Wednesday, August 11, 2010
Driving the full bolt home
Well, I was supposed to bring home the bacon with my magum opus, The Fire in Bradford.
But all I've got in front of me right now is an old university essay of mine on Fancis Bacon, probably the father of modern science.
A sentence of his, somewhat loosely remembered, has caught my eye.
A young man will drive the full bolt home, but an older man will not.
Oh-oh. Reminds me of my military training. ..Taking an M1 rifle apart, I could not get it back together again, let alone driving the full bolt home. But I had to get it together, had to-- or I would fail at even this second-rate career. Persistence pays off, I found at nineteen.
Well, dang. With one foot in the grave, I''m finding it in life and (egad!) even in bed, that I am having trouble driving the full bolt home. "Relax, why doncha. We've both been alone for some time."
Driving the full bolt home.
Heh. Why was I suddenly thinking of old Oral Roberts?...But he was known for religion and not perversion. :)
Well, my poor book is out. It too, may contain a little perversion. But I need help from people around here with this book.
"Now is the time for all good men to come to the aid of the party."
But the host of the party has somehow turned into Ferdinand the Bull.
I am now sniffing my sunflowers, wondering at how tall they've grown. I need a stepladder, to execute, what one of my athletic former students, something of the old Super Dave on old TV, described as "the correct sniffing position."
...And then the friggin' ladder collapses.
I am suddenly hearing the sergeant's voice from the past.
"You are a leading airman and got a part left over from your rifle?" Take her apart, and do over."
Story of my life.
..But I finally got the goddam thing to fire. As fast as I could pull the trigger.
The M1 is semi-automatic.
I hope I still am.
...Yet something of Francis Bacon rings in my ears. ...Especially when my enormous sunflowers seemed to laugh ar my attempt to overtop them for a good look at what I thought were my creations. "Study biology, get the feel of it. Write it up....But remember that nature controls us, and not we it."
Meanwhile, trying to drive the full bolt home.
A writer who himself has had much failure at driving the full bolt home, suddenly said, "Everything else has failed! Start where you stand."
Well, actually not a bad place to start. I have achieved some notoriety in these parts, people are willing to help, but they are all wondering when Ivan is going to get the rag out...Come to think if it, I think I did leave part of the the cleaning rag in my old M1, therein the difficulty.
Get the rag out. Make a move. Make a move in any direction.
Well, I can at least do the Canadian thing,( some say the bravest thing most Canadians seem capable of)-- write a letter to the editor.
But I'll try for something braver. I think I'll write a letter to a famous literary critic around here...Make a move. Any move..At least it's a move. So I write,
Dear Robert Fulford,
(National Post Newspaper)
Hello and congrats on being a survivor, certainly lauded for your remarkable ability, at a time when journalism appears to be in its death throes. But the Naional Post, which I consider the best newspaper in North America, somehow prevails. It seems a small miracle that the Post survives and carries on.
I had written to you in the past, about my poor first novel, The Black Icon.
Well, let bygones be bygones.
I have persisted, and have written five more books, with almost predictable results: I had to publish them through my own imprint, Island Grove Press. There was some critical recognition and an Ontario Arts grant for this book, one writeup by the late Dick Illingworth a former Star stringer and quite famous here in York Region.
My latest tome is The Fire in Bradford, which one critic has said was a study of waning sexuality here in the boonies.
Gad. I thought I was writing humour!
In any event, I have persuaded one Alfred Warkertin, former publisher of Chateu Books, Montreal, to at least put his name onto my latest outburst.
The Fire in Bradford will be out through his
Warbrooke Publishers Ltd.
I know --oh do I know!-- as a former journo!--that time is at a premium, but if you should have nothing to do on one Sunday, well, an early version of The Fire in Bradford is online on my http://www.creativewriting.ca.
Or I could send you the book.
...I did notice some three years ago that people were a bit snippy over your contribution to journalism in Antonia Zerbesias' famous, but somewhat badly used old blog.
I had said "Oh, no. Robert Fulford is most good, most kind...We sometimes correspond." Heh.
Anyway, I hope you're having a good day. I do say in my blog, that mine has not entirely been.
PS: I keep looking for your excellent article on old Explorations Magazine, but can't find in anybody's archives.
Explorations, a copy of which was given to me by Murray Paulin, old philosophy prof at Ryerson, was almost a launching pad for Dr. McLuhan, as it certainly was for the (late?) Murray Paulin's friend, Edmund Carpenter.
What an artistic take on Canadian culture!
I think we've lost that kind of insight through the current murkiness, but you, Sir, for one, are hanging in.
Well, my nose feels a little brown.
But what the hell. It's a move. Trying to drive the full bolt home.