I’ve decided to challenge myself by participating in National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo). The goal is 50K words in 30 days. I’ve had several books on my mind, but have gone with the one I feel is the most developed of those. While it isn’t the fantastic story I want to work with my friend Daniel on, I think it will be great to finally get it out. I have to keep reminding myself that I can develop some of the story as I write and I can do fine-tuning when I edit. I have a lot of questions about the direction the novel will take and I look forward to seeing where these characters end up. I’m spending this week on my main characters, writing back stories and descriptions that will help me understand them as I go along. I personally find it helpful to name my characters first, but I often change that in the end. Naming them just allows me to start ‘talking to them’ and getting into who they are. If this goes well, I feel like I could be finally headed in the right direction.

I’ve also revisited an idea I’ve had for a long time of creating a book of short stories, poems, artwork, etc. I’d collect submissions from current of past booksellers, likely those I’ve worked with… or those people who exist on the periphery of the bookselling world. I just have to get through to those who find the idea dumb.

Lastly, while looking through my notes concerning the novel I’ll be working on in November I came across a poem I had written in 2008. It needed a little work, so I’ve polished it a bit. Enjoy!

Daniel Naranjo
a platonic love poem

I itch for the subtle way joy emerges
from your face – overcome with yourself,
with yourself.
It’s lovely. You’re lovely.
You aren’t so familiar, aren’t so unfamiliar.
In the long months between,
everything misses you.
My senses feel achy and empty without
your enchanting aura of smoke and wine.
I smile, thinking of that laugh,
you know the one,
that erupts accidentally when you’ve
amused yourself.
God, I love that laugh.
You blew in on winds you could’ve
ridden forever, resigned to not settle,
loving the feel of the dust
whipping through your pores,
hair, teeth.
You seem reluctant,
you seem reluctant,
Or is that me?
I decided to write you a poem,
a poem of you, the you I know of,
the you who is only a slight version of you.
It took four years to say
things about your loveliness,
about the smoke and the wine,
about Oregon and Alaska,
about loving your laugh.
It wasn’t just joy, was it?
I detected some shame,
loved that shame, if that’s what it was,
wanted to live in that feeling.
I’ll remember that face,
remembering how much I love you,
and I’ll exist for a few seconds
in that moment, that feeling,
inside a space you created.
I believe in horses and you,
I believe in me and you,
I believe in you
and you.


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