Where the Earth Starts to Slope (excerpt from Magpie in August)

 

She has my head in her lap. Her fingers are raking through my sweat tangled hair; it kind of hurts, but I don’t want to pull away. All I need now is my little yellow plastic cup filled with apple or grape juice.

I’m crushing ants with my thumb as they speed along the cracks in the concrete. Some of them are carrying dead insects.

Hurry home, little ants. Run for your lives.

I hope I’m not doing anything important when I die. I can’t stand the thought that it might happen while I’m in the middle of something with Peter, or even doing something mundane, like driving home with a Saturday night pizza and movie rental. I guess I can’t stand the thought of dying, period. Not that I’m afraid of my own death. I just don’t want the people I love to be sad.

My thumb is so fast, the ants don’t have time to realize they’re about to die. What’s it like, Renny? Or maybe drowning doesn’t work that way. Your death happened so quickly, maybe you were just like these ants; unaware of God’s thumb poised overhead.

55 Comments

  1. I may actually buy my first book from a blogger.
    Yours, if that wasn’t clear. I’m becoming more inspired to write because of you. I just don’t have the patience for a novel. It feels a lot like assigning myself work, and I’ve got plenty of people doing that for me already. lol
    But if I get the chance, I’ll finish one of the ones I started.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’m not writing novels for the money or celebrity. I write novels because human connection is important to me. And I’m not mainstream, by any means. In fact, I rage against mainstream. I would be honored if you read my book. Just know beforehand that my style and tone is not book store typical.

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      1. I’m not a Picault, Patterson, Brown, etc., etc., type of person. In fact, what I read right now is about 40% urban fantasy, and the rest sci fi and hapless guy novels by Douglas Coupland and so forth. I’ll check it out soon!
        I write a blog because I like a lot of different things, and not everyone likes all of them. lol so I connect with 4-5 mini-audiences.

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        1. I’ve read a few Picault novels, but one in particular depressed me. Her writing style is not necessarily unacceptable to my taste, but the subject matter of this latest book of hers I read was just…sad. Don’t get me wrong, sadness does not normally turn me off…but this…it hurt a part of my heart too badly, and now I’m kind of sour regarding Picault. Patterson, I don’t like him. He is a formulaic writer, and though I understand that mainstream LOVES formulaic authors like him because it equals big money, I am not one of those who appreciates a template. This may sound absurdly cold, but I find commercial fiction vacuous, and it upsets me that literary fiction, once highly revered, is put on the back burner of the industry.

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          1. I probably won’t read either. Patterson isn’t the writer, dirty little secret. At some point about 20 years ago, he started writing only the outline, and other writers flesh the story out. That’s how he appears to be so prolific. He’s not like, say, Isaac Asimov, who wrote all his own books and in nearly every category of book, too.
            I like urban fantasy, seems entertaining more than anything and it is, but it’s also chock full of philosophy, religion, mythology, and human relations, and brilliant quotes all over the place. I got t his idea in my head that I wouldn’t want anyone to know my library habits, so I stupidly never kept track. Now I find myself knowing I’ve read hundreds of books the past two or three years, but not remembering quite a lot of them. I can usually find them by looking for, say, ‘that book about an autistic kid who has an imaginary friend, from the point of view of the imaginary friend’ and find it that way.

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          2. Now I’m even more disgusted with Patterson. There are even television advertisements (starring himself) of his shitty books. Ugh. I don’t read a ton of ‘current authors.’ I’m kind of a literary snob. And maybe that’s because I gave up on current authors, and don’t know who to read anymore. I like science fiction and fantasy a lot. And I read a lot of literary fiction, mostly classics. One current author I really enjoy is Rob Tom Smith.

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          3. Okay, well I’ll recommend Jim Butcher (Dresden Files), Simon R. Green (Tales From the Nightside, Secret Histories, and a third series that’s new), Rob Thurman (Cal Leandros), Richard Kadrey (Sandman Slim) Charles Stross (Laundry Files), and Tad Williams (Bobby Dollar), and that’s about 60 plus books right there. All first person, all hardboiled, all protagonists have something supernatural about them, all have girlfriends who are powerful and strong in their own ways (except Cal Leandros, because… you’ll find out, and Bobby Dollar because he’s an angel). All recommended highly, particularly Green and Kadrey

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          4. Haha Cowboy Bob danced across the painted desert, big sky spilling blue light on the landscape. He spit a chaw of tobacco on the shifting sands, hitting a gecko between the eyes.

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          1. Curiously Surrealism had a pretty big effect on African American and Caribbean literature. Ralph Ellison Invisible Man which is an outstanding novel is very surreal on parts. I will send you a few links, written by me of course.

            Liked by 1 person

          1. All my pleasure! The whole from the basement series, I want to listen to it forever. And seeing them actually playing in private, it is just a pleasure. And I will sing along, having the tune in my head all day. Don’t know what my life was like before. And I think they have a great influence on my art as well.
            I didn’t see them live as well and it makes my heart break. Having seen Linkin Park only a week or two before … Well it makes my heart break. I just have to see them! It’s different live!

            Liked by 1 person

          2. Oh, my gosh. I was heartbroken when I learned of Chester. The tragedy of his death still sits heavy in my chest.

            I love your artwork, by the way. There is so much to felt, not only seen in your fine lines. I appreciate you very much. ❤

            Liked by 1 person

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