(Filing away Zion entry #3)
August 23, 1999: I really loved Mr. Ogg’s rosewood casket! and now I want one of them blue balls! 🙂
August 27, 1999: I just thought I’d tell you I finished reading all the stories in your website. I enjoyed all of them thoroughly as I really love your flare for colorful language, the way you start out at your elbow, weave in and around each of the fingers and come out at the thumb, making everything in the end perfectly logical. I couldn’t help but laugh out loud, good medicine for anybody. Your characters, both real and fiction, sound just like the ones I grew up with and around. The way you walked on water getting away from the water moccasin was me! . . as I ran from the coachwhip [snake] that I swear was chasing me while I went walking in the woods, as I was wont to do often when a little girl. Nobody will ever convince me that snake didn’t have a personal vendetta against me.
As for your brother’s lost (last) words, I was thinking how my husband always says that one of the most under-rated pleasures in life is a good session in the toilet. Now I know that people often defecate on their demise, but I was just thinking how sad if your brother slipped out of this life without being able to enjoy one last good s**t (!); no matter how much he may have left behind for the orderlies to clean up when the rolled him out, it just won’t do if he didn’t realize it, and emit one, final sigh.
I passed along your website address to my two daughters, the eldest who has just been appointed a professor in the psychology department at U of Utah in Salt Lake City, and the younger who is in her second year PhD study in Renaissance English at the U of Texas in Austin. The eldest wrote back last night to say she had accessed the site and read some of the Chronicals and “Bob” and bookmarked it for further for leisure reading on her lunch hours. The youngest has so little time, alas, for reading or anything outside of academics that she may get around to looking at it over Christmas. She’s too busy to even look for a boyfriend and unofficially gave that job to me . . . 😉
September 1, 1999: Hi, sorry about taking so long to acknowledge your letter, but I was away for a bit and I’m still trying to catch up. So glad you liked the stuff on the web site, and it’s always pleasing to hear my work evokes memories. Lets me know I’m on the right wavelength.
I am located in the heart of the Kentucky Bluegrass, where the tobacco is brown, the bourbon is made, and the racehorses are bred. (Yours is not the only capital of sin. [reference to my living in Las Vegas, NV then]) The sun shines bright here, and the ladies weep no mo. Normally this is very green country, but at the moment we are in the midst of a severe drought. I can’t seem to get used to so much brown. Looks like God is gittin’ us good, dang his hide.
I managed to get in a little time this morning on The Gabriel Chronicle. Maybe in a few days I can post a few chapers up to the site. -Jim
September 16, 1999: Hi Alice, I understand the disadvantages of being the baby of the family. I was the “least” of seven, and that was way down in the pecking order.
‘Preciate your recommending me to your daughters. Sounds as if the youngest is in the throes of what we used to refer to as our “minor inconvenience.” <Begin sidebar> One of my cohorts owned a cattle farm. Someone brought a cow to be serviced by his prize bull, but the bull exhibited no interest. “Wonder what’s wrong with that bull?” the cow’s owner said. My cohort’s wife, who was standing nearby, said “It’s my opinion he’s working on his dissertation.”
What kind of schedule do I keep? None, these days. When I was seriously trying to get something out, I used to do 2 hours a day–writing or staring. Now it is just when the notion strikes me. I have enough correspondence to keep me fluent. <Begin digression> I have a theory that writing is like a foreign language in that it first must be learned and then regularly practiced in order to maintain fluency. I have encountered countless able speakers in my time who can be rendered mute by being handed a pencil and paper. For this reason, I used to insist my students keep journals and write something there every day. <End digression.>
The plays? Two of them deal with Zions Cause characters and situations and were produced by a professional rep company. One of these was also produced by a professional rep company. One of these was also produced as a television play and won the Ohio State Award in 1987. Prior to these there was a folk musical based on the John Henry legend, which toured in Canada and England. (I got to go along.) And prior to that, a one-act, written as an undergrad, which won a national play writing contest and was later produced as a radio drama.
I have posted the next chapter of the Gabriel Chronicle, Chapter 9, to the website. I’ve noticed the GeoCities site is sometimes unavailable on the first try. This has only been happening since GeoCities sold out to Yahoo. I would complain except that the site is free. If you have a problem, try the site at http://www.users.mis.net/~jpeyton. It should always be available. Later, -Jim
2010 update for wintersong: sorry to say, it isn’t available any longer. So much for forever. Which is what will eventually happen to My Wintersong and other blogs in the sweet bye and bye. So we might as well enjoy our bloggy rides while we can. Always isn’t always after all.