Saturday, February 13, 2016

Books in Progress

I was thinking I need a list somewhere of manuscripts I've completed or have almost completed, but that haven't been published. So feel free to skip this. Most of these titles are placeholders.

Novels
Completed:

A History of the Standard Oil Company On the Moon
A Quarrel of Feathers
Ship of Fools
The Devil and Ricky Dan
Cities On the Moon
Goodbye Mr. Lonesome
A Mischief of Rats
The Saviors (was forthcoming but the press folded)
Odysseus Among the Swine
Sheriff Comes to Zombietown (sequel)
Damaged Seeking Same

In Progress:

Untitled 4th Necro-Files book (50,000+ words)
Beelzebubba
Jubal's Daughter
Flying Dog

Partial Maybe Something Draft:

Not a Princess
Hood
Whitey
Untitled Rice Farming x2
New Madrid
Frankenstein story
Music version 1
Memphis serial story http://www.troubadour21.com/category/series/river-city-blues/
The Cypher

Story Collections
Completed:

Air Is Seen through Motion Not Form
Wish I Was in Heaven Sitting Down
How to Buy a House
Nobody's Darlings
Naming the Animals (out of print, could use expanding/reissue)

In Progress:

Solum Stories
Weird Arkansas Stories

Poetry Collections
Completed:

The King of Loneliness (forthcoming)
Driving Around, Looking in Other People's Windows (forthcoming?)
Arkansas
You Hated Us for Our Wings, So We Never Flew

In Progress:

The Cypress Trees (sequel to Riceland)
E. Poems
Collaborative Project
Untitled Persona Poems
War Poems
Prose Poems

Other
Waiting for the Miracle (essay collection)
10 (1-act plays)

Friday, February 12, 2016

The Queen of the Moon bedtime story

Cleo was a little girl who lived with her father, the King of the Day, and her cat, Joan. Cleo didn't have a mother, but she used to. Her mother had disappeared when Cleo was a little girl. Cleo was bored because all she did was go to school and come home and do chores. She had to go to bed early and wake up early and all she wanted to do was play, but she couldn't.

One night, Cleo woke up because her room was full of light. It was coming from the window. She got out of bed and looked and saw that a moonbeam was shining right through her window. It was so bright, she touched it, and she could actually feel it. She poked it, and it felt solid. She was afraid to touch it again, but her cat, Joan, jumped right on it and started climbing up it, through the window, and up into the sky.

"Come back, Joan!" Cleo called, but her cat only looked back at her, as if to say, what are you waiting for? So Cleo, against her better judgement, climbed on the moonbeam and followed Joan up through the sky and all the way to the moon.

When they got to the moon, they found a giant castle.

"Let's go back home," Cleo said, but Joan hopped down to the moon's surface and ran inside the castle. Cleo had no choice but to follow her, unless she wanted her cat to be stuck on the moon.

The castle was huge and seemed to be empty. It was decorated with all these warm and soft colors, fuzzy blankets on couches, and things that made Cleo feel safe. She called out for Joan but couldn't find her, and went deeper and deeper into the castle looking for the cat. Room after room, the castle looked cozy and warm but totally empty.

Finally, she heard a meow. She ran into the next room, and there was Joan. But she wasn't alone. A strange woman was holding the cat. She was beautiful with dark hair and pale skin, and she was smiling.

"Oh, I'm sorry," Cleo said. "I didn't know anyone was here."

"It's just me. I'm alone, here," the woman said.

"Well, I'll take my cat and go," Cleo said. "I'm sorry to have bothered you."

"No, wait," the woman said. "Please don't go. It's lonely here. I haven't seen anyone since I came here. I had a little girl. She would be about your age."

"Why did you come here?" Cleo asked.

"I followed a moonbeam, but I couldn't go back. I stayed too long, and the moonbeam went away in the daylight."

"I don't want that to happen to me," Cleo said.

"You'll be safe as long as you don't stay until dawn," the woman said.

"Okay," Cleo said. "I guess I can stay a little while."

"Do you want to play? I used to love playing with my daughter. You must play with your mother all the time," the woman said.

"I don't know my mother," Cleo said. "She disappeared when I was a little girl."

The woman looked at Cleo. "Tell me about your father," she said.

"He's the King of the Day," she said. "He works all the time. I hardly ever see him."

The woman started crying and threw her arms around Cleo. "I'm your mother!" she said.

Cleo was so happy. She stayed with the woman and played all night, but she was sure to leave back down the moonbeam before dawn came.

"Will you come back tomorrow night?" The woman asked. "And visit me again?"

"Sure," Cleo said. And she climbed back down with Joan and curled up to sleep. In the morning, her father woke her.

"You sure look tired," he said. "Didn't you get enough sleep?"

"I have to tell you the best news! I found mother! She lives on the moon!" Cleo said. "I'm going back tomorrow night to visit her, and you can come with me!"

Her father looked very sad. "I wish I could come," he said. "But I'm a grownup. If I go to the moon, I'll get stuck there. But you can go and visit. And I'm glad your mother's all right."

So, the very next night, Cleo went to bed extra early, and she woke up when the moon was shining bright and crawled up a moonbeam to play.

To be continued?
E wants the story of her sister, Dawn... .

Saturday, February 06, 2016

Bluebird Birthday Bedtime Story (not funny, intolerably cute, etc. etc.)

**I gave Ellie a big book of stickers, and she arranged a bunch of them in a little notebook we made. Then, she asked me to tell a story based on the stickers. So everything in the story is from a sticker.**

A unicorn was running through a meadow when she bumped into a princess, and they both fell down. The princess helped the unicorn back up and said, "I'm sorry. Excuse me."
The unicorn was very upset. "It's my fault, I'm sorry." And then she burst out crying.
"What's the matter?" The princess said.
"Oh, I'm so late for my best friend's birthday party," the unicorn said. "She's a bluebird and she's my favorite person in the whole world."
"Really? It's your friend's birthday? She sounds really nice. What gift are you giving her?" The princess asked.
The unicorn suddenly became even more upset and started crying again.
"What's wrong?" The princess asked.
"I forgot to get her a present!" The unicorn said.
"Oh, well, maybe I can help you find one," the princess said. "What does your friend like?"
The unicorn calmed down enough to consider this. "Well, she likes three things a whole lot. She likes flowers. She likes jewels. And she really likes falling stars."
"I know where there's a whole field of flowers," the princess said. "I'd be glad to take you to it."
"You would?" The unicorn said. "That would be lovely."
So the princess led the unicorn to the wildflower field. But, when they got there, all the flowers were gone. They searched the entire field but found no flowers. Finally, at the very far end, they found a bunny lying on the ground with a big, round, full belly.
"Excuse me," the princess asked. "But is this the field of wildflowers?"
The bunny burped. "It used to be," she said. "But I ate them all."
The unicorn burst into tears again, and the princess did her best to calm her.
"What's her problem?" The bunny asked.
The princess explained that the unicorn was trying to find a gift for her best friend's birthday.
"Oh, I'm sorry," the bunny said. "If I'd known it was your friend's birthday, I'd have saved her some flowers. But I was very hungry, and the flowers were delicious."
"That's okay," the unicorn said.
The bunny scratched her chin. "Maybe you can find another gift for your friend. What else does she like?"
"Well," the unicorn said. "She likes flowers, but they're all gone. She likes jewels. And she likes falling stars."
"I know where there's a whole mountain full of jewels," the bunny said. "I'd be happy to take you there."
"Really?" The unicorn said.
"Sure," the bunny said, and they all set off. They had to climb a big mountain and finally got to a cave. "We have to be really quiet inside here," the bunny said. "There's a great big bear that lives in this cave, but he's asleep. We have to be really quiet so we don't wake him, or he might try to eat us."
So they all went into the cave quietly. The bunny had told them that the cave was full of jewels, but everywhere they looked, there were not jewels, just holes in the wall where there USED to be jewels. Finally, they heard a chipping sound like a pickaxe hitting a rock. They followed the sound into a tunnel, and there, they discovered a butterfly digging in the wall.
"Are you going to eat me?" the butterfly asked.
The unicorn and the others assured the butterfly they weren't going to eat her and were just looking for a jewel to give to the unicorn's friend for her birthday.
"I'm sorry," the butterfly said. "I already dug all the jewels out. An evil wizard trapped me in this cave and made me find all the jewels for him, and then he left me here and I can't find the way out."
When she heard the jewels were gone, the unicorn started crying again.
"Shh!" The butterfly said. "You'll wake up the bear."
"I can show you the way out," the rabbit said.
"Well we better go now, because I think I hear the bear," the butterfly said.
And sure enough, they could hear the bear growling, and as it got closer, its toenails clicked on the stone floor of the cave.
"Come on!" The bunny said, and they all ran back to the mouth of the cave and outside.
"Thank you so much for rescuing me," the butterfly said.
The bunny was happy to have helped, but the unicorn was inconsolable.
"Now I don't have anything to give my friend for her birthday," the unicorn said. "We tried flowers."
"But I ate them all," the bunny said.
"We tried jewels," the unicorn said.
"But I had to give them to the evil wizard," the butterfly said. "Is there anything else your friend likes?"
"The only thing she likes is shooting stars," the unicorn said.
"Oh, I know where there are some shooting stars," the butterfly said. "Come on, I'll show you!"
They all followed the butterfly around to the other side of the mountain. They climbed higher and higher until they were standing over a deep valley. They were so high up, the stars were so close they felt like they could reach out and touch them.
"How will we get one?" The unicorn asked.
"I know!" The princess said. She found a rock and threw it and knocked one of the stars out of the sky. It fell into a rainbow, and all the color stuck to its tail.
"I saw where it went," the bunny said, and they all climbed down and found the falling star with the rainbow tail. The princess wrapped it up in a piece of her dress because it was hot from falling through the atmosphere.
"I can't thank you enough for helping me," the unicorn said. "Would you like to come to the party and meet my friend?"
They all said sure, and then they went to the party. When they got there, the bluebird was a little sad because she thought maybe the unicorn wasn't coming.
"I'm sorry I'm late," the unicorn said. "But I had to get your present."
"That's okay," the bluebird said. "I'm just glad you're here now."
The unicorn introduced all her new friends to the bluebird, and they played games and had balloons. They were having such a good time that they forgot all about the present until the unicorn suddenly remembered it after they'd all finished their cake. She gave her friend the falling star with a rainbow tail.
"It's the nicest gift I've ever gotten, but even nicer than that is having such a good friend, and so many new friends," the bluebird said, and they all had another piece of cake.
-CL Bledsoe

Friday, February 05, 2016

Transcript of a Bedtime Story

Me: Once upon a time there was a princess with curly hair--
E: Nuh-nuh-no-no-no. No curly hair. Straight hair. I don't want to be in any stories. I like to hear stories, but I don't want to be in any stories.
Me. Okay, once upon a time, there was a princess with straight hair who lived in a big city--
E: A town.
Me: A town--
E: that was full of princesses.
Me: Okay. And she was very sad because--
E: And some of the princesses were named Ava, and some were named Yahweh, and some were named Guinevere, and ChiChi, and five were named Bird.
Me: Okay, so, she was sad because her parents were very mean to her and made her do chores all the time--and, wait, I mean, she didn't mind the chores, they just wouldn't let her do what she wanted to do.
E: And she would get so mad at her sister for freezing everything over, she would cross her arms and make a mean face like this.
Me: Right. So, the town was full of princesses, so she was at school one day, and she met a prince.
E: Named Phillip.
Me: Named Phillip who looked sad. She saw how sad he was and went and asked what was wrong, and he said that he was looking for his brother who had been turned into a monkey by an evil wizard.
E: Nuh-nuh-no-no-no. His brother was... (launches into the plot of a movie we watched three weeks ago)...and she stomped through the ice and went down into the world of mermaids.
Me: Prince Phillip was sad because his brother had been turned into a monkey. "Have you seen a monkey anywhere?" he asked. But the princess said no. "But," she said, "I know where there's a monkey. Do you know where there are monkeys?"
E: South America.
Me: Yes. Also, the zoo. So she went to the zoo with the prince, and they saw the zebras and the pigs.
E: Nuh-nuh-no-no-no. His brother had been trapped inside an amulet and his whole country was in the amulet.
Me; They went to the monkey cage.
E; Amulet.
Me; And they looked at all the monkeys. But they didn't see the prince's brother.
E: Because he was trapped in the amulet.
Me: Then, the prince saw a monkey poke his head out of a tire swing, and there was the prince's brother, eating a banana. The prince was so happy, and his monkey brother came over and they played and went on the merry-go-round and had cotton candy. And when they were finished, they took the monkey back to his cage because he liked being a monkey and wanted to stay there. He said, "You can come play with me, and I'll stay here and eat bananas all day."
E: Then they went to get a wizard to turn him back to a prince.
Me: Okay. Then they got a wizard.
E; But they had to pay the wizard.
Me: Yes.
E: Tell that part.
Me: Okay, they had to pay the wizard to cast the spell. He said, "It will cost you $7." But all they had was quarters, but he said that was okay.
E; Tell that part.
Me: What part?
E; Where they give him the quarters.
Me; So, they count out the quarters, and the wizard is happy because they're really shiny quarters. So, they all go to the zoo.
E: And the monkey's bored.
Me: Right, the monkey is sitting in his tire swing, and when he sees them, he runs right up and says, "I'm bored of being a monkey because I ran out of bananas. I want to be a boy again." So the wizard turns him back into a boy. Poof!
E; And the hugs the wizard, but he touches his wand, and it turns him back into a monkey.
Me: Okay.
E; And the wizard turns him back into a boy, and he hugs him again and turns back into a monkey and the wizard has to turn him back into a boy.
Me: Right. So then everyone is happy and they have cotton candy.
E: And the wizard poisons the cotton candy--
Me: No.
E: And they all get sick.
Me: Nope. They all are happy and have fun at the zoo.
E: Until...
Me: Nope. The end.
E: But the evil sister...
Me: Good night!