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"Ships at a distance have every man's wish on board. For some they come in with the tide. For others they sail forever on the horizon, never out of sight, never landing until the Watcher turns his eyes away in resignation, his dreams mocked to death by Time. That is the life of men" Zora Neale Hurston,(opening paragraph), Their Eyes Were Watching God.

Yesterday I was on fire for inspiration and rushed to Barnes and Noble to get the Hurston. On the way home I stopped at my local pub which has European style outside tables and chat, and met up with Manuel who teaches at Johns Hopkins University, but is from Spain. He is a writer and I had shared the first page of my novel with him. We had long talk about writing and life mixed with my chopped up Spanish and love rant about Zora Neale. There was a Jewish guy who spent many years in Mexico also speaking Spanish. He, too, was a writer. He schooled me on a few Spanish words and helped me patch together my broken sentences. When we embarked in English on our roots, we found our kindred souls at the bottom of our histories. Our roots, "raizes". Indeed, at the heart of every present is the past.

I had The Book with me and we all read the first paragraph and sighed our applause. I told Manuel that I had discovered a better opening for my novel, the all-important first sentence. It Just fell out of the night, late, but right on time -- free, no charge. Aaaah, this fickle muse.

Zora, here I come.
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I just found a contest in Poets and Writers journal for book excerpts. Perfect. Only 5,000 words, so I went frantic patching together my most coherent excerpts for review. And editing: Slash, burn, rewrite, second-guessing and doubts. Shoring up the holes in the novel where mediocrity set in. But I am excited. Looking forward to more editing. Tightening. Making it sing.

I want to get a copy of Zora Neale Hurston's Their Eyes Were Watching God for inspiration, but I am afraid that if I reread it I will never write another word again. Her writing ,aaaah, so sublime, fresh, outside the box. It is poetry and dance without the missteps.

Sorting out clothes today to give away in preparation for the move. Waiting for Salvation Army to call me back to schedule a pick up. I didn't know they could do that. Just not answer and say, I'll get back to you. Are people donating so much that you have to wait in line? Maybe with the recession people are downsizing, or even just getting put out.

Also, I must say, gospel music. Yes, gospel music is what I need right now. I am not religious at all, but the timber and tone of this music heals and strengthens. It just does. If I can get my mind off the notion of a lone Father creating the world without the Mother, (not to mention all the killing), and not get too cerebral on it, it touches me in that abandoned place. It awakens love without the hurt.

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Randy Mack lived on a cliff that overhung the lip of Pine Street where ol’ Spivey’s Barber Shop used to be. He lived on a dream at the corner of Pine and the local fish fry where Arney, the town crazy, stood with a sign “Walk, don’t walk. It’s up to you.“ The carpet beneath Randy Mack’s feet were the impossible words that he lived by, his self-delusions, and he was headed for a fall.

He was cool as a lick of ice and rattled like a viper. His wily words drove the women wild. Free from the encumbrances of employment, he lived on the weakness of women who depended on men for their beauty.

August 2010

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