Saturday, November 24, 2007

Little Eddy Blog #12 Happy Holidays

Well, another Thanksgiving has come and gone. Anne and son Joel went to Seattle to spend it with son Daniel, DeAnna, Cedar and Sol, and Anne’s sisters and offspring were evidently in the vicinity and spent turkey day with them also. It is a good thing Daniel is a chef, he cooked for a not so small army on Thanksgiving. All was quiet here in Houston, the usual succulent feast put together by my niece Susannah Nix, a friendly gathering with much conversation with David Nix, their beautiful daughter Emma, Susannah’s father Mack McCormick and a guest. Unfortunately I am a bit hard of hearing, and with the room acoustics being what they were I was only able to follow parts of the conversation. But I was content in the thoughts of Thanksgivings past, when the circle of our family was somewhat larger. What a nice time for family get-togethers Thanksgiving is.
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Here is our story to warm the heart of Lou Dobbs. (In case you don’t watch CNN Mr. Dobbs nightly paints illegal aliens as criminals and the scourge of modern day America. )

By TERRY TANG Associated Press PHOENIX — A 9-year-old boy looking for help after his mother crashed their van in the southern Arizona desert was rescued by a man entering the U.S. illegally, who stayed with him until help arrived the next day, an official said. The 45-year-old woman, who eventually died while awaiting help, had been driving on a U.S. Forest Service road in a remote area just north of the Mexican border when she lost control of her van on a curve on Thanksgiving, Santa Cruz County Sheriff Tony Estrada said.

The van vaulted into a canyon and landed 300 feet from the road, he said. The woman, from Rimrock, north of Phoenix, survived the impact but was pinned inside, Estrada said. Her son, unhurt but disoriented, crawled out to get help and was found about two hours later by Jesus Manuel Cordova, 26, of Magdalena de Kino in the northern Mexican state of Sonora.

“Unable to pull the mother out, he comforted the boy while they waited for help. He stayed with him, told him that everything was going to be all right," Estrada said. As temperatures dropped, he gave him a jacket, built a bonfire and stayed with him until about 8 a.m. Friday, when hunters passed by and called authorities, Estrada said. The boy was flown to University Medical Center in Tucson as a precaution but appeared unhurt.

"We suspect that they communicated somehow, but we don't know if he knows Spanish or if the gentleman knew English," Estrada said of the boy. "For a 9-year-old it has to be completely traumatic, being out there alone with his mother dead," Estrada said. "Fortunately for the kid, (Cordova) was there. That was his angel."

Cordova was taken into custody by Border Patrol agents, who were the first to respond to the call for help. He had been trying to walk into the U.S. when he came across the boy.
http://www.chron.com/disp/story.mpl/nation/5324846.html
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My late sister Mary McCormick loved a few special things in this world. Two of her favorites were the writings of the late Molly Ivins (it was she who coined the name Shrub for our illustrious leader) and the still percolating Dave Berry, the humorist newspaper columnist. I don’t know if they get the Washinton Post on whatever level Mary has ascended to, but if they do she will love Dave Berry’s suggestions for a Christmas giving list. You can access the list yourself copying the URL below and pasting it into your browser, but first I’ll give you a couple of reasons to go there. For the turkey hunter tired of prying the shotgun pellets out of his Thanksgiving kill come shotgun pellets made of seasoning. Just roast, baste and eat away. Also for that paranoid, insecure sleeper on your list there is pillow pal, a handy holster which hangs by your bed and can hold the weapon of your choice for a secure, restful night’s sleep. These are just two of the twelve delights, each charmingly illustrated, which await you after you paste in the URL below. And Dave notes they are all real and available for purchase.
http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-srv/artsandliving/features/2007/holiday-guide/gifts/dave-barry/
gallery.html?hpid=features1&hpv=national
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The other day I stumbled upon an interesting website called StumbleUpon which says it has 3,921,031 members. The idea seems to be, connect, meet and share. Connect with friends and share your discoveries, meet people who have similar interests and check out what other people are discovering. It has several interesting features, one of which bills itself as a BBC Motion Gallery with a fascinating series of clips from around the world, some beautiful landscape photos, and a table called Milk designed with a Mac in mind, but they don’t tell you a price, and pictures of a lost city in India. There is also a collection 0f recent Stumblers, complete with pictures. And if you have IE version 3.005 or FireFox version 3.16 there is a free Toolbar you can download.
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When I was googling Wizard to see if the author mentioned below appeared in Google, I found the page which follows under Software Wizard. It is ex-Apple employee Andy Hertzfeld’s reminisces of the development of the Macintosh computer, one episode of which I reprint here:

I officially started on the Mac project on a Thursday afternoon, and Bud Tribble, my new manager and the only other software person on the project, was out of town. Bud was on leave of absence from an M.D.-Ph.D. program and he had to occasionally return to Seattle to keep up his standing in the program.

Bud usually didn't come into work until after lunch, so I met with him for the first time the following Monday afternoon. We started talking about all the work that had to be done, which was pretty overwhelming. He showed me the official schedule for developing the software that had us shipping in about ten months, in early January 1982.

"Bud, that's crazy!", I told him. "We've hardly even started yet. There's no way we can get it done by then."

"I know," he responded, in a low voice, almost a whisper.

"You know? If you know the schedule is off-base, why don't you correct it?"

"Well, it's Steve. Steve insists that we're shipping in early 1982, and won't accept answers to the contrary. The best way to describe the situation is a term from Star Trek. Steve has a reality distortion field."

"A what?"

"A reality distortion field. In his presence, reality is malleable. He can convince anyone of practically anything. It wears off when he's not around, but it makes it hard to have realistic schedules. And there's a couple of other things you should know about working with Steve."

"What else?"

"Well, just because he tells you that something is awful or great, it doesn't necessarily mean he'll feel that way tomorrow. You have to low-pass filter his input. And then, he's really funny about ideas. If you tell him a new idea, he'll usually tell you that he thinks it's stupid. But then, if he actually likes it, exactly one week later, he'll come back to you and propose your idea to you, as if he thought of it."

I thought Bud was surely exaggerating, until I observed Steve in action over the next few weeks. The reality distortion field was a confounding melange of a charismatic rhetorical style, an indomitable will, and an eagerness to bend any fact to fit the purpose at hand. If one line of argument failed to persuade, he would deftly switch to another. Sometimes, he would throw you off balance by suddenly adopting your position as his own, without acknowledging that he ever thought differently.

Amazingly, the reality distortion field seemed to be effective even if you were acutely aware of it, although the effects would fade after Steve departed. We would often discuss potential techniques for grounding it (see Are You Gonna Do It?) , but after a while most of us gave up, accepting it as a force of nature.
http://www.folklore.org/ProjectView.py?name=Macintosh&topic=
Personality&sortOrder=Sort%20by%20Date
– • –
For some strange reason (possibly because I hadn’t had enough sex play as a child) (( I wonder if it’s really possible to ever get enough sex play as a child?)) I have always been fascinated with stories concerning a child’s discovery of sex while growing up. When I was a teenager popular novelists of the time like John O’Hara would include in their novels scenes of their character’s discovery of sex as a normal stage in their growth. However at some point the book publishing industry began accepting books for publication with an eye towards sales to the motion picture industry, and since American films were not allowed to even so much as hint at sex between one or more underaged individuals, as a result novels published that reflected a more complete and honest view of growing up were few to none. I believe it was not so much a deliberate censorship on the part of publishers, more to the order of censorship of the marketplace. Novels of commercial viabilities like “Jaws” began to supplant the growing up novels.

For a frequently expressed “free country” the right to write and publish erotic or even honest writing was and is an ongoing a struggle. The recent death of Norman Mailer reminded us of this. In World War II a typical soldier’s every other word was fuck, usually with an ing appendage, and as a prefix for most any noun or verb you could name. Most times there were multiple usages in the same sentence. But in books about World War II, books such as Mailer’s The Naked and the Dead, the word had to be printed as fugg, or some other deliberate distortion. Post war book publishing just did not use language like that even though its use would have been a far more accurate reflection of the times. Battles for both the freeing up of words and the unairbrushing of human genitalia were fought in the courts in the 1950’s and beyond.

A nudist publication, Sunshine and Health was able to finally have the Supreme Court establish the right to show a nude human being as he or she genuinely was, with genitals in plain view, not airbrushed away. And the equivalent in the freeing up of language came as the American courts finally allowed publication of works like James Joyce’s “Ulysses” and “Finnegan’s Wake,” D. H. Lawrence’s “Lady Chatterly’s Lover” and the novels of Henry Miller, including “Tropic of Capricorn,” and “Tropic of Cancer.” This sudden freedom led to the publication of a whole raft of erotica, including such previously banned classics as Giacomo Casanova’s “The History of My Life” and the erotic classic of Victorian England, “My Secret Life” among other things. This era established a certain principle, for although the landmark cases cited above were works which were certified to have literary merit, the way was also opened for books whose only purpose was to satisfy the reader’s prurient interest. Although publishing opened up new frontiers of sexual discover society managed to keep matters in their proper perspective by walling off erotic material from those who were under age. And it managed to keep most references to sex and the human body restricted from television and even films which began getting X ratings merely from the showing of an unclothed female body.

The publication of Nancy Friday’s two collections of women’s sexual fantasies, “My Secret Garden” 1973, and “Forbidden Flower” 1975, further added to the awakening as the world of literature admitted for the first time that women had sexual fantasies, which thereby unmasked a previously unspoken and well hidden female craving for sex.

In this day and age the internet has turned the world upside down, and certain erotica flourishes primarily on websites like www.asstr.org, mrdouble.com and stories online.net. mrdouble.com is a membership only site which because of its refusal to restrict its authors in certain areas has lost the processing power of Visa and Mastercard, which has resulted in a somewhat diminished, although an extremely loyal membership. www.asstr.org and storiesonline.net are free sites. www.asstr.org is a repository for alt.sex.stories a popular news group site, and storiesonline.net which while perhaps not having the wide scope of subject matter as mrdouble, has well crafted, well formatted stories, some of which are classics in every sense of the world. For the purposes of these notes, I will concentrate on three currently active authors, and a few of their works.

In Uncle Pan’s profile on his stories online page, he says the following: I was attracted to storiesonline because it is the home of what I consider the father, the son, and the holy ghost of erotic literature. And the names I attach to that list are Hoisington, Scipio, and Wizard. That is very true in my opinion, however in retrospect I would amend that classification. Although the writings of all three of these authors do have their erotic moments, their primary purpose is not to titillate. The sex comes along sporadically, in a perfectly natural way in the furtherance of the plot. The purpose rather is to present life and the phenomonon of maturing with dead on honesty. And the result is the creation of real characters caught in the throes of all kinds of self discovery, including sex. And these three authors all write epics. Gargantuan stories with real life characters that do some of the same stupid things that we normal people do, only their characters are drawn sharper, and like all good literature, their lives are more colorful, and so make our lives better from the experience of having read them. They are like the continuing stories in the other media, except the other media cuts off when the characters enter the bedroom. These stories don’t, and thereby hangs the tale.

I got introduced to this totally new world of erotica when I discovered the works of Wizard. In his writing there are carefully drawn characters whose antics are told with humor and spirit. I originally found Wizard on mrdouble.com, though I later discovered he also had stories posted on www.asstr.org and finally on storiesonline.net. I was first attracted by his story Jenny’s Bath. It is a warm, touching tale of a man who has three girls over to his house to take baths, as the showers in the trailer park in which they lived had broken down. I went on to discover many another classic on his page, but it was when I found his Trailer Park series that the enormity of his talent began to be clear. Wizard’s Trailer Park series focuses on Tony Simms, and a small circle of his friends, his girlfriend Tami, his female football teammate Robbie, his sister Traci, her boyfriend Peter, and Peter’s sisters Mikee and Kelly among others. Tony is a kind of a very human super hero type, just slightly flawed, who also can’t keep himself from helping others when they are in a spot. Wizard’s stories sparkle with wit and imagination, and each improves on the one which came before, if that is at all possible.

The appearance of Trailer Park Six was the highpoint of my Thanksgiving week. There are presently six novel size tales in the series. They go in chronological order, and are best read in that order. Trailer Park Six was posted in early November, and it is what inspired this piece. It is available at: http://storiesonline.net/auth/Wizard , however, if you haven’t read the previous five I urge you to do so first. As Wizard himself says, he doesn’t give much of a damn about recapping. Besides the effect is cumulative if you begin at the beginning. Trailer Park one thru five are also available for members only at: http://www.mrdouble.com/htm/authors/wizard.htm. Also some of Wizard’s earlier works can be found at: http://www.asstr.org/files/Authors/Wizard/

It was through Wizard that I found another remarkable writer, Russell Hoisington. It seems Wizard co-opted several of Hoisington’s characters from his Wynter series, who appear in a chapter in Trailer Park, The Road Trip, and who are mentioned in Six. His insertions got my mouth watering and after failing to find Hoisington on asstr.org I googled him and found Wynter & Cinnamon, and from there his storiesonline page, from which I downloaded the entire Wynter series.

Russell Hoisington’s main character is a remarkable girl named Wynter King. In the first novel, Wynter is an extremely bright young twelve-year-old who switches from a desire to be a nurse to that of doctor, encouraged by several doctors of her acquaintance. Wynter is featured in four Hoisington created novels altogether; Wynter, Wynter & Jimmy, Wynter & Cinnamon, and Wynter & Hailey. The books are best read in the above order, as that is the order of their creation, although due to the alphabetical listings on the Hoisington author page, the stories appear there in a different order. Although when I first googled I began in the middle of Wynter and Cinnamon, I backtracked and read the entire series in the correct order. It reads much better chronologically. I have since read the series several times. http://storiesonline.net/auth/Russell_Hoisington

After reading Hoisington’s Wynter series and having reread Wizard’s Trailer Park series several times I began cruising storiesonline’s site trying to seek out other material of a like note. So far I have found one, on the author’s page of Nick Scipio, whose Summer Camp series denotes the life of Paul Hughes who grows up spending summers with his sister and his family in a nudist camp. There are presently three complete novel size episodes, each named for Paul’s girlfriend of the moment. Book 1 is named for Susan, the camp director who initiates Paul’s sexual experiences, book 2 is named for Gina, his first camp girlfriend, book 3 is named for Kendall, his girlfriend in college, and book 4 is named for Christy, who evidentally he marries but as yet other than a hint or two there has been no definite word. For book four is a work in progress, chapters one through eight have appeared thus far, but there is a month’s wait for each new chapter to appear, so if you begin it be prepared for a long wait between chapters. In addition to these four books there is a prequel to the series named Nereids, which is about Paul’s father David and his mother Beth and their friends Jack and Susan when they were young and their children were small. You can find all of Nick Scipio’s published work at: http://storiesonline.net/auth/Nick_Scipio.

If like John Lennon and Little Eddy, you like some uncompromising truth in your reading you will find time with Scipio as well as with Hoisington and Wizard to be time truly well spent. Happy reading. Happy Holidays!

The Real Little Eddy

1 comment:

Roger said...

You might also like a series from Dark Vision. The best reading order is (1) Lady Guinevere; (2) The Lottery; (3) Unique Adventures (ongoing).

And some of Holly Rennick's short stories. Try Cabo San Lucas as one example of many from a truly excellent short story writer.