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“All is true and all is false in love; love is the only thing about which it is impossible to say anything absurd.”

Sebastien Roch Nicolas Chamfort

Now seems the opportune moment to present The Goods, the first chapter of my first manuscript.

“Following college Frank Avery is comfortable in his bucolic little hometown of Collins. Beth Ann calls, announcing her divorce will be finalized Friday morning…and she is driving the two hours to Collins from the City immediately thereafter.”

Oh,mercy.Not Beth Ann,again.

amantes sunt amentes

Lovers are lunatics.

CONCURRENT RELATIONSHIPS

a novel by Lee DeBourg

Chapter One: vae soli

woe to the solitary men

I answered the phone Sunday evening. The voice was that of Beth Ann.

“Frank, I need directions.”

This was true of most people I had known. They required a blueprint or algorithm to explain how they functioned.

“Did you lose yours?”

“Lose my what?”

“Instructions. Directions explaining how you tick.”

“Frank, I’m in no mood to listen to any of your bullshit. I need directions to find your place in Collins.”

I was stricken with an anxiety attack. “Why?”

“Because I’m coming to visit Friday.”

“Why?”

“Friday morning my divorce will be finalized. I’ve decided to come stay with you for at least the weekend.”

“Why?”

“Partially to begin catching up on my sex life. It’s been absolute hell living with my parents these past eight months while waiting for this damn divorce. My lawyer said you provided very good advice when you suggested I move back with my parents rather than stay with you. He said it helped with the property settlement, what little there’s going to be after six months of marriage. I bought a new bikini to bring this weekend.”

“Why?”

“We’re going to the Big Lake on Saturday. That’s close to you, isn’t it?”

“It’s eighty miles away.”

“Whatever. Are you still working nights?”

“Since that talking head Reagan took office in January I’ve been laid off more than I’ve worked.”

“Are you working or not?”

“I’m going back to work in two weeks.”

“Then I’ll bring copies of my resume. You can help me look for a job in your area. I’ve been working at the local Burger King just to get out of the house and away from Mother. So are you going to give me directions?”

“Are we sure about this?”

Beth let out a vicious sigh. “For the past year since the wedding all everyone has done is cause me grief. Don’t you start in on me too, Frank Avery. I’m driving up Friday immediately after signing the legal papers making me a free woman again. If you don’t provide directions I’ll just come up and start asking questions until I find the road you live on.”

That was exactly what she would do, too. The previous Thanksgiving was the last time I had heard from her, two frantic phone calls asking if she could move in with me though we had not seen each other for eleven months. Her wedding invitation I had discarded.

I provided directions to a restaurant at the closest Interstate exchange. It would take over two hours for her to drive up from the City. After conversation, if I decided to turn her around, it would be easier from that point than from my farmhouse on a back country road.

“It’s been awhile, Beth. May I ask why the interest?”

“You should know why. And you’re the opposite of my husband. You have broad shoulders, big muscles, a hairy chest and you’re not a college professor, though you could be if you ever set your mind to it. Do you have a girlfriend?”

“No one serious.”

“Just like before. Nobody serious, but you have casual girlfriends. I’m driving up to spend the weekend. We’re going to have a long talk. For your information I don’t plan to marry anyone again until I’m at least thirty five, and that especially includes you. You broke my heart once. You won’t have that opportunity again, you rotten bastard.”

 

While typing this post I have been listening to a CD by Paris Combo, And one by Pink Martini.

maibus pedibusque

“Good writers define reality; bad ones merely restate it. A good writer turns fact into truth; a bad writer will, more often than not, accomplish the opposite.”
Edward Albee-American dramatist

Writing is something I do.I don’t live to write,or depend upon it to pay next month’s utilities and groceries.
The activity of writing is liberating. Loosely defined, I apply the ‘Five Why’ problem solving technique in my approach to expression. I pose the questions ‘Why?-Why?-Why?-Oh Why? and Why Again?’ in developing character-scene-dialogue. This also works well in the revision process. Words, phrases, sentences, paragraphs must justify their existence within the Grand Scheme of Things, the Work in Progress. The work must contain an Inner Logical Consistency, no matter the skewed or oddball Point Of View.
And in the final analysis…writing is cheaper than going to therapy.

At the present moment I am revising my second novel, ‘YOUNG,ONLY ONCE’, similar though more than twice the length of CONCURRENT RELATIONSHIPS.
Before starting a third novel (I have plenty of ideas), I would like to gauge the world’s impression of my efforts.
My goals are modest. I harbor no burning desire to see my name in print (hence, a pseudonym). Entertainment and information(new to me) are what I seek in a good read. Since the muse overtook me, I resolved to offer the same through my writing exercise.
Modest financial return would be nice (I won’t lie, outside of the fiction). What I would like to gauge is honest reaction to the STORY. Whether ten hundred, or a hundred thousand brief critiques, slightly more positive than negative would motivate continuation of effort.

‘Out there’ is much to choose from. I respect those who might harbor interest in my expression. As a reader I respect an author who gives their audience sufficient credit as insightful, thoughtful adult human beings. I try to replicate this attitude. It’s not so difficult. All cultures and religions contain a variant of the ‘Golden Rule’.

There are no new stories under the sun.

There is only an individual novelist’s synthesize of human experience.

Currently am lost in the Paul Schwartz productions ARIA and ARIA 2. Heavenly, though the percussion could be toned down a bit.

I picked up ARIA while I for a flight at Vantaa, outside Helsinki, Finland.

Vive la difference

“No man but a blockhead ever wrote except for money”
Samuel Johnson-1776

CONCURRENT RELATIONSHIPS arose from a simple theme: The exploration of Aphrodite’s two attributed interpretations. The older Aphrodite, Ourania, was viewed as celestial, associated with spiritual love, emblematic of discretion in conjugal love. The younger Aphrodite, Pandemos (root of the word pandemonium) was viewed as common, associated with physical desire, all men’s love for women arising from her. This seemed a worthy investigation from a male POV character, caught between the extremes.

At least this was the original thought. RELATIONSHIPS began writing itself. The story flowed through my hand, as I merely guided ink pen(s) across blank paper to finish first draft.

The novel is non-genre FICTION. Elements of it are Contemporary Relationships, New Adult, Romance, Erotica, Crime Drama, Travelogue, Technical, International, Humor, and a space to take out your hanky. Within the current bookselling environment the classification would be Upmarket (but not Upmarket women), straddling the fence between Mainstream (high-class plot driven Commercial) and Literary (character driven and seldom financially successful).

Two impressions struck me as the book was edited. This is something I would enjoy reading( I don’t find enough interesting fiction). More importantly there is diversity and ‘realism’ enough that a reader should be able to suspend disbelief and immerse him/herself within my little world.

The first portion of RELATIONSHIPS is overloaded with sexuality, which some may find offputting For the character’s age group, early to mid twenties, keeping raging hormones under control can be a daily struggle. I consider this realism. Romance is a thin veneer for some (many?) whose very core screams ‘procreate!’

Others are capable of subtlety and nuance.

A few can cast a wry eye at the noise and commotion, maintaining sanity and grace, developing a balanced approach to life.

Then Beth Ann barges in to visit, the ink barely dry on her divorce documents.

What is a grown man expected to do?

Such is the humble beginning of my first STORY, a book length work of FICTION that does not easily pigeon-hole into any one genre.

My mantra is simple. Write the STORY your imagination conjours, then put it ‘out there’ accessible to the entire world. They will determine whether value/satisfaction is achieved. Perhaps a critique loop will bring feedback to my attention, insight to be incorporated within future efforts.

Success is easy to calculate: One copy sold to someone unknown to me,who finds enjoyment in my literary enterprise. In advance I will say both ‘Thank You’ and ‘You’re Welcome’.

Release date late September

For this version of blog I’ve been listening to my favorite operatic piece, performed by Vanessa Mae: Violin Fantasy on Puccini’s ‘Turandot.’
I picked up this copy of the CD ‘China Girl-The Classical Album 2’ while visiting Kiev, Ukraine (Spasiba, Sveta).

Short Story: Screwed

Frederic shifted his weight uncomfortably from one foot to the other.
Matilda’s face was reddened, the tears flowing freely. Her Mother stared at Frederic with undisguised hostility. Father cleared his throat, then with his index finger indicated for Frederic to follow.
The two walked through the dining room, kitchen, down the steps and through the breezeway, into the empty two-stall garage.
Bitch, Frederic reflected. In this day and age a woman was supposed to know what she was doing.
Father stopped in the garage center, turning to face the young man. He extracted a cigar from his chest pocket and began unwrapping it.
“You got anything to say for yourself, Boy?”
“I…uh…not really,” Frederic managed to stammer.
Father grunted. “I expect not,” he said, sticking the cigar in his kisser. “I figured we better come out here for this little chat. There’s too much boo-hooing going on in there. In case you didn’t know, that’s the way women are.”
Frederic nodded, and gulped.
Father flared a wooden match with his thumbnail, then lit the cigar. He blew out a large cloud of smoke.
“She has two older sisters. They managed to find husbands without getting themselves knocked-up first.”
Frederic gulped, and gave a slight nod.
Father belched out another grunt, crossing his arms. “Matilda is twenty three years old. A man gets antsy with a single twenty three year old daughter still under his roof.”
Frederic stood in silence, waiting.
Father blew out another cloud of smoke.”My first two daughters turned out alright.From this point on,this one is your responsibility. You, my boy, are getting the lazy one. I was beginning to think I was never going to offload her.”

THE END

Musings while enjoying a Romantic Flamenco guitar CD,”Obsession”, and the CD Buena Vista Social Club.

Lee DeBourg

Sparseness within the Blogging Milieu

Brevity is the soul of wit.
Shakespeare
Therefore…write nothing at all.

Think much.
Speak little.
Write less.
-Italian Proverb-

Okay,one more:
Three women and a goose makes a market.
-Italian Proverb-

I really should stop:
A buxom widow must be married,buried,or shut up in a convent.
-Spanish Proverb-

Alright,enough is enough:
A man may write any time,if he will set himself doggedly to it.
Samuel Johnson 1750

No place affords a more striking conviction of the vanity of human hopes than a public library.
Samuel Johnson 1751

Reflections while listening to a CD of operatic overtures from Milano,music of Rossini and Verdi.

Lee DeBourg