Friday, June 25, 2004


Seeds, I suppose. This one's a bit random.

I expect that I'll read My Life eventually, but this week I've just been enjoying the Return of Bill, in interviews with Dan Rather, Juan Williams and Terri Gross. It's amazing to me how much I like the man. I didn't even vote for him in the second term (that was when I still thought the Greens might turn out to be a viable third party), and yet just the sound of his voice makes me so nostalgic for the days when presidents spoke intelligently, reasonably, and frequently, as opposed to haltingly, defensively, and only-when-the-fourth-estate-is-muzzled. I don't want him to go away again.

I've had a productive week, writing-wise. Finished (I think) a revision--well, really more of a rewrite--on what used to be called "Dreaming of Buffalo" and I'm now titling "Flash Bison." Finished one new story, "The Water-Poet and the Four Seasons," one new poem, "How to Get Hit by a Car," and started a new story that's as yet untitled. No news on any of my submissions, though. Nine stories, two poems out there in limbo.

I'm getting nervous about school. In just under three weeks I'm starting an online Master's in Library Science program through UI-Champaign. I'm terrified that this is going to take away all my writing time. I'm not having second thoughts; this is something I feel is necessary if I ever hope to have some stability in my life, but I'm already resenting the workload, and I haven't even started my readings.

Tonight, relaxing with some red wine and Freaks and Geeks on DVD. I do love Netflix.

Perfect Circle, by Sean Stewart

I've got a lot of catching up to do. We'll see if I can do a review a day for a bit. Yes, I do actually read more than an average of two books every six weeks.

I'd never read Sean Stewart before this Small Beer Press publication. My loss. This is a fast, frightening novel about family, ghosts and music. William "Dead" Kennedy has this problem, see; he sees ghosts. That, on top of the fact that he can't hold a job, is broke, in love with his ex-wife, and has a twelve-year-old daughter who thinks she has to take care of him. The wrong ghost leads to another, which leads to just about everything in Kennedy's life going from bad to worse. Perfect Circle moves quickly, isn't afraid to go to dark places, and has an ending that satisfies without being too neat. William himself is a bit frayed, and it's only appropriate that the resolution be that as well.

One of the things that I found most interesting about this novel was its take on family. Kennedy is what some people might call a loser, a man in his thirties who's trying to live the punk lifestyle, but his parents aren't the cliches one might expect them to be. They accept his oddness, forgive his mistakes, and are there when he needs them. In return, Kennedy is truly a part of his family, albeit at times reluctantly. He's not a caricature. None of these people are, from the ex-Marine who married Dead's ex-wife to Dead's cousins and sisters to the clients who hire him to find their ghosts. This is an impressive book--a thriller with soul. Or souls, if you prefer.