originally written September 27, 2004
includes signs of *some* editing between then and now
a quick pass was made to almost bring it up to date on September 18, 2012
will update again once I edit it!
~ ~ ~
Then who am I?
- Everett A. Warren, Love Eternal
With God as my witness, I am that fool!
- Raul Julia as Gomez Addams, As Seen On TV.
And the movie theater.
And via online streaming.
And a format or two that hasn't been invented yet, but might be by the time you read this.
Welcome to my Work.
Please make yourself at home. Plenty to see here, plenty more that is unseen. An iceberg, as it were. You may see it off your starboard bow, but the rip will be deep below the waterline. Or perhaps you will shy away, and it is someone else who will descend into the depths.
But that is not my point: to discuss my poetry; my short fiction. I will instead be discussing myself, who and what I am - where I've come from, and where I'm going, and such tidbits as I can uncover along the way. Ignore my rambling, perhaps I will be discussing my writing.
For how can one know thyself, except through past experiences, and how can one know what the future may or may not bring, or what their purpose is in that unclear time?
- Everett A. Warren, Love Eternal
My name is Everett A. Warren. I am the son of an electrical engineer, and he was the son of a mechanical engineer. I went to college to learn how to play the guitar, and this becomes evident in certain poems here and there. I am, despite a total lack of degree, an engineer by blood, and this, too, becomes evident at times.
By blood, by records, and by fire, Obediah Warren is my earliest known ancestor. He had a wife by name of Mercy Blood, and, unfortunately he enshrined his records in a church in upstate New York which burned to the ground several hundred years ago. We have not resolved any great mysteries, or determined the truth of it, but, according to Blood family records, Mercy was born 18 June 1759, and Obediah was born on 8 March 1760, the son of Jacob and Elizabeth (Cooper) Warren. Possibly. If that is so, than Errol Flynn played an ancestor of mine in the movie "Captain Blood".
There is also a small matter of tracing the family name back to several Warren's in the 17th and 18th century, such as Amos Warren, named on a plaque across the street from my elementary school, as having passed that point with one George Washington; or a certain Richard Warren who sailed on a little boat across the Atlantic, and is recreated by an actor, who was once greeted by my grandfather, my father, and myself with "Grandpa!" Beyond that, the Warren name is certainly of English descent, and, according to some sources, came to that green and pleasant land from the coast of Normandy - DeWaerrenne or somesuch, I believe with more e's and a's tossed in - and an implied further history in the Norse reavers who sailed to that land. But these are conjectures, and the truth went up in flames sometime in the 18th or 19th century.
Time, time, time an imaginary line,
- Fates Warning, "Prelude to Ruin"
I have, of course, other ancestry than that of the English of my surname.
I am not, despite the many assertions, to the best of my knowledge, of any Native American descent. Something to do with high cheekbones, and, I think, the way I tied back my hair. This has happened with somewhat higher frequency whilst on business trips to South Texas, although I was invited to a tribal meeting in New Hampshire, and had several co-workers determine that I must have some Indian blood...
My father's mother is of Irish descent, several generations in America, whilst my mother's grandparents grew up in adjacent villages with only the line dividing Poland and Lithuania between them, although it wasn't until they reached Massachusetts that their children met.
My father grew up in Western Pennsylvania, my mother in central Massachusetts. I grew up, and lived most of my life in Watertown, Massachusetts. I am a New Englander at heart, although most insist they can't detect a trace of the accent. As a child, my ambition was to purchase the state of Maine and oust its occupants. In that spirit, I spent nearly a decade living on nearly an acre and a half of woods in Eastern Pennsylvania. I have found that, instead of purchasing recordings of wilderness sounds, I could merely open a window. Instead, I could focus any natural sounds recording purchases on those of a more oceanic theme. Indeed, as I wrote much of Poetry from the Porch Period the sounds of the buoy from Bar Harbor would ring out on my porch in the event that a breeze would make its way through the trees.
Alas, that time came to an end, and a couple of years ago I left the hills of Northeast Pennsylvania for the rolling farmlands of Lancaster county. I'm currently about to be in transition again, with no idea where I may end up (although current plans are to remain here in Lancaster County, and, indeed, within the same school district!)
Time's measure rests as it crawls...
- Queensryche, "Roads to Madness"
I am, or was, a musician. I have not played of late, blaming time, money, and equipment. At one time I played guitar twelve to fourteen hours a day. I currently average twelve to fourteen hours a year. Shame, really. I have my faults as a guitar player, but I was fairly well known at one time, which was peculiar in the main part because most of those who knew what a phenomenal guitar player I was had never heard me. "World famous in Boston", I used to say, turning Mel Brook's catchphrase from "To Be or Not to Be." To walk into a sold out stadium and know someone in every section... but, alas, never to stand on the stage in said sold out stadium.
When I first started writing, I called everything I did "lyrics." Ranging from the early-80's splendor of such lines as those found in "Never Let Go" (written prior to January 22, 1986):
Never let go, I'll never let go, I'll keep holdin' on,
'Till I make you see that our love will never die.
Never let go, I'll never let go, I'll keep hangin' on,
Don't try to hide, don't think I can't see you cry.
to the much more progressive "The Seventh Sea" (May 4, 1989):
Against a better judgment, I sound that all is well.
Tormented rigging echoes cries, wailing night winds fill empty sails.
Torrenting rain washes 'way doubts and blinds those who try to see,
Thundering waves crash salt spray hull groans in anger well kept.
Sea's stormy song fills the air,
Sorrow of the depths whispers...
I hear you calling me, I will not answer.
You'll not claim me now or forever.
She cries out for those who never returned,
Heart given out resting at the bottom of the sea.
Tears flow for you, resting at the bottom of the sea.
After I while I started calling my writing "lyric-poems", and then, on August 3, 1990, I wrote the first piece I truly considered a poem:
I still hear melody lines with nearly all my writing - whether it is the poetry discussed here, or the short fiction, or an e-mail about absence codes and WHILE loops... and sometimes what I now call "poems" are, in fact, lyrics:
August 23, 2003
through the fog
the horn is sounding
salt spray foam
i hear you calling
i dream of you
through the surf
i wander gazing down
salt spray tear
i miss your touch
you turn away
still i remain
forlorn upon a distant shore
an island unto myself
for a word
i would bend
for a touch
i would break
still i remain
alone with the salt spray roar
an island unto myself
i call your name
i listen for your voice
in the silence of the sea
you turn away
i cry to the wind
you turn away
so far away
you turn away
My short fiction... well, I have about a 40 to 1 ratio of poems to short fiction. I didn't really start writing short fiction until the 90's, and only after a vocalist I was working with introduced me to the works of H.P. Lovecraft. "I don't read horror", quoth (or paraphraseth) "The Lost Boys", but he was persistent, using the argument that Lovecraft wrote like I did.
Naturally, my first works of short fiction bore considerable influence from my neighbor slightly to the South and back fifty odd years or so. One of them, "In Quest of Knowledge" directly paralleled the events in a Lovecraft tale I hadn't read at that time.
"It is therefore sickening to know that our art is being traded like a commodity rather than the art that it is."
- Lars Ulrich, of Metallica
Perhaps it's the Lovecraft influence, perhaps it's just worrying, needless or otherwise, but despite all insistence of others, I don't expend any efforts towards getting published. Well, sort of. Posting my work here on Writing.Com is a step towards that goal.
For those of you who are not Lovecraftian scholars, HPL considered writing to be a gentleman's art - it was not something for which one was paid. It wasn't that he didn't want others to read his work - he corresponded with many, and schlepped his stories off on whomsoever he could - but he didn't make an effort to become a published author. He was above it.
Now, perhaps some of that mildly snobbish attitude may apply, but mostly it is because I write what I want, what I enjoy, and I don't wish to mold it into what someone else may want or enjoy. Of course, I'm greatly pleased when I find others who are enthusiastic of my work, and I wouldn't mind that said group of readers growing exponentially, rapidly.
I want to share my work with others, and I hope they enjoy it. That is important to me. My primary goal at this time is to get my writing out there and get some feedback, and hopefully provide some modicum of entertainment value. At some point, I may do the research and prep work some publishers request, and shop around this market or that, but until that point, if someone enjoys my work and would like to publish it, they may feel free to contact me.
Because, unlike Lovecraft and Lars, if I could make a living from it, I wouldn't complain.
"Why is it all of a sudden okay to get music for free? Why should music be free, when it costs artists money to record and produce it?"
- Lars Ulrich, of Metallica
Ummmm, unlike Lovecraft, anyway...
"See the people standing in a row,
- Savatage, "Chance"
Long sentences. Big words.
Neither of which appear in the line prior to this one, although they are the criticisms I receive most frequently.
They are also wholly invalid as presented: they are not errors. They are quite purposeful, they are my voice as a writer. Not that I can't take advantage of shorter, tersely voiced post-modernistic spasms should the need arise, I just prefer the more archaic forms of elder times, echoes of antediluvian whispers that wax purplish - everything, in some senses, prose.
I do not write for the sixth grade reading level. A sixth grade reading level is an excellent goal for the primary grades or even pre-school, and an excellent guide for elementary school writers and those writing for business purposes. A sixth grade reading level as an end-all, be-all for adults is an abomination, pure and simple. Given there are those with true learning disabilities, and perhaps some of those are insurmountable. To consider such a weakened state the norm, however, shows how far we have slipped.
I have been advised by various authorities in the field to "write as if writing for television" and to "use short action sentences" - I have answered this advice by cancelling subscriptions to the journals recommending them. I do not believe that "don't write down to your audience" should be a stated objective if it's followed with "write down to them, but don't let them know it". I do not write down to an audience. I do not purposefully and artificially try to make them reach higher, but if I achieve that aeffect I am pleased.
If I send thee to a thesaurus or a dictionary, if I encourage thought on this subject or that, I am well pleased!
I am me, as you can clearly see, come and dance with me one last time.
- Everett A Warren, Death of a Legend
I was married for almost twenty years.
I met Deborah at The Channel, in Boston, coaxed to go out by a mutual friend. Deb felt sorry for me, as our friend is a bit of a flirt and flitted about, so she talked to me. I believe our friend was slightly jealous when I dropped her and her sister off first that night.
For our honeymoon, we went to Barnes & Noble. I believe this fact alone is of utmost importance - that we would choose such an exotic location to celebrate our nuptials says something about who and what we are.
I have related ancestry, but said nothing of my legacy: three children, ages 12, 6, and 6 weeks, with a boy on either side and a girl in the middle.
I have often teased my parents for the fact that their three children were all born over a span of just one month, with me - relatively on time - in early June, early arrival (and, roughly six months later, passing...) Andy in mid-May, and late-comer Dan in late-June. My parents anniversary is in early September, and the math being done, one can see once more that my father is truly an engineer.
Although none of my children were particularly planned and schemed, I have realized that there is a pattern emerging: each one has been conceived in, approximately, the month of their predecessor's birth. We mercilessly teased my ex-wife that in September 2010 we will need to complete the circle.
Perhaps that's why we parted ways in August 2010?
E. Justin carries on the family tradition of keeping the first name and using his middle name - an alternating pattern that perhaps he will continue some day in the future. Justin was named for a character in "Mrs. Frisby and the Rats of NIMH", a book I read and re-read many times while growing up. He is a reader of old, having completed "The Hobbit" over the course of his year in kindergarten. I believe he may have a preference for writing short stories, although he also produces excellent poetry. He is off at college now, so who knows what he's reading there!
Rachel Laurana was also named for a character in a book, Princess Laurana, the Golden General, of the Dragonlance series. She has been an avid reader, and likes to toss off an occasional poem as well. At one time, she considered herself more of an artist than an author, but, seeing as she decided at a young age she would follow all careers that begin with "A", she has come to practice both arts.
Brandon Phillip has joined the ranks of his parents and older siblings, and he tends to devour books at a high rate of speed, and at levels well above his grade in school. After much trial and deliberation on names-to-be, we tossed out the lot that Deborah and I had been mulling over, and went with a nearly last minute suggestion by Justin. Brandon also honours Brandon Lee - indeed, Lee almost became the middle name as it flows so nicely. Phillip, however, has some distant family significance, and is for Phillip Ghost McFadden, from my father's mother's line. Somewhere in distant memory, I seem to recall a story of him perhaps having some heroic involvement, in the Revolutionary War (although I am not sure the McFadden's I'm related to were here at that time), and also linked to Vermont's original commandos, the Green Mountain Boys.
I would speak more of my children, but that is their place, and they are very likely to produce many writings of their own.
~ ~ ~
Quite incomplete, this... but it is enough for the moment. A different format, mayhaps?
H.P. Lovecraft, Lord Dunsany, Neil Gaiman, Charles DeLint, Edgar Allen Poe, Victor Hugo, J.R.R Tolkien, many more...
Listening Habits (arr. randomly)
Fates Warning, After Forever, Epica, Led Zeppelin, Kiss, Yngwie J. Malmsteen, Andreas Vollenweider, Michael Hedges, John Scofield, John McLaughlin, Paco de Lucia, Blackmore's Night, Iron Maiden, Dio, Rainbow, W.A. Mozart, J.S. Bach, Leos Jancek, Antonin Dvorak, Tchaikovsky, Mussorgsky, Shostakovich, John Williams, Richard Strauss, Richard Wagner, Alan Hovahness, Judas Priest, Loreena McKennitt, Yes, Jethro Tull, Kansas, Nightwish, Edenbridge, Lacuna Coil, Dead Can Dance, and approximately a quarter million others
What do I do for a living?
Write. Fiction, poetry. Music. Play with kids.
Plant trees. Tease wife.
Oh. What I get paid for?
I am a Programmer Analyst for the Education Student Custom programming team. My company is owned by a company that owns many software companies, making us, as a whole, something like the seventh largest software company in the world. We make software for the administration of K-12 schools and small government. Although our software is used to track employees or taxes, I don't often do that stuff: instead, I work with student data... tracking attendance, report cards, discipline, that sort of thing. I own an environmentally friendly landscaping company named Green Man Enviroscaping LLC.
I write and offer creative business services!
Purple. I've been told that is the colour of my aura. This, of course, was determined at a distance, and through the wires of a chat room. A matter of four or so years later, my daughter stopped accepting my answer as: "I like all of the colours" and decided, out of nowhere, that it was purple. Not quite out of nowhere: she knew I avoided red, and Deb had blue, Justin had green, and Rachel had yellow. Funny thing is, after she told me it was my favorite colour, it was. Daughters do that to you, though. Especially daughters who rename themselves: Rachel Laurana Warren From Downtown Seashell Starfish Rainbow Fireworks Pebbles Stone Rock And Everything In The Whole Entire World.
If it's got cheese and bacon, it's most likely on my plate. Err, it was a moment ago.
Update: unfortunately, this is (unsurprisingly) leading to a downfall of sorts, involving blood pressure that tends towards unpleasantly high numbers and a cholesterol count of similar tendencies. I am currently embracing a mutated version of a Mediterranean diet - at least where I can - and am endorsing olive oil (which lowers the Bad Cholesterol and raises the Good Cholesterol) and fresh fish. Cheese and bacon, however, seem to somehow continue to exhibit the qualities of a short lifespan when they are in my presence.
Steak tips were my first claim to fame. Hadn't the heart to tell people it was just A-1 on cubes of meat, fried in a pan until the sauce splattered all over the kitchen. Only hard work involved was cleaning up afterwards.
Stuffed Shells - our traditional Christmas Eve dinner, by popular request
Stir Fry - first thing I was ever asked for a recipe on. Simple, take whatever's in the fridge, put it in a wok and cook it.
Deeper 'n Ever - named for a dish from Brian Jacques Redwall series - although the only similarities are the taters. Substitute turnips and beetroots with cheese (2 parts yellow Wisconsin cheddar, 1 part Monterrey jack) and either ground beef (originally) or bacon (more often, for reasons listed above).
Grilled Fish - a white fish, generally catfish, although tilapia is also well suited; sprinkled with olive oil, tarragon vinegar, and tarragon and chervil; wrapped in foil and placed on a gas grill on low heat; cook until light and flaky, opening the foil for the last minute or so, and allowing some juices to leak down and add their flavours to the fire
D Harmonic Minor
The late Tasselhoff Purrfoot - adopted Deb and I, made half a dozen moves with us, but became sick after being forced to stay in the small two bedroom apartment
Tika - the wild woman. Dreadlocked fur. Prefers to stay in the woods and commune with nature. Maimer of many mice, scourge of squirrels, and catcher of chipmunks. Also tiny and terrified, so, like most females, I can't figure her out. She's 60% of the reason we don't have a couch. Update: Tika made the move to Lancaster with us, and stayed around for a short while. We hope ~ hopehopehopeHOPE! ~ she was snagged and adopted by another family, and that she didn't meet an untimely end... but she is no longer ours.
Tanis - thinks he's a dog. Chases Frisbees. Chases German Shepherds. Chases stray dogs. Chases bears. Doesn't bark. Yet. My wife buried him in our yard, after finding him dead on the roadside. He showed up a few hours later, purring and meowing. We can only hope we all are so lively when we're dead. Cats are now allowed inside the house. He's 40% of the couch killing crew. Update: Tanis walked off once, years ago, and never returned.
Tika and Tanis are brother and sister, abandoned at a church a co-worker attends. Ironically, for most of the time we had the pleasure of their company, we lived fairly close to that location.
Most Telling Fact
I lived in the woods, and I planted trees.
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