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Fictional Tendencies

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Little, Big: Thoughts & The Journey

THE JOURNEY

Almost three years ago I was introduced to the novel Little, Big by John Crowley. The introduction came by way of Maynard James Keenan’s book A Perfect Union of Contrary Things, a book I highlighted in a post titled Fictional Tendencies: The Beginning. Shortly after I had finished reading Maynard’s book I purchased Little, Big by John Crowley, upon its delivery, and me opening the shipping package, I began reading. Now, I don’t recall why but I stopped reading after 80 or 90 pages. I think I started another book or became involved in another one of my projects.

Now I’m off on this tangent, not reading Little, Big, and I won’t return to it until the beginning of the month of November 2018. Something about it kept calling me back, it was in one of my many stacks of unread books, and I thought, okay, I’m ready now. While standing in my room, holding the book and brushing off the dust, I asked myself, “Do I start over? Or do I start where I left off?” I opted to start where I left off, and I’m glad I did.  Everything that I had read came flooding back into my head, it was as though I never left.

THOUGHTS

On the surface Little, Big is the story of Smoky Barnable and his journey on foot from the City to a place called Edgewood. And as the back book cover states, “It is the story of four generations of a singular family, living in a house that is many houses on the magical border of an otherworld. It is a story of fantastic love and heartrending loss; of impossible things and unshakable destinies; and of the great Tale that envelops us all.”

Now, the above is certainly true, it’s all there in the book. But it’s more than that too. This is a book that’s an onion, there are layers upon layers of great stuff here. There are nuggets of knowledge. This is a story and is neither here nor there but both. And it’s everywhere in between. It’s as simple as it is complex. It entails everything about life and all of its complexities. While asking one question, the characters in Little, Big might answer a completely different question and be okay with the answer they have, even if it isn’t the one they were looking for. Maybe they were looking for it and weren’t quite ready for it. Maybe it was the answer they never knew they needed.

Maybe life is a journey with more questions left unanswered than answered and we’re all here trying to make the most sense we can out of what we’re given. What choices we’ve made. And where, when and what we’re trying to reach.

John Crowley’s prose is masterful and beautiful.

I’ve read several books – this is the first book I’ve read that John Crowley has written – and a large majority of the books I’ve read I’m okay with only reading them once. Little, Big is the first book that I might actively attempt to re-read. It’s that special.

Little, Big could be considered a “heavy” book, as the characters experience every success and failure and love and loss that life has to offer. Each character accepts their fate and even when they question their lot in life, they never give up, they continue to push through. When I say that Little, Big could be considered “heavy” my only comparison is that when I finished reading Ayn Rand’s The Fountainhead, I felt heavy.

Both books, Little, Big and The Fountainhead, moved me, made me feel something. That is something that all great books should do, move you, make you feel, make you think, make you question. They should inspire. And however any of those emotions or responses occur is up to you the reader.

When I finished Little, Big my heart-felt heavy; heavy with love and appreciation and a little bit of sadness. Heavy with hope. My heart-felt full. I closed the book smiling and with tears beginning to pool in the corner of my eyes. I experienced something special. I might not have understood everything that occurred in the book but what I understood was enough, enough to feel touched or moved. Maybe that’s why I want to re-read it, to better understand it, to better understand life.

Little, Big is a story that is whatever you make of it, sort of like life. It’s as complex or as simple as you want it to be, and it’s as simple or as complex as it wants to be for you. We all have our own journeys to make. We all have our own stories to tell. I’m thankful for John Crowley writing this one. Little, Big such a gem.

Thank you for reading.

Your journey starts with a step, where are you headed?

NEBULA EMBRACE

Nebula Embrace

After a storm,
Sometimes,
I want to be held
Like the clouds hold the mountains.

The Return

Sometimes we need a reset. We need to step away from the lives we’ve created for ourselves and just run, or ride. Feel the crisp winter air on our face. Feel the faintest of icicles form in your lungs. Lick your chapped lips, they aren’t chapped enough. Enjoy the sun, when it decides to come out of hiding from behind the clouds.

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Getting outside and away from civilization, even if you aren’t too far away, should be a requirement for the living. People who enjoy nature seem to be more relaxed, more centered and overall appear to be genuinely nicer people.

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Fresh air clears the head, so does exercise. I rode twenty miles today. I haven’t done that for close to a year. Sure I’m sore, but it’s the good type of sore. I took a few photographs Watched a Bald Eagle eat a meal. Watched a Crow watch it’s brother or sister get eaten by the Bald Eagle and also try to get a bite as well. I watched the waters rise and paused to reflect.

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And when all was said in a done I was humbled by a gust of wind.

Thanks for reading.

 

 

PENUMBRA OBELISK

Penumbra Obelisk

The Mountain stands
Majestic
Casting eminence

As Hope eclipses the Moon

Take notice
Do not neglect
The freshly dug grave
Casts a longer, darker shadow
Than expected.

EFFECTUAL NOMAD

Effectual Nomad

Sometimes
Late at night
When the world appears to be still
I step outside
Shut my eyes
And listen

A vehicle in the distance

The treads of its tires
Grip the road
The sound communicates a journey
Not so much about where it’s going
But about where it’s been

The night is cool and comforting
A welcome quilt for the stars
And the weary traveler.

SPECULUM TARIFF

Speculum Tariff

The glass is clear
Then the fog of my breath appears

Proving that I’m alive

But at what cost?

Has the price been paid?
Must I pay it upon admittance?
Is it a loan that I pay back over time?
Or is everything due at the end?

The end, an unknown destination set at an unknown price.

Moonlight City Drive: Review

Road to Moonlight City Drive

I’ve been a part of a writer’s group on Facebook called Fiction Writing for close to a year now. I’ve been quietly observing the group and its Administrators, one of which is a Mr. Brian Paone. Does the name sound familiar to you? If it does, that’s great. If it doesn’t, don’t worry, it didn’t sound familiar to me and to some degree – even though I know of him – it still doesn’t.

Brian is what I would consider a creative force to be reckoned with. On top of being an Administrator for Fiction Writing he has his own website and blog (Brian Paone), he’s a musician and he’s a published Author. He makes time for his creative endeavors – and the chaos that’s included – all while supporting and taking care of his family. If interested, you can read more about Brian in his blog.

Before I go too far off on this tangent; like I mentioned, I was quietly observing Fiction Writing and the Facebook group and taking notes, one of the notes I took from Brian was to support your fellow writer. Now, I thought for a long time on this. Sure, I’m the guy that goes to the book store and judges books by their cover and buys them. I risk it all for the unknown. Most are failures, meaning they weren’t as entertaining as I had hoped. The books. And Brian being a creative force, was on my radar. Mostly out of curiosity. Here’s this guy providing advice but is he any good? (And yes, I’m well aware I’m being judgmental for being someone who has several story ideas collecting dust.)

So being the supportive guy that I am, I “Liked” and “Followed” Brian Paone’s Author Facebook page. I’ll say this now, because I haven’t stated it yet, I don’t know Brian and have never had any interaction with him other than my creepy Facebook peeks into what’s going on in his literary world. In my feed two weeks ago I see a new post on his Author page, he’s sharing an article from his blog about the one year anniversary of Moonlight City Drive , its origins and what lead him to write a sequel. He caught my attention, can this be good, the book Moonlight City Drive? Does it constitute a sequel? I just reading four books so why not take a shot on the unknown. Let’s see what this is about.

The Review and Conclusion

Private Eye Hank Smith get’s the case of the century when a Mrs. Eva Covington walks into his office stating that she knows who the Boulevard Killer is. The events that unfold throughout the pages of Moonlight City Drive require the aid of whisky, the love of a good woman and the help and loyalty of unlikely friends. I won’t spoil the story as I believe it’s worth reading.

Moonlight City Drive at it’s best can be compared to an Elmore Leonard novel, and at its worst, is some B-Movie Noir kitsch that might find a cult following  on Mystery Science Theatre 3000 or Elvira’s Movie Macabre, or a show of that ilk. And don’t get me wrong, this isn’t a bad thing. What Brian Paone does with Moonlight City Drive is wonderful as it allowed me, the reader, to suspend any disbelief and dive into the world he created.

Does Moonlight City Drive constitute a sequel? Or even more importantly, does is there enough mojo here to create a trilogy? Personally, I don’t think so. I was quite content where the book ended. Again, I won’t spoil anything as I think the story is worth reading, but at the end of the book I smiled at the destination of the  journey Smith had taken.

Does a sequel makes sense? Yes, yes it does. Does the story in Moonlight City Drive constitute a trilogy? Only time and the end of the second book in the Moonlight City Drive Trilogy will tell.

If you’re currently in between books, I would recommend Moonlight City Drive, it’s worth every penny of the $9.99 I spent. I read it over the course of a weekend and spent about three and a half hours total reading time. Pick it up and enjoy. I’m glad I did.

Thanks for reading.

SPIRIT CANYON

Spirit Canyon

Sit.

Where?

Anywhere.
Let’s talk.

About?

You.

Me?

Yes, you. Let’s talk.

Okay…

Where do you want to be?
In life, where do you want to be?
Where do you see yourself?

I would say that is a tricky question to answer
but you and I both know that isn’t true. I would say
that I could see myself in any number of places; here,
there, somewhere, anywhere and even nowhere. But mostly,
I see myself tucked away somewhere, without distraction, getting
lost in the worlds I create.

And do you know how to get there?

Well, of course. The journey is long and difficult; in no way is there a direct path.
I must start at the beginning and when I arrive at the destination, I must keep going.

That sounds difficult.

It sounds lovely.

Does the destination have a name?

Spirit Canyon.

 

DUSK’S SOLACE

Dusk’s Solace

We’ll sit,
Contemplate
Our conversation

As the sun
Settles into its nest

Our Spirits
As clear as the glass that holds them

We’ll sip and toast
To life,
And her wonderful adventures

Our experiences shared in silence appreciated.

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