Friday, August 22, 2014

The High Road - Chapter 13

by Bert Carson

Here's Chapter 13 of The High Road.

Remember, if you've missed a chapter or if you're just joining the trip,  all of the chapters are here.

Enjoy the ride with John, Bird, and JoJo.

Thursday, August 21, 2014

Narrative License

by Bert Carson,
My Friend Ted The Gryphon
You've heard of Poetic License, however, you may not know that Wikipedia has lumped poetic license with a number of other "licenses" and arrived at this definition:

Artistic License, also known as dramatic license, historical license, poetic license, narrative license, or simply license, is a colloquial term, sometimes euphemism, used to denote the distortion of fact, alteration of the conventions of grammar or language, or rewording of pre-existing text made by an artist to improve a piece of art.  

I have an issue with the word distortion.  Who can say where fact ends and distortion begins?  No one can, since distortion is simply one person's perception.  In other words, what you think is distortion might well be my fact (and there is a good chance that is the case).  Take this simple history of an actual creature for example:

The ancient Greeks described the creature, which they called a Griffin, as a mighty being with the body of a lion, the king of beasts, and the wings of an eagle, the king of birds.  Obviously some ancient Greek, or more likely, a large group of them, saw a Griffin, or a flock of them.  Face it,  who could make up something like that?

Thousands of years after the Greek sighting of Griffins, Charles Lutwidge Dogson, whose distorted name was Lewis G. Carroll, spied a mutated Griffin, which had the body of a lion and the head and wings of an eagle.  He called this mutation a Gryphon, and described it in his classic "non-fiction" work, Alice's Adventures In Wonderland.  

In 1948, the nuns who founded Gwynedd Mercy University (located in Bensalem, Pennsylvania, near Philadelphia) also saw a Gryphon and were so inspired they made him the mascot of the school.  The Gryphon commemorated in the statue at the left, appeared in Germany a number of years ago and seems to have adopted the country and all its citizens, hence the stature.

My friend Ted (see drawing above) is undoubtedly a descendant of the Dogson Gryphon.  I've known Ted for most of my 70+ years and know for a fact that he is undistorted, loyal, talented and very, very strong.

I cannot believe the ancient Greeks would distort anything and neither would Charles Lutwidge Dogson, mathematician and Anglican Deacon.  And who would accuse the Sisters of Mercy of Bensalem of distortion? Not to mention all of the citizens of Germany who sighted the creature?  And, if you require further proof of the undistorted existence of both Griffins and Gryphons, you have to look no further than me:  You know I live far above the possibility of distortion (by the way, that's Ted tattooed on my left arm).

So much for the distorted definition of license.

Monday, August 18, 2014

Meeting In Vicksburg

by Bert Carson
Bert - Christina - Caleb - Stephen
I've anticipated meetings before, and, to be honest, more often than not my expectations have crashed and burned in the reality of the experience.  However, on those few occasions when it went the other way - when reality exceeded expectation, spirits soared and hope was renewed.

The particular meeting that I'm about to tell you about has been anticipated for a very long time.  We (me, Christina, Caleb Pirtle, and Stephen Woodfin) have been internet friends for over three years.  We initially bonded with the mutual objective of discovering the secret of marketing our books.  As we hacked away at the Indie Writer Mystery of Mysteries, we became good friends - as good as you can be when digital contact is your only connection.

We found each other through Triberr.  Since those early days, we have corresponded regularly via email, joined up on weekly Google Hangouts, and Stephen and I are regular pen-and-ink pen pals, yet, we'd never met face-to-face, until last Friday.  It isn't that we didn't want to meet sooner, it just never quite worked out, distance and schedules being the major obstacles.

Stephen and Caleb live in Texas. Christina and I live in Alabama.  In addition to being writers, we each have "day jobs" that take a vast amount of our time, so until now we haven't been able to schedule a date that worked for each of us.  With a time and date locked in place, we settled on a place - Rusty's Restaurant in Vicksburg, Mississippi.

It's 340 miles from Huntsville, Alabama to Vicksburg, Mississippi.  Since Christina and I aren't morning people, we elected to travel to the rendezvous Thursday and spend the night in Vicksburg.   We arrived a bit before 5 PM.  By 5:30 we'd changed into running gear and were jogging in the Vicksburg National Cemetery, a Civil War Memorial of epic proportions, whose hills are about three time higher than any hill in Huntsville, Alabama.

We were scheduled to meet at 11 AM, so naturally we arrived at 10, strolled through town, then visited the Corp of Engineers Mississippi River exhibition which is located across the street from Rusty's.  At 10:45 we left the exhibition, stepping out into the glare of August sunlight.  As we paused at the curb, letting our eyes adjust to the light, a horn blew and the driver pointed out the window toward us,  as the passenger shouted, "It's them."  That was the beginning of the long-awaited meeting.  A little over six hours later the meeting adjourned until next we meet - and you can be sure that we will.

So, what did four writers, who had never met before, do for six hours?  We talked like twelve-year-old friends who have just shaken the confines of a long day at school.  We talked in Rusty's until they closed at 2.  Then we walked down the street to a coffee shop, got beverages, and sat outside talking until the sun peaked over the river and began falling toward Texas, blinding us in it's glare as it heated up the eastern side of Washington Street, which parallels the Mississippi River.  We surrendered our position but didn't give up the meeting.  We simply moved to the west side of the street, without losing our place in the conversation.

At that point, the meeting became mobile,  as we meandered up and down the street, pausing often to gaze in windows and stare at old buildings while speculating on both.  That's what writers do, you know?  Did we come any closer to solving the mystery of mysteries?  Only time will tell.  However, there is one thing I can tell you about the meeting, it was joyous occasion - one that I'm already looking forward to repeating.  


Friday, August 15, 2014

The High Road - Chapter 12

by Bert Carson
Bert Carson - Noah Charif - Adrienne Wall Photography

John and Bird began to explore "mind reading" and are surprised when Batman leads them to a discovery about their ability to communicate without speaking.

Click here to listen to episodes 1 - 11.

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

The High Road - Chapter 11

by Bert Carson
Bert Carson - Noah Charif - Photos Adrienne Wall

Bird, who has never, as far as he can remember, been out of Alabama, proves to be a worthy navigator and partner, as he, John, and JoJo take a detour toward Albuquerque.

If you've missed a chapter, or if you're just beginning the adventure, you can find all the episodes here.

Thanks for joining us for the ride.

Bert & Noah

Sunday, August 10, 2014

The High Road Chapter Ten

by Bert Carson
Bert Carson  -   Noah Charif  (Adrienne Wall Photography)
Back on the road with John, Bird, and JoJo, as they pick up a load in Oklahoma and begin heading south for El Paso.

As they travel they learn more about each other and the amazing connection they have.

All of the episodes are posted here for your convenience.

Friday, August 8, 2014

When Jeremy Plays

by Bert Carson
Jeremy Vosen
My friend, Merri, has mentioned her friend Jeremy a number of times in emails and letters.  Yesterday, she told me he was close to finishing his first YouTube video, an original composition called Moonlight Reflection.

This morning I found a link to the video in my in-basket.  The hauntingly beautiful work of this young master was a lovely way to begin the day.

Now I share Jeremy with you.  Enjoy