Time to Look Back, and Ahead

Posted on 12/29/2010. Filed under: Uncategorized |

It is that time of the year to look back at what happened during the past year and think about what will happen during the next year. In my case, the book PushBack did finally go live. The official publishing date is July 15 but there were a few hic-ups and the first real copies didn’t appear until September. The last half of 2010 has been used to publicize PushBack. Despite good efforts by Smith Publicity and Author House the results have not been overwhelming. The results were not a surprise, but you never know until one tries.  

What’s next? Another year: that’s a pretty safe prediction. Beyond that: it gets iffier.  

Plans: Start another novel. That should be a safe prediction. Predicting a start is easier is than predicting a finish. I would like to do some short stories, including short shorts. How about doing one short every week? That may be a little ambitious. I’ll say one every two weeks; twenty six for the year.

What about the rest of my life. I think I will just let that happen. Starting a novel and writing twenty-six short-short stories is about as much planning as I can handle.

What about the novel to be started next year. Well, I’m cheating a little when I say I will start a new novel next year because I have already been thinking about the next one in 2010.  I have written two short stories and have thought one could be the first chapter and the other the last chapter. And I have a name for the novel. It will be “For the Cause.” It will be a hybrid, a combination of fiction and nonfiction. A lot of fiction is associated with real happenings but labeling it as fiction relieves the author of the need for references, acknowledgements or credit. In the book I am envisioning, some chapters will be entirely non-fiction and others will be fiction. The non-fiction chapters will have references credits and acknowledgements. Anybody who reads this may think I am spoofing them. I’m not. I don’t know how one would categorize this sort of a book. Maybe it would be called a non-novel or a completely unreadable novel

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2 Responses to “Time to Look Back, and Ahead”

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I had said I would do twenty-six short-short stories, less than 100words, in 2011.
Better get started.
These three short-shorts are all related to the cold war, 1950’s time frame, Korean War period.

War Torn City Recovers
Two American Marines wander a Tokyo market, a short break from the horrors of war on the Korean Peninsula.
Tokyo bustles, factories hum; making cigarette lighters out of GI discarded beer cans, half price Leica knock offs, the world’s finest china.
Two women stand out. One; a young woman, beautiful as many young oriental women are, a face like porcelain with fine features, a tiny but full body. Beside her: an older version of herself. Both are dressed stylishly in shades of blue.
The older woman approaches the marines, “You like daughter, only 3,000 yen, all night.”

Cold War March 1952
A navy patrol plane off Shanghai with fourteen men aboard is in trouble; one engine is out and the other is losing power. Kadina Okinawa, their destination, is possible.
It is night and violent storm envelopes Kadina. Ground Control Approach shouts: You’re 400 feet low, off center, Abort, abort!! Impossible, the plane can only descend, not ascend. Somehow the plane bounces and stops on the runway. The emergency vehicles disperse and the plane is towed to its parking pad.
A ground crew member sticks his head into a hatch. “Did Ya bring any mail?”

Cold War April 1951
Tom, a marine a month out of boot camp, arrives at his duty station in the Philippines. That evening a private, a six month Philippine veteran, talks Tom into hitting the beach.
Not far outside the base gate a toddler craps in the gutter. The veteran comments; “That’s why the Orient stinks.”
They stop at a bar where the beer is cold, the waitress seductive. The private introduces Tom. “Just arrived.” he says.
“How you like Philippines?” The waitress asks.
“It stinks.”
She stomps off, muttering in Tagalog.
The private is impressed, “Takes talent to insult a whore.”


More Cold War Short Shorts

1950 Marine Green
It’s below zero, much below and the marine summer fatigues do little to shield me from it. I shiver in my shallow hole and sweat as small arms fire fills the air. The Chinese are everywhere. My mind wonders as it ponders my escape from that lousy Dakota farm, the world to see, to experience. There is a scream, “Medic, medic.” A mortar round shakes my hole. I hold the M1 in my frozen hands. Do I dare show myself, fire this rifle at I know not what. Maybe milking cows wasn’t all that bad.

Cold War, 1948
The bus rolls to a stop, I get on, sit right behind the driver. In two months I will finish the training to be an aviation electronics technician at the Memphis Navy Air Training Center. The bus moves through the training center as it picks up more passengers it will take to Memphis. The bus is almost full when it reaches the training center main gate. The driver turns and looks at me and says, “You all have to move to the back of the bus now.” I moved to the back of the bus.


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