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Archive for December, 2010

Blink.

Last night the winter solstice coincided with a lunar eclipse. The first response to come out of my mouth when asked if I would stay up to see it was, why bother? A million pictures better than anything I could ever see on my own were sure to pop up the next day, so losing sleep just to say I saw it live seemed, well, pointless. Even so, I set my alarm, and at 2:31 am my cheek was pressed up against a window as I watched history unfold. Of all the emotions to experience, I felt something I haven’t felt for sometime now…

Fear.

The moon, an absolute that I take for granted, was cast in shadow by forces I couldn’t begin to understand. My problems, my neighborhood’s problems, my city’s, the state’s, the world’s, they all disappeared with the sunlight, their insignificance brighter to me in their absence than they ever were out in the open. Moment’s like these, when nature puts me firmly back in my place, remind me of my one and only fear: nonexistence. In the same time that it takes me to write this blog, I will cease to exist. Don’t believe me? Okay. Blink. If that seems familiar, it’s because it’s the first thing I asked you to do in this post. Yet even now, both blinks are a part of your past, no more so than the third time I’ll ask the same of you, even if you haven’t done it yet. The future is the past, we’ve all already slipped into nonexistence.

Us, those who loved us, the very memory of us, gone.

Still, I cling to the now that slips from my grasp, I claw at the present as though I might catch hold of it. If all I have are memories until I become one myself, I’ll be damned if I don’t fill them with as much love, friends, family, cooking, and writing as I can, while I can. So for those of you who missed the eclipse:

Blink.

See? It’s already a memory.

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Well, it’s been a heck of a week. My daughter, Lucy Marie Lopez, was born Nov. 23, 2010, and it’s been a roller coaster ride from beginning to end. I’ve been changing diapers, entertaining, cooking, changing diapers, and yes, even writing (but not much, to be sure)! Unfortunately, in that same passage of time we lost some notable celebrities, in particular, Irvin Kershner, director of, among others, The Empire Strikes Back. That’s right, for those of you who aren’t die hard fans of the Star Wars films (myself included), George Lucas only directed the first of the original trilogy, which probably has something to do with why they’re held in such higher regard than  the latest installments of the toy obsessed franchise. This seldom mentioned fact got me to thinking: here was a man who avoided the limelight for the sake of his craft, whose passion for his work overrode is desire for recognition, admirable qualities, no doubt, but should they be emulated by aspiring writers?

So often on blogs and Twitter I see writers tooting their own horns, speaking with such confidence that one can’t help but listen/read. I know that I should be doing the same thing, but knowing and executing are two very different things. I don’t care if I don’t have hundreds of followers or blog subscriptions, but I don’t want to shoot myself in the foot either. So the question is, can I effectively market myself and remain as humble and passionate about my work as Mr. Kershner, or should I jump on a podium and announce my presence from every outlet I can get my paws on? Probably the second, but I think I’ve come up with a viable alternative: the candy aisle.

Let me explain.

People are reluctant to invest in new writers. Lack of reviews, preponderance of alternatives, and general mistrust of so called “self-published authors” prevent consumers of digital media from shelling out money on little known authors. I don’t blame them. When I go the supermarket (which I try to avoid at all costs, as I much prefer farmers markets), I rarely, if ever, go with the intention of buying candy. But every so often, as I stand in line politely avoiding my bad habit of trying to figure out the lifestyle of the person standing in front of me based on what they’re buying, I’ll reach for whatever new twist on a classic candy has just come out. It’s cheap, and for all I know, I’ll discover a new favorite treat. The latest? Triple chocolate Kit Kats. Yum.

My writing needs a candy aisle. People should have access to a cheap taste of what I have to offer, and at $7.99, The Dead Don’t Cry isn’t going to cut it. So I’ve decided on running a series of short stories called Tales from Two Earths. Each one will feature different people, places, and events from the world of TDDC, and in so doing introduce readers to my writing for the bargain price of $.99 each. The first one is underway, and I couldn’t be more excited. At the very least, it’s better than beating my chest every chance I get. Unless I’m pretending to be Tarzan with the kids, in which case it isn’t nearly as exciting.

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