Monday, June 1, 2009

First things last (edit to add: Tales From the Tomato Patch #1)

Welcome to the end of the first day of June, I hope you enjoyed it.

Yesterday I returned from a ten day vacation that had me traveling from New York to North Carolina to Florida and back home again. It was a good trip, but exhausting, so I wound up taking an extra day off from the Day Job to recover (which I have mostly done now, so sadly back to work tomorrow, excuses gone).

Last time I promised to start exploring the things I love here on the manifesto through a series of profiles, and also conduct a separate series of interviews. This post contains neither of those.

Instead, I offer up the first of a series of short short stories inspired by my favorite musician: Jason Webley. I told you here about the awesome concert of his Catherine and I went to last January; this upcoming July 3rd marks the eleventh anniversary of his debut album Viaje.

One of the things I should have done was write a profile of Mr. Webley first, but time is slippy, and, well you know. The profile will now come at the end of this series of stories, and may be the better for it. You’ll learn a bit about him through the story titles, because each is named after a song on one of his many albums.

One thing you will notice about Mr. Webley is he has a thing about the number eleven. It’s the name of his record company, figures into some of his songs, and in general is a good number to have around (he also has a thing for tomatoes, but I still haven’t figured that one out quite yet.). To honor that, all of the stories I write will be either 11, 111, or 1,111 words long, and, of course, there will be eleven of them all together between now and his anniversary concert on July 3rd.

I only have one written, the one below, and a few others sketched out, so this may well end up being a seat-of-the-pants type operation. I hope you’ll excuse that and know this is all in celebration of an artist I admire and am inspired by. Most of the stories will have nothing to do with the songs they are named for, though some might. Some might borrow a few words, others an image or two, but you need not be familiar with the songs to enjoy the stories. I will try and get permission to post the songs in the future (and if I can figure out how), so those who have never heard his music can have some fun at the juxtaposition.

I believe that covers most of what you need to know going in, except that today is also Jason Webley's birthday (a fact which I either didn't know or didn't recall, but works well for this first post anyway). With that, I will leave you with the first of eleven tales (a short bit consisting of eleven words), I hope you enjoy and will see you in a few days with story number two:

“2 AM”

Tired and bone weary. The accordion’s suddenly heavy.
My heart remains.

Edit to add: Story title from Jason Webley's album Against the Night, 1999

Creative Commons License
Tales From the Tomato Patch #1: 2 AM by Christian Berntsen is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 Unported License.

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