100 Novels

100 novels live inside me.

Some I write as poems because I get bored quickly.

Some have a natural hook and a dance beat. They become songs.

A few bloom into a full plot, character sketches, random baubles of backstory.


I finished two.

One lives in a black hole in cyberspace.

The other lives in my memory and on a five-and-a-quarter inch floppy disk.

Both corrupted storage media.


Sometimes, rarely, a novel will arrive in a sense of fullness,

a complete glorious narrative waiting for the telling.

And there it recluses, known only in the flash of my firefly attention.


But what a concept.

What an ending.



If you don’t yet know who Susan Boyle is, crawl out from under your rock, go to Youtube, watch all seven minutes of her “Britain’s Got Talent” audition, then come back to this page and continue reading.   A dowdy, 47-year-old, never-been-kissed Scottish woman has turned the entertainment world on its ear and elicited a genuine grin from Simon Cowell.  I believe hell might have frozen over for a few minutes there as well.

Three years ago it was Paul Potts, the British cell phone salesman in need of dental work who opened his mouth on that same stage and made folks across England look twice at their tellies and inquire, “Luciano?”  And now we have Susan Boyle, a woman who could probably sell out a U.S. tour in a matter of moments right now, yet completely unknown just two weeks ago.

What shall we make of this?

Well, I have a theory (you knew it was coming, didn’t you).  Actually my theory is two-fold.  First, I think this phenomenon might have something to do with the aging baby-boomer generation.  Those of us in our late 40s, 50s, and 60s represent a mighty marketing demographic, and we’re just about wise enough now to appreciate true talent over superficial beauty.   Thirty years ago if a would-be celebrity couldn’t appeal to 17 year olds, they weren’t considered viable in commercial music.  Now?  Well, screw the whippersnappers.  Who needs ’em?  We might be stiff crawling out of bed in the mornings, but we can deliver up platinum album sales if we take a mind to.

The second part of my theory is a bit more esoteric.  I wonder if there might be an evolutionary step we’ve taken that has caused us to be more in tune with what is real.  I’m a creative person and value the creative process.  I’ve read “The Artist’s Way.”  But, there are some things you can’t create.  Susan Boyle’s moment in the spotlight was the artistic equivalent of lightening striking, and even the best director or producer would tell you that you just can’t create that.  Sometimes magic happens, whether on a movie set, under a Broadway proscenium arch, or on a talent show stage.  And that magic is when absolute authenticity shines from a pure place.

Susan Boyle might not look like a star, but she’s real.  And that true self she presents to the world is what we crave.  We don’t want to sing like Susan Boyle.  We want to have the courage to be as authentic.

Either that, or it all boils down to Boomers becoming as Youtube savvy as the whippersnappers.

And . . . We’re Back

After that not-so-quick word from our sponsor, The Holiday Season, we now return to our regularly scheduled blogging.

Thoughts on the New Year:

1.  I have 19 pounds to lose.

2.  Love the holidays and love getting back to the rhythm of everyday life.

3.  No one will ever take care of your dogs the way that you do.

4.  I’ve deleted the word “resolutions” from my vocabulary and have replaced it with “creative spark.”  I will create 2009 like a painting of many layers, not force it into some kind of resolved, strength-of-will, restrictive land of limitations.

5.  I have so much respect and admiration for my sister, Dalinda, that I don’t even know how to tell her that.

6.  I’m grateful that my mom never seems to get any older.

7.  This week I will begin our garden from seeds in our garage and I am convinced that watching something grow will keep January from sucking like it has so much potential to do.

8.  My classes this spring are going to be the best I’ve ever taught.  (I say that every semester and then wonder what the hell happened about six weeks in, but, you know, try, try, again.)

9.  I have a secret belief that 2009 is going to be absolutely fantastic for me because my numerology number is 11 and the number for 2009 is, of course, 11 (2+0+0+9).  I wouldn’t stake such a strong claim on this except that my “Lifetime Numerology Report!” from several years ago predicted some pretty huge things with amazing accuracy.  Also, it’s a positive secret belief, not some fear that horrible things will happen, so I’m going with it.

10.  I love my family more each year.

Happy New Year, everybody!  Create great things!