This New Stuff is New and Also Stuff

In 2009, my first book, Anointed: The Passion of Timmy Christ, CEO, was published. Publishers Weekly had this to say:

“Steele’s biting satire takes on megachurches and their murky brew of faith and business. Nagged by his wife into interviewing for the CEO spot of a 2,000-year-old religious corporation, Timothy Webb becomes Timmy Christ despite himself. He’s shocked to learn that his primary responsibilities are to profits and image rather than his followers’ genuine needs. After a slapstick start, a scheming Judas, a protective, repentant Satan and a murderous Anti-Christ show up to deepen the tale. Timmy soon discovers that battling supernatural evil is only slightly more difficult than challenging the legal labyrinths of the Christ Corporation Council. Those who endure the initial over-the-top chapters will enjoy the notion of a Christ CEO wanting to be Christ-like, presented in a mix of raucous fun and deep questions.”

It was nominated for the 2010 Sidewise Award for Alternate Fiction. Pretty cool stuff. I like that people have to endure my writing.

In 2011, the follow-up, Flutter: An Epic of Mass Distraction was published. I had this to say about it:

“Oh, hey, I have another book out. Cooool.”

In 2013, I had … oh, um, nothing published. That’s a bit of a bummer. Actually, 2013 in general has been a bit of a bummer, so perhaps it’s best to leave the publishing for another time. After all, 2014 is another number! I mean, year. 2014 is another year. I never get that right.

Mind you, my lack of publication hasn’t been for a lack of trying, or writing, but more a product of circumstance as well as a determination to produce quality material. I’ve spent an inordinate amount of time refining my craft.  I don’t want my work to be good.  I want it to be great.  I want it to be unforgettable. My determination to improve aside, there was this: On August 19th, Mercury Retrograde Press, publisher of my first two books announced they would be ceasing operations as of January 2014, which was quite sad news to hear for various reasons, not the least selfish of them being my desire to spin a third novel in the Timothy Webb Universe into their eager hands. The War Maiden, the origin story of everyone’s favorite Satan, Natasha, has a beginning written, a generous plot, and now a nice cozy shelf to sit upon. At some point, I’ll get back to it. Likely as an ebook series of novelettes. On the plus side, however, the MRP closing reverts rights of Anointed and Flutter to me, so I’ll be reissuing those as ebooks in 2014. Not sure if I’ll make any changes to the text. Perhaps some additional material will be added.  You’ll want to buy them even if you already own them, though, because you love me so much.

In the meantime, my attention has been transfixed on a bugger of a book. I refer, of course, to the most time-consuming and personally-invested manuscript I have ever worked on: The Storyteller, Book one of five, The Shadowheart. I have worked on this for close to three years, the idea a bit of a noodle in my head for close to a decade. I’ve talked about it, discussed it, written it, rewritten it, edited it (again and again and again ad naseum) and rewritten it once more. I’ve sent it to Beta readers, agents, and discussed the concept with several editors. And now it’s as done as I can get it. I love it. I think it’s brilliant. I think you’ll love it. I think you’ll never pick up a book again without wondering if the universe the story resides within is real. I think Oliver Miles will win you over, and his cadre of friends will keep you amused. I think, above all, if someone will publish it, I will be extraordinarily happy. The series is somewhere in the Middle Reader (8-14) and Young Adult genres, depending on who you talk to. Either way, it’s friendly to kids and to adults. There have been some bites on it, one significant, others mere nibbles, and I hope to secure something before too long. I’m still open to Beta Readers, providing you’ll actually read it and offer insights, but I’m not sure how much more work I can do on it until an Editor has it in hand. Regardless, I’ll be talking more about it now, offering some snippets here and there. So, be on the lookout. I seek your thoughts. Share away.

With The Storyteller sitting in wait, books two through five will be on hold, allowing me the opportunity to toss a few more literary grenades down the pipe. The series of novelettes of The War Maiden is in line, and likely to find a voice in 2014 (which I would publish myself), but my focus at the moment is squarely on a manuscript with a working title of Specimen A. Easily the most complex story I’ve worked on, I’m stepping out of the satire game, to bring a more contemporary voice to the Science Fiction genre. Or maybe it’s Fantasy. Or more Speculative Fiction. I don’t know. There will probably be a new genre in the next six minutes anyway. I should probably wait on that one. I’ve written about religion. I’ve written about the imaginative power of an artist. Now, I’m writing about the reality of human existence and the overwhelming power of a mind awakened. Until I’m further along, there isn’t much more I can offer, but suffice to say, reality isn’t what you think it is. You aren’t what you think you are. And they would prefer you not figure it out.

Other concepts floating about: The Almost Heroic Life of Joey Flapp, a silly little romp of adventure, hope, and exploding cows which I’m looking forward to; and, The As of Yet Unnamed But Forever Talked About Zombie Story About Life Decades After the Zombie Apocalypse and Was Once Called The Zombie Rocker but Now isn’t Because I’m Not Sold on the Original Tone. The latter is a long title. Less of a working title than a poorly conceived description in italics. I might even write it as a screenplay. I don’t know. This could have a lot to do with why I haven’t written it yet.

Anyway, point being, I have a lot I’m working on. Now that The Storyteller is complete, I can focus on these other projects. Hopefully, I’ll be able to line up publications going forward so that the gaps are non-existent. That would be ideal. As would your willingness to buy them.

I had intended to write about my blog changes, not the least of which is the alteration of the site’s address. My former website is no more, and all information will be directed here. But that didn’t happen. And since you’re already thinking about dinner, or what the kids have done now, or your own ideas that are far more engrossing, I’ll leave that for another entry.

In the meantime, here’s an early snapshot of a possible new Anointed cover, as well as the less than exciting reveal of my new nom de plume:

Just playing around with it for now.

Just playing around with it for now.

 

If You Don’t Put Music To It, It Isn’t a Song Now, Is It? (or Bueno Moss)

In a sort of follow-up-that-isn’t to my previous post regarding fear and it’s unmistakable grip over my life decisions, I felt the self-indulgent need to showcase the one, and most singular, part of my life that brings me no fear whatsoever. So, in a way, this post could simply be called, “An Ode to Katie, a.k.a The Moss, a.k.a Cricket, a.k.a Pretty Lady, a.k.a Mops, a.k.a My Fiancée and Partner in Cheese, Because She’s the Most Awesome Woman on the Face of the Planet Don’t Bother to Argue Because You Can’t Win.” Which, now that I look at it, is not a simple title at all. Still, it reflects my sentiments well, even if the title I chose reflects her better.

The Moss

The Moss, a.k.a Cricket, a.k.a Pretty Lady, a.k.a Mops, a.k.a My Fiancée and Partner in Cheese.

Writers speak often of a muse. Granted, they tend to do so in the abstract, as an ethereal entity they may speak to, but hopefully never claim to see. After all, we’re already crazy; no need to offer genuine ammunition to the case. However, the Moss is my muse. She is my inspiration. She is the storage of insanity I just didn’t have room for in my crowded head. I’m an introvert, so it’s often difficult to step out of my brain long enough to use my Big Boy Words–you know, the ones that relate to emotional states of being and how important others are to me. It isn’t that I’m only capable of expression in writing, or that I’m not obsessively thinking about my feelings at any given moment, it’s just I do a piss poor job of talking about it, and that far too much is left unsaid. So, in my continued efforts to thwart the fear of just about anything, I want to spend a few moments talking about this lovely woman and what she means to me. You see, the fact of the matter is that I’m in love with the Moss in ways I never knew possible, and the mere thought–just a hint of the idea–that she might not be there when I wake up leaves me utterly heartbroken. After nearly three years together (in one month in fact!), she’s as much a part of me as a limb.

Which is probably not the best way to describe it. So, while I think of something better, here’s a distraction! Just lookit:

Killing spiders is only acceptable if you get cookies for it.

Killing spiders is only acceptable if you get cookies for it.

If you’ve had the privilege of getting to know the Moss, you will understand what I mean when I say I was confident I knew what humor was until I met her. Her brain works in ways I cannot entirely comprehend, which I find both endearing and deeply fascinating. I mean, she’s gorgeous–let’s just get that out there so we can all nod our heads and be amazed at my good fortune–she’s an uber creative and talented photographer, she has the singing voice of a six-year-old, she’s supportive, kind and loving, and her brain comes up with things like this:

We all have our fantasies, even if they're weird.

We all have our fantasies, even if their weird.

As mentioned in my previous post, I’ve not had the best of fortunes in the relationship game. To a great degree, that history left me timid and (after the most recent one) uncertain as to whether I would ever date again. But you don’t get to know the Moss and then want to be away from her. You just don’t. I’m still baffled she was available at all. WHAT ARE YOU PEOPLE NUTS? I mean, thanks and all, but wow. I had no idea, when first we started hanging out, that anything would develop. We’d already known each other for three years, which was weird enough. I’ve never been friends with a girl BEFORE dating her. Novel concept, knowing someone before getting serious.  Who knew? But I was already aware she was a special one. Perhaps that’s why I leaped at the opportunity just to meet up for coffee. Before long, I found myself taken by her quirkiness, her off beat humor, the way she leaves messages like this:

Carrot sticks up nose > bitchy customers

In case you missed it, the formula goes thusly: Carrot sticks up nose > bitchy customers

And that’s why I felt the absolute need to marry her. Not out of the need for ceremony, or importance of the legality of a notarized union, or the idea that one is simply not whole without being somebody’s husband or wife; but because she is one of the best friends a partner could know, I can’t imagine life without her, and no words can adequately state “I want to be with you forever” better than “Will you marry me?”. I have never feared her rejection, nor have I ever had to doubt her devotion. Most importantly, the first Fur Baby, Maggie, took to her as if she’s always loved her anyway, so why not? And, for those with babies–fur or unfurred–it’s vitally important they take to the new person in your life. It didn’t hurt that the Moss came with a camera. Maggie’s a bit of a camera whore, in case you didn’t know. With the blessings of a somewhat moody yet oppressively vain cat, you kind of have to ensure they stay around, right? Also, if they like to buy you presents, there’s no reason to consider a life without them.

It isn't really a problem if you don't acknowledge it, right?

It isn’t really a problem if you don’t acknowledge it, right?

No matter the motivation behind it.

I’ve heard so many sentiments on meeting the Right Person, I can’t even remember more than a few. ‘Soulmate’ comes to mind. That one’s thrown around a lot. “It’s like meeting a mirror reflection of yourself” is another I recall, and still bothers me. So I want to marry myself? Why do I need someone else? I don’t even like mirrors! What does that say about my chances? Me, however … I guess I like to think of us all as pieces of the same puzzle. Sometimes we try to force pieces together because we’re absolutely certain they match, then we have to try to pry them back apart without destroying the edges of the pretty picture of life we’re trying to piece together. Other times, you see the pieces that go together, pair them up and move them aside because, well, duh, we all knew those matched. Then you have the ones you weren’t sure about, but give you no fight, slide surprisingly easy into place, and take a visible place in your periphery because you’re quite proud of yourself for noting it. Pieces merge, then group with others, then begin to form the whole. I don’t know what the Moss and I are in the puzzle equation–I like to believe the latter–but I know I’m proud of it. Proud of her. Proud to be displayed as part of this union. I’m damn fortunate, really, and I’m well aware. If Karma is a real thing, then she’s a significant pay off for the good I’ve offered up over the years.

If that isn’t enough, there’s always this:

What? They aren't eating it.

What? They aren’t eating it.

Everyone who gets to know the Moss loves her. But I get to keep her. I get to come home to her. I get to write about her, share ideas with her, listen to her silly silly songs, and concoct awesome adventures for our future. A future that doesn’t scare me. A future that is going to be a bit crazy in that way normality can never dare to offer. A future that is easily the best thing I’ll ever have.

I love my pretty lady.

The Not Way to the Bye Way

Here’s a little note to all the writers out there who are attempting to get their books–self-published or otherwise–into independent bookstores: While social media may indeed be a useful tool in which to market/promote yourself/your work, it’s also a trap that prohibits you from making real, honest, contact with the booksellers who will sell your work.  Don’t allow yourself to believe that it has usurped the more professional form of contact that bookstores for years have relied upon.  Phones still ring in the store, and if they don’t, well, then you don’t need to worry about that store.  The mail, despite rising costs, is still delivered, and stores also receive a type of mail known as “electronic mail”.  You might even want to utilize the non-social media aspects of the internet, and find that store’s web page.  Even Google would suggest that route, and if it’s good enough for Google, it’s good enough for you.

Now, this all may sound straightforward and obvious, but the volume of writers who abstain from protocol in favor of the easier, less research heavy–and let’s face it–lazier route is staggering.  It’s as if the advent of social media has awakened schools of sleeping bats in caves that have been isolated from the whole of history and time.  They just fly out, screaming their little bat heads off, and drop their query poop all over you.  Case in point:

Don't Let This Happen to You

Usually, snark is to be expected from booksellers who find themselves annoyed by this type of query.  Close the bookstore, and the snark level will rise like the tide before a hurricane.  Combine the above with a “note” that looks as though it were written by a texting high-school student and you may as well curl up in a ball and wait out the assault.  The one thing you can expect is that any bookstore you contact through Facebook in this manner can be crossed off your list.  You will never be taken seriously.  You will never get your book in that store.  Much like agents and editors, a bookseller is swamped by requests on a daily basis.  The crap will be sifted and tossed aside without a second glance.  Take your queries to booksellers every bit as serious as you do to agents and editors.

Tweeting the Quack

This is actually a post from the Southern Authors Blog, A Good Blog is Hard to Find, but I would be doing it a great disservice if I didn’t post it everywhere, so, here it is.  May your day be filled with the glory of my brilliance.

And stuff.

——-

This is a duck.  His name is Ducky Thomas.  He is a duck named Thomas.

He’s stuffed full of cute, loves adventures, and is quite convinced that the world is the most fantastic thing a duck could ever hope for.  He also loves the cat who loves him most.

This is a video about a bookstore.  It has nothing to do with ducks–not yet anyway I guess I must admit–but does indeed have a lot to do with the point.

They both have something in common.  They have nothing directly to do with the books I write, but have everything to do with me as a writer.  They are independent of what is published, but a vital cog in the publicity of who I am.  And they aren’t the end or the beginning.  They are the journey.

There.  I’ve waxed poetic.  Now I can get on with the point.

We all know about Twitter.  If you have the time and patience, you can gather a following, make a name for yourself, your opinions, and your work.  The same can be said for Facebook, albeit in a more centralized, and long-term kind of way.  You’re going to make your friends, have your followers, talk about anything from The Simpsons and their obvious lack of relevance to Obama and his quest for health care.  You’ll be “liked”, have the “@” symbol thrown your way, tagged, or even re-posted/re-tweeted.  People will laugh with you, at you, talk about why your opinion is pointless and not at all as potent as what they have to say, and send messages to one another about whatever it is you posted last.  Above all, they will know you as a writer, and understand you as a person in ways readers never could before, and they will look forward to what you have to post next.

But they are merely one step toward lifting you, as a writer, into the conversations of the world.

We live in a digital age.  One in which communication is almost entirely of the written word.  We view Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Foursquare, Plancast, Tumbler, and so on as pure facets of publicity, meant to broaden our audience and stamp a nice, fancy, little brand upon our heads.  All of which is most certainly true.  But it’s not the mere existence of our digital selves on these sites that makes full embrace of what they offer us.  It’s what we write.  It’s how we use them.  It’s taking the blank slate and filling it with content that both evolves who we are as writers, and demonstrates fully what we can do with the words we are blessed with.  True, starting a blog and writing about anything–anything at all–is exactly the right approach.  But it isn’t the endpoint.

When I first started blogging, I didn’t intend on writing about the adventures of a stuffed duck, and I had no plans to begin at first a blog, and then a series of videos about life in a bookstore.  But the more I worked through my personal blog, the more I came to see each entry as a script of my life–pages of the mind fluttering from the inner sanctum of thought to the public forum offered to me.  Each entry was another showcase of what I could offer.  In a very real sense, each time I posted a blog, I was adding to my resume.  Obviously, it is every writer’s great hope that each book that is published will further enhance the aura and legacy of who they are (read in: you will become instantly uber-famous, and own two castles in a decade).  But it doesn’t have to end there any more.  In fact, the sheer number of books that are being published by extension of the popularity of a blog speak volumes to the time in which we live.  Used to be that you had to find a press to print your article, or a series of collected works in which to be included in order to broaden the scope of your work.  Now you have the internet, and whatever time you offer it.  Work it all in unison and not only do people start to pay attention–no matter how small your collective–but they start to anticipate what’s to come.  Then that audience can grow as people share what you have to offer–which is far less work than what you will put into creating it, given that the sharing aspect of it is usually accommodated by the gratifying click of a button.

It’s so very cliche, but the truth is, you never know who is watching, who is reading, who will share what you have to say, who is paying attention to as you scream from every corner of the internet you can crawl from, “HEY! PAY ATTENTION TO ME!”  So, go.  Do.  Find your inner duck.  And make every word count.  Your future readers will take note.

James Franco is an author writer with mad ninja skills

I’d like to begin this with a sincere attempt at not apologizing if this sticks a very unfortunate song in your head, but this is my blog, my therapy, and I need to paste it somewhere other than in my head.  So, there.  Um, yeah.

But since this may not be enough, I drop this into the abyss of my blog as well:

There.  All better.

James Franco wrote a book.  No, really.  I might be imaginative, but even I have my limits.  It’s a collection of stories, which I imagine amuse him greatly, and probably only encourage him to think even more highly of himself.  No disrespect to Sir James, he was a passable Goblin Jr.–although the self-destructive, delusional, running weed joke that was Pineapple Express stole a bit of my soul before I sent it back to Netflix with a note that said, “No!  Bad Netflix!”–but I can’t help imagining him writing this book, pausing at each sentence with that damned half-smirk of his to admire how awesomely awesome  it was.

I am so freakin' awesome...

Yeah. That one.

Apparently, according the guru of all things hip and importantly pivotal to a world unprepared to acknowledge his vast and deeply essential understanding of hipness, Russ Marshalek, there is a sentence that reads: “When would things begin mattering? he wondered. Now, now, now.”

Wow. I am sufficiently moved now.  And yet, strangely compelled, in that Apocalypse South, kind of way to read this.  I may print out the picture above and use it as a bookmark just to be reminded of how awesome Sir James thinks he is, so that I fully appreciate it for myself.  Or I might just burn the photo, along with a collection of the movies he’s been in, so that I have enough light to tear out each page as I read it, smother it in mayonnaise, and eat it.

It’s a toss-up.

Leaving NYC

I couldn’t help but notice, as I was looking over the dashboard to the blog to approve some comments (& blast some junk into oblivion, with some Schwartzenegger like “You’ll be trashed” line in my head), that the corner of the page that details the most often used search results to locate my blog had the following 3 as the top choices:

  1. “Zachary Steele”, “Author Tour”
  2. “zachary steele”, “NYC”
  3. “zachary steele”, “giraffe sex”

Now, please, whichever one of you did the third one, please, please, please, oh for the love of everything holy, please, let me know.  BRILLIANT!  I don’t know if I’m more amused that it exists, or that it worked.  Either way, I’m totally honored to be found under the search heading of “giraffe sex” despite the fact that I have neither written about it, or to my knowledge, had it.

Giraffe sex.  Tee hee.

So, my NYC escapades are at an end.  No pictures today, nor any from last night.  The camera is packed, and the room looks less of a disaster now that everything is placed quasi-neatly in the suitcase.  The coffee has finally woken me from my morning stupor, bringing ME to from a late night, and short sleep.  Last night at The Tank, I had the 2nd of 2 events, and rounded out a birthday celebration without song or fanfare for the first time since I drove alone to Montana.  Harry Terjanian was a hoot and seemed well at ease railing on religion.  We were a small group, but one prepared to laugh, and he didn’t disappoint.  Though I could cite a number of well delivered punchlines, his run on the disappointment of Easter candy was my favorite.  The idea that the large Chocolate Easter Bunnies, are “chocolate covered air” is still cracking ME up.

I plopped MYSELF up on the edge of the stage for what amounted to a cozy little story time with a handful of rapt listeners.  I gave the first chapter of Angelic Malcontentsanother go, and am now convinced that it’s going in the right direction.  The unicorn-head maid lady (did I hear Andora? or was that Andromeda?) was there again, at MY side as I read.  I’m less creeped out by her now, and find MYSELF chatting her up, just in case.  You never know.  She could be real somewhere, and though I’m not soliciting MYSELF to her, it’s always good to keep an open friendship with any potential unicorn-head maid ladies in the universe.  Seems like having one for an enemy could be rather unpleasant.  Just sayin’.

So, all in all it was a great trip.  Saw plenty.  Heard plenty.  Talked plenty.  Read a lot.  And stowed away, for future use, much more story content than even I could have planned for.  Thanks to everyone who has kept up, and I look forward to getting home, where MY wife is likely to squeeze ME into an alternate universe, and my dog is likely to have a coronary, after spending nearly 4 days convinced I was never coming home.  Time to give up this awesome view of Manhattan, take MY weary butt downstairs, and begin the trek to Laguardia by way of train and bus.  Cost savings aside, I’m good for one cab  ride per trip here.  Already did that, and I think I lost a few years in the process.  No need to lose more.  I might lose more hair.  Not ready for that yet.

Giraffe sex.

If Doesn’t Kill You, It’s Worth a Buck

Well, last night’s event at The Tank was a load of fun.  Aside from the fact that the venue is a quaint little, absolutely inviting theater space, it’s also a perfect space for readings.  “Just Working on My Novel” was designed by the ever amazing, always entertaining Russ Marshalek, as an outlet for those who have been working on, talking about, or professing a desire to write, a novel.  Each of these events will feature a published author, and I am honored to have been the writer to have had the priviledge to wear the innagural pair of JWOMN shoes.  I started the affair by reading from Anointed and closed it out by reading the first chapter from MY follow-up, Angelic Malcontents.  It was the first public reading of that particular material, and I was elated to have received such a positive response.

The stage at the Tank

The stage at the Tank

As you can see, the set-up on stage was simplistic, and included a weird little Maid/Unicorn Head…thing that was holding a copy of Anointed.  This too, was a Russ Marshalek special inclusion, and I really don’t know what to say, other than it will find a place in a story of mine very soon.  A bizzare, bizzare piece of, well, whatever you refer to it as.Tonight, once more at The Tank, is the religious roast, Fishsticks for Jesus.  It will be a night of comedy at religion’s expense, and I fully expect that there will be much to write about tomorrow morning, when I sit down, groggy, and struggling through words with a cup of coffee firmly in hand.  Then, sadly, it will be time to depart from the Big Apple.  There’s never enough time to see everything you want to see here.  Even with 3 full days, you just pick what you want to see & leave it at that.Today was a lazy day, to be honest.  As a birthday present to MYSELF, I slept in until 9, staggered downstairs to grab as much coffee, yogurt, danishes, and additional creamer/sugar for coffee later, that I could carry and returned to  MY room to relax, and attend to the weighty amount of birthday wishes and photo comments on Facebook.  I stayed there, spent some time catching up with Alice and telling the dog hello, and finally wandered out after noon or so to meet Russ at The Tank.

???

???

12:35 p.m: I arrive at The Tank and proceed to be a complete ass to Russ in front of his Tank cohorts.  He rightfully reads me the riot act, tells Alice on the phone that I am being a stupid dick, and informs ME that he doesn’t work for ME anymore and “doesn’t have to take that shit.”  I realize that he is absolutely correct, and that I apparently don’t have enough caffeine in ME after all.  To Starbucks!

1:33 p.m: The frap helped.  I’m feeling loose and free again, and after a bit of a ride on the trains, we’re in Brooklyn, heading for food and then, Word, Brooklyn’s best little Indie bookstore.  One problem though, which Russ points out with a question that I cannot answer.

Russ: Where are we?

ME: Hell if I know.

Yeah.  Lost in Brooklyn.  And not that, “well, this is the ok part of Brooklyn that you shouldn’t be afraid of,” but rather that, “Oh, dear God, we’re going to die,” area that you would rather avoid.  Yay Russ!  I ask him if it’s ok to hand him back the, “Stupid dick,” moniker.  He grudgingly agrees.  We head back to the train and the Greenpoint stop we should have gotten off at to begin with.

2:00 p.m: We arrive at Brooklyn Label, and I eat the absolute best burger I have ever had in my life.  It’s a neat place, full of character, and Russ pointed out some guy in the corner that is supposedly a famous musician.  Yeah.  Like I would know him.

Brooklyn Label

Brooklyn Label

 
2:40 p.m: We arrive at Word, where we spend an hour shooting the breeze, bashing stupid books, and discussing why James Patterson is sadly the best thing that Hachette Book Group USA can promote.  Well, except for that Twilight thing, anyway.  I buy a copy of The Book Thief, a Young Adult title I’ve been wanting to read since it came out in 2006, and we head out for the G Train. 

There has been an absence of notable excitement today.  Yesterday, after I blogged, I left the hotel in search of caffeine and dinner.  I got down to 8th street, a block away, when I was halted by 3 fire trucks, 4 cop cars, and 2 rescue vehicle, and a throng of people congregated and staring skyward.  I would find out, very quickly, that a crane had malfunctioned (or something like that), and that a netting that was holding broken concrete was threatening to spill its contents onto the road below.  I would find out later that this is not a rare occurance in the City.  I made it past that, only a block further before I saw 2 more ambulances, 2 more cop cars, another large throng, and a considerable amount of blood on the street.  Just past that, a bicycle split in half.  Yeah, man on bike vs. car, car wins.  From what I understand, the guy was beaten, broken, but would survive.  Crazy.  There’s no shortage of entertainment around here.  I look forward to leaving the hotel, just to see what I see.

Alright, all done now.  Need to make dinner plans and get ready for tonight.  More tomorrow morning before I make my way home!

More ME in NYC, Day 2

I didn’t want to go to sleep last night.  For a long time (once I had fully comitted myself to leaving Facebook and the plethora–what is a plethora?–of comments and such from yesterday’s activity) I just stared out the window at the city.  I think I was still in that, “Am I really here” phase that most of us go through when we’ve come to visit an exciting place, or a place we’re excited about because it isn’t exciting at all but quiet because everyone else isn’t  there.  Anyway, I left the shades open, and woke up the minute the light touched the sky.  Times like this, and times like this only, that I don’t mind short sleep.  Thus began the day.  I have no idea where I’m going now, only that I’m about to walk out the door.

8:32 am: I meander downstairs, showered & happy to MY free Marriott breakfast.  Before you get too excited, free, in this instance, is bagels and toast and cereal and coffee.  Honestly, I was happiest about the free coffee.  More so that they had little packages of Coffe-Mate French Vanilla creamer available.  MY caffeinated dessert, what you mortals call coffee, in hand, I was ready to face the day.

10:15 am: While on MY way to the Library, I stop for the 1st of 2 visits to Bryant Park, situated right next door (door? somehow, that seems wrong).  It’s a peaceful place in the morning.  Probably an excellent place to drink some coffee and wake up while people watching.  Hey!  That’s what I was doing!

I can haz nap?

I can haz nap?

 

Hello funny hat man!

Hello funny hat man!

10:10 a.m: New York Public Library.  I didn’t go in, as I’ve been there before & I’m running short on time before I meet Russ at (or around, on Russ time) 11.  Snapped a couple pictures of the lions, and some various shots of the local landscape, but nothing you wouldn’t have seen a bajillion times before on tourist brochures.  I’m beginning to get a little worried about the calm lack of adventure the day is displaying thus far.  What, Monday comes and we all act normal again?  What’s up with that?

10:21 a.m: Walking up 5th Ave, on MY way to St. Patrick’s Cathedral when it suddenly occurs to ME that I’ve been singing the coffee toffee twisted frosty song in MY head for the last hour.  Damn!  In order to purge the madness, I grant the repetitive lyrics to you

Coffee toffee, twisted frosty!

Do you wanna get frosty with me?

10:32 a.m: I arrive at St. Patty’s to discover that MY favorite NYC landmark is still there.  You can never be too sure when religion is involved.  Could have been swept away in a moment of vengeance.  Glad to see that they are renovating some of the exterior.  Most people are aware that I do not believe you can find God in a church, despite the fact that they exist, seemingly, for the that sheer purpose alone.  You can find religion in a church though, and St. Patty’s never disappoints.

Stained Glass in St. Patty's

Stained Glass in St. Patty'sCeiling at St. Patty's

St. Patrick's Cathedral

St. Patrick's Cathedral

 

11:11 a.m: Lunch with Russ at Chipolte’s.  I need about 3 more cups of coffee to keep up with the speed at which he is talking.  Russ, I’m still a Southerner!  Slow down!

12:25 p.m: Russ & I have broken up, though I believe it to be short term.  Once he slows down his speech, we’ll be all right.  I decide to head back to 42nd street, and over to Grand Central Station, since I didn’t have time before, then head back to St. Patrick’s because, well, because it’s so freakin’ awesome.  Aside from the fact that I think of The Day After Tomorrow everytime I go into Grand Central, I rather enjoy it.  It is the pinnacle of activity.  Busy, busy, busy little people scoot around from one to the other, or from one floor to the other, to the fooditorium downstairs, or simply dodging pesky tourists with cameras.  OH!  Actually, the main floor of Grand Central is home to a scene from one of my favorite movies, K-Pax, so maybe all isn’t bad.  The travesty has been undone.  Sorry Mr. Gyllenhal and Mr. Quaid, but that movie just sucked.  Wolves?  Really?  Wolves in NYC? 

1:35 p.m: Back at St. Patrick’s for about 30 minutes.  It’s fantastic to absorb to just sit and absorb the history of the place.  Unfortunately, and by design I do believe, the pews are dreadfully uncomfortable to sit on for an extended period of time.  How can you feel the presence of God if you’re massaging your butt every five minutes!

2:25 p.m: Back at the hotel where I attempted a nap.  No go.  Nap fail.  Too easily distracted am I.  Answer the phone?  Sure!  Text messages, absolutely!  Facebook chats?  Well, I can’t be rude!  Anyway, it’s 5:30 now and I’m about to get ready for night one at The Tank.  I may, and or may not, post pictures and update the blog later this evening.  MY guess is on the no side.  You may just have to wait until tomorrow.  And, hey, whoa!  I totally buzzed a fly today!

I seez you mister flyz!

I seez you mister flyz!

Ok, so maybe it isn’t that cool.  But still, I had to wait a long time for that shot.