I’m working on a novel. The problem is, novels are slow, they’re long and they’re like putting all your retirement money into Microsoft stock: it’s probably not a good idea. For simplicity and speed, I’m writing short stories. With any luck, they’ll all be lumped together in some volume down the line like a delicious literary cheeseburger (or perhaps curry).
The first two stories, totalling about 110 pages are: “The Me@t Scr@pers” and “The Grinders.“ They are stand alone stories, and at the same time, they interrelate like Kentucky hillbillies. I think it’s the best of all worlds because these stories can be published separately now and also combined later, like I have planned. My especially great news is that they are both done and being reviewed by publishers.
Day Day 4, 12:48 PM, 9/26, Friday, 0.93 miles.
The Heathrow Express screeches toward the airport. Bushes, clouds, and construction; that’s about it. Sarah reads the the Financial Times because it’s sitting on our table in the cabin. For an economic picture of the world, it is all but financial. I’m staring at models clothed in leathery looking dresses. I don’t know what the story is, let me check. It’s on Paris Fashion Week. It’s too boring for me to comprehend, mostly because it’s upside down. The train takes 15 minutes, which is just time enough to do nothing all. Type five sentences; maybe.
That’s been the difficulty so far: finding time to write. Wake up, eat, walk to a tube station, walk to a museum or a tower, back to a station, food on the go, and before long it’s bedtime. 8.5 miles read the pedometer by bedtime last night.
“What is wrong with you Saaan-Dra,” says some American sounding man on the train. We’re immersed in some drama between him and her. He’s defending himself against apparent infidelity. Continue reading
Day 4, 9/25, Thu, 3 PM-11 PM, forecast: acute weatherlike events
PIES! Savory, hearty, flaky British pies are much of my diet now. They’re the British version of a burrito, in that you can eat the very container which holds in all of the meal’s meat, veg, juices, and assorted cholesterol.
(Click for hi-res)
Day 4, Thu, 9/25, 5AM to 5PM
We were all awake between four and five AM. We willed ourselves back to sleep. Our alarms went off to awaken us for an adventure packed day. We slept through them. We planned to get out early to pack in the amazing sights of this metropolis. We just slept.
Late in the morning, a text from mom said: “Are you at the Tower?”
“They have so many circuses here!”
“My parents are already at the Tower of London!” I yelled at Sarah. We were still getting ready. I furiously texted mom back. It was a blur, but out in the hallway I ran into Dad.
“You’re still here!” I told him. My dad shrugged. Of course he was still here. That’s when I found out none of us had kept to the prearranged early schedule. Jetlag blows.
Sarah and I “tubed” to the Tower of London–Mom and Dad split off from us, to pursue more novel destinations in the city of cities. There was construction at the tube station, and we haphazardly clawed our way through crowds and orange tape to the surface. We emerged into bright sunlight and we were still half a mile from the Tower. We tried to get our bearings, looking for the entrance. Continue reading
Day 3, Wed, 9/24
Sleeping, and waking were rough. Willpowers and circadian rhythms battled; everyone lost.
We all walked to breakfast at Frank’s Cafe’. Inside, the place was maybe ten feet wide and thirty feet long (about 3.75 meters by 2.921 deciliters). Benches and tables packed the left side. On the right was the bar and then the kitchen towards the back. Vintage Chelsea F.C. gear decked the walls. It was hot, sticky, and packed with hungry working class people. The service was fast, and the food was cheap.
At the bar, if you could squeeze by the crowd, there was a big glass cabinet filled with huge bowls of lunch fixings. The top of this cabinet doubled as the bar for orders. One employee was taking the orders, dressed in a stereotypical black and white striped apron. He told us to, “Order up ‘ere,” and then grab a seat if we wanted. Clearly he recognized this was our first time. Continue reading
Day 2, Tues, 9/23, Condition: slowing, fading, jet lag zloozing fovusszzzzzzz
Thanks to the miracle of winged aluminum can on fire technology, it’s astonishing that in the time it took you to watch a few movies, you’re in a place where people don’t talk or act anything like you. Foreign money alone strikes Americans with a sense that purchases are all Monopoly game transactions. Even the newly designed US bills look gothic compared to paper Pounds and Euros. Continue reading
Day 1, 9/22/14, Seattle, 5:45 PM, 4718 steps, 2.44 miles, Indoor temp. cold, my God who left the AC on in terminal S.
Sarah’s internal two hour food alarm went off. It’s a thing that really happens. Swiss watchmakers don’t set their watches by it.
“The granola bars must be saved,” she said; when I recommended she eat one. They have become emergency only granola bars–as if our 10 hour flight will be a starved, ten day trek across the Sahara without supplies. Continue reading
“Do we realize that we are not what we used to be, nor what we will be, but what we are in the process of being in the present instant? If life is but a dream, we might as well make it a happy one rather than a nightmare. This is why it is necessary to get rid of unnecessary ideas, beliefs and desires.”
Alexandro Jodorowsky, Screaming Planet, Humanoids, Inc., Los Angeles: 2011. p.46.
I’ve been busy studying a newt hibernaculum overseas. That is the best response I’ve devised to any sort of retort about your laziness. Why didn’t you do your homework? Newt hibernaculum. What were you thinking when you only watched episodes of the “Legend of Korra” all day instead of writing? Newt hibernacula. It will always work, at least for a second or two, which will buy you precious time to slide awkwardly away from the conversation.
No, it is not a nonsense word penned by Lewis Carroll. It is a real thing, and I’ve seen it. It sort of overshadowed all that other stuff I saw, like Big Ben, the Rosetta Stone, Dublin, and the largest passenger ferry in the world. I’ll get to all that later. Just know that my trip involved a newt hibernaculum, up close. Let that really sink in. Continue reading