The Toad’s Garden ToC

UPDATE 6 January 2017: The book is out! Published December 30, 2016. Read more here.

Current working title: Riding the Chariot The Toad’s Garden

Fireworks Tzfat Klezmer Festival 2013
Fireworks
Tzfat Klezmer Festival
7 August 2013

This post invites you to preview my next book by following the tentative table of contents links (below).

I’ve been working on a book manuscript for print that collects the prose I wrote last year (flash fiction, experimental prose, short stories) and posted here on the blog. I don’t know that I’ll keep the working title—until just now, it was The Woman with a Beard, The Toad’s Garden, and Other Stories. But that sounds too pretentious. Perhaps just  The Toad’s Garden, for now. eventually. For now, Riding the Chariot, as that piece is about a lecturer gone bonkers and disappearing into his own crazy world of fiction, sort of. And, hey, isn’t that what working a book manuscript is like?

I hope that you will follow the links, in order.

Another possibility could be As Far As I Go…although I’m not sure that story should carry the weight of the collection, or rather, I’m not sure the collection should carry the weight of that story on its back.

In this post I’m sharing the tentative Table of Contents (ToC), with links to the original posts. In the book, I’m making the amount of text on each page relatively small, a bit like prose poetry—for the more experimental works in the collection, the breaks are almost like stanzas. For those pieces that veer into more conventional modes of fiction, the breaks are more like scene shifts. In some of the original posts there are lines to indicate sections, and these are honored in the manuscript. The book will be around 125-130 pages with these breaks, but far fewer if I simply use a conventional flow of text filling each page of prose.

I’m interested in comments about the arrangement, the way each piece does or does not flow-connect to the adjacent ones.

Reaching handsI’m also doing edits at present, which don’t appear if you follow the ToC, as the links go to the original posts. You will be able to read the edited versions when the book comes out.

I hope that you will follow the links, in order. After you’ve read a post, you’ll have to close the new tab on your browser and return here, to the ToC. I’m interested in comments about the arrangement, the way each piece does or does not flow-connect to the adjacent ones.

Riding the Chariot begins almost in the chronological order the pieces were originally written in, but veers from that order at first to keep the woman with the beard and the toad’s garden stories together. Then, further rearrangements are an attempt to group stories that might connect to each other…but your comments, I hope, will let me know how well the arrangement works and how well this succeeds as a “book.”

Table of Contents

I. The Woman with a Beard (Chicken and Egg)

Tomorrow  1
Today  3
Morning  6
Afternoon  9
Evening  13
Yesterday  16

II. The Toad’s Garden (Deciduous Mirror Reflecting)

Butterfly Effect: Chaos on a Shoe String  19
The Other Day  20
The Toad’s Garden  22
Reflexive Properties  23
Word-tossed Salad  26
Deciduous Mirror Reflecting  27
Reflections on the Toad’s Garden  30
A Visit  33
Nematode Garden Crisis  38
Political Philosophy  41
Soon the Trumpets  45
Ison Tonic Expressions  47

III. Palm Reading (As Far as I Go)

Out for a Walk  52
Palm Reading  58
Riding the Chariot  61
Blues Teacher  65
Globalization  66
As Far As I Go  70

IV. Off the Trail (Dark Date)

Personal / Politics  75
Independence Day  76
Off the Trail  82
A Warm Gun  86
Dark Date  95

V. Final Destination (A Crack in Everything)

Character Development  98
Character Actor  101
The Big Sale  105
A Day in the Life  109
Open Road  113
A Crack in Everything  118
Final Destination  122

After Words (God’s Pop Quiz)

Words  125
God’s Pop Quiz  126

Palm Reading
Palm Reading
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