So you can read my books

Saturday, May 18, 2013


Don't miss CHAPTER ONE of Victor's new adventure --


"Science says the first word on everything, and the last word on nothing" 
 – Victor Hugo

What thoughts do you habitually think before sleep claims you?  Do you keep track of such things?

Science does but the conclusions are conflicting

so you can pretty much believe what you want on such matters with some scientist's blessings.

Last night, I was mulling over Robert Frost's evocative poem about the winter wind and a lovely window flower.

She a window flower,
And he a winter breeze.

When the frosty window veil
Was melted down at noon,
And the caged yellow bird
Hung over her in tune,

He marked her through the pane,
He could not help but mark,
And only passed her by,
To come again at dark.
He was a winter wind,
Concerned with ice and snow,
Dead weeds and unmated birds,
And little of love could know.

Before the rest of the poem could murmur within my sleepy brain, a thin, reedy voice spoke to my right.

My ghost cat, Gypsy, yowled her "I am the only friggin' ghost allowed here tonight" yowl.

"All literature begins with geography."

I pried lead-heavy eyelids reluctantly open.

Gypsy shoved her tiny head under my pillow, grumbling low. Robert Frost smiled at her from his ghost chair by my bed.

He gazed off into the darkness and murmured one of the last lines he ever wrote while alive:

"Unless I'm wrong
I but obey
The urge of a song

And I may return
If dissatisfied
With what I learn
From having died."

He turned his eyes back to me.

"As it turned out, I was quite satisfied with what I learned. But Elinor has chased me out of our celestial farm tonight."

He rubbed his chin ruefully.

"She says I always get insufferable on this day."

Gypsy pulled her head out from under the pillow and yowled. Robert Frost shook his head and answered my cat.

"Upon this day in 1963 I learned that my "In the Clearing" collection had won the Bollingen Prize for best book of American verse, 1962. It oddly pleased me to no end for some reason."

I tried to blink some clarity to the fog of my awakening mind. "Ah, Mr. Frost ...."

"Rob, please."

"Uh, Rob, do you really think all literature begins with geography?"

He laughed.

"Starting with absolute pronouncements is an old teaching trick, Roland.

You were a teacher as was I. You know that. It is human nature to rail against them, to kick holes in them, thus thinking through your own beliefs in the meantime."

He pursed his lips like a troubled librarian for a moment.

"But geography certainly shaped my own poetry. You could call these places "Frost Country":

San Francisco, Lawrence, Derry, England, Franconia, Shaftsbury, Ripton and Bennington. These are the literary time capsules of my beliefs and will enrich your enjoyment of my poetry."

Gypsy angrily muttered under her feline breath, and Robert Frost chuckled, "No that is not the reason I disturbed your sleep, ghost-cat."

He patted his knees.

"I wanted to tell you, Roland, to persevere. You, and all your blog friends, have more talent than you believe, and this new year will bring fresh harvests."

He rose slowly, smiling ruefully.

"By working faithfully eight hours a day you may eventually get to be boss and work twelve hours a day."

He started to fade like a dream upon awakening.

"No great wisdom from beyond I'm afraid. In three words I can sum up everything I've learned about life: it goes on."

He tapped my shoulder with all-but-invisible hand.

"Forgive me my nonsense, as I also forgive the nonsense of those that think they talk sense."

The last thing I saw was his faint smile.

"Now, back home to Elinor. Home is the place where, when you have to go there, they have to take you in."

And he was gone.

So? Do you have any tricks you use when you want to make your readers think?

And do you think Rob was right? Does all literature begin with geography? Do the important places in your life affect how and what you write?

What thoughts do you usually mull over as you drift off to sleep?


  1. Yes, setting is important, though not the thing I begin to shape a story from. I begin with a problem, an issue between to people, usually something that ultimately brings them together. The setting pops up when my idea is beginning to take form.

  2. I agree with Ms M. Setting and problem are paramount.

    Hope you're well and selling lots of books.

    Hugs and chocolate,

  3. I fall asleep to the X-Files EVERY NIGHT. Okay, that's not entirely true, I also sometimes watch dinosaur or space documentaries. My dreams are legendary.
    As for geography, well, the midwest is a naturally disturbing place. I think it inspires my poetry more than my fiction.

  4. Very interesting... As for falling asleep, my brain runs about a millions mph-the day's events, daydreams, what's bothering me. Then at some point, I simply crash.

    I believe geography is half. The other is a character with some sort of issue/problem/agenda.

    I wasn't familiar with this poem, thanks for sharing it!

  5. Ms. Misantropia:
    Like you and Shelly: the characters come first, then the crisis which usually grows from the setting somehow. Your BEAUTY AND THE BEAST story on your blog was truly evocative and stirring!

    I pray your husband is doing better and that you are finding time to pace yourself and recharge your emotional batteries.

    My books need some CPR! :-) Perhaps Victor's new serial and audio books will help.

    Wow, with what you watch before you to sleep, no wonder your dreams are legendary!

    Any place is disturbing if you have the perception to look beneath the surface -- which obviously you do. Thanks for visiting and commenting -- it means a lot.

    And stay away from those hurtful cheese products! :-)

    Words Crafter:
    Robert Frost truly was evocative with his poetry, wasn't he?

    Yes, I think our last thoughts truly influence our dreams. I drift off thanking the Great Mystery for all the positive things He brought into my life during the day. It seems to help. :-)

  6. For me, in my scifi and suspense writing, setting is important. Sometimes, that's what gets me started. In one alternative wip, the setting is like a character.

    "In three words I can sum up everything I've learned about life: it goes on."
    I especially liked this line. So true, our little problems and angst don't count for much in the big scheme.

    I think of many things before falling asleep, but I try not to think too deeply about them, or I end up staying awake.

  7. If he meant that exposure to different locations broadens one's views, then yes, I agree.
    I try not to think before going to sleep. Usually I'm successful at that.

  8. D.G.:
    Yes, setting is prime for gothic or science fiction. BLADERUNNER is example of that, right?

    I usually think of the good or beautiful things I saw during the course of the day and sing hymns mentally before I sleep. It helps in the dark of the night.

    Mark Twain felt the same way. Sandra would say keeping my mind blank comes naturally. :-)