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Edward C. Patterson

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Member Since: Dec, 2008

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Books
· Pacific Crimson - Forget Me Not

· Belmundus

· In the Shadow of Her Hem

· A Reader's Guide to Author's Jargon and Other Ravings from the Blogosphere

· Swan Coud - Southen Swallow Book III

· The Road to Grafenwöhr

· The People's Treasure

· Oh, Dainty Triolet

· The Nan Tu - Southern Swallow Book II

· Look Away Silence


Short Stories
· How to Play Grusoker

· Fishing With Birds

· Dime a Dip

· Ch'i Lin and the Cup


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· Revision Artifacts and Ghosts

· What Readers are saying about The Road to Grafenwöhr

· My message to the Military Members of Operation eBook Drop

· Operation eBook Drop - Update

· Veterans Day

· Five Star Review for Look Away Silence

· Author icon - Victor Banis reviews The Jade Owl

· Operation EBook Drop

· Ellen George's Review of Look Away Silence

· Interview with Noted Author Edward C. Patterson (Examiner)


Poetry
· Out at Second Base

· We Called It Love Day

· His Last Hand

· Eruption

· Who Gets the Flag

· Courage Inner

· U-tsu-li-tsi tsa-du-li-a

· Two Poems from Come, Wewoka

· Along the Wall

· Passing in My Arms

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Over the Falls
1/16/2009 7:39:25 AM    [ Flag as Inappropriate ]

I came to Voltaire through Leonard Bernstein's Candide, a failed operetta that has since become a cult opera. What fascinated me about the work was its movement. It didn't matter to me that it was a treatise on pessimism. What caught me was it moved from place to place (real places) and juxtaposed characters improbably like a jig-saw puzzle. I was also moved by the wonderful promise the end of the work gave, when Candide and Cunegonde settle down to make their garden grow.

Of course, a work like this would appeal to a writer who sang like me. I was seventeen, had sung the lead roles in many Gilbert & Sullivan operas — solos in High School chorus. I had even sang as back-up to Robert Preston at the NAACP convention. My success as a singer was assured. There was no reason why my typewriter couldn't click out one last liberetto — the one that would finally be produced with me in the lead role. Thus came Adrift in Eternity.

As a libretto, it sucked . . . but as a play, it suited better. Here's how it flowed. A teenager (of course) loses his way in Prospect Park after being chased by some bullies. He comes to the bear pit, jumps over the rail and hides in the cave. When he comes out, the world has changed. (Sort of a wildlife Wardrobe a la Narnia). He wanders from town to town in this strange world that is vaguely familiar. It was a bit like Candide meets the Wizard of Oz somewhere East of Wonderland. There were Amazons and half-men half-cows, there were two headed gypsies and a slave caravan. The teen manages to free the slaves and escapes across an ocean with the lovely Roxamunda. (His name is Clint). He falls in love and saves her again, this time from blood sucking eels, before they find themselves on a river (the Mississippi, mayhap—hells bells Jim). In the end, they both go over a waterfall and are reborn in Gardena, IL, and in due time meet each other and fall in love for real (sigh) — and make babies.

Now I have learned since that such extrapolations are more important in the execution than the synopsis. Many of the world's masterpieces are silly when boiled to syllogistic form, but shine under the author's quill. Unfortunately, those skills were not in my quiver at the time and this Peer Gyntish play became a novel, the most exciting novel never finished. Still, I think of Adrift In Eternity as a milestone in my thinking, because it was so ambitious and never completed, it did put me off novel writing for some time. The world may have rejoiced. I turned to poetry for a long stretch, and the world still rejoices in that. But in the sinews of this fantasy, lay deep truth and vision. The fact that I couldn't express them then, didn't mean they were absent from my mind (Absent-mindedness?). Certain themes recurred. Bullies. Well, Gay kids know about bullies. Water symbolism for redemption. Incarceration. Freedom. This strand still serves me well in such current works as The Third Peregrination and Surviving an American Gulag; and most especially, the combination of the journey with the fantastical. How different are men with cow-heads from singing Redstarts? Or from such future creations, such as the multi-armed destroyer, Po-huai in The Third Peregrination and irradiated velociraptors in The Dragon's Pool. And then there is Belmundus (work in progress), a place where protean beings rule an underclass of the conquered. That world is accessed by a young actor, who gets there through a house in a Jewish cemetary — a house that shifts like a ship into the fabled Belmundus. How is that different? Well, I'm different now, and (modesty prevents me from saying it rocks) it ain't chopped liver.
Adrift was never short on the bizarre. It was just short on the appropriate craft to deliver the goods. It made me aware of my short-comings, but never afraid to press the envelope of my imagination. By the way, I finally read Candide — last year. I wasn't impressed. I wonder what Voltaire would think of me (in a solid translation, of course).

Next up is my love affair with my home town, on the eve of being drafted into Uncle Sam's service — that is, if anyone cares?
Edward C. Patterson


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More Blogs by Edward C. Patterson
• Coming Out - Reversing the Lie - Sunday, October 14, 2012
• Fishing the Ocean Dry - Thursday, October 11, 2012
• The Imagination Runs Wild - Tuesday, October 09, 2012
• A Holiday Message from The Indie Spotlight - Friday, December 24, 2010
• A Reader's Guide to Author's Jargon 83 - Saturday, December 18, 2010
• A Reader's Guide to Author's Jargon - 82 - Monday, December 13, 2010
• A Reader's Guide to Author's Jargon 81 - Sunday, December 12, 2010
• A Reader's Guide to Author's Jargon - 80 - Friday, December 10, 2010
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• A Reader's Guide to Author's Jargon 78 - Tuesday, December 07, 2010
• A Reader's Guide to Author's Jargon 77 - Saturday, December 04, 2010
• A Reader's Guide to Author's Jargon 76 - Wednesday, December 01, 2010
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• A Guide to Author Jargon for Readers - 71 - Sunday, November 21, 2010
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• A Reader's Guide to Author's Jargon - 69 - Thursday, November 18, 2010
• A Reader's Guide to Author's Jargon 68 - Wednesday, November 17, 2010
• A Reader's Guide to Authro's Jargon - 67 - Monday, November 08, 2010
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• A Reader's Guide to Authro's Jargon 57 - Monday, October 18, 2010
• A Reader's Guide to Author's Jargon 56 - Thursday, October 14, 2010
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• A Reader's Guide to Author's Jargon 44 - Thursday, September 30, 2010
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• A Reader's Guider to Author's Jargon 42 - Tuesday, September 28, 2010
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