Charlie's Books

Charlie's Books
Buon Giorno, Amici!

Our motto ...

Leave the (political) party. Take the cannoli.

"It always seems impossible until it's done." Nelson Mandela

Right now 6 Stella crime novels are available on Kindle for just $.99 ... Eddie's World has been reprinted and is also available from Stark House Press (Gat Books).

Sunday, January 8, 2012

Congrats to the Graduates ... Winter Residency 2012 ... Vietnam ... Jessica Anthony ... Split Pants ... Driving Miss Mae ...


Congrats to some extremely talented people ... Kelly Gamble Stone (the Kellinator) ... Jerri L. Clayton (the Jerrinator) ... Sherry (the Peach) Meeks ... Sophia (the Dancer) Auset Eastley ... Wendie (the Wendinator) Leweck and Tim (writes one hell of a suspenseful scene) Bemis ...

Yous (my TK peeps) will be hearing from this group of talented writers in the near future ... here’s to them: Cent' anni (100 years!)

The Mountain View Grand wasn’t shutter island ... there were big wonderful beds in our rooms (that had locks on the doors and shades on the friggin’ windows) ... electric we could use without insulting the tree-hugger Gods ... there were bathrooms in our rooms (Praise the Lord) ... showers we didn’t have to wait 24 hours to use .... with hot water in the pipes (Can I get an AMEN?) ... men could wake up in their birthday suits and let pass the thunder within them without fear of waking up half the floor ... women could do the same (you know they do that too) ... there were televisions in our rooms, remote controls, thermostats ... and toilet paper that didn’t double as friggin’ sandpaper ...

Madonna Mia!

The 2012 Winter Residency was a blast ... the new group of writers are every bit as talented as those who’ve come before them ... the open mic readings impressed no end and the program continues to rock. I have Jessica Anthony as a mentor this semester and can’t wait to pick her brain the way I picked Mitch Wieland’s brain last semester. The workshops were all great, the faculty accessible as always and when a few of the graduates arrived at 3:30 in the morning they came to room 374 (Stella’s Coffee House) for a cup of Joe. The best thing about these residencies is they come every six months and provide just enough juice to last until the next one. All of us looked forward to getting back to our keyboards and writing.

And how small is this world? Stark House Press's associate editor, Rick Ollerman lives 20 minutes from the Mountain View Grand and we caught up for lunch and a quick discourse on writing in general and my next dopey crime novel, Rough Riders (July 2012) ... that takes place in New York, Montana and North Dakota ... where my first writing mentor, Dave Gresham, turned me on to this wonderful thing we do called writing. He (Dave) and it (writing) has certainly saved my fat ass ...

One Liners the MFA Program Godmother (Katherine Towler) didn’t read ...

You should go to Vietnam, Charlie.

I could write about cocks all day.

I love Craig, but that flute piece is turning into a fifteen minute drum solo. Where’s the bathroom?

(Wisconsin voice) Charlie Stella picked me up.

(voicemail) Where the fuck we get these pants from, K-Mart?

The voicemail above was me to the boss (the Principessa Ann Marie) ... the ugly one (moi) ended 2011 with a pair of split pants (at work) and began the new year with a tear that rocked New Hampshire ... fortunately for me (and let’s face it, all those who would soon be trying to eat their dinners) the split occurred in my room just half an hour before the formal dinner for graduation. I was looking almost spiffy there for a few minutes ... had the striped shirt, the nifty belt, the tie and the new pair of dress pants (who knew they were from K-Mart?). All I needed were the shoes. So I bent over to pick one up and a rip that sounded like an earthquake ensued.

“What the fuck?” I said.

Then I reached behind and was able to palm the back of my leg.

“What the fuck?” I repeated.

Off the pants came. I looked at the gaping hole and proceeded to put my head through it. Then came the I.E.D. (what my wife claims I have—intermittent explosive disorder—she usually rolls her eyes, rolls a joint and enjoys the show when I blow). Fortunately, I had brought a pair dungarees and was bailed out with them.

Oy vey ...

Driving Miss Mae ... orrrrrrr ... hey, Potty Mouth, take a valium. We made it home about as fast as we got up to Manchester earlier in the week (although following the Stephinator (Stephanie Milligan) was a bit nerve wracking since she went up on two wheels a few times on the ice covered mountain roads ... then chose to drive about 20 MPH back to Manchester today--the woman loves to ride her break) ... but closer to home, when a douche bag annoyed me getting off our turnpike exit, moi I.E.D’ed for a minute and set off Potty Mouth big time. The string of curses that ensued had me blushing bright red (what would Momma Stella think if she knew I hung out with women who cussed like this was paramount on my mind). Eventually she calmed down and we made it to casa Stella in beautiful downtown Fords, New Jersey ... which thanks to new faculty member, Wiley Cash’s suggestion, will be the title of my short story collection (Fords) ... but speaking of the Stephinator ... she will soon be a published poet ... how cool is that?  We'll be featuring some of her poems again here at TK very soon.

Ann (Charlie Stella picked me up) Garvin picked off a flaw in a short story of mine that has had me thinking since she caught it ... she’s not only one of the funniest persons in the world, she’s one smart Wisconsin (by way of New York) cookie. I thank you again, Ann ...

And how’s this for a picture? (Thank you Kelly Grace).

That’s fellow writer/student Daniel Mitchell (the Oklahoma Kid) who is one talented dude and author/editor/screenwriter/playwright and all around great guy, Merle Drown (his wife is one beautiful woman and I made sure to tell him so). Pat (Merle’s wife) and I had the chance to chat a few minutes and she’s an absolute wonder and delightful person.

And here’s to Lil Vince (our director, Diane Les Becquets) for keeping the ball and the program moving forward ... Vince (Lombardi) would be proud, fact.

More on our wonderful faculty (those not mentioned in this post), the program and the progress we all do our best to make in the days and weeks to come.

There’s too much to try and recall and/or think about tonight (I'm still recovering from Miss Mae's Potty Mouth) and too much writing to do so I’ll sign off with an aria for the graduates ... yous gals and pal rock! Nessun Dorma ... take those last lines to heart, graduates ... you already won ... and you’ll keeping winning.

Nessun dorma! Nessun dorma!
Tu pure, o, Principessa,
nella tua fredda stanza,
guardi le stelle
che tremano d'amore
e di speranza.
Ma il mio mistero è chiuso in me,
il nome mio nessun saprà!
No, no, sulla tua bocca lo dirò
quando la luce splenderà!
Ed il mio bacio scioglierà il silenzio
che ti fa mia!
(Il nome suo nessun saprà!...
e noi dovrem, ahime, morir!)
Dilegua, o notte!
Tramontate, stelle!
Tramontate, stelle!
All'alba vincerò!
vincerò, vincerò!

English translation

Nobody shall sleep!...
Nobody shall sleep!
Even you, o Princess,
in your cold room,
watch the stars,
that tremble with love and with hope.
But my secret is hidden within me,
my name no one shall know...
On your mouth I will tell it when the light shines.
And my kiss will dissolve the silence that makes you mine!...
(No one will know his name and we must, alas, die.)
Vanish, o night!
Set, stars! Set, stars!
At dawn, I will win! I will win! I will win!