Friday, July 16, 2010
Trampling on the writes of others. Adopted Behaviors by James R. Tomlinson
What do I find in the mail this morning but a neat, saddle-stitched 52- page chapbook nestled there among the bills.
Well. Definitely not a flyer.
Nice photo for the cover -- an almost sepia tone of a woman with a Fifties-style hairdo, bloused, seated, and holding in each crook of her right and left arm, a smashing little boy.
I presume the younger one on the left is JR Tomlinson and I assume, his bro, (or half-bro?) is on the right...It's all explained in one of JR's old blogs,certainly some of his stories, but I don't read carefully enough. Family albums.. You know.
Atop the photo is the title, ADOPTED BEHAVIORS by James. R. Tomlinson, our own JR (of JR Thumbprints notoriety in the blogs).
Well, I just had to have a peek at the book
On opening this neatly stitched and very nicely laid out 52- page "almost pamphlet", I didn't know what to expect. I had been reading Jim Tomlinson's material for some time--is it years now?--on his blog. For a while there, it seems like he was writing so much like everybody else in blogland--sort of no particular place to go in the story--boiler plate. Exceptions, of course include the august Charles Gramlich, and hee! my own "stable of writers."
Most blog fiction goes something like this:
Detail, detail, detail, climax, and again, detail,detail,detail, climax--all little climaxes thoughout and oddly, no sign of the big expected climax at the end. But not always for me. Perhaps I'm thick. Perhaps I was expected to go Aha! at the ending of every story, but most times I didn't.
(Now with my Quarks, regular contributors to my blog, I hold Ivan's ladies to be geniuses. Hey. You gotta read E. A. Monroe, or Donnetta Lee, or in prose, certainly Josie...But I am biased, of course). I am a sucker for Carson McCullers sort of writing, Southern lady writin' (though, to fire a cheap shot, I almost included Truman Capote...But that's not fair. He is a completely different, realistic kind of writer). But I digress.
I must say I did go "Aha" with JR's opening story, or "flash memoir", titled
The Triggerman and His Accomplice.
There is a photo atop that story. It is young JR holding a pouch of some BB gun ammo-- and, by the tail, the corpse of a shot chipmunk in his right hand. . But the shooter is Denny Wentworth, the neighbour's kid...Or is Denny really the shooter?
You just had to go Aha! in this flash memoir of JR's.
I am looking forward to a long read of more flash memoirs, short stories and flash fiction, many of them in this nicely crafted chap book. Congratulations to JR Tomlinson and to Motor City Burning Press for publishing the author.