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An excerpt from Walking Naked

Walking Naked

People who create anything and show it to the public are like a nudist walking around naked but with some of their clothes on backwards and wrong side out... everybody sees what you are made off, it's unnervingly stupid.

Robbie L. Rogers

 

Excitement Within

Robbie L. Rogers

 

Quietly I stand by my art at the show.

Those people ought to know... it's me they see.

They look and stare, at my splashes, my swirls.

I revealed my all... and they try to see.

I stand there smiling... so pink and proud,

Listening excitedly... giddy within.

What's that? The things I hear don't fill me with awe,

Instead they make me shrink.

"Little Bobby here, who's six years old can paint that well."

Or, "Sally be a dear and paint me one like that."

"I think I'll take up painting too, I can do that well."

Hiding behind my work I stare wide-eyed,

Pretending not to hear;

I stand and smile...

Against my bitter gall I'm still excited...

Waiting for an encouraging word.

I hear... "I like that painting, I thinks it's great;

I'll buy it if he'll take a check."

But alas they say, "I wonder if he'll hold it till next week."

Then walking away they whisper politely,

"You know, now that I've thought about it,

The colors don't go with the drapes.

I'd have to get rid of the old brown couch;

And Aunt Sarah, who gave it, wouldn't speak for a week.

It's a good thing the artist isn't here,

I'd surely have bought it and hid it upstairs."

Oh well, what do they know, the critics;

I think it's all great.

Then I hear another artist say...

"If you think this show's bad,

And god only knows,

You should've been here last week!"

 

 

Looking Out

Robbie L. Rogers

The tall gray figure of a worn out old man stood silently at the window peering out seemingly for hours on end or so the neighbors thought. Old Mr. Graham had lived longer in the neighborhood than anyone until cared to. He stood there until he could stand no more gradually walking to the old door. The wood floor was worn deep from the countless times the door had been opened. His slender shinny brown shoes were cracked profusely from age but he kept them shined just the same. The soles which had been replaced many time were in need now. The small newspaper patch he placed inside to cover the hole had moved up and now scrunched under the toes of his thread bare nylon socks. He unlatched the lock and it clunked solidly as though a reminder of the security it gave the old man when as long as he remained inside.

The old door knob personified him as he turned it slowly but deliberately. Its brass plating had given way to revealing the gaudy steel underneath its hand polished finish. The white curtain his wife had placed on the little window so long ago were now gray with dust and cracking under the age it had been in use. Parts of the curtains were missing and swinging loosely as he slowly opened the door. He stopped there to look about getting his bearings and testing the safeness of the outdoors before he pushed on the screen door.

The gray floor of the porch creaked under his feet as he let the screen door slam one more time. He had done that even while his Mary was alive, they had had many words about him doing it but he persisted. The black dust from the dirty city covered every thing as he gingerly eased himself down on the straight back rocking chair. The chair seemed to groan with the burden of the worn out old man, just a fraction of the weight he once was when he was a young man courting Mary.

Claude Graham sat ramrod straight in the chair with his cane propping his hand in the air while the other lay on his last faithful companion the chair. He thought of Mary as he remembered. She was beautiful and gay, smiling and listening to his stories as though he were the only thing she cared about in life. He missed his youth and his strong hard body full of work and agility but he missed Mary even more. He glanced at the smaller chair beside him and spoke the first words he had spoken in three days. It was a cracking dry voice that did not have much practice as he said, "You look nice this morning Mary. I wonder if the Smiths are on vacation I haven't seen them lately."

The black dust attached itself to his black suit with the thin gray pin stripes as he finally leaned back out of self defense to his aching body and he remembered as he waited for the death he knew would take him today. "I'm so glad you came to meet me. I never did like to go anywhere with out you."

Hours later the mailman notified the police and they took him away.

"He was the last to go," one said. "It's a pity but I'm sure he's better off," the other said as they slid him into the van.

 

On Writing

Robbie L. Rogers

I take the view, and always have, that if you cannot say what you are going to say in twenty minutes you ought to go away and write a book about it. Lord Brabazon 1884 1964

Every Book is a failure. Writing a book is a horrible, exhausting struggle, like a long bout of some painful illness. One would never undertake such a thing if one were not driven on by some demon whom one can neither resist nor understand. George Orwell, 1947

There is nothing to writing. All you do is sit down at a typewriter and bleed. Ernest Hemingway

Writing is a profession in which you have to keep proving your talent to people who have none. Jules Renard

The average writer makes 7,000 dollars a year. The average book sells 200 copies. Out of fifty thousand novels submitted yearly, five thousand fiction novels are printed, 500 of those are first novelists. It's a highly competitive field out there. Be sure you're willing to fight to the top 10 percent, those published, and beyond, those successful, best sellers.

Stephen King had four novels and sixty stories rejected. Madeleine L'Engle's, A Wrinkle in Time, was rejected 26 times, but went on to win the Newbery Medal, currently ranked in the top ten of all-time best sellers. Beatrix Potter's The Tale of Peter Rabbit was rejected seven times, then one of the ones who rejected it changed their mind and it is still being published 80-years later. Donald J. Sobol receives 2,000 fan letters a year for his Encyclopedia Brown series, it was rejected 26 times. Grace Metalious' Payton Place was rejected 14 times. Roger Tory Peterson's classic Field Guide to the Birds was rejected five times. Irving Stone's Lust for Life was rejected 17 times before selling 25 million copies. William Kennedy's Ironweed was rejected 13 times before going on to win the Pulitzer Prize. Norman Mailer's first, The Naked and the Dead was rejected 12 times, and he went on to will the Pulitzer for a later one. Jack London accumulated 600 rejection slips before he sold his first.

The Gettysburg address is 269 words, the Declaration of Independence is 1,337 words, and the Holy Bible is only 773,000 words. However, the tax law has 7 million words.

Word Absurdity: Lose=looz; Loose=looose; Loss=los. Choose=chuz; Chose=choose. Effects=results; Affects=influence.

Scale the fish completely before weighing it on the scale. I drove down the windy road on a windy day. You may see a rainbow in May. I sent my resume hoping to find a job and resume working. I would like to read the book you just read. Never desert your friends in the desert while eating dessert. Close the window before the bee gets too close. Lead poisoning can lead to health issues. Does the deer see the does? The dove dove down to its nest. Shut your mouth or a fly might fly into it.