I took my first decent walk in East Atlanta the other day. From The Little Room to the main drag -- the heart of East Atlanta Village, it's three miles one way. So, six miles round-trip, and more if you wander about after you reach the main drag, which is what I did. Being true to Pittsburgh and the my Northern roots, I wore my Pittsburgh Pirates ballcap. This was also a nod (or shake of the head) to the fact that the Atlanta Braves defeated my beloved Cleveland Indians not once, but twice in the World Series during the 1990s. (The Indians have waited since 1948 for a World Series win. It's about time, yes?) I can root for the Pirates -- a National League team, and besides, my Pirates cap has been a lucky cap for me. I wore it throughout my stay in New Orleans last November when a sampling of Eleanor was well-received, and the cap seems to put me in the right frame of "fighting creative" mind. That said, it's an "action" cap -- meaning, I need to be walking or doing something else "in motion" while wearing it. Being on an adventure to discover new surroundings certainly fits, and breaks are allowed, too (i.e. for a beer at The Earl, where I noticed that organic vodka made by Jesus was going for $6 a shot -- a little too pricey for me right now, but then again, would I be blessed by the spirit of Jesus if I did enjoy a shot of Jesus' vodka?). (This posting will be filled with such tangents.) Which leads me to another tangent. If you read a few postings back about the mysterious white butterfly, never fear -- the story is coming. That said, I was watching "Nightline" earlier in the week, and there was Jesus. I guess it was a kind of "Jesus Week." This was "Jesus of Siberia." And greeting the "Nightline" reporter as she finally made it off the plane were white butterflies. At that same moment, my own white butterfly(ies) seemed to disappear. Were they visiting Siberia? Is there a direct Jesus connection between Siberia and East Atlanta? I cannot answer this question right now, but if the answer does come to me, I'll be sure to let you know. It was Eleanor, of course, who noticed the white butterflies on the TV screen. The reporter mentioned them too, but not before Eleanor leaped toward the screen and actually screamed, "They took our white butterflies!" I didn't want to mention this at all, but feel finally inclined to do so, because it's taken all week to settle her down -- and Eleanor being a character who can go places at will (including bouncing all over inside my head), one has to be respectful of who and what she is. Also, me being her biographer, I need to continually watch Eleanor for further clues and insights into who she is and what she's up to, and has been up to -- the parts of her I don't know yet. Anyhow, the walk to the main drag was a good one financially, I must also reveal. I found three pennies along the route, lost and/or deliberately forgotten by their former owners. The pennies now have a new home. I might need the pennies, because I ordered a copy of Dow Mossman's "rediscovered masterpiece," The Stones of Summer from a very inviting used bookstore in the Village, Bound To Be Read Books. If you haven't heard of Dow Mossman or The Stones of Summer, do a search for The Stone Reader, a documentary film from a couple/three/four/six years back that received rave reviews and is one of the most inspiring works of cinema (for a writer or a reader or ANY artist) that I've watched in a long time. My good friend, and Chief Archivist of This Side of Paradise, Jason Archer, turned me on to the film, and then was kind enough also to give me a DVD (Thanks again, Jason). I've noticed that reviews of the book that Mossman wrote have received reviews ranging from one or two stars to five stars on Amazon, so it's one of those books that you'll either love or "not get at all." (And until my copy arrives, I can't offer an opinion.) Writing this, Eleanor has always seemed to be a character (and novel) much along the same kind of "get" or "not get." Which makes for a good cult following -- or if you dislike the word cult (I'm still thinking of Jesus of Siberia, who has my white butterflies -- temporarily so, I hope), call it instead an "extremely loyal following." You should know that Eleanor is keeping score, and she says that her fans far outnumber those who would give her a one- or two-star review on Amazon. That being after publication (she's good at looking ahead; selectively, at least), which needs to come first, naturally. I take plenty of hope, and again -- inspiration, from the story behind the rediscovery of The Stones of Summer. (pause) I probably should begin a series about my walks to the Village, because I took my journey during the day (and the heat of the day, I might add), and many of the finer drinking establishments don't open until early evening. That's where I'll find the real characters, I'm sure. (Excepting the characters I might meet along the street.) My walk home would not have been complete without a stop at one of the many little rib places you see around the city ... each of which seems to have been constructed in the same manner -- with a trailer for the dining part, and the smokehouse directly behind the trailer. (Forgive me, any vegetarian readers, but I did partake in the ribs, as you'll note by the artistically enhanced photo in this posting.) It was a fine meal that I took to go, carrying my parcel as if it were a pot of gold, with my three pennies safely in my pocket, toward home and The Little Room. Now we just need our white butterflies back from Siberia, if Jesus will part with them. Or -- maybe -- if I take a shot of Jesus' Vodka at The Earl, I might have a revelation about the white butterflies, and one white butterfly in particular. The story -- yes, it's still in progress, as I am still in progress, and as is Eleanor -- still in progress. Which leads me to the moral of this posting: "Motion is a good thing."
(A Note: Something odd happened while uploading the artistically enhanced photo of the ribs, side order of homemade macaroni and cheese ... all of my paragraph breaks were dismissed by Blogger. A quirk of the system, or a sign from Jesus of Siberia? Do I see white butterflies outside the window of The Little Room? I think I'll keep the posting this way, the way it turned out. One long paragraph. We'll see how it reads. Remember -- "Motion is a good thing.")
To Reach The Green Light At The End Of The Pier
FOR AS LONG AS IT TAKES: "We are saving ourselves through the words," says Eleanor, the leading lady of a novel-in-progress. This exploration into the creative process -- which includes plenty of distractions/tangents /thoughts & rants by Eleanor, her Biographer, and selected guest artists -- will continue until Eleanor is certain her story is "right." (But we dare not jump ahead of ourselves.)
There will be the occasional typo (as Eleanor points out), and much of this is intended to be "original draft" -- what comes out of our mouths (heads) first, and then set down in that order. Not all of it will be included in the novel, but all of it is happening in real time.
ELEANOR says: "Please turn the page. Keep reading."
For more of Eleanor and her Biographer -- as well as the work of our many guest artists -- check out the older postings. "Everything is part of the process, and the process is the journey," Eleanor says.