Thursday, January 12, 2012

Go Down Looking, Old Men Texting and New Year's

An update on Go Down Looking

My fifth novel, Go Down Looking is in production and should be released in April or May. Here is the first of several excerpts and progress updates. I welcome your questions and comments.
Rance clicked the knife blade back and forth with his thumb. “A few neighbors have told me that they have seen an old man sitting on the porch of Papa’s old shack. Said the old man was playing a fiddle.”
Jake stood down from the tailgate. “Was it Papa? How would he get out there?”
Rance swiped his knife blade across his brogans and closed it. “Not likely. No horse and no fiddle anymore. Probably heard the wind and imagined they saw him.”
New Year and Seasoned Gentlemen Texting

Confession: I had never watched the Times Square celebration on New Year’s Eve until this year. Resolution: I will never do it again (unless a grandchild talks me into it). Apologies to Dick Clark and all of you who were or are fans of New Year’s Rockin’ Eve. When I was younger, it just seemed depressing to be watching television at the annual witching hour unless you could find a great old movie. I have now tried most of the alternatives—parties etc… and being fast asleep at midnight has emerged as a clear winner. After a hearty breakfast, you’re ready for black-eyed peas to start the New Year. Sound old-fogey? Maybe, but seriously, what’s entertaining about watching a bunch of rowdy revelers (most under the influence) wearing silly hats and screaming at the top of their lungs? Yes, there were entertainers (mostly singers), but I confess I did not like a single one. I didn't even recognize most of their names.  And the hosts? I tried ABC and Fox cable. Kelly and Hemmer seemed ill at ease with each other and just plain ran out of anything to say. The ABC guys (I did not and will not commit their names to memory) alternated between wild screams and silly antics. One looked like a cardboard cut-out of Dick Clark with a personality to match (the cardboard, not Clark).
So why did I not turn off the tube and go to bed? Because two grandsons (ages nine and fourteen) were determined to stay up. Granddaughter Hannah, eleven, wisely went to bed about ten. The older teen grandchildren have outgrown celebrating the New Year with us. Who could blame them? I admit abandoning ship while Jan stayed up a few years in the past. But this year, I figured if Gray Boy (the youngest) could do it, and Landon could support him, so could I. Maybe there was something to that apple or ball falling that would impress me. Nope. Pretty anti-climactic.
When I finally went off to bed a few seconds after midnight, I heard my cell phone. A text from John Ray. I don’t recall exactly, but the text said something like GBT. I think my friend since boyhood set his alarm so that he could awaken and groggily send a text to his friends to prove he could stay up past midnight, and hit the wrong keys. I chuckled as I replaced the phone in its tiny beach chair (a story for another time). It rang again. John again. HNY. This I understood. I am sure he thought I would not see it until the next morning. So I texted him back at 12:10 AM. Same2U. I'm not sure if that qualifies as text lingo or tweet speak, but I thought it was pretty cool. His reply? Go to bed. There are many, many John Ray stories. This has been one of them.
“You have to push back against the age as hard as it pushes against you.” Flannery O’


Charlotte Hilliard said...

Okay you have me hooked. Of course I was hooked before reading the first sentence of "Go Down Looking," but what you posted really did the trick.
I'll be so glad when it's out and readable.
We spent the night until after twelve at least around a campfire with our Bevil's Rangers bunch. There were several trying to make dulcimer, Indian flute, guitar and other music. No one succeeded except the Indian flute player. This year was the first year in a long time that we were up.
At least it wasn't cold and the moon was shinning.

Jan said...

Looking forward to your new book Jim. As for New Year's Eve, we did manage to celebrate listening to a little music and doing a little two-stepping. You are right, the NYC New Year's event on TV is pretty boring. So until we reach that time when we are not able to get on the dance floor & boot scoot, (hopefully that is a long time away) you won't find us in front of the TV on New Year's Eve.

James Callan said...

Hey Jim, You sound as old as I am. Of course, you're not. We lived an hour and a half from Times Square for twenty yers and never bothered to join the crowd. As you said, not much fun watching that crowd. But, I'm happy they go there. They're on foot and won't be driving after drinking.