powerline letter to the editor

Below is a letter to the editor in oblique reference to the angry callout of raised fees on power in the wake of severe outages this fall and winter. I don’t think the anger would be so expressed maybe 30 years ago. But, as ever, we are in transition as a society and some voices are more strident and maybe more used to the good life than in the past. Those coming here now are more well off, many possessed of the fine second home. The image below is not that referred to in the letter. Actually it is maybe twenty years old, from the aftermath of the great ice storm of 1998. It does not show state-of-the-art equipment used to move power lines around today.

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view from the edge of elfland

If I stick with a book often it becomes a friend, opening itself to me. In beginning On the Edges of Elfland: A Fairy-Tale for Grown Ups, by David Russell Mosley, I liked first the Lovely- English Inn and-Village setting by the Woodlands. This was followed with affectionate characters and story-book suggestiveness through pub tales of what went before in the village. One does not want to see this village destroyed, or even changed. To change it would perhaps destroy it. I’m not as receptive to other tropes owing to readerly familiarity, so these must be handled in a manner refreshing to my years. Parts of young Alfred Perkins’ adventures in Elfland secure my reception, other parts do not.

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the town column

main street

The Town Column is an intimate news item found in local weeklies, historically, across the nation. Relevant, in print, it’s fortunate to have town columns continue in the age of digitization. Rural community is greatly supported by the continuing institution of the local weekly. It informs us, but also defends all other communal institutions through reportage of everything from schools, town management, churches, clubs and societies, businesses, and local entertainment. But the town columns referred to in this Green and Blue House entry are, additionally, the cozy-news source, the one that makes the reader especially welcome and participating as an individual.

In our local are many columns, each representing rural town-news, towns associated in our territorial school district.

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“On the Highway”

Overwhelming force of violence or evil makes powerful reading for some. For some, but not for me. Powerful reading for me is in tension of struggles between opposing forces in the narrative. When one of these forces is love your story becomes cosmic within nature, no matter how exalted or mundane.

The last sentence lacks clarity because it’s unclear what “no matter how exalted or mundane” is referring to. I leave that configuration because it sounds better than any way I might think to clarify. But, no matter what’s referenced in that sentence, the phrase fits: “Opposing forces?” “Story?” “Within nature?” Each, within the story, might be exalted or mundane.

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Christmas working

Our 3-part working Christmas series begins HERE.

I arrive in Auburn down route 4, glide past the empty parking lots and deserted stores of Center Street and down into the inner business district, pull to a stop at the traffic light and wait for it to change. A young happy-looking man in a red windbreaker walks in front of the car… now looking like reaching for the doorhandle, so I stretch out a forefinger and press the lock, averting my gaze from his smiling face, ashamed. I suspect he’s developmentally disabled and feel ungenerous for refusing to share even a smile with what could be an angel in disguise. Neither of my sons, I think, would have refused him. My hard suspicious nature has robbed me of a telling moment. It is Christmas Day.

He passes away down the main street toward Lewiston and, more waiting, then the light changes and I turn that way myself. I cross a bridge over Maine’s Androscoggin River and enter the old textile milltown, stopping to make another collect call on the pretext of determining whether I unplugged the coffee pot before leaving earlier. During the exchange JD and I wish one another Merry Christmas again and I’m listening for a tone, a timber in his voice to determine if he’s unhappy about being alone. His tone is light, uncomplicated, content. I hang up and sigh.

The morning’s coffee has triggered the bodily system and I find myself in need of relief: but where can one find a public toilet in a deserted city on Christmas Day?

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last of the Screwtype e-mails from LeakyWits

This is the final posting of the Screwtype cache from LeakyWits. Linked here are parts one and two.

In the past it has been felt that secular publishing swoops in to make off with creative works before RandompenguinsXian and other religious publishers have a chance. Now evidence from LeakyWits is mounting that this may not always be the case.

In the last reveal, we saw that editor Phil Screwtype tried to get Woody to nudge Taylor, the fledgling acquisitions editor, back toward the Quaker romance line.

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the infamous Screwtype e-mails

The above image illustrates a huge problem Christian publishers have.  At the left note their fine engaged nonfiction, non-creative output by or about author C.S. Lewis. This is the golden standard of Christian publishing. To the right in this image note an illustration of the publishing denied to believing writers of fiction by these publishing concerns. In the past it was believed that secular publishing swoops in to abscond with creative works before RandompenguinsXian and other religious publishers can get to them. Evidence is mounting that this may not be the case.

Now, one at a time, LeakyWits is releasing their cache of emails illegally obtained from publishers RandompenguinsXian. I discovered this ongoing illegal series while searching on “S. Dorman,” a little known writer of gospel tracts. (I had been trying to discern if this author might do inadvertent harm to my reputation/ career.) It is unclear whether this S. Dorman had anything to do with the leakage. Disclaimer: This gospel tract writer, with a similar name, is not the same as the administrator of this blog. Nor are they related.

Here our series begins with the first emails in the LeakyWits RandompenguinsXian cache:

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The Trouble with the

 

As well as promoting disruption, writers themselves can be peculiarly seriously and appallingly disrupted.

While looking through an early collection of (indie published) short stories I noticed—distressingly, disturbingly—that at least one story had too many of “the.” This was a stirring professional consideration: Is it worth the trouble to fix these the’s? Carefully, I debated. Three editions: hardcover, softcover, e-book. Each would have to be changed, uploaded, and the new edition republished. I could get sidetracked and start looking for “the’s” throughout the collection. I’d end going carefully through, combing for the “the”, extracting wherever found oppressively redundant or replaceable.

The story had been written four decades ago. True, I gave it the cursory reading and editing after three decades (in order to publish), but somehow had missed the distracting overabundance of the. One hundred and four of them out of 1400+ words. Do you want a story containing a whooping 10% of the?

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compiling table of contents

(lowercase apology: no voice recognition software on this machine…)

not long ago i compiled a collection of essays. so a table of contents was needed to help in the arranging, a list of titles made and cut apart to organize in sequence according to um … topic, genre, colors mentioned, wavy lines, stars, and uh… intuition?

 

it’s supposed to be a collection including a variety from satire, through straightforward, plus creative (nonfiction). includes maine topics.

 

table of contents compiled

 

in this lower image, to the right you can see my sneakers where i perch on a step-stool to take flash pictures of the process

doing all this made it more fun!

 

 

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chapter 27, literary lessons, quotations from Little Women by Louisa May Alcott.

“Now I must either bundle it back in to my tin kitchen to mold, pay for printing it myself, or chop it up to suit purchasers and get what I can for it. Fame is a very good thing to have in the house, but cash is more convenient, so I wish to take the sense of the meeting on this important subject,” said Jo, calling a family council.

where Little Women was written, 1941 image (wiki)

“Don’t spoil your book, my girl, for there is more in it than you know, and the idea is well worked out. Let it wait and ripen,” was her father’s advice, and he practiced what he preached, having waited patiently thirty years for fruit of his own to ripen, and being in no haste to gather it even now when it was sweet and mellow.

“It seems to me that Jo will profit more by taking the trial than by waiting,” said Mrs. March. “Criticism is the best test of such work, for it will show her both unsuspected merits and faults, and help her to do better next time. We are too partial, but the praise and blame of outsiders will prove useful, even if she gets but little money.”

“Yes,” said Jo, knitting her brows, “that’s just it. I’ve been fussing over the thing so long, I really don’t know whether it’s good, bad, or indifferent. It will be a great help to have cool, impartial persons take a look at it, and tell me what they think of it.”

 

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