Let it snow, let it snow, let it snow... (like we have a choice?)

As Mark Twain once said, "Everybody talks about the weather, but nobody does anything about it." Or maybe it was Sam Clemens, I forget. No matter.

I plan to blog mostly about writing, because this is my writing blog, and if I've the gumption to use as my avatar such a literary luminary as Edgar Allan "Fast Eddie" Poe, I should at least wax eloquent about the craft itself. Which I humbly hope to do. However, since the rules of blogging are apparently as arcane as Australian Rules Football, bloggers are evidently free to please themselves. This blog's topic is one on the minds of many lately: the Snowpocalypse.

I got the term from my Editrix friend, who got it from someone else, but the term is appropriate. The Snowpocalypse hit the US of friggin' A like the wrath of God, burying DC and Philly and NY and even Florida in the white stuff. I am a Northeasterner, and where I am we have about a foot and a half of snow over everything. If you expect to hear piss-and-moan, I fear I must disappoint you. I am still a little kid when it comes to snow. I confess I love winter. The following rumination on the subject is a retread from an old newsgroup post, but it is mine, it is original, and now, Cherished Reader, it is yours: 

Our Lady Cold has graced Long Island's south shore with Her wintry kiss. The air is crisp and clear and intoxicating, chilled wine for the soul. In the wind She sighs and shifts, rustling the first light cover of snow, white like bedsheets are white. The trees are bare; nature sleeps naked. Ordinary people doing ordinary things armor themselves against Her touch; an act as simple as taking your child to the busstop is a test of courage. Our technology balks, our arrogance wavers. She tempers us with Her chill, chases us away with Her bitterness, seduces us with Her stark beauty. She takes a special cruel joy in reminding us just how vulnerable we really are. She can kill, without pity. But those who join Her on Her wintry bed, enfolded in Her embrace (Her perfume is the scent of pine needles), can *see* every mortal breath they take, and so know that they are truly, unequivocally, alive. 

I do so love winter.
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Don't let the picture fool you...

... I don't look anything like Eddie Poe. Nor do I write like him. I have no illusions, Cherished Reader, that my own poor pages are even worthy to blot the sweat off of Ed's enormous forehead. The avatar, the screen name, call it an homage.

I am actually a big fat hairy guy; in nature I'm known as a "silverback". Apart from the weight (over 300 pounds, no joke) I am perfectly healthy. Cholesterol, blood pressure, and tectonic activity are all within acceptable norms. Why am I fat? I suppose I could claim genetic disposition or glandular hijinks or psychological need, but the truth is I am fat because I eat like a Biblical plague. There are small ex-Soviet republics that don't eat as much as I do. I eat a lot, I eat irregularly, and I eat way too fast (I once got lectured by a Chinese waiter for clearing a table of dim sum in under 4 minutes) (true story).

Why? Well, simple -- I love food. Sorry, Pink Freud wannabes -- there is no deeper reason than that. It's not a substitute for love, it's not an obsession, it's not a drug. It just tastes really good. My one vice. I was raised in a household of extraordinary cooks in the Italian-American tradition, and abundance was as much a part of the menu as variety. I am also a plate-cleaner, having had it drummed into my psyche that there are starving people in the world, and so food is precious and therefore not to be wasted.

I am on a diet, although recent events have dropped me off the wagon. I've lost almost 15 lbs so far, but as my brother told me: "Frankie, fifteen pounds off of you is like throwing a deck chair off the Titanic."

I will, at irregular intervals, plot my weight and loss (or gains); I trust that you, Cherished Reader, will keep me honest at least. My goal is to lose 100lbs.

Now, who do I write like? Well, the best I can hope for, Cherished Reader, is that I write like, well, me.

First blog entry. Ever.

Cherished Reader,

Do forgive me for being brief, this is my first blog entry ever. A few things about me, off the bat.
I am an aspiring writer and artist with a couple of well-received short publications in the distant and murky past and am looking to get back in the game, so to speak. I've decided that this is the year for the big push.

So, what do I write? Horror / thriller / dark-fantasy, with a dose of humor.
Where do I write? Now in a cluttered office off my living room; but formerly, a moving train.

Hence the screen name "Locomotive Poe."

Writing scary stories on trains. I used to work in NYC and I live on eastern Long Island and wrote during my long commute. I cannot imagine a worse environment to write: noisy, crowded, rattles, shakes -- and yet, with my trusty budget laptop I completed six short stories (two published) a full length screenplay (and six rewrites) and about 150 pages of a novel. I developed near-superhuman powers of concentration, but such a skill is a two-edged sword: It got to the point where I couldn't write anywhere *but* a moving train. Place me in a quiet pristine environment for six hours and I stare at a blank screen the whole time (I thought of hiring someone to shake the chair and shout the names of towns at random intervals). I also discovered that I write *like* a train -- start slowly, build up speed, chugging along; but a distraction or a problem derails the whole process and it takes forever to get back on track again, so to speak.

So welcome to my blog, Cherished Reader, I will try to make the time you invest in me worth your while.