Final Frontiers

Okay, it’s.dramatic to say, “final frontiers,” but less so than “final frontier.” I know what the FINAL FRONTIER is: to be so unattached to this world that you can transmission to the next.

My education frontier was middling – BA, plus 30 graduate credits. Then came a Masters in special education and a license to teach braille. I was about 35 then.

An interest in English Lit led to a Ph.D. at 47. I’ll give myself an A+.

I didn’t get to Europe until 40, but I was blessed enough to see much of Italy, Britain, France, Switzerland, Germany and Czech Republic. Adoption brought me to Siberia, and the pressure of imminent parenthood sent me off to Israel for Christmas week. I’ll take another A+ for I saw what I wanted to see and then some.

My adventures in real estate faltered making me grateful for what I have: a co-op with a seasonal view of the Hudson and Tappan Zee Bridge in Tarrytown. Should I settle for a B?

Writing novels is not a frontier. It’s just a ongoing fulfilling process.

Spa new frontier seems serious exercise. Bought a Nordic bike and streaming program to push myself forward and an upper/lower body exercise machine from Hammacher Schlemmer. Since I have some weights and a weight bar, I think I’m ready to go. It’s going to be a slow, slow start but I don’t ask where I will finish. God knows.

Trying New Things

Someone in town runs a workshop on how to dramatize concepts to improve art. At this point, I can only act out a monologue for my novel or act out two different characters. I tried this today. If you don’t fall over the cat or the couch, it does make the conversation more vibrant, and I saw how the characters position themselves or gesture with their hands.

I wonder if this lends itself more to drama. As Liz said to Richard Burton, You can’t.act on the screen the way you do on the stage. In other words, Down, Richard, down.

Writing Songs Part 2

The pale moon appears
The shadows curl ‘round
A restless child I run
Dark hands pry, Walls close in
My heart falls prey

Almarilla indicates a small stool so Harry sits down with his guitar. An art student places a whisky bottle with an X on it in front of a faux stone. The director tells Harry to stretch out his legs so that one foot will rest in front of the bottle. “Bend the other one back a little,” he requests. When Harry realizes his club foot will be on display he begins to protest.
“Shoot me from the other side.” But when Amarilla appears to be exasperated, Harry suddenly relents. “It’s okay. Ole. Ole. Ole. Let’s get on with it.”

Whether he took compassion on the crew or realized his right profile for handsomer, I will never know.

Writing Songs Part 1

The hero of Harry Childers doesn’t write Byronic verse; he writes songs.

As I got into bed, I watched Harry strumming his new guitar by the window. Sometimes he hummed, then paused, searching the air for words. He la-la-ed his way to the next verse. His sensitive fingers stretched across the frets. His voice was like silver. I fell asleep to the silvery melancholy sound being evoked. Feeling alone in the cold moonlight, I waited for the sun. The moon peeked through the curtains.
“‘Unmask my heart.’ Sound okay?” Drowsily I agreed and listened and Harry sang out the refrain.

Pivotal Moments

A Pivotal moments in We Killed Ichabod:

Eccentric bill collector Richard Post has returned to his studio apartment near the Flat Iron Building. He takes up the antique journal he purchased up in Tarrytown to continue reading the story of Damen Willem, a guilt-ridden young man who lived in the Sleepy Hollow region during post colonial days.

Was it only two weeks ago that I was proud to be a Sleepy Hollow boy? Given a dare we would do anything. There was Abraham, Hobnail, Caleb and me. We thought that since we would soon have to put away our childish things, we should whoop it up now. Until that night when we went too far, it was silly prank after prank. We only stopped when there was work to be done. We just wanted to have fun. Only Abraham had more stake it than a laugh, but we rode out down the post raid to scare a man to death. It was a bargain made with the devil and we got
more than I can bear. Wrangle it about in my mind as I may, relentlessly the thought comes back to me that in our harum-scaring ride, We Killed Ichabod.

Richard is so astounded to glean who the people in the journal are, that he shouts “We Killed Ichabod,” causing the red, lame, tabby cat, Chester, to fly out of the covers and up into the air.

Hayride Tonight in Sleepy Hollow

When my kid was ten we waited for the Headless Horseman to ride up to the fence at Phillipsburg Manor. He pulled up around 7:15 and pointed straight at Malcolm’s handsome blond head. Then he shifted his shoulders and waved a firm no. He did not want Malcolm’s head.

The minister who was lead on the fence said, “I told you to study hard and get smarter. The Horseman doesn’t want your head.”

“Aw, he’s just horsing around,” said Malcolm.

Starts out factual then goes off in imagination .