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.



EA Monroe said...

Oh wow, it's always great to see photos of JR! And better still that he's writing and publishing. I love the idea of a "flash memoir." Enjoy the reading, Ivan! Oh, and congrats again on your Fire in Bradford's publication. Mona wrote a mind-blowing review!


Donnetta Lee said...

I've certainly enjoyed reading JR's blog posts/stories. Sharp guy and spins a good tale or puts a good spin on the tale. Congratulations to JR! D

JR's Thumbprints said...

Ivan, I know all too well about not getting "colorized" ... except maybe for your colorful commentary. It's an honor & a privelege to get trampled on by a seasoned writer. A prisoner had persuaded me into changing the title from "Thumbprints, Deadlines" to "Adopted Behaviors." I hope you enjoy it.

Hey EA & Donnetta, I've got to make my rounds, see what everyone's up to. Thank you for your kind words.

Charles, watch for them splinters. said...


Talk about posts being eaten.

Your blog wouldn't even let me in ths afternoon. I tried and tried, word authenication and all...No dice...I finally wrote my comment all over again, did not go "preview" and somehow burned the comment through; wish I could have "previewed", but that way didn't seem to want to go. ...So many typos in my comment, but I bypassed "preview: couldn't see what I had typed.
...Ah what the hell. I always have typos and make misteaks. :)

TomCat said...

Congrats to JR!!

Mona said...

That sounds cool! I must soon have my memoirs of childhood published too! said...


Yep, I like very much JR's first story in the chapbook.

It seems you have cut your teeth on your review of my "The Fire in Bradford"...Small press, Warbrbooke Publishers Ltd. Montreal...But that's somethin'. Good luck on the childhood memories.
...Liz Monroe, over here, has written a real snapper, one of her teenage years, caled "The Crush", and published electronically by my own publishing company, Island Grove Press.
Donnetta, Lee, meanwhile has also produced her own gem of childhood, called The Skirt, also published by my Island Grove press.
You can google for both authors now...Google scoops up everething, even by our humble Island Grove Press.
Take care. said...

Hi Liz,

My answer to Mona's comment shows I really dig your work on childhood memories--Mona had said she'd like to write some. said...


I guess you know both you and Liz have been Googled in your short stories....Migod, Google's Gutenbure Project scoops up everything! They seem to consider even short stories in somebody else blog--should be listed! I was so glad to be able to assist.
Island Grove Press forever! said...


Yes, JR has been writing for some time. said...


That must be some sharp prisoner.

I myself had made it a rule never to take advice from a student.

But there are, of course, exceptions.

Take Heather, who often comment's on Charles' blog.

I was down in the dumps one day, rejected by a Canadian publisher who had heretofore recommended, successfully, for me to go out and get an Ontario Arts Council grant as a writer...Well, I got the money but this publisher, Anansi,never published my Light Over Newmarket.
In fact the final rejection was so rude that I almost went back to my old background and used the old East End argot from back then. I had yelped, "Migod, I have been told to f-off and called pr..k"!

Well, not the first time. :)

Anyway, Heather had said after this debacle, "A little persistence, a little'll win in the end."

Funny thing. Looks like the advice sort of worked out.

...And from a student...(Not really).
Heather is an executive in Alberta and the only student role she took on was asking my to edit one of her manuscripts.
But it was, in this instance, advice from a "student".
...And as in your case, good advice.

JR's Thumbprints said...

That's an interesting story, Ivan. In my case, the prisoner wasn't a student; he works for me as a tutor. He had read some of my flash fiction pieces and for whatever reason his favorite two were first to get published. Go figure. Maybe I'm on to something. Sure would hate for him to parole.

Mona said...

Ivan, I am already at work at the 'Senselessly Constructed House" , a book about Childhood memories. Several of them are at my blog, which apparently you haven't read, probably because you came in late. I just posted a picture of a teeny portion of that house!

I shall send you a link to the said post! said...


Why do I want to reach for as joke?

You had a captive audience?

But yes, some T.A.'s can sort- of spot where you went wrong and where you went right. I have found so withe graduate students, the brighter ones.

JR's Thumbprints said...

"Flash" ... "on to something" ...

Hey Ivan, careful what you're reaching for. said...


Why does the word flash somehow remind me of a cartoon of a flasher, with his phoney bottom pantlegs and raincoat, all ready for his move in front of the Art Gallery of Ontario...Caption reads: "Expose yourself to art".

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