I've got my courses for fall. There are three, two Writing Skills and a Comp I. My Tuesdays and Thursdays will be slightly crazy, since I will be traveling down to the Wheeling campus, back up to the Weirton campus, and back down to the Wheeling campus at night, but it will give me time to think in the truck. And thinking leads to new stories. Also, I'll get to see my old friend, the electric plant near Brilliant, Ohio, lit up at night like a post-apocalyptic fortress. And then there's the gorgeous red flame that shoots eight feet into the sky from the coke plant stacks across the river in Follansbee, and this is always what I see just as I'm making my way into Steubenville. It's then I know I'm finally close to home, where Michael's waiting on the sofa for me. Also, on Monday, I have an interview for another part-time job, which will give us some much-needed extra scratch for our upcoming projects. Both of us are in dire need of new cars (although I don't say this in the presence of my truck, in order not to make her feel inadequate...no, I'm kidding. That sounds a pale shade of insane, doesn't it?). This month, I'm working on several freelance projects, too, so things are moving along.
I mentioned before that I'm working on a Kindle edition of a new short story collection. I've got 40 more pages to proofread, and I'll be ready to create the cover and prepare to upload the entire package. I also re-reserved the domain name http://www.literaryoutlaw.com/, which will become my own imprint.
Over the last few days, I haven't spent quite as much time on it because so many other demands have snagged my attention, but I'm nearly done with "Conceived in the New Liberty". The story deals with the complete dismantling of the America's political foundation. Here's another tiny excerpt:
"As pro-Constitution activists grew in numbers and began sparring with members of The New Liberty Movement, riots broke out. When 18 people were sent to the hospital, police were dispatched in their riot gear to restore order. On K Street--less than a mile away from the National Mall, where police formed a charcoal-colored wall with their raised shields and FlexForce Crowd Control suits--the wide windows of lobbyists’ offices were smashed with crowbars. The Molotov cocktails that sailed from the street onto desks, leather sofas, and upholstered cube walls caused an inferno that occupied fire companies from both the District and Northern Virginia for several hours. And while fire hoses doused the blackened buildings, from which searing flames continually shot, a popular coffee shop on Connecticut Avenue was being held up. Around the same time, a bar was broken into on 18th street. A light-colored SUV drove onto the sidewalk and figures in plastic George W. Bush masks rapidly loaded into the back five full liquor boxes, a small floor safe, and—to their great surprise—a Thompson M1A1 from the manager’s office closet. No one stopped them."
Now, to a completely different topic: I have to admit that I'm not easily impressed. Things affect me deeply, and I sometimes cry in response to other people's pain. Also, music can make me emotional. But rarely do I get goosebumps from something. I realize that I've had a long obsession with what follows here, and I suspect I've probably written about it here before. I've only seen segments of the movie, and eventually I would like to see the whole thing. It is, from the parts I've seen, totally amazing, totally haunting, and exquisitely produced. The synthesis of story (which I understand is based on the director's own experience), the animation (which is incredibly good, particularly in the metaphorical interplay of light and dark), and the music (I mean, it has Max Richter as part of the soundtrack, and he is on a nose-bleed-high level in my mind) make this something I feel would leave an imprint both on the imagination and collective historical memory. Here is the trailer.