Monday, September 12, 2011

Hello, friends...

It's been awhile since I last wrote here; I know. Life's like that, but it also comes and goes in circles.

Two years have passed and I'm just finishing my sixth ms (Moorings). This one might even rival V.S. for my favorite, but those things change.

A novel - to me - is like a child. You raise him the best you can, using what you know as best at that moment in time, then hope things will turn out well in the end.

As with children, we put our hearts into our stories, wondering on-the-fly if we're making the right decisions. With the writing, I always think it's dreck until a good year has passed and I re-read. Perhaps it's only then that I allow myself to fall in love with my own stories.

Perhaps I feel I've abandoned my characters in finishing a story. Could be. My son once said, "Daddy, I can always tell when you're getting close to the ending of one of your books, because you talk about the characters like they're real people - your friends." Well, Peter, they are; they have to be if you're doing it right.

And like children, we must set them loose to fly on their own.

I promise not to be away for long again...

All the best,


Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Hi everyone!

It's been a while since I've written anything for this blog, so here goes...

I just had a very close call. A major agency just turned me down, but only because they have a contracted, published author who has a story with a similar plot device as my fourth ms, "The Special One." But they said they loved it, so...guess which one I'm pushing now? Yup. VS!

It will happen.

Right now I'm almost 40k words into my sixth, another longer story that might take the cake as far as story lines go. We shall see, as all my stories come from some sphere other than my consciousness. I do have a very good feeling about this one, though. I was 2/3 of the way done with #5, but I just couldn't wait to finish; #6 was that much a pull for me.

This current story's working title is "Moorings." It's another ghost/love story, set on Cape Cod, which will make people reflect on what really matters in their own lives, and in their own hearts.

See ya! Have a great summer!


Thursday, October 15, 2009

Winter's here!

I can't believe it. October 15th and it's snowing in Kent, CT. We ceremonially lit the outdoor wood stove this afternoon, making sure to use the last charred piece of wood from last season. We're sentimental like that.

With the snow/rain combination falling, I decided to take Dixie for a walk along the river. We both love it there, walking along a lightly worn path the fly fishermen have created. Most of the rain didn't touch us, as the pines are quite dense along the river's edge.

The water is pretty high now, after recent rains, and it reminded me of the first time, months ago, that I found that spot. I was alone, and there was a singular great heron standing on a rock in the center of the rushing water. The tranquility and beauty of the place caused me to rush home and write this poem.

I hope you like it.

"The River"

Pushing through, my climb nearly done
Thickets, vines, o'er rocks and root
Into or out of - it matters not
The clearing's at hand; the rest but moot.

Its preamble of sound, though clear foretelling
Could nay make for justice plain
Now, before me, crescendo doth play
Her music sings loudly, proud to ordain.

My thoughts rendered speechless, suddenly clear
Sheer force of current, render my awe
Great rocks, smoothened edges, powerless weight
Timeless white foam, the relentless wet saw

Secrets silent, kept, though, in trust
Mere mortals' due hopes, dreams and tears
Yet roll on its march, ne'r pause for a soul
Carry to, or from, all life-long fears.

Take me, bring me, oh force of God
Your depths and unmasking be true
My heart seeks only to play once again
Carry me, please, no gratitude undue.

I'll be adding more posts, for I believe big things are happening...


Tuesday, August 4, 2009


Title of Book: Vermont Sojourn
Author: James Griffin

The pines and maples whisper in the wind
Calling to me, in their serene, same voice
In bygone years their message was sent
Did I heed their wisdom in my choice?

The boughs do bend low with time
Some do break, falling down to ground
Can time forgive my own limbs' reach?
Will life, its harshness, leave mine sound?

That wind, the very same I knew
Its secrets rolling o'er valleys green
Return! Thou shant deny this soul
Imprints of the truths thou hath seen

Blow away, but oh, please now return
This heart doth promise this time!
One chance, one more, I do beseech
I promise you, my love can learn!

Brief Description:

Richard Talbot is a successful New York attorney who finds himself one random Sunday morning at The Country Girl Diner in Chester, Vermont. He’s married, has a son in college, a beautiful home in Stamford, CT, and millions in the bank. An hour after he has breakfast, he slips a carefully chosen Jackson Browne CD into the player of his brand new Escalade and has to pull over. He’s weeping like a child.

Over the course of this one week “sojourn,” Richard searches for his own soul, and finds it - among perfect strangers. His life was a fa├žade for 34 years; he never felt he was worth more than what he earned. While helping a Marine, finding the strength of his faith again, being reunited with the love of his life, and, more crucially, finding the maternal acceptance he never knew, he found what he was searching for. The strange part was that it was with him all along.

The secret he discovered was not one of loving, but being able to accept love. As he taught others, then realized on his own, we don’t get to decide whom others love or why.

Sometimes, those others might even love us.

An Excerpt from Chapter 2:

But it was now a school year later, summertime on Mohawk Mountain. The bike was adequately stashed away from the prying eyes of any park rangers that might happen by, a large pile of firewood had been stacked up for the growing darkness, the sleeping bags were rolled out, right next to each other, and Richard was lighting the camp fire.

They did expect to see some real hikers come by, yet none did, and that was a blessing. They were completely alone, smoking Laura’s Merit cigarettes and sipping the Liebfraumilch and slicing off pieces of the cheese with a knife they brought. The fire became quite large at one point, and their faces and arms were reddened by it. They sat on a log together, their bodies touching in an innocent way, but when the second bottle was close to finished and the fire dying down, the sleeping bags drew them under the cover of the lean-to.

Even thirty plus years later, Richard remembered seeing stars that night, with his eyes closed at the time. Laura always giggled a bit right afterward; it became something she always seemed to do. She’d giggle, kiss him, humming quietly to herself, as happy as she could be. On this particular night she slid her body off Richard’s just enough to light two smokes at the same time from her lips, giving one to him, as he just lay there on his back. They were very quiet, passing the remaining wine back and forth between drags. The fire was still bright but only embers at their feet, as they both stared into it.

All that was visible was in a ten foot perimeter of the fire. The woods were a solid blackness, but those embers still threw enough orange-yellow light to send flickers across the walls and ceiling of the lean-to and occasional sparks high into the air. There was a gentle, warm breeze that changed the direction of the smoke constantly, but the glowing coals gave off little in the way of smoke at that point. Laura was leaning on one elbow, her long curls swept across her breasts, also covering part of one eye as she gazed into the fire. After taking one last sip of wine, her lips glistened with the wine’s wetness, and then, for no apparent reason, she smiled - to herself. There wasn’t a single sound except the crackling of a dying fire and a few distant crickets. Their feet were entwined, their sweaty tummies still touching together after making love, and she was smiling. In that light he saw it; he saw her soul, her beautiful soul. Maybe that was why she smiled; maybe she felt him fall in love with her that very instant.

And so Richard got brave and faced the song for the first time in three decades:

Fountain of sorrow, fountain of light

You’ve known that hollow sound of your own steps in flight

You’ve had to struggle, you’ve had to fight

To keep understanding and compassion in sight

You could be laughing at me, you’ve got the right

But you go on smiling so clear and so bright…

By the end of that song, Richard had to pull the Escalade over to the side of the road and stop, unable to see through the tears that had now streaked down his entire face. It felt like a knife was twisting in his gut; the pain of past regrets was that intense. He thought to himself that with all the money he had in the world, he could never buy that moment back. He missed her, terribly. If he had only known, if someone had just told him! If he could have known that in more than three decades he would envy himself so, his innocent love, his ability to be who he really was, who he wanted to be. But it was not to be; he took all those special moments for granted. Cheap white wine, the cheapest that Woodbury Wine and Spirits had, and it made Laura’s lips shine like rubies, and those lips kissed his, softly, tenderly, and it was as beautiful a thing as God could have created when they smiled into those embers.

He then put his head down into his arm on the leather steering wheel and sobbed like a baby. It had been a long time since Richard allowed himself to cry.

Too long.