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 It takes a great deal of courage to submit a manuscript for possible publication. Many writers spend months, even years, putting down on paper what they feel will be, if not the Great American Novel, then at least a darn good one. They look back with pleasure on the long hours of pounding the keyboard in producing that first draft. With less excitement they recall the grueling days and nights editing that first attempt into something they hope will be presentable in the marketplace.Writing is a mixed bag of joy and woe. Who among writers have not delighted in the birth of an idea they recognize as plot-worthy? How many sleepless nights did they toss in bed, head filled with scenes and characters and lines of clever dialogue? Life itself seems to revolve around that one conviction: I can write this book. Readers will love it so much they’ll spread the...
  1.   Tuesday, 24 September 2013
  2.   Books
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               MARTIAN CHRONICLES (1950)I first met Ray Bradbury in the pages of his book The Illustrated Man way back in 1951. His easy flowing, poetic style of writing science fiction and fantasy hooked me into a love of these genres to this very day. From that book came others throughout the Fabulous Fifties and beyond. They were books I had to read because Ray Bradbury wrote them and Ray Bradbury ranked first among all of my favorite authors: Philip K. Dick, Theodore Sturgeon, Alfred Bester, Clifford D. Simak, Isaac Asimov, Robert Heinlein, C.M. Kornbluth, Frederik Pohl, Poul Anderson, Frederic Brown, and Fritz Leiber. My childhood was a wonderful time to be an avid reader delighting in vicarious adventures. Thanks to Bradbury and the others, those 25-cent paperbacks allowed me to travel through space and time, hitch my imagination to theirs, and leave Earth if only for...
  1.   Thursday, 07 June 2012
  2.   News
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THE LILY PAD, THE JAPANESE BRIDGEPainting by Claude Monet (1899); Poem by Sal Buttaci (1994) Who could imagine what Monet was thinkingwhen he took his brush to this!Ask him what inspired him and he will no doubt lie,say "The Japanese Bridge"or "The lily pond: the way the liliessit on the brown river" or"The mood I was in, the feeling I have captured in this work." It is true Monet one afternoon came to the bridge,to this lily pond, an easel under his arm,paints and brushes in a wooden box.For a moment he surveyed the scene,thought it peaceful,but would have moved on had he not heard a frog croakin the intricacy of the lily pads,stretch its legs, leap into the airand dive into the brown river water. The painter stood there,concentric water circles like the spin of a child's pinwheelmesmerizing him.Only seconds before nothing moved here,he thought to himself.How peaceful!  It is already a painting,another scene for memory:The arc of the bridge, the...
  1.   Sunday, 03 June 2012
  2.   Poetry
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THE CART: THE ROAD UNDER SNOW IN HONFLEURPainting by Claude Monet, 1865;Poem by Salvatore Buttaci, 1994The road under snow we ought bestnot to complain about!Yet we do so every winter, don't we?You say the jostling ride hurtsyour back or the old horse is too slowor that I see so poorly I cannot avoidthe rocks jutting in our path. As for me, I detest leaving our homewhere a burning fireplace kept us safe and warm.Begrudgingly, we voyage here these kilometersto spend the holidays with your parentsand with mine. Why not instead look at this adventurewith a different eye!Directly ahead of us or sidewaysat the houses, the farms, the drifts of snow,and think good thoughts to while away the time.My dear, what can we expect?It is winter after all.In winter it snows.Sometimes it snows quite heavily. The same trees you admired when they werein green bloom you now disown becausetheir leaves are gone, because snow freezesthe...
  1.   Tuesday, 15 May 2012
  2.   Poetry
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BIG JOE HAMMER DR0VE THIS CAR BUT THE HAT HE WORE ON HIS HEADYuh want my real name or duh one duh guys gimmeback on Grand Street when I wuz twelve or doiteen?My mudder give me names long as yuh arm!"Where dja dig 'em up?" I used  tuh tease de ol‘ lady..Back in a Ol' Country––Sicily––dey han’ out names like candy: da more da sweeta. Dey name me Giuseppe Gaetano Angelo Martello.Ain't it a mout'ful?Giuseppe wuz my granfadder, Gaetano my old lady's brudder in Crown Heights,an' Angelo, duh name a duh baby my mudder lostwhen he wuz maybe two. Martello: that's my last name--dat means "Hammer"so, growin' up in Williamsboig, Brooklyn,ain't nobody gonna ask fuh ya baptism papis, right?Ain't no way I'm gonna say, "Call me Giuseppe," right?From duh woid "Go" dey wuz callin' me "Big Joe Hammer"I wuz big, know what I mean?An' I hit like a hammer: I busted heads.Yeah, nobody messed wit'...
  1.   Friday, 11 May 2012
  2.   Poetry
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