Wednesday, June 30, 2010

My Brother's book

Ramblings Post #109
This is what they call the final straw. I said I was gonna do it, and since I have the time now, what with the PS3 pilfered, I’m gonna do it. I’m gonna finish one of the many novels I’ve been working on since....a period of time I’m too ashamed to admit. Which works well with my life changes theme currently in play. Okay, it’s not the final straw, but it sure is a good reason to get back to something I do like to do.

For ages my older brother has talked about publishing a book. The Great African American Novel. It’s an odd wish when I think about it, in this day age but I guess my older brother and I are kind of a black down market version of Frasier and Niles Crane: Maybe a little too smart for our own good, maybe a little to urbane, maybe a little too intellectual. My brother runs a blog that covers political commentary while I do...well this. Our mother was a school teacher and I think it shows.

Think black, without the cool suits, or the money.
And one of us actually is balding!

And he’s been working on a novel, as have I, for years now. While other black guys work on a way to put rims on what they’re driving, or try for a record deal, or promoting parties... my brother and I have been “studying the human condition” so we can distill it down to words that educate and inspire. Well, he has, I’ve been trying to write something funny. Well, recently, thanks to the modern technology of Kindle and other ebook readers, he's put together a tome of short stories and managed to get it, I guess, published. Well, e-published.

For some reason he called it DaddyMomma.

He said he named it that a while back and the title stuck with him for some reason, and now means something to him. What it means I’m still working on.

I have yet to read it, due to the pilferage from my house. My backup computer system won't support any of the available e-readers it downloads in (the back up runs on Windows 2000, the readers start at Vista). But I guess i've read snippets and parts of it for years now, a short story here, a story idea there, and to be honest if you plan on checking it out, my brother specializes in literature.

What is literature?

First, let me tell you what literature mostly isn't. It mostly isn't that the "african american author" section in your local book store, with a vast cadre of books that read like badly concieved, outlined and written rap albums in word form. The stories are for the most part exploitative thuggery, simplistic, the characters cardboard or worse, the writing uneven and disjointed. My younger brother bought me a book a few years ago for Christmas, and it nearly spurred me into a writing frenzy as I finished. The idea of that hot mess being published and me not writing anything for publication was like someone laughing at my soul. And I don’t like to be laughed it. Unless I’m telling jokes.

No, my brother writes about themes, and ideas, and characters with depth and flaws. Deep thought provoking stuff. That’s literature. I've seen the other stuff he wrote, but until I get either the wireless for the laptop connection or a new computer, this novel is gonna have to wait for a second, but I’m fairly certain this isn’t a tome of jokes and funny stories. His works are usually about relationships - between father and son, old and young, just stories about people. Literature need not have a compelling story - like a spy novel or adventure tale - but it merely needs to make you think. And my brother is big on making people think.

I just realized that he also doesn’t really ever read what I send him. Interesting. Partly because I'm guessing, what I write doesn't seem to make him want to think.

When I finish, I'm gonna send him the whole thing and ask for a page by page commentary.

Yeah right.

Barkeep, did I tell you my brother wrote a book?

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