Weeli’s Smile, The Revolution
with Katie Abendroth on violin
Rob Dragunas on mandolin
Tony Ashton on bass
Jimbo Williamson on djembe
Joe Dirusso on electric guitar
Dave Saraiva on drums
and Bill Cordaro on acoustic guitar and vocals
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Fear will do that. Hopelessness will do that. When fear is so great that hopelessness becomes desperation,
Excerpt from mayoral campaign speech
Veiled by bastions of volcanic ash, deep in the womb of the lush American desert, the most advanced civilization conspires to the common cosmic good and the survival of the human race. The rewards of evolution, theirs to reap. How my mundane fortune landed me in that golden paradise, worlds away from the money-mongers and city worms, is the story of The Revolution.
Cosmologists piece together fragments of string theory, quarks, bosons,
While physicists try to break down ‘love’
As I grew into my own skin, everything became deadly serious. It was then that we crashed into each other’s lives like comets colliding in the great wide open. The Revolution would have to wait.
It had been four years since I saw her last, yet it was as though no time had passed, as though neither of us had grown or shrunk at all, suffered or celebrated at all. Just as though no time had passed. As I stood outside the McCarthy Federal Building, bag in hand, Iraq on my mind, there she was sparkling with life, light green eyes guarding that splendid, slender face. She lowered a sign that read
“I would’ve never imagined,” she said with a gentle, curious expression.
“Life’s a mystery,” I replied. “I never figured I’d see you again.” I can’t relay what sort of expression I wore at that moment because it was all a haze. I had run the fantasy through my mind countless times. It was different every time. Sometimes with words that said it all. Sometimes without words, just an energy too perfect to refuse. In no version had I imagined I would be carrying a duffle bag, en route to war, while she was promoting weed and protesting…me.
Time did not allow the luxury of exchanging philosophies and motives. Instead, she gave me her
When Castaneda wasn’t manipulating women and preaching the virtues of a clean-shaven, hairless body as the ‘way’
One company reported thirty billion in profits over the course of two years during the Iraq War. There are many more companies and many more wars. Economic disparity across the globe is greater than it has ever been in recorded human history. Terrorism has become a norm. Quantum physics, the
When I left for Fort Benning, visions of Sophia haunting me, I wasn’t thinking about stopping the world, income disparity, or revolutions. I was thinking of fighting for my country and my love, Sophia.
We wrote religiously.
Though I believed I loved her once, as much as one can love, it was through those letters that I really fell in love with her ideas, her energy, all of her.
In response to my letters and emails full of Shakespearian romanticism, Sophia responded with Dickinson or Plath. On a particularly vulnerable day, in response to the sweetest of poems, Sophia sent me a taste of her Antarctic Tundra Love.
He put the belt around my life,
I heard the buckle snap,
And turned away, imperial,
My lifetime folding up
Deliberate, as a duke would do
A kingdom’s title-deed,
Henceforth a dedicated sort,
A member of the cloud.
Yet not too far to come at call,
And do the little toils
That make the circuit of the rest,
And deal occasional smiles
To lives that stoop to notice mine,
And kindly ask it in,
Whose invitation, knew you not
For whom I must decline?
Her coalition of blood and flesh was like Cleopatra and Madonna molded together into the body of a five-foot-seven-inch queen whose head rested perfectly beneath my own when we stood together. She was radiant. If the eyes truly say anything about the soul, then she was everything that is true and beautiful.
‘Beauty and truth, truth and beauty.’
Let me not to the marriage of true minds
Admit impediments. Love is not love
Which alters when it alteration finds,
Or bends with the remover to remove.
O no! it is an ever-fixed mark
That looks on tempests and is never shaken;
It is the star to every wandering bark,
Whose worth’s unknown, although his height be taken.
Love’s not Time’s fool, though rosy lips and cheeks
Within his bending sickle’s compass come;
Love alters not with his brief hours and weeks,
But bears it out even to the edge of doom.
If this be error
I never writ, nor no man ever loved.
Whispering come closer and laughing good fucking luck at once, Sophia’s face was inviting and intimidating. Sometimes her response to my most intimate emails, full of quotes and thoughtfulness, would be one-liners or worse. She responded to Shakespeare.
“Your tongue a cancerous lump on my breast. My lungs collapse from your second-hand spit. Your memory stabs through my vision until permanently impaired.” Guess who? …See you soon.
A cancerous lump on my breast? How goddamn sweet. I give Shakespeare, I get Burinskas. I give love, I get collapsed lungs and second-hand spit. Flattered that Sophia respected my intellect, I was
A cancerous lump for God’s sake. There were occasions when I was overwhelmed by something greater than myself,
It was all brand-new again. Sophia was in town. Excited, I waited patiently on the couch, staring blankly at the television. My thoughts faded away from whatever was flashing in front of me until a dark circle engulfed my view.
The Importance of Editing Before You Publish
By: Michelle Burinskas
No, really. If you’ve written something to publish and you haven’t had an editor look at it for content accuracy, misspelling, punctuation, sentence structure, organization, tense, and overall tone and flow, you’re shooting yourself in the foot with a poisoned bullet. Keeping your readers engaged is absolutely key and almost always poses a challenge. The average attention span of a typical reader is eight seconds and, with so little time, you can’t afford to lose their interest or distract them from your writing with grammatical or content issues. And, unfortunately, this is the trap most writers aiming to self-publish fall into.
That being said, comprehensive editing of any piece of writing, though highly recommended, is one of the most misunderstood, time-consuming, and costly pieces of the publishing process. So where do you start?
The first step is to have a friend read your writing. Ask for feedback and encourage a critical eye. Even the best editors consult a team before signing-off on a piece of work. This can help you catch some of the big things that you, as the author, may have missed.
After these initial revisions, it’s time to find an editor. Maybe you know one, and that’s terrific. USE THEM. But, maybe you don’t. And that’s okay because there are several options to choose from outside of submitting your work to big publishing houses in hopes that they’re interested. As printed newspapers are quickly becoming an anachronism, and the Internet is replacing most print news sources, the virtual world is awash in freelance content editors, copy editors, format editors, and proofreaders offering fair rates for terrific service.
Shop around a bit. The rates may seem intimidating at first but think of this cost as an investment in your current piece of writing and your writing career as a whole. A good editor won’t just edit to ensure that you used the word “their” instead of “there,” but will also collaborate with you to improve the piece overall. What’s more, this entire process will provide you with an invaluable educational tool going forward, sharpening your grammar, writing style, character development, and flow. Remember that an editor’s comments are not meant to be insulting and shouldn’t make you doubt your skills as a writer. Seasoned writers consult teams of editors for absolute assurance that their writing is clean before it reaches the audience.
Once content and copy have been quality assured, you can begin thinking about proofreading and format editing if necessary. While an editor will go through and refine your work, a proofreader will go through your document to refine and polish it after all iterations of edits.
Finally, depending on the nature of your work, a format editor can help format your document as a piece of literature, an article, a resume, an email, or in any form you require. There are a number of templates available for free on the Internet, or a formatting service can help design one for you. Once this has been accomplished, you have a professional piece of writing, virtually indistinguishable from any other professional publication.
As with any product, quality matters. Editing your work before publication shows that you care about and are invested in what you’ve written. It’s the number one decision you can make to stand behind your work. So, let an editor step in and take your ideas, writing style, and technique, and make them even better. You will feel better about your writing and your audience will appreciate it!