A Luminous Halo

"Life is not a series of gig lamps symmetrically arranged; life is a luminous halo, a semi-transparent envelope surrounding us from the beginning of consciousness to the end." --Virginia Woolf

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Location: Springfield, Massachusetts, United States

Smith ’69, Purdue ’75. Anarchist; agnostic. Writer. Steward of the Pascal Emory house, an 1871 Second-Empire Victorian; of Sylvie, a 1974 Mercedes-Benz 450SL; and of Taz, a purebred Cockador who sets the standard for her breed. Happy enough for the present in Massachusetts, but always looking East.

Sunday, December 31, 2006

New Napkin

Last day of the year, so time to make new resolutions. I'm not even going to write down the ongoing ones from years past--that'll have to be understood. My refrigerator is wallpapered with lists written on napkins. I still want to get to the Blue Lagoon, learn Italian, reupholster the Mercedes, and so on and on. The following are my brand-new goals:

1) Get in the movies. Providence, Rhode Island is becoming the new Hollywood. I know people who have had bit parts in movies and know the drill. I think it would be fun, not only to be in a movie, but to have the experience of being on a set. I don't want to try to develop skill as an actor, just be an extra in a crowd scene. Or have my house used as a movie set. Or have my dog or car filmed. Or write a screenplay.

2) Publish a wine article. I've decided on the subject and the outlet; now I just have to do it.

3) Jazz--listen to more of it; collect some of it. I like jazz, but I like so many other kinds of music, too. This is going to be the year of jazz.

4) Finish novel. I started it in Iowa; Gordon Mennenga (ghostwriter for Garrison Keillor) and Phil Hey (fiction editor of the Briar Cliff Review) thought it had legs. What is my problem?

5) Publish book. Book is already written. Just needs to be shopped.

6) Lew Hunter workshop. Lew Hunter taught screenwriting at UCLA for decades; he's also taught at the Sorbonne and pretty much all over the world. He runs the kind of workshops that people like Steven Spielberg drop in on. His Nebraska workshop should be like the Iowa Summer Writing Festival, only for movies. The Big League, in other words. All I need is $2500 and part of a script.

7) Europe. Poland, anyone? Or the Couleur Café festival "dedicated to all currents of urban music across the world" in Thurn & Taxis? The Ice Hotel in Lapland next fall? Another press trip to whereever? I'm leaving it open.


Old Napkin

It's almost the end of the year, so time to look at last year's resolutions. Results were mixed.

I didn't get syndicated--but I did make some progress toward syndication. I've got a regular weekly column now, which appears in one newspaper. I couldn't say that this time last year.

I didn't publish anything travel-related. I did, however, publish more articles on other subjects that I expected to, which is one of the reasons I didn't focus on travel articles. Corporate copywriting pays astoundingly well; travel writing doesn't. I do intend to follow through with the wine material I've accumulated, though. That's travel-related.

I did make the portière. And I hung one side of it. If I can find the missing piece of hardware for the other door, I can hang up the rest of it.

I didn't learn any Italian. I did find an Italian course I could afford and get to, but it had already started up. Maybe in the spring I'll take the next round.

I did hang the heaviest pictures and mirrors. Not all of them, but a lot of them.

I did have my ears pierced. I'd had the studs in for over two months when I got to Mumbai. I pulled them out to put in my beautiful fancy earrings to go with the shalwar kameez I'd had tailored there, but I couldn't get the earrings in. I didn't want to risk an exotic infection by struggling with them too much. By the time I got back to the U.S., the holes had completely closed up. Too late I learned I should've had it done with a needle and not a gun. So I'm back to square one. But I did get them pierced, I guess.

Tattoo. Still not sure about that one.

I cleaned up a lot of loose ends. And created at least as many new ones. But I can't seem to say no to anything. I like having my life very full, even if it means lots of loose ends.

I did start a blog. And write to it pretty much daily.

I did get a bartending job. Not a full-time, permanent one, though. So I'm back to square one on that one, too.