Thursday, August 28, 2014

The House of Six Doors (a novel about Curaçao)

For eleven years, ever since I came--by accident--to live in Curaçao, I've been looking for books about this island's rich history and people. And for eleven years I found nothing. There's plenty in Dutch or Papiamentu, neither of which I read, and even if I did, most of it is non-fiction, drab and clinical, that doesn't come close to doing this magical, surreal place justice.

And then I found Patricia Selbert's House of Six Doors. The book has flaws--it is, after all, a debut novel--but richness of setting isn't one of them. Neither is emotional charge, which comes across clear and sharp, without drama, without falling into maudlin o-woe-is-me. I teared up twice, the second time uncontrollably (yeah, near the end). But I laughed, too.

And I learned so much about this place I've called home for over a decade.

Sunday, August 24, 2014


Tina Downey, of Life Is Good, passed away last night. I knew her briefly, intermittently, but I always enjoyed her posts. Her family have posted a goodbye of sorts on her blog; if you can, stop by and leave a verbal handful of rose petals.

Much light to you, Tina, wherever you are. And thank you. For everything.

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Not dead, just...

Well... working, I guess. Yes, there's that new job--which I love--*love*--to bits (more on that below). But also the end of the Pure Slush 2014 Year In Stories project. I finally delivered my December story earlier this month--story which, by the way, was due at the end of May. Yep. Two months late. And I wasn't even the last writer to wrap up the cycle.

It's official: Matt Potter, Pure Slush editor, is a saint.

It was hard, wrapping up. I didn't expect it to be that hard. Saying goodbye to characters is always sad; "The End" is a production achievement, sure, but it's also The End--of a creativity moment, of a period of our lives, of our shared story with these characters.

Perhaps if I wrote happy--happier--endings I'd have more feel-good afterwards. From a creative production standpoint I'm pleased when I achieve the perfect ending for a story. In terms of craft it gives me a boost of satisfaction to wrap things up, to bring the story to its crescendo, to let the notes crash and bang and make their statement, and then fade.

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