Saturday, April 28, 2018

Saturday, April 21, 2018

it's my birthday, and i finally got to my haiku. i've had trouble with it this year - right toward the end, at nine hundred and about sixty, i got burned out and couldn't write a single one. finally i kind of pulled it together and now i'm at nine ninety-eight. but i still have to go through and weed out redundancy, or at least change it - it will probably cost me five to ten more. no problem; i'm almost done. i missed haiku day (april 17), but will get it soon.

my new strategy is to get some of the eight or nine unfinished things off my desk - it's ridiculous. i sit down to list them, in order to prioritize them, and i actually can't even remember a few of them, and often they are the ones that are almost finished. getting some off my plate will help.

as i prioritize i keep coming around to money. i may not be able to save any on a permanent basis, but if i can get an income, steady or whatever, that will help. some things are just going to do better monetarily than others. this tends me toward the esl, which i know like the back of my hand, and away from such things as haiku, which simply don't sell much. the story of the leveretts, i wouldn't expect to sell much either; it's just for the rellies. and what about my memoirs? i need to get this stuff off my desk, so i can concentrate on what works.

spring finally shines out, green and pretty, but it's still cold, windy and dry up here. so dry, so cold, so windy, a fire started up russia canyon, and they all ran out there, it's only six miles south of town, if that fire caught and came this way we'd all be in trouble. and the wind was howling like crazy, whistling in the doorways, kind of a warning, don't you dare be reckless with a cigarette. we don't; we're a very careful family. careful and not especially inclined to smoke.

so, i'm at 998 and elated. so tired i can hardly think about that last push. waking up early has been the rule for this chinese class - i do it every saturday now, and it kind of shoots the weekend, drains me. but it won't last forever; i already see the light at the end of the tunnel. one of these days, i'll retire, for good.

April Rocks!

In honor of my dad...

Saturday, April 14, 2018

April Rocks!

unusually fried at the moment, as saturday mornings are tough. i used to be able to sleep in on saturdays, but these days i get up at five and teach at six, and though that's going well, as i can practically teach in my sleep, it leaves me sleepless for the entire day. i do laundry and the kinds of things you can do in your sleep, like eating. the dog sits on my lap, knowing i'm frazzled.

last night i delved a bit into a family mystery. it seems someone on the other side of the family might have elaborated on the governor's history, and added "knight" to his name. now it's true that his grandson, a thomas like me, the so-called thomas the barber, named his son knight, for whatever reason. so it was said by these guys, who all seem to like to make more of things than they are, that this governor had been knighted, yet never made a big deal of it, never mentioned it in the colonies. well yes, it was true that he hated the king, hated the crown, and was one of the first to tell them, their directions about how to run the colony were of no relevance to him. so it seems, if someone had knighted him, and bestowed this enormous honor on him, without writing it down by the way, then he would be guilty, to say the least, of spitting on the hand that knighted him. but who are we to know? so much is buried in that seventeenth century, that it's entirely possible that all that happened.

it's a grim cold day on the mountain here, and i'm taking all the wood in the yard, every last stick, and burning it, because the cabin has a cold bitter wind at the cracks and i just can't bear being cold even another minute. also these sticks will hang around all summer if i don't, anyway, so might as well burn them up and turn some live heat into the place. eventually i will get out and take out the garbage, for example; it's too cold, at the moment, to even walk down the block. it's overflowing. my wife is trying to throw away an empty ice cream, and can't.

so it seems, there was a little side mystery, was he really a knight? and the historical, genealogical society had to do a study, and found no real evidence that he was. perhaps someone had referred to a 'knight' in a letter, or something had led this relative to conclude that he had been knighted, and had simply never mentioned it. he had, in fact, lived in england for six years. but during that six years he saw the restoration, the taking of oliver cromwell's body out of its grave so they could execute him, in short, it was nasty. i don't think the king was knighting him at that time.

on the other hand, the possibility that cromwell himself could have knighted him, well, that's actually possible. they were, after all, buddies. but did cromwell knight anybody? this is something i might have to look up.

going to cruces on tuesday. then el paso. traveling on the horizon. and, i'm looking forward to it. will report soon.

Friday, April 13, 2018

April rocks!

happy birthday!

april rocks!

the wind is howling out there and has been, so long, that i suppose people get used to it. mid april and it's dry as a bone, and people are scared to death of the fires, because if the fires catch the wind is going faster than we can drive. they're pretty good at fighting the fires up here; they're ready, and every able-bodied man, it seems, except maybe me, is on some crew and running off to capitan.

capitan, it seems, has a fire, or maybe two of them, and they are raging out of control, or pretty well in control, depending on who you talk to. who knows? capitan is way over past ruidoso; you go north to ruidoso, then through ruidoso, then up past sierra blanca, the big huge monster mountain of the southern sacramentos, and way out there, past a couple of hillsides that burned up a few years back, is the town of capitan, where there is some flat and open area, and another mountain, capitan, is within sight.

there are no fires around here, that i know of, except my little woodstove, in our freezing little cabin, and i thought, it's so cold, the wind whipping through, all the cracks in the doors are whistling, what we really need is a fire in the woodstove. knowing full well about capitan, and about any lit match being possible armageddon for the whole village, yes, but i was careful, and just lit the darn thing. the fire is now glowing away and keeping me warm as i write. an added bonus - the teapot finally started its whistling, on top of the stove, partially neutralizing the girls' high pitched squeaking in the other room.

meanwhile the sun sets gently over the dusty, windswept white sands, where you can practically see the wind picking up the white sand and blowing it up the mountain.

a summer ago or so, some guy shot a bear; it was a sad situation, because the cubs were on the porch, the guy had let his dog out; the dog went after the cubs; the mother went after the dog, and the guy had to shoot the bear mother. someone took in the orphaned bear cubs, but, eventually, time came to let them out. she took them up by capitan. my question really is if there is a lot of forest up there, and, if so, how happy those bears would be. how similar to here, i wonder, and, would fires like this endanger bears like that. we live with that tenuous kind of possibility around here all the time.

this history teacher in the middle school took a bad fall, and lost part of his memory and ability to speak. i had a short but lively gig replacing him for a while; i taught some genuine american history, and the eighth graders did their best to treat me as a sub, lowest of the low, bottom of the food chain. they weren't overall much into taking my advice, or teaching, or anything. they are all of thirteen and have much more important considerations. but in the end, i enjoyed it; for one thing, i was actually teaching, instead of just sitting there. they were doing war of 1812, lewis and clark, andrew jackson. mostly they caused trouble. next week it's back to the high school.

Saturday, April 07, 2018

april rocks kindle promotion

details on my facebook author's page
sorry to announce that my son has given up posting regularly on his youtube channel. he claimed three reasons - too busy (he's taking two college classes), burnt out, and tired of it. one reason he didn't mention is that, being in our house, he doesn't really need the money. for a while he bought treats for his sisters, or bought updated equipment, or he let his younger brother borrow money without consequence, but, most of those pleasures wore off. it wasn't really worth it to him.

i'm glad he wasn't that person who busted into youtube all mad about their unfair monetization programs. he would frequently complain about that but his view was that their unfairness was really more a reflection of their randomness or failure to control natural algorithm errors. he used to say that it would really aggravate him if he depended on the money but he doesn't, so it was really more of just a learning experience where he found out how some megalithic company's fits and starts could mess with a person's income.

now keep in mind that i'd practically given up on promoting my i was, lucky to get a few bucks even on a good month, and no particular bump for the holidays, when people are supposed to be buying books, and there he is, hauling in over a thousand in december or maybe january, just because people pay more for advertising on that month. and i thought, wtf, maybe people don't read anymore, they just watch youtubes, and in particular youtubes about teens experiencing angst in the growing-up process. i got a little depressed but i didn't stop writing, except when my father died, and that took five or six months out of me, so i kind of neglected my own promotional activities and instead of writing the usual stuff, short stories and haiku, i got kind of into exploring my puritan ancestors whom you can read about on this very blog, those guys who came over, started the first school, flipped off the crown, and had a feud with cotton mather. in fact i got so absorbed with that that i almost forgot about other things and over nine hundred haiku sat there languishing while i couldn't write a single new haiku. now i am quickly trying to wrap that up so i can set it aside and let the whole five thousand haiku sit there and season for a while.

my son was kind of a mainstream animator, and now has a body of work, about teenage angst for the most part, in the form of about two dozen movies all on youtube and all fairly successful in youtube terms. his audience is disappointed as they looked forward to his new creations. but both the creations and the abrupt cancellation came from his heart; he was, in fact, burnt out, and it wasn't worth it to him to keep up the grueling pace for revenue that he didn't really need. i'm sure he will start up again someday, and maybe someday soon, with a new direction. in fact that channel was maybe his third or fourth; he'd done it before, and he'd even been successful. he's got a much better handle on what people actually want, than i do.

i do, however, have one book, a single one, that seems to be doing well on acx, which is the audiobook provider. i have no idea why this one would do better than the others, perhaps underpricing, or, it just got picked up by a group of people who pass around recommendations. but in any case it's the one thing i do sell. and i didn't quit. the main reason for that is that i do it mostly for myself, and not for any other thing. i've had trouble switching my writing over to doing it for money. i don't really want to do it for money. i want to just do it.

but, as a result, i have nine hundred haikus, just languishing. and quaker plays, and flash fiction, and a book about language. and an esl reader, and esl articles, and two novels. and, the best of all, an autobiography/true stories collection. the year is ticking along, and i don't finish this stuff. the haikus, maybe i'll finish. one by one, i'll get them off my table. and by the way, i'm glad he's not logan paul, too, because i'm really not watching him all that carefully. he could probably be making youtubes about anything, and he would get away with it for a little while, though my wife watched a little better than i did. maybe that's what was bugging him. maybe he's ready to just make things that nobody watches, or that at least his parents don't have access to. another son turns thirteen today - happy birthday! - and that means, two teenagers in the house, and more coming. got to keep my eyes open, and hang in there. chou

Thursday, April 05, 2018