!

This entry will be brief … if you can read it, you’ve managed to get past the snafus …

A wonderful technician at Yahoo, my Web host, talked me through a new WordPress blog this morning so I will change my posts over the next few weeks.

In the meantime, posts may be short or erratic … Fiction Daily may be buggy for a while to come.

Figuratively Speaking Friday

June 6, 2008

Houston, We Have a Problem
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Unexpected, unplanned messes have a profoundly disturbing effect on us. It’s part of what it means to be human that we rarely invite surprises. OK, if we receive a gift or a visit, we’re glad, but face it, there are a few minutes when we’re wondering … worrying … what’s in the box or behind the door.

That’s why we have developed such a rich lexicon to describe mishaps.

SNAFU. Love this word? Ever wonder what it means? Snafu means “a confused or chaotic mess.” It is an acronym, and since this is a family blog, I’ll use the G-rated version: Situation normal, all fouled up.

BUG. This word, in addition to its meanings of “to annoy” and “to record secretly” also means an error in a computer program or system.

The anecdotal story says a true bug was found in an early computational device, but it may have been used as early as Charles Babbage’s machine.

Today it’s great to use whenever something doesn’t work. We say there’s a bug. We also have “fly in the ointment,” which usually refers to a bug in our plans.

Bug is another great term for illness or germ.

Some other terms for problems

— In a pickle

— At the end of one’s rope

— In a crunch

— In a jam

— In hot water

VEXATION.
This word is a personal favorite. When I’m frustrated or angry, it gives such satisfaction to linger over the syllables of this word, with its juicy consonants. That sinkhole in the yard is a real vexation.

In the week ahead, I wish you smooth sailing, few vexations or bugs and above all else, no snafus.

Image by From the Heart Tutorials

Deadlines today

June 5, 2008

Fiction Daily takes a break today to manage deadlines and work on Poison, Paris.

Tomorrow, Figuratively Speaking returns with a look at language snafus, bugs and unforgivable usage.

Kerouac in Rocky Mount, N.C.

June 4, 2008

There’s still one detail regarding Jack Kerouac’s time in Rocky Mount to settle … and that’s the fate of the house on West Mount Drive where he lived in the mid-1950s with his sister, Nin. It’s referred to as “Big Easonburg Woods” in his work, as that was how the crossroads was known then.

Thanks to John J Dorfner, who lives in Raleigh, N.C., we know the whereabouts of the house. I’ve been speaking with him and we’re trying to now figure out what the future holds for this house.

He and I, and perhaps other Kerouac fans out there, would like to see this little farmhouse preserved and protected. There’s a risk, however, that it will change hands before that can be done.

In the development frenzy that sweeps like Sherman through eastern North Carolina, who knows how long a Depression-era farmhouse could hold out?

Meanwhile, in the next few days I’ll make some updates to the pages on this site about Jack Kerouac.

Poison Paris

June 3, 2008

Today is wrap-up day as I complete some items that have been hanging around for some time … feature articles on Jack Kerouac and research for a magazine article coming up soon.

Mostly I want to focus on the new story I’ve been putting together with the working title “Poison Paris.” It’s about a creepy husband and a naive wife and something strange happening to her.

Otherwise this week somehow I have several appointments that certainly eat into the writing time. Yet I also know that I’m less likely to write anything interesting if I don’t leave the house.

A few details left on the search for the owner of the house in Rocky Mount where Kerouac lived and I will post as soon as I wrap them up.

A Beat hero

June 2, 2008

It’s Monday and Fiction Daily pays tribute today to the work of John J Dorfner, a friend of the Beat writers and scholars.

In the sea of books about Jack Kerouac and the Beat writers … by known researchers like Ann Charters, Gerald Nicosia and other scholars, you’ll find two modest contributions under these titles: Visions of Rocky Mount, and Visions of Lowell.

Yet these are critically important volumes, as Mr. Dorfner did the footwork others overlooked. He pinned down elements of Jack Kerouac’s life that would have otherwise been lost.

He searched for the house in Rocky Mount where Kerouac lived with his sister, Caroline, and husband, Blake, and found it. No previous biographer bothered to track down such a detail, yet for readers of Kerouac, this detail contains a world of meaning.

It was in Rocky Mount, in Big Easonburg Woods, that Kerouac spent days and weeks in quiet reflection, still at last after his time in New York city and on the road.

For Kerouac was deeply complex, and just as he enjoyed the road’s upheaval and movement, stirring ideas along the way, he also fed on solitude, nature and reflection. He was, like so many writers, profoundly introverted.

It was this pursuit of quiet meditation that also led Kerouac to the top of Desolation Peak in Washington State, as well as to friend Lawrence Ferlinghetti’s cottage at Big Sur, where he fell apart after the success of “On the Road.”

If you’ve not yet read Big Sur, it is a moving look at the private life of a writer struggling with his own success, which nevertheless destroyed something precious and innocent.

In Rocky Mount, Kerouac was highly creative, penning Some of the Dharma and many letters. He worked at his brother-in-law’s television shop at 1311 Raleigh Road, in Rocky Mount.

Mr. Dorfner spent considerable time finding the house and talking with people who knew Kerouac in those days. Remember, this was 1956, a year before “On the Road” was published and the Beat phenomena began. He was to them just “Nin’s brother.”

The future of the Kerouac-Blake house on West Mount Drive in Rocky Mount is up in the air these days, as it’s simply been used as a rental cottage for many years. It should be protected and marked as historically significant.

Not only is Mr. Dorfner an unselfish literary sleuth, but he’s also quite a nice person to speak with. He corresponded with Allen Ginsberg and even hosted Neal Cassady’s son John Allen at his home in Raleigh, N.C.

His books about Kerouac’s time in Lowell and Rocky Mount are self-published, but they do quite well in sales, though it’s a labor of love, he says.

I highly recommend visiting his sites to read more about Kerouac’s time in Rocky Mount:

http://members.aol.com/KerouacNC/

and

Visions of Rocky Mount: WRAL

Figuratively Speaking

May 30, 2008

DOGMATICS.

It’s only fitting that this writer’s three dogs would claim their right to butt, or should I say, mutt, in on this blog.

So today, Fiction Daily is, well, you know … Going to the dogs.

Dogs are such an inseparable part of human existence that we’ve built a large vocabulary around them.

We’re tired as dogs, when we walk on our dogs too much; if we do this for many years, you could say we have lived a dog’s life.

Often our use of the words reflects how our humble best friends experience considerable mistreatment at our hands. We treat someone like a dog, we work like a dog, bad times are dog days.

If we bother someone, we dog them, a reference no doubt to the canine’s ability to hound us to death when they want something.

If we are unoriginal, we might write doggerel, which apparently comes from Middle English use of dog as in Dog Latin, a debased form of that scholarly language.

When we tick off our spouses, we are in the dog house and when we really dislike our co-workers, we throw them to the dogs.

Another term that sounds doggy is dogma, which actually comes from the Greek word “dogma,” or opinion and today refers to a set of ideas presented as truth and closed for discussion.

Taking us to today’s entry title, Dogmatics, which is a system of principles established by an authority.

Around our house, you see, Dogmatics is the law of the land, and I’ll be doggoned if I see an end to it.