Sunday, December 27, 2009
Wednesday, December 16, 2009
Monday, December 14, 2009
We had a great dinner Saturday night at Star Steak and Lobster on Decatur Street. I had... steak and lobster. It was great. Of course, no birthday could be complete without a trip to the Carousel Bar at the Monteleon Hotel. They have excellent bartenders, and the decor is to die for.
I'll be starting work on a fantasy short story soon. Not normally my cup of tea, but I think I can go with alternate reality route, and make it a sort of western.
Saturday, December 5, 2009
Saturday, November 28, 2009
Tuesday, November 24, 2009
Saturday, November 21, 2009
Sunday, November 15, 2009
Saturday, November 7, 2009
Saturday, October 31, 2009
Friday, October 23, 2009
Sunday, October 18, 2009
Thursday, October 15, 2009
Sunday, October 11, 2009
Monday, October 5, 2009
Monday, September 28, 2009
Sunday, September 20, 2009
Sunday, September 13, 2009
Henri's time had come. Death stood above him as surely as the pine floor lay beneath his feet. But he had prepared himself long ago for this, and he'd lived a good life. He'd seen many things, and the world around him had changed so much that he barely recognized it any more. The Civil War, Reconstruction, motor cars, electric lights...women's suffrage. The last turned his guts even more than the end of slavery had.
His heirs did right by him, though, setting him up on the second floor of their French Quarter building. He could catch the breeze up there and avoid the stench of the streets. In the morning, his granddaughter rolled him out to the balcony in his wicker chair, and he could watch the business on Royal Street. His daughter-in-law came at lunch and fed him cold cucumber sandwiches and mint tea. And in the evening, his son Jean would bring up a dinner tray and sit on the balcony, smoke his Cuban cigars while Henri ate, and tell him about the labor situation in the city. Henri could think of no more pleasant a way to spend his final days on earth before going on to his just rewards. On occasion, his son even brought him a pint of rum with his dinner.
When Henri's health continued to fail, he became confined to his couch. His heirs moved it closer to the balcony windows so he could still look out. The daughter-in-law began bringing him rice porridge for lunch instead of sandwiches, and his son no longer smoked near him. His granddaughter read to him from the Bible in the afternoons.
One rainy day -- a day Henri knew was quite close to the end -- he sat staring out the windows. Dusk lay not far off, and the clouds above hung heavy and swollen. The rain obstructed the view of the street, but Henri could see a few people dashing from one overhang to the next, sodden Daily Picayunes held over their heads to ward off the downpour. As he watched, he became aware that someone watched him back. A single figure leaning against a balcony support half a block down and on the opposite side of the street. A black man, his hands in the pockets of his outdated clothes, eyes clearly and shockingly trained on the window out of which Henri now stared. The insolence, thought Henri, of that shiftless boy to stand there like that, glaring at the window of a respectable citizen.
"Sabine," Henri called for his daughter-in-law, who minded the store downstairs.
"Un moment, Papa," he heard from below. He wished she'd break that dirty habit of speaking French. Were she in school today, the nuns would beat it out of her, as they had Henri's granddaughter, who spoke nothing but perfect English.
Before long, he heard the heels of her boots on the stairs. He turned toward the door, where she appeared.
"There is a colored boy standing on the other side of the street, staring at my window," he told her. "Find someone to send over and move him along."
Sabine crossed the room to look out at the street. "Papa, il n'y a personne là."
He glared out the window, sure she somehow missed the loiterer; he saw no one there. "He must have left."
"Oui," Sabine said and moved to adjust the coverlet on his couch. "Pardonnez-moi." She headed back downstairs.
Henri watched the now-empty section of banquette where the man had leaned. Something niggled at the back of his mind, squirming like a buck moth caterpillar only half squished on the bricks. The lost memory seemed made of ice: slick, cold, resistant.
Tuesday, September 8, 2009
Saturday, September 5, 2009
Saturday, August 29, 2009
Saturday, August 22, 2009
Monday, August 17, 2009
I wrote this story one night after a similar incident at the neighborhood bar where I hang out. A girl, right in view of the security camera trained on the front door, had her purse stolen. People in the bar went after the perpetrator, but he was not caught. I wondered what would have happened if they had found him. That evening, the cops were called and a report filed, but I imagine nothing came of it in the long run. The New Orleans police are...difficult to work with at times, and things like purse snatching often fall by the wayside.
Saturday, August 15, 2009
Saturday, August 8, 2009
Monday, August 3, 2009
Saturday, August 1, 2009
Saturday, July 25, 2009
Thursday, July 23, 2009
Sunday, July 19, 2009
Thursday, July 16, 2009
Wednesday, July 15, 2009
Saturday, July 11, 2009
Sunday, July 5, 2009
This was a tough week for writing. I started it in Maine at a retreat for my “day job,” had a huge Fourth of July barbeque, and have since been cleaning and packing for my trip to the beach.
I also signed up as a slush pile reader (they call it editor/reviewer) with Sotto Voce. Work for free, you ask? Why yes, in this case I will. Basically, it keeps me in the know. What are other people writing? How good is it? Where do I need to grow? It's sort of like being back in workshop, where I can read a lot of stuff and be able to make a few comments about it, and learn from the process.
I did get a nice request from the editor of Polluto for a rewrite of a story I submitted. I completely changed it, hoping to nail it the second time. Other than that, I’m working on a first draft of a sci fi story for an upcoming themed anthology; two thousand words in and probably not halfway. I wonder when I became such a long-winded writer; I used to have a hard time getting to twelve hundred.
I also have a rewrite to do on an old, old story that might work for another anthology. I’ve got to bump the word count up by about a thousand on that one, though, but that shouldn’t be a problem. There’s lots of wiggle room.
It will be hard to hit my target of four stories submitted this month, but perhaps when I get back from the beach, I’ll manage it.