TIME FOR A CHANGE...

September 29, 2014 -

I haven't spent much time lately fomenting hostilities between Liberals and Conservatives here at the Elvis Chronicles so it seems that it's time to move on... or move back, rather, to just plain writing. The course I'm taking is a fiction-writing course so that's what will mostly appear here.

Prof is expecting us to build a portfolio and turn it in at the end of the course. I'm going to use this space for a portfolio, as well.

I have always loved to write, been doing it since I was young. Mostly it was poetry - never blank verse - things always had to rhyme.

Now and again I plan to feature some of my older writings, and poetry that my grandmother wrote. Such as, Apathy is such an old concept

(Original post: Saturday, November 10, 2007)

My grandmother, Florence Burlingame Taylor, was a gifted writer, and poetess. Poetry was popular back in the old days and Gramma was never without poetic thoughts on hundreds of subjects.

But her poetry that means the most to me are the sometimes angry and often soothing rhymes about her soldiers off fighting the German and Japanese war machines in World War II. Her poem "Apathy" could have been written today.

Gram was one of those women in the 40's who left the home to go and work in the factory to help with the war effort. She was one of the most sincere patriots I ever knew and it shows in her poetry.

I know Gr T would be pleased to know that I am sharing some of her poetry with you. (If you want to read more, Gram is published at http://www.rufusputnam.com/byways/poems.html). [Read rest here...]


Week #5 exercise... The Unreliable Narrator

I have long been a fan of the mixed metaphor but plagiarism is quite another thing. "A Tail of Two Cities" was my first novel and like many successful authors, in due time, one writer or another will come along and either steal the entire idea or just mess around with the title. In the case of "Tail…," there were two thieves. That scoundrel Dickens thought that by merely changing two letters in the title I wouldn't discover what he'd done. And what's up with having a moral in every story? The other author - a man I once respected - missed the point completely: The inevitable contention between the "city" folk of Cleveland and "country" folk of North Ridgeville makes for real drama but not necessarily a happy ending. Which brings me to the events of last Friday.

I had been living in Cleveland for a while now but when the producers of the "Live with Kelly and Michael" called me to be Kelly's guest host on Friday I was thrilled to get back to the real city. Michael was traveling to some football game or other and it had been his suggestion that I take his co-host spot that day; Michael loved my novels and couldn't stop himself from saying the nicest things about me. Of course, Kelly's always a delight and not nearly as green-eyed as Regis could be when he sensed he was being upstaged by a guest. (You have no idea how contentious he could be.)

I still get air sick in those little cages they use for regular animals so I expected to be bumped up to first class. But in spite of my obvious celebrity, they were refusing my request. Unbelievable! I could hear my agent arguing desperately with the TSA agent, "He's a famous writer and needs to be in Manhattan by seven for hair and make-up… Kelly Ripa will be VERY disappointed…" There is, apparently, something in the TSA manual about "un-domesticated animals." So much for the "friendly" skies!

Suddenly I feel my humiliation escalate as I'm hoisted by my tail and - amid the sympathetic screams of my fellow passengers - shoved head first into a cosmetic bag. I knew it was a make-up bag because with these whiskers I can smell L'Oreal products blindfolded. Adding injury to insult, my ruthless kidnapper was trying to zip the bag shut and caught my tail! I screamed. My tail was ripped and - sure enough - it was bleeding.

Where is Damon? I pay him a small fortune to keep me out of harm's way. I need a real body guard like Kevin Costner. He hasn't worked much lately; I bet he could use the money.

Where were we going? Where was I being taken? Where DO criminals hide the Rich and Famous while they wait for a ransom to be paid? We were moving quickly now, the kidnapper and I - thank god I had taken my Dramamine before we left the house and so I was saved from my further humiliation by not tossing my Cheez-Its.

We are slowing a bit now and yes, we've stopped. I hear a familiar voice, "Coffee for you, Ma'am?" I'm at Starbucks?!? What kind of kidnapper takes time to stop for a latte? I'd long ago given up coffee because the caffeine was making me jittery and Damon said that jittery authors were a dime a dozen. And, now especially I need to remain calm until I have the chance to talk my way out of this… whatever this is.

Just in case my kidnapper just happens to be going to New York and presuming the FBI has already been alerted to my abduction (no doubt Gelman is frantically pacing in the wings of the studio) I'll just rehearse a little and try to remember a few things that the producers might not know about my career. For example, did you know that I was, in fact, the inspiration for one of Frank Sinatra's best movies? I was promised the lead in "The Rat Pack" but when Frank's agent insisted that I be the "fuzzy" side-kick, I knew I would be forever stereo-typed and had to turn it down.

"Ratatouille" was inspired by my very first trip to Paris but back then I was still in the closet and didn't want anyone to know I was vegan. Perhaps that's why the movie didn't play well in France; I had trouble being authentic.

Everyone knows that I wrote "Willard" and they all expected me to star in the movie. But, truth be told I turned down the role because I just couldn't get along with Crispin Glover. You know, he still gives me the creeps.



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