Monday, March 21, 2011

Guest Post with Tom Kepler

Today, I have a guest post with Tom Kepler. I hope you enjoy.
This is my chance to unload all those items that I have dragged around for years, chained to me karmically--like Marley's ghost in Dickens' A Christmas Carol. One person's junk is another's treasure. Prepare to look for unexpected treasures! Got your pickup or station wagon parked nearby?
1.) My First Novel: I'll pay you to never read it. At a little over 200 pages, I don't even remember the name of this one (if it was ever titled). I knew I'd have to revise, but then I realized the premise was embarrassing--something about an apocalyptic disaster and a guy and his horse. I have to pull out one character, though--Maggie. She is much like Gwen in Love Ya Like a Sister, only older.
2.) "Island": a poem I wrote when I was 20 years old. Price: $12.95. This is the list price of my first book, a book of poems entitled Bare Ruined Choirs. I wrote this poem for a young woman named Cindee--one spring a long time ago. Cindee wasn't one of the "sister" neighbors I grew up with--and when the fling was flung, I went back to my sister friends for a friendly bowl of popcorn. That "sister friend" relationship is a large part of Love Ya Like a Sister.
This is what I see…
a wide stretch of river,
peering lazily into water
oars slip-slipping
eddies of baywood and crayfish,
rowboat sliding upstream
and one green feather of island
slurring water,
succulent seed of sun-moist loam.
3.) Bob Dylan's John Wesley Harding vinyl album: $10. For sale online for that price, but out of stock! If I dig my turntable out of the closet, I might even play it. You know what I like about Dylan? That he's prolific.
4.) A 60's-something Austin Healy, $500. E-bay has one priced for $29,995. Now why did I sell mine so many years ago for $500? Oh, yeah, because it was a worn out pile of junk and I couldn't afford to get it fixed. But it was so way cool!!!! Randy in Love Ya Like a Sister would be jealous of this sports car, just like I was jealous of his Triumph motorcycle as I wrote the novel.
5.) Royal Manual Typewriter, $46. This was my first typewriter, and $46 is its current selling price online. I wrote my first novel with my Royal--kept the typewriter and threw away the novel. I still remember the sound of the keys hitting the paper. You really had to smack the keys; typing was a muscular thing, nothing electronic or digital about it.
6.) Dixon Ticonderoga #2 pencils, about half a box, about $3.85. These pencils are my favorite writing implement. The physical sensation of the graphite marking the paper is transcendental. And the colors are so beautiful! I wrote "Island" with a #2 Ticonderoga; in fact, I write all my poetry with a "Ti."
7.) Two feet of snow, for free. It snowed two feet on my birthday this year on February 2. This photo is from that blizzard. Free badge available on my blog website.
8.) Veggies, prices vary. If I decide to do a garden yardsale this fall, stop by for some organic, home-grown vegetables. In my fantasy novel I'm working on now, The Stone Dragon, gardening and a garden gnome are important to the events of the story. Photos of the Stone Dragon here:
9.) Lava lamp, $5 OBO. Left behind when my my son moved to Washington. Please buy this; otherwise, I might use it and come to love it.
10.) Muse, will give away to the right person. Used and slightly tarnished, but definitely fixable. One of those products that never wears out. Luckily, no matter how many I give away, I've always got two--one for personal use, and one for the world.
Ah! I feel lighter, more free. Thank you for visiting my garage sale and listening to my stories. Everything I sell is definitely "collectible." And what you don't collect, a guy comes around once a week who will take it if I leave it by the curbside. Now, to arrange all those "garage sale" memories in my brain in a usable order--then I can start writing.

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