Friday, August 20, 2021

The One Year Anniversary Of Dweller On The Boundary

The view from the top of Elsberry Mountain in the 1980s. I took this photo, but it did not properly develop.

 

 Saturday, August 21st, is the one year anniversary of the publication of Dweller On The Boundary. To mark the occasion, it will be free on Amazon Kindle and so will Terminal Wake: Stories Of A Boy 1979-1991 on Saturday and Sunday. The soft cover and hard cover print editions will be discounted also (discount price begins Saturday).

Last month was the birthday of the person behind the character of Oliver. He would have been forty-nine years old this year. He passed away in his thirties and deserved so much more time and happiness. I remember him each year on his birthday like my own. He was funny, caring and stronger than I would have thought. I wish I had found him in time.

One year after Dweller I am relieved, but still not without sorrow.

August 2021

It has been the summer of long walks, thinking, hunting and packing. As I did when I wrote Dweller, I used my walks as inspiration for my writing. The scents and sounds of the woods bring me back to the past and where I need to be to write. My next novel that is set in the 1990s is completed through the first draft. I have to set aside and let it ferment and I plan to pick it back up as the weather closes in around me in December. I expect to publish some time in 2022, likely summer or fall. I never know how long it will take or where the words will lead in the revisions. Dweller went through seven drafts and changed significantly in the revisions. The stories in Terminal also took as many revisions. The next novel is as of yet untitled, but I have several potential names jotted down in my journal. My mind likes to focus on how objects, places and people sound - the next book sounds like this in my head.

I have lived in my current residence in Atlanta for the past twelve years, that is the longest in one place since I left Aviary Hill in 1995. I call it Slippery Elm for the elm tree out front. Many special memories have taken place inside these walls. I hope the walls and floors have absorbed some of the laughter, copious amounts of music and happiness that occurred here. There were countless parties for all occasions, many great meals and interesting people that came through its doors. Often times it was never empty and it was joked that it was a hotel - there are rooms named after people after all. Debates were argued about life, art, politics and silly opinions about whether Philip Glass was a better composer than Erik Satie. I argued for Satie and a former performer for Cirque du Soleil argued that Glass was better. Neither of us caved, but my snobbery over Glass has since softened and I came to appreciate Orphee's Suite.

There were the bad times too at Slippery Elm, but I hope they escaped out the window like a bad odor. I almost died upstairs  one night many years ago. I had not listened to my body and its warning signs until it was almost too late. Nine days in the hospital and I staggered back to Slippery Elm stunned. I learned that the surprises of life will find you no matter your address.

As I write this, Slippery Elm is packed. Skyscrapers of boxes impatiently stare at me waiting to be carted away. I am leaving the city, I knew I would some day, and am moving out to the far suburbs. I decried the suburbs for years and looked down on the cul-de-sacs ringed by sod and cutesy mailboxes. Who lived in these houses and why? Atlanta has changed, I have changed and a house out there in the dark quiet will soon be home. I named it already, am planning the garden and choosing paint colors. It will be there that I finish my next book and begin again establishing roots. The country boy that is buried deep inside my DNA stands at the city wall and waves goodbye to all that glittered. I did my time and regret little.

From Aviary Hill as a child, through many houses in between since leaving, to Whisper Hall next. To borrow from Bowie, "time may change me, but I can't trace time."

Thank you for reading.