Monday, August 10, 2009

Great News about my Pilgrimage Memoir!

I sent an e-mail to Bina at Buddha Path ( asking whether Shantum has read the manuscript that I sent him of my pilgrimage memoir. (I was on a Buddhist pilgrimage in 2007 and wrote a gigantic journal, and Shantum was the meditation teacher and tour guide during the pilgrimage. I was inspired to turn my journal into a publishable book.)

After reading my e-mail, Bina reminded Shantum of the manuscript, and he looked through it and, as it turns out, really likes it! He's even willing to write a forward, as I had sort of begged him to do during my second trip to India.

I had long since come to the conclusion that Shantum wasn't going to read the manuscript, let alone OK it, so this is all a big and very pleasant surprise.

Next month I start grad school in the Book Publishing program at PSU, which has a student-run publshing that's one possibility for publication....

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

It's Not What You Think....

This evening I participated, for the first time, in a writing group called Scribble Sessions. We did a couple of fun activities, including jotting down a writing prompt and putting it in a hat. Each of us drew out a prompt and, for ten minutes, wrote something based on it. My prompt was "It's not what you think." This is what I wrote:

I stood in a dark alley gazing at a glimmering gold and silver amorphous blob floating in the air. I thought it must be some sort of alien, so I greeted it by holding up my hand in a Vulcan greeting, with the forefinger and middle finger together and pulled away from the ring finger and pinkie. I grinned and cheerfully said, “Nah-noo, nah-noo!”
I watched the shimmering object for any changes in its appearance. The only difference at first was a hint of grey spots, as if someone had dropped a pinch of a spice into a pot of soup. I decided to try a different tactic: I bowed gracefully, pulling off my stocking cap and swinging my right arm dramatically away. I stayed in a bowed position until I began to feel a twinge in my lower back, so I placed my left hand on the base of spine and slowly raised my head, till I stood straight.
The blob looked greyer now, and close to the top was now a translucent grey face. As I watched, a pair of grey translucent arms appeared, attached to hands raised in a supplicating gesture. Gradually an entire human form, almost entirely grey but for tiny swirling specks of gold and silver. The feet were a foot above the ground, but they very slowly and silently sank till the glowing figure stood on the potholed pavement. I could see a blue dumpster through the translucent body.
Finally recognizing the strange apparition, I said, “Uncle Gilbert?”
“Yes, I am your uncle,” the ghost said.