So yeah, I haven’t posted in a few days. Let’s remedy that, shall we?
I learned yesterday that it may be necessary to convert my class on the Seven Deadly Sins to a freshpeep-level course, so I’m trying to think about how to
dumb down recalibrate the syllabus to that end. Less Aquinas, modernized Parson’s Tale, that sort of thing. Still, it may give me a chance to lure some of them to the dork side of our farce, and I’m always glad to talk and think about this stuff, so it’s not too bad.
I’m also teaching Restoration/18th-C. lit this term, so I’m actually looking forward to the non Composition mentis half of the semester. I’ve long thought that had I not been a medievalist, I might well have become a Johnsonian, and one of the nice things about getting to wear a lot of hats at a small college is that I get to talk about and explore that period as well.
As a bonus, I believe I’ll be doing an independent study creative writing course in poetry with the Spawn, although that may make it difficult for her to cut class.
And speaking of creative writing…
When I went to NoirCon in 2016, I was asked to write a short story for the event’s program, which also contained stories and essays from several other attendees and presenters. I was glad to do it, and I thought it was a pretty good story, but there were other pleasures in it for me as well.
I’ve made no secret of my roots in Middle Tennessee’s working class and dirt farmers, and like a lot of folks from that sort of background, my family has had its share of unusual characters. Similarly, we had our share of storytellers, including my maternal grandfather and indeed, my mom. My inclination to write was one of the first of my unsavory habits to emerge, and Mom would often bracket her stories about family members with something to the effect of “Don’t write that one until everybody has died.”
Life being what it is, that eventually came to pass, and while I haven’t directly used any of those stories yet, I found myself drawing on some of the characters and voices from my family when I wrote this story. It wound up falling into a category I’ve heard called the “Rough South“, a category that I see as having room for folks from Flannery O’Connor to Joe R. Lansdale, from Larry Brown to Dorothy Allison.
So while what we have is a work of fiction about some pretty messed-up people, I hope some of the realness, and even some of the affection I feel for those folks and their voices showed through as well. As it happens, the nice people at NoirCon decided to make it available for public consumption, and if you’d like, you can read it here.
Also speaking of writing, I’m once again pleased to report that I’ll be on a panel at Bouchercon, dealing with the intersection of music and crime fiction. I may also be involved in a signing that weekend, but I’ll share more details about that if/as it happens. In any case, my panel will take place at noon on Saturday, 8 Sep. I’d love to see you!
And to tie it all together, here’s a tune from someone who has graced the MondoStage in recent months, but is always welcome. Eddie Noack made his first appearance in this blog with his killer country-boy classic “Psycho”, but here he is, in 1973, from a decidedly different perspective. Hope you like it.
See you soon!