June 10th I roll eastbound. The author of Hot Spring Honeymoon will thread his way from one geothermal wonderment to the next. Rehearsing lines, writing more material, finding a good shade tree where I can juggle will be part of each day. Making miles east will be a second duty. There is an art to being somewhere while you are trying to get to somewhere. They are one and the same. Road warriors know how to drink up every inch of the two lane highways.
Once I arrive in Ft. Collins, Colorado I’ll hustle down to
Old Town and pitch up and throw a few shows down while I am there enjoying the
guest services of my always much younger sister and brother in law.
Rules seem to be important to understand for those people
not in the serendipitous business of sidewalk entertainment. The key to a
successful career in busking is to never ask for permission and always ask for
forgiveness. When ordered to shut down best to move along so as to get along.
In a nutshell that’s the long and short to the busking game. Smile, appear to
be reasonable, act compassionately toward officials fearful of a creative
uprising breaking out upon the sidewalks of their free speech infused
constitutionally guaranteed democracy. Street is the ultimate rule of law.
North from Ft Collins we’ll next take on Thermopolis,
Wyoming and her astounding geothermally heated waters. After taming that
frontier town we’ll circle north then west for Chico Hot Springs on the
northernmost boundaries of Yellowstone before stopping in Helena, Montana where
I’ll drop my wife so she may return to California for further explorations in
all things to do with a major home remodeling project that at that date is
scheduled for completion.
For pure comedy I’ll roll north and cross into Canada and
streak north where I’ll be appearing at the 35th Edmonton
International Street Performers Festival. I first appeared at this much heralded
busking tsunami in 1987. All these decades later being invited to appear at the
event dwarfs my wildest expectations. There is not a more lucky so and so. More
Rolling right along with the final edit shoving off from the shores of the first page in February and since have sailed across some seventy thousand words to this the last day of May. A mere fifteen pages are all that remain of the voyage. I have been racked with nasty bouts of ego induced fear. I have brooded over the loss of rhythm, been in fool death swoon over an editors rejection of a term I had fallen so in love with. Whole paragraphs had to be disassembled and then reassembled again and again until fit for literary consumption. He-he-he’s had to be excised. She-she-she’s terminated. Indefinite words hunted down and killed. I have had to get off my desk chair go to the mirror look at myself and admit that an entire scene had been a failure, that there was no revising that could make what was never there to begin with suddenly magically appear. But, we now are near this other side of this journey. I haven’t the slightest idea of whether this story will fly, couldn’t know and wish I did. I know I love my wife. That is sure. My earliest version was read by a trusted inner circle. On the basis of a wide range of reactions I plunged into what I hoped and what all writers hope will be the final edit. My editor lashing me daily with columns bulging with corrections and suggestions, a thousand miseries rolled up into one exquisite exclamation point aimed directly at my shattered confidence. Then, when they’ve got you right where they want you, when all hope is lost, there comes a point in the process where you are so deluded as to dare say… not bad.
Fragment from the Novel
Jo heard voices but was overtaken, the intensity shoved her closer to her rawest self, the pain unspeakable. She gripped hold of Buzz and Jessica’s hands, every sinew of muscle in her arms, every vein in her neck strained, as her body’s biochemistry ripened her thoroughfare, the gateway to life, the moment of incarnation was by and by nearing as the much anticipated new soul’s head began crowning, closing in upon the first breath.
“That’s right, you are a magnificent woman, good work mama baby-maker,” the doula’s soothing voice laced with confidence. “Come on, another breath, the air is free, take it, that’s right, it’s a good day for your love to come on out and meet everyone.”