Poetry

Poetry

Poetry | Guy L. PaceI’m no great poet. I do dabble in poetry at times and I like Haiku. Traditional Haiku, that is.

Traditional Haiku is the 5-7-5 format. Five syllables in the first line, seven in the second, and five in the last. The last line is supposed to be the cut or slash to provide contrast to or a shift from the first two lines.

If you look it up in Wikipedia, you’ll find better descriptions. I like it because of the challenge to create a vision and experience in a brief, concise, and intense set of words–seventeen syllables.

If you think that is easy, check the Wikipedia entry and they try it yourself.

Biker Haiku

I’m working on a project that involves Haiku in my own style. I call it Biker Haiku. Most of the poems were composed in my head while on the road. Flavored by the landscapes, weather, and encounters, the little bits of verse help package the experience of the journeys.

Long, straight desert road

Flickering desert mirage

Mountains float ahead

I currently have 30+ little poems in the project. More will come. At some point, I’ll take the entire collection and make a little ebook.

And, somehow, I managed to publish this before it was ready. Watch for updates on this post.

 

Categories

Categories

Categories | Guy L. PaceSomeone, somewhere, defines and decides what to label things. They put things in categories. They set the criteria for the pigeon holes into which things are stuffed.

The publishing industry is much like the old hardware stores, where walls of tiny little drawers house little parts of an endless variety. Someone in those old stores knew how to find even the most obscure part, screw, or nail. It was a gift.

Those old hardware stores are gone. But, in the publishing industry, those categories are still around. And they change. Sometimes they change year to year. Sometimes they change from one bookstore to another. Even online booksellers have different, often incompatible, categories.

Amazon

Amazon allows an author to set up the categories for his/her book(s). As the author dives into this, though, restrictions rear their ugly head. Certain topic areas can’t be included in certain age categories, for example. You can’t start with science fiction, and roll down to teen or young adult and then Christian. You have go another way.

Then there are limits to how closely you can define your genre via the categories. Some allow only two or three levels.

Publisher

When Sudden Mission was first published, the publisher set the primary category as “middle grade.” I thought that included teen or early teen. Silly me. I found out that this put my books in the classification of children’s books. I don’t think the Spirit Missions books qualify as children’s books.

So, when I re-launched the books after that first publisher closed their doors, I set the initial categories as teen or young adult. Then I had to struggle to get things to accept Christian and science fiction as a genre. What fun.

Maddening

Sometimes the whole category things gets a bit maddening. I grew up reading science fiction, but that’s not all. I read biographies, mysteries, historical novels, history, drama, and classic literature. Even Shakespeare’s plays. My favorites were Julius Caesar, The Tempest, Romeo and Juliet, and Midsummer Night’s Dream. So, how does one categorize all that?

Or, how important is it to categorize all that?

Could the entire motivation to read something is for a good story. Interesting and compelling. A good story.

Maybe the only category we really need for books is “a good story.”

Keep writing.

 

P.S. The summer and early fall have been very busy with travel and other things. I hope you stick with me.

A Journey

A Journey

Route PlanToo often we define a trip as going from point A to point B. The goal being to get from one place to the other as quickly as possible. But, a journey is all about what is along the way.

This is one reason I dislike traveling on freeways. You go too fast. You spend most of your time focused on the road and going around trucks. The vast world around you is no more than a blurred landscape sliding by your car window.

I like US Highways, state routes and little country roads–farm to market roads. They are slower, more interesting, quieter. I also prefer to travel by motorcycle. The car takes you out of the environment and detaches you from what you might see. On a motorcycle, you are IN the environment. You see, smell, hear, feel, everything around you. That’s important in a journey.

Automatic Friends

When you stop for fuel or a stretch, other motorcyclists are automatically friends. The usual greetings involve your destination, your routes, what you might have seen. Language, ethnic, and nationality barriers disappear as you compare maps or statistics of your rides.

But, when you are riding, you are alone. Alone to absorb the views, the smells, the heat, the cold, rain and hail. To experience. You aren’t detached. You aren’t separated from the experience, you’re part of it.

I like passing through small towns, sometimes making a stop at a local cafe filled with local people. I enjoy eavesdropping on the conversations about family, work, crops, weather. Sometimes, I just invite myself into a group and listen to their stories. They are people. Part of the landscape. It’s amazing how often folks welcome your participation.

No matter how desolate and uninteresting some places may seem, someone lives there. Someone makes a home, works, raises a family, finds value in that place.

Flat

Some places are surprisingly beautiful. Bonneville Salt Flats qualifies. The first view arriving from the west enthralls. Intense white of the vast flats, the azure blue of the little lakes, the brown of the distant mountains. Stunning. And, yes, they are flat. The Flats are so large, you can stand out in the middle and I swear you can see the curvature of the earth.

Yes, it’s salt. A result of a natural process of the seasons that saturate the ground, exact the salt, and dry out to the huge flat basin. And, yes, it is fun to go fast on it.

I live most of my days at about 2,600 feet elevation. I just spent a few days riding roads that didn’t drop below 5,000 feet elevation. How amazing is that? The terrain changed constantly from desolate desert, dry lakes, and long, straight, stretches of road, to twisty routes up a couple of thousand feet to a pass, and then back down again to huge basins that were once the bottoms of shallow inland seas. The Great Basin.

There was a storm. Thunder, lightning, rain, and hail. I had no shelter, so I just experienced it. I was in the moment and rode through it. What else can you do? I was dry again in a few minutes.

Sheep

You find these things in the journey. The small delays, the inconveniences. They happen. Like the time I saw thousands of little white wooly clouds spread across a plain of sage and cheat grass. I slowed. Out on the plain were two old style sheepherder’s wagons. No longer pulled by horses, but by pickup trucks. The sheep men still used dogs and cared for their bands. I paused while a small part of the flock got ushered away from the road. I traveled on.

It does no good to get frustrated, the sheep are in no hurry. It’s all part of the journey.

Home Again

But, it’s always good to come home. Home, where you can recharge and review the experience. Where you can share it with family and friends. Most do not understand the depth of the experience, or the impact it had on you. But that’s okay. You experienced it. The journey.

It’s yours to keep.

Keep writing.

 

 

 

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Thoughts

Thoughts.

roads | Guy L. PaceOld, familiar country roads with the family names of friends from long ago.

Rivers, fish hatcheries, springs, and waterfalls.

Relics on the side of the road.

Buildings made of lava rock.

Long roads across vast basins.

US 93 isn’t the road it was in 1973.

Old hot springs oasis resort sits abandoned.

City limits sign and no hint or view of a city. Until directions to a bordello appears over the hill.

Vistas of mountains.

And, then:

Bonneville. Salt. Flats.

Bucket List Item. Check. Seeing it for the first time as I came over the ridge from West Wendover was jaw-dropping. I can’t describe it. A photo just won’t do it justice. You have to see this yourself.

Yeah, Bonneville is flat and yes, it is salt. Oh my goodness. Dreams do come true. I rode out on the salt. Then I did a burnout!

Yep. Bucket List item. Check.

Hot. Hot. And, more hot.

Salt everywhere. Ponds of salt. Mountains of salt. Ponds with salt-bergs floating around in them. Salt crusting things along the road.

Pink salt.

The Great Salt Lake.

Catching up with a dear cousin I haven’t seen in entirely too long.

Night ride with the crescent moon and Saturn over my shoulder.

Keep writing.

 

Happy Birthday!

Happy Birthday!

Birthday | Guy L. PaceWell, Happy Birthday to me, anyway.

I know we celebrate our nation’s birth with the signing of The Declaration of Independence on July 4. Actually the delegates endorsed it on July 2, 1776. Congress adopted it on July 4, 1776. So, this little celebration I’m launching will cover these days–which includes my own birthday.

July 3 is an important date throughout history. For example:

  • 1035, William the Conqueror became Duke of Normandy;
  • 1863, Pickett’s Charge at Gettysburg;
  • 1890, Idaho admitted to the US;
  • 1962, Jackie Robinson inducted into baseball’s Hall of Fame;
  • 1996, the Stone of Scone returned to Scotland.

So, yes, there is reason to celebrate and here we go.

Still, you all are the ones getting the gifts.

First Gift

Here’s the deal. I’m making the Amazon e-book editions of Sudden Mission and Nasty Leftovers free ($0.00) on Tuesday, July 3, 2018. Just for the one day. That’s tomorrow.

If you already have the ebooks, you can gift them to friends. You can also share this post with others. I’ll link on Facebook, Google+, and Twitter, so if you are on those platforms, you can share the information there. And, please do so.

Second Gift

Carolina Dawn | Guy L. PaceThe Amazon e-book edition of Carolina Dawn goes on sale–a countdown sale–starting today. It starts at $0.99, shifts to $1.99 later on July 3, then goes back to the regular price of $2.99 at midnight on July 4. That’s Pacific Daylight Time, if you’re in another time zone.

If you already have it, again, you can gift it to others at these prices. As above, share this on the social media of your choice.

Reviews

As I mentioned in my last post, I’m always trying to find more reviews for Spirit Missions books. If you take advantage of this celebration, please take a few minutes to post a review or rating on Amazon. Anything helps.

So, let the celebration begin!

Keep writing.