Monday, February 17, 2014

There’s More . . .

(beta version of cover)
[ I am 40,000+ words into my current work-in-progress, a novella titled, There's More . . .  Recently, the California Writers Club, Mt. Diablo Branch (to which I belong), challenged our members to tell a story, not in thousands of words, but in 100 or less. I accepted the task. The following is my novella from start to finish. ]


A bat. A ball. A swing. A bullet.
A death. A guide. A life.

A bat—black-varnished, rays of setting sun splintering north, south, east, west, until tension-stilled,
at the ready. 

A ball—Virginal white. Never pitched, nor struck. Rocketing from hurler’s hand. 
A swing—fluid, potent contact, ball arrowing moundward. 
A bullet—fired in revenge, racing ball to target. 
A death. Accident? Murder? Projectiles: protagonists in this unplotted drama. The pitcher falls, forehead concaved,
a blackening hole deep at crater ’s base. 

A guide. Heaven-sent to assist at this unexpected crossing-over. 
A life—“There’s more, my son . . . .”

The End

Thursday, February 13, 2014

My Valentine--Caring For Your Most Important Relationship

[ My guest blogger is Rev. Charles Ara, married Catholic Priest/Marital Therapist and author of the book, THE GRASS IS GREENER WHERE IT’S WATERED. Charlie and I were schoolmates back in . . . well, let's just say, 'Back in the day.']

On this Valentine’s Day, I offer 10 suggestions on caring for the most important relationship in your life:

1.     Have specific times when the TV, Cell phones and the computer are OFF.
2.     Make dates at least a month in advance and write them own on your mutual calendars.
3.     Take an evening walk at least once a week enjoying the evening air and holding hands.
4.     Get away to a hotel or motel once every three months for two nights and three days.
5.     Go to the beach or park in the early evening and enjoy the sunset.
6.     Exercise together in the morning or in the evening
7.     Take a long auto drive getting out of the car every few miles to take a short walk together.
8.     Have breakfast together at a restaurant on a Saturday morning without the kids.
9.     Have a good strong lock for your bedroom door.
10. Every day, find your partner, look into their eyes and say THANK YOU FOR BEING MY LOVER, MY PARTNER, MY COMPANION IN LIFE, MY PAL AND MY BEST FRIEND.

Some of these activities may cost money, but what better thing to spend your money on than taking care of the most important relationship in your life.

(c) 2014 by Charles Ara
Father Ara can be reached at (562) 865-4075, His e-mail address is cara@sprintmail.com.
Website: http://home.sprintmail.com/~cara/frcharlieara/


Pablo Neruda Love Poem: When I die . . . (Cuando yo muera)


[ Happy Valentine's Day  to all!]

When I die I want your hands on my eyes:
I want the light and the wheat of your beloved hands
to pass their freshness over me one more time
to feel the smoothness that changed my destiny.

I want you to live while I wait for you, asleep,
I want for your ears to go on hearing the wind,
for you to smell the sea that we loved together

and for you to go on walking the sand where we walked.
I want for what I love to go on living
and as for you I loved you and sang you above everything,
for that, go on flowering, flowery one,

so that you reach all that my love orders for you,
so that my shadow passes through your hair,
so that they know by this the reason for my song.




LXXXIX

Cuando yo muera quiero tus manos en mis ojos:
quiero la luz y el trigo de tus manos amadas
pasar una vez más sobre  su frescura:
sentir la suavidad que cambió mi destino.

Quiero que vivas mientras yodormidote espero,
quiero que tus oídos sigan oyendo el viento,
que huelas el aroma del mar que amamos juntos
que sigas pisando la arena que pisamos.

Quiero que lo que amo siga vivo
y a ti te amé y canté sobre todas las cosas,
por eso sigue  floreciendoflorida,

para que alcances todo lo que mi amor te ordena,
para que se pasee mi sombra por tu pelo,
para que así conozcan la razón de mi canto.

Pablo Neruda, Veinte poemas de amor y una canción desesperadaCien Sonetos de Amor.
Plaza y 
Janés. Ave Fénix 205-2. Sexta ediciónjunio 1998. 

Monday, December 30, 2013

My Favorite Books of 2013



               

2013 Fiction = The Orphan Master’s Son by Adam Johnson (Pulitzer Prize)

A peek inside the craziness that characterizes North Korea's closed and insanely dangerous society. I've always wondered what was behind what I see and read in the press. Adam Johnson's amazing tale of daily half-life and slow death north of the DMZ leaves the reader mesmerized by the illusions supporting that dark country.

2013 Fiction (Audio Book) = Cutting for Stone
by Abraham Verghese


I had read the book, but listening to Sunil Malhotra's melodic audio rendition of the story of twin brothers Marion and Shiva Stone doubled the pleasure of this wonderful, sad, and often gut-wrenching narrative.

2013 Nonfiction = In the Beginning Was the Spirit: Science, Religion, and Indigenous Spirituality by Diarmuid O’Murchu


O'Murchu expands the Christian consciousness to allow for a bigger, more mysterious deity than most of us allow. As the subtitle promises, the author melds the findings of science with "modern" and more primitive religious beliefs. Christians, prepare for a mind-bending but totally faith-filled reading experience.


Commentaries (c) 2013 by Alfred J. Garrotto