“Don’t Change Your Plans” by Ben Folds Five

Elf EarsMusic has always been very important to me. Many times when I look back at a time or a memory, a song will sneak in before an image. I thought it would be interesting to look back at people and moments by tapping into this quirk. This is the first in what I am thinking of calling my “With Music” series.

She had elf ears.

People confuse elf ears with vulcan ears, but that is just not fair. Vulcan ears (Spock) look out  of place for a reason; they are alien, different. The old Star Trek was filled with this. Want something to look alien? Accent something that we are not used to. But elf ears are different. They are an extension of nature, they embrace the face, accenting, like a playful cursive twist at the end of a letter. They can remind more of a vine slowing stretching just that little bit farther up.

I first saw her at a writing table. It was being held at a local museum and everyone else there isn’t worth mentioning or remembering. Cruel to say, I know, but by then I had attended enough writing tables (thanks to colleges and bookstores and libraries) so that people fell more into categories than something flesh and blood. There was the guy who wants to be Stephen King (a little creepy and always stares a little too much), the older woman wanting to write a nice romance (I always feel there is hidden heartbreak there), the angry youth (who may or may not share poetry, but would always share their annoyance through expressions), the man with the mustache who is writing a thriller (there is always a man with a mustache who is writing an action thriller) and etc., etc., etc.

Writing tables like that, including the one with the young woman with the elf ears, was one of the reasons I was moving to Los Angeles. I had attended a lot of them while living in Grand Rapids, hoping one would give me some kind of sign of what to do next in my life and writing career. Frankly, by then I had been waiting enough. That is what my life felt like up until that moment, one long wait.

I had waited through college, waited through part of grad school, and now waited while counting down to when I was to leave in December for the University of Southern California. Sunny Los Angeles… where I was certain all my writing dreams would come true and everyone would recognize me for the genius I was sure I was. Continue reading

Upon The Ground: The WOMB Story

The twelfth story from my collection Upon The Ground is up at www.greenspotblue.com.  It is called “The WOMB Story.” On a side note, part of this was inspired by something Ray Bradbury said about his memory.  I’ll just leave it at that.

Here is a snippet from the beginning of the story:

“The WOMB Story”

I can recall EVERYTHING.

I remember being three and chasing clouds with my dog and being one and being rocked to sleep by my mom (“Hush little baby don’t say a word. Momma’s gonna buy you….”), but, more amazingly, I can remember being in the womb. I remember it because it was the safest I had ever felt in my life.

It was warm.

My mom’s heart was always there and I could feel connected to it (Thump. Thump. Thump.). I was connected to nature. Life in its purest moment. I could feel hands touching the stomach. I remember kicking and the taste of my thumb and the cord and the echoes of the voices outside laughing and talking.

Those memories are what warp my dreams today.

I can’t tell my wife. She won’t understand…. Well, she will claim to understand, but she won’t. It was my wild imagination that attracted her to me in the first place. She’s a Kindergarten teacher (“You’re like a grown child.” “How am I supposed to take that?” “As a compliment. You treat everything as a new experience. I love to watch your eyes.”).

You can read the rest of the story here. And in the Upon The Ground page you can find links to the other stories already from the collection. Thanks for reading!