Well, it’s time to resume posting, especially after receiving some very good news from IndieReader. The folks there have begun a new curation program, whereby they will promote and distribute books to both national and international retailers. Because AT A LOSS received a 4-5 star review (posted early on this site) last year from Kirkus Reviews, which works in conjunction with IR, the book has qualified for this program. I’m delighted for a number of reasons, not least because the 4-5 star rating was given despite the unconventional style — i.e. run-on and comma-spliced sentences, quite a lot of stream-of-consciousness, somewhat idiosyncratic paragraphing and punctuation, the occasional conjoinment of words, and unorthodox point-of-view. None of these aspects of style are accidental or the result of unacquaintance with the rules of grammar and usage. (I taught English composition and literature for 18 years and philosophy for 16 at the college level, I’ve read extensively, and I know what I like in my own reading. The major influences on my style have been William Faulkner, Cormac McCarthy, Louise Erdrich, Jose Saramago, and Gabriel Garcia-Marquez — all master stylists. I don’t presume to match their styles or insinuate myself at their level of writing and storytelling, but each — and other contemporary writers, mostly European, as well — has in a sense given me permission to express my stories in a way that I think and feel represents the way I see and understand things. My first collection of stories, THE SOUL IN THERE (2006) won 1st place in an international competition for independent punlishers sponsored by the Independent Publishers Book Association. I still love that book, but I made some major concessions to some of my most important prepublication readers and went pretty much with conventional punctuation, though most of the other stylistic devices mentioned above I retained. I’ve always regretted those concessions. AT A LOSS made none of the same kind, though I did plenty of revising following their critiques. At any rate, if you’ve been following my latest work you’ve seen that I’ve been staying true to myself. Over the last few months I’ve written ditties, some of which I perhaps should have included on this site, but I dwanted to finish “The Supple World . . .” first. The problem has been with the ending, which I know needs much rewriting. I’ve been working on it, but it hasn’t yet given me any satisfaction. So I thought that maybe I’d continue the work in installments on this site so those of you who are interested can see the development of the process. I’ll also have to be accountable to you. I’m doing this, I realize, at the expense of continuity in the narrative, which already exists in six installments. All I can say is that I hope the ending will be fitting and effective and do justice to the story. I’ll begin the process tomorrow. Thanks.


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