August 20th, 2014

“The tour guide takes me around by a chain,

as he and I walk the dusty halls of this vaulted barn,

near the gate, he points out Socrates lying in the corner,

so I ask him to pause, and wait,

but he tells me we must move forward,

in the next pen, between the slits of wood,

Lucretius chews on some cud

but the tour guide jerks the chain,

who is on tour, I

or these men?

Near the back, a pen is empty

and he pushes me in and closes the door.”

The poem above is a rough sketch of a vision I have been sitting on for the past few weeks. I wanted to show the Great Conversation as a cattle ranch or something like that. I saw it from the perspective of a tourist who is being shown around the ranch. The tourist’s attention is urged forward because the tour guide keeps saying, “There is so much to see! Come on! Too much to see!” I, as the tourist, get stuck on words and phrases that the philosophers and thinkers in their pens throw at me. I want to stay for a little while, to listen and ponder.

At the end of the tour, I am thrown into my own pen on the edge of the ranch. The whole time, I have had the same fate as the thinkers penned up.

I have only a basic knowledge about ranches. I have no clue if they even use pens on a ranch (is this ignorant)?

I will be using the above “poem” for a school assignment. After a thousand revisions, it may actually turn into something quite nice.

Ah yes, but this is a journal entry and I am unintentionally avoiding any biographical detail. The whole point of this public journal was to be more biographical for the people I love, but do not see every day.

I am now working as a sort of intern. I am writing reading guides for middleschoolers.

I am going on tour with my choir around the region during Fall Break.

I need to buy groceries. My father likes to order hamburgers with extra everything at Mcdonald’s. I also like hamburgers with extra everything, so I purchased four tonight. Four is too many.

I ordered a number of books in the mail:

East of Eden by John Steinbeck

The Power and the Glory by Graham Greene

Carpenter’s Gothic by William Gaddis

Fools of Fortune by William Trevor

The Streets of Crocodiles by Bruno Schulz

One Hundred Years of Solitude by Gabriel Marquez

From the library, The Dark Tower & Other Stories by C.S. Lewis.

I have been waking up around six to seven and going to bed around ten to eleven consistently every night. I try to stop working on school around six, which has also been going well. Sadly, I have not had much time to write apart from school and this journal. Here is a list of projects needing completion soon:

The Epic of a Child’s Mess by I

Warn Them, Live and Dance into the Darkest Night by I

How to Spread Religion: a Quick Guide by I

I am happy to say that the second draft of my novel, Spring, is finished. I am not sure about it. I am so not sure about it, that no one is allowed to read it. It ended in a surprising way. I never expected how it would end – nor did I expect that it would segue nicely into my next novel, One Short Day.

One Short Day was supposed to stand apart entirely from Spring, but the characters did not like that. One Short Day is the second generation. The main character is Joseph, the grandson of Abraham Whitely, the main character of Spring. Joseph’s father, Elijah, plays a significant role in One Short Day.

I am not writing One Short Day for myself, but I am going to keep it to myself. I am fine if someone finds it after I die. Spring has some salvageable parts that are marketable. For the most part, however, I used these salvageable parts in One Short Day. In a lot of ways, One Short Day is my personal response to Spring. I don’t know. We’ll see. I don’t think I even like writing novels.

As for story collections (not all of them short), I plan on finishing the first draft of Neat Fiction before Christmas. This is a serious deadline, but it is also doable. If I finish Neat Fiction before Christmas, I can move onto Caught in the Whirlwind. That, my friends, will be the most exciting project in my life to date.

Neat Fiction first.


One comment


    Dear Caleb, After a very uncomfortable night, I got up and found your latest. I could hear your voice relaying your thoughts and plans; I want to read those books! Jamie

    Sent from my iPad



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