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Showing posts from April, 2012

Karl .

His mind is black and earthy potting soil.
If you could saw off the top of his skull let some light in then you would see it: decadent decayed smelling of dirt.
If you put your hand inside it would feel warm sinking fingers down deep moist and gritty with the particles of dead life and fine rock grains mixed minerals and wholesome organic rot just waiting in there ripening .
If you could saw off the top of his skull let some light in
He tries to do it with the light his doctor gave him and the pods he places under his tongue carefully like a gardener.
He opens heavy eyelids to suck in the light but he cannot keep them down at night and they let out more than they take.
They burn like kerosene in the dark, flickering and sparking and ash enriches soil, soft and smooth, a little oily, ash that settles on your skin when you’re near him in the night, that feels silky and dirty between your fingertips

like the itching Ash Wednesday mark that you cannot bring yourself to rub off.

This…

Public School Is Not Rumpelstiltskin.

I don't owe it my firstborn child!

There is a popular sentiment in my hometown that to be a true progressive, a patriot, and a decent parent, you are obligated to send your children to your local public school. The general idea is that because public schools are funded per child, "pulling" your child from the public system deprives it of dollars that could mean pennies' worth of spillover benefit for the other local children whose families are not privileged enough to choose a better form of education.

I believe in the importance of public education. And yet I couldn't disagree with the above sentiment more.

I believe in social safety nets like WIC and services for the elderly and disabled like SpecTran. I believe that we need some form of prison system. I believe it is good for the nation to have some kind of Child Protective Services and foster care. But I don't believe I should try to sign up for WIC or SpecTran services, which I don't need, so that so…

Ich Liebe Rammstein: Paul

Paul Landers
Rhythm guitarist Paul Landers is tough in an understated way. He and his boyhood roommate Flake are the smallest men of Rammstein physically, but they are probably the most hardcore in their musical roots and devotion to their art. In Rammstein, that is saying a lot.

Paul is what some call "man concentrate." At 5'7", he is only a little on the short side, but he is utterly dwarfed by his tall bandmates. Although strongly opinionated in matters of business and craft, Paul seems to be the least divalicious member of the band, with a strong grounding in professionalism and a great sense of humor. He laughs off his taller colleagues' incessant taunts about his height and holds his ground when he wants things done right.

The name "Paul Landers" itself is a study in understatement; it is not his birth name, nor is it a cleverly designed stage name. Paul was born "Heiko Paul Hiersche" to a Russian single mother living in East Germany.…

Rally of Writers 2012 Highlights

Last weekend, Miss Moppet and I attended the 25th annual Rally of Writers here in beautiful Lansing, Michigan. It was attended by a couple hundred writers and a goodly variety of authors and writing professors. YOURS TRULY won the grand door prize, a character named after me in the next Loren Estleman novel. Within a couple of years or so, I will be making an appearance in a Western or a mystery paperback. Fun!

Some other highlights of the Rally included:

For only $30, I purchased the services of a professional editor to review the first 10 pages of my work in progress, Briars and Black Hellebore. It was enormously helpful and wonderfully encouraging. I have already rewritten my first chapter (all of it--she asked lots of questions and discussed with me about what came after those 10 pages) according to her rock-solid advice, and I feel better about my manuscript than ever before. There's nothing like having a professional polish up that first chapter to remove niggling doubts and…

Ich Liebe Rammstein: Schneider

Christoph "Doom" Schneider
The nickname "Doom" fits Herr Schneider about as well as the given name "Christian" fits bandmate Flake. Though he'd rather go by anything but his given first name Christoph, Rammstein's drummer generally goes by Schneider. I like to think of him as "the Face," but Schneider, as the drummer and a laid-back fellow, is usually in the background. If he were a body part of the bionic man-machine that is Rammstein, I suppose he would be the heart. Schneider is in touch with his tender side and has a huge soft spot for his musical family.

The nickname "Doom" was suggested by rhythm guitarist Paul Landers when Rammstein got their first record deal. The label thought the name "Christoph Schneider" was too common, so he needed a nickname to go on the credits. Paul came up with "Doom" after the video game Schneider liked to play. Schneider has said he would have chosen something better if g…

Ich Liebe Rammstein: Flake

Flake Lorenz
If Rammstein is a pantheon, then Flake is the god of chaos. He is Rammstein's wild card, the Ace or the Joker depending on the game in play. His friends call him Doktor or Flake (FLAH-kuh), and "Flake" is now his legal name. The birth name "Christian" never quite suited the incorrigible nonbeliever.

Today, Flake is a cult favorite whose fans literally try to tear him to pieces. Often. His insatiable appetite for excitement seems contagious in uncontrollably positive and negative ways; last year, a crazy young fellow set Flake's house on fire, then fled and crashed his car in a fiery collision. Wherever Flake goes, he leaves a trail of sparks. He makes up for his slight physical form with godlike toughness and fiendish energy. 

Flake is a classically trained pianist since his teen years who found his soul in classic rock and jazz records. He joined the underground East German punk band Feeling B as keyboardist when he was sixteen. During the &#…

Ich Liebe Rammstein: Richard

Richard Z. Kruspe
Richard Zven Kruspe is Rammstein's founding father, lead guitarist, and natural frontman. He's gregarious, well-spoken in both German and English, a professional showman, and an enthusiastic promoter for the band. In German, his name is pronounced "REE-kard," and in Germanglish, "Reeshard," or "Reesh" for short. Richard is sexy, and he knows it. To many Rammstein fans, he is the cuuuuuuute one. His Facebook page would have you believe it.

Legend has it that Richard has a lovechild with lead singer Till Lindeman. The myth is based in complicated facts and figures, including one unconventional love triangle. Circa 1990, Richard and Till were in a band together (along with future Rammstein rhythm guitarist Paul Landers) with the cheeky name First Arsch. Till, the drummer, was a single father of a little girl at the time, the issue of a short-lived, youthful shotgun wedding--to Richard's current girlfriend. When "Mrs. Lindem…