honesty / reliability / responsibility
One of Kenzie’s lovers in Pit-a-Pat High Jinks had long puzzled me. In the earlier versions of the story, I pretty much ran with a set of details mirroring those I had encountered in real life. I refrained from speculating on what she wasn’t telling me – or, by extension, Kenzie.
In the latest set of revisions, though, I ventured beyond that self-imposed taboo. I had learned from two other girlfriends how devastating childhood abuse could be. Yes, in this fictional case, the hypothesis fit. Not that it had to be factually true, but rather that it was a plausible possibility – that was enough for a novelist. As I fleshed out that incident and its impact, I began weeping. If only I had known more of her at the time or more of all three, would the course of our relationships gone differently? The feeling of deep loss and grieving was pervasive, all these decades later.
Likewise, as I was reworked the text that morphed into Daffodil Uprising, the focus shifted from the lighthearted face of the hippie experience to a broader comprehension of its desperation and even destructive fringes – and that sensation also had me grieving. As a deep sense of loss regarding the promise we saw on the horizon but failed to reach and fulfill washed over me, I began seeing the novel as a requiem for the hippie dream.
With Kenzie’s daughter Cassia at my side, though, I started thinking about the way dreams work. They have one foot in the past and the other in the present. And then, even when she was looking at her father’s history, she had her own generation in mind. From where I stand, their situation looks even more confusing than ours had. What can we who did change so much of society, pro and con, offer them now in continuing that vision?
These are dire times, friends. Anyone else feeling some déjà vu and unease?
On this day a year ago, we woke up to a big snowfall – the biggest of the season, as it turned out. It was coming down like crazy, and I was even hoping to get out on my cross-country skis, at least do a few loops around our yard, unlike the previous year.
Thought I’d clean off my wife’s car first and the steps and walkway out front, just in case.
But that’s when I had to stop and try to catch my breath. I’d felt this sensation, something like what I’d heard asthma described like, several times in the past few months. I thought it was the aftermath of a nasty bug the previous fall, and several people in the know said it sounded like a walking pneumonia. Once, in particular, it hit me at the end of a length in the indoor swimming pool. Another time, while carrying a three-year-old down from Mount Agamenticus. After the third time, I went in to see my primary care physician, who said my lungs sounded fine, ordered an X-ray, and scheduled a stress test. Oh, yes, and if the symptoms returned, go straight to the emergency room.
Yeah, yeah. Just what I needed – more inconclusive tests.
So as the snow hit just two days before the stress test was scheduled and the symptoms returned, I figured I could ride it out until my appointment.
That’s when my elder daughter showed up. “My Prius is cleaned off and warmed up. Get in.” My wife seconded the motion, and reminded me they had my doctor in their corner.
OK, drop me off. I’ll give you a call when I’m done.
Remember, there was no pain. No chest pain, especially. This was a breathing problem.
Pit-a-pat is the sound of hands drumming as well as rain on the roof. Both fit my newest novel, which is being released today at Smashwords.com.
The book continues Cassia’s discoveries about her future father’s mysterious adventures before he meets her mother and settles down into marriage.
Here he heads for the hills after graduating from college, moving into a dilapidated farmhouse he shares with a dozen or so other young rebels and recluses. He goes back-to-the-earth with his housemates and their dogs and cats and chickens as well as their fields and abandoned orchard plus the surrounding ponds and forests. Nude swimming, anyone? Off they go.
He’s also coming to grips with his first full-time job, working as a photographer at the local small-town newspaper, where his bohemian ways don’t always fit well. Still, a job’s a job.
His life really perks up through eccentric new friendships around the campus in the valley, especially a young dreamer known as Drummer.
Sometimes it all resembles a three-ring circus.
In his heart, though, he’s looking for love – along with healing after being jettisoned by his college sweetheart. Running through Pit-a-Pat High Jinks is a series of lovers and passionate encounters that ultimately advance his erotic experience and understanding. Please note that the story can be rather graphic. (You will need to set the adults-only button to find it at Smashwords.) The tale is set, after all, in an era of free love and recreational substance exploration.
It’s a poignant and timeless mix of youthful escapades and mayhem.
Be among the first to read my newest novel.
Just think of all the exercise I wouldn’t get if we had a ranch house.