A Phyne Phinale…C’est largement suffisant!

In General Information, Lifestyle on April 12, 2013 at 12:34 pm



A smart man knows when to call it a day. A successful comedian leaves the stage after telling his funniest story.

I’ll take that as wise counsel. But, first, a re-cap:

Phyne Dyning has been chugging along for almost three years. It got its start as a mini-rebellion against the foodie craze that sent legions of amateur food critics into bistros, cafes, slop-houses, and award-winning restaurants. Enlightened by jargon they picked up by watching Gordon Ramsay and armed with a credit card budget and a word-processor (maybe even some graphics design software), they tore into the livelihoods of professional cooks. (“The boy kills the frog in sport. But the frog dies in earnest.”)

A few months later, Phyne Dyning changed lanes and followed a path blazed by Jeff Smith, a personally troubled Methodist minister cum Frugal Gourmet. These pages began to feature the preparation of elegant peasant foods, particularly those from the Middle East, North Africa, Southeast Asia, and Eastern Europe. Lately, the Phyne Dyner ventured into French peasant foods and France’s rural gastronomie.

And, there was politics: specifically, libertarian socialism.

The sad reality about politics is that people don’t care much about it while they have a full belly and bountiful entertainments.

That’s not new.

Only about 20-25% of American colonists took an active side in revolutionary ideas. Victor Hugo often lamented the French apathy about matters of freedom; the failed June Rebellion in 1832 inspired him to write his epic Les Misérables. Fyodor Dostoevsky was perplexed by the Russian people, almost entirely Christian, who stoically (somewhat bovine) endured abuse by the Russian monarchy. Russian malaise inspired Dostoevsky to pen The Idiot.

Borderline nihilism is nothing new to mankind.

Knowing so hardly inspires a desire to arise from one’s bed at 3am to pound out original material for a few readers to masticate upon in the morning.

What now?

It’s almost enough to make me chuckle.

I have a completely written cookbook that lacks only some final graphics work before I self-publish it.

I know. Everybody writes cookbooks. It’s okay.


Then, there is my ‘great American novel’ that molders in my hard drive. It’s a post-apocalyptic thriller, based on medical realities, in the vein of Michael Crichton’s early SF work.

[I have the opinion that George Stewart’s 1949 Earth Abides was the apogee of the post-apocalyptic genre. I first read the book in 1965 and I’ve probably read it at least a hundred times since. Neck-in-neck for close second stand two books: William Forstchen’s 2009 One Second After and S.M. Stirling’s series that began with Dies the Fire (2006). (Forstchen scratches past Stirling a bit because Stirling failed to leave the stage before allowing his series to degrade to a Tolkien-esque conflict between supernatural cults.)]

I’d be remiss to close this out without expressing gratitude to my loyal tens of readers. It’s been an enjoyable three years. I’m grateful too, because the Phyne Dyning blog connected me with Linda, my writing coach and, now, agent.

It is all her fault that the curtain now falls on Phyne Dyning. She astutely pointed out that I am entering my sixth decade and that my novel isn’t going to write itself. “Finish writing the damned book. Worry about the mechanics later. Don’t worry about publishing. Tell the story.”

That’s what I shall do.

[No, Linda…”…Wouldn’t touch my cookbook with a ten-foot pole.” Gee!]


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