Monday, March 2, 2015

Celebrating Brooklyn

It's difficult as an author carrying two names: Mary Frances Carney and Eido Frances Carney, my Zen priest name. I'm clear about both, but the internet and online social media become quite confusing and require in some areas that you only use one name. I do agree that it would seem a bit odd to put out A Parish Near Ebbets Field in my Dharma name, even though I'm one person. But this book is not a Dharma book.

I wrote the book several years before going to Japan, touching my origins in Brooklyn and celebrating the background of Irish Catholic Brooklyn in the 1950s. The characters in the book are still close to me and the book carries a sense of endearment about them even with their character flaws, their antics, the misunderstandings that occur as the story unfolds. Publishing it is the completion of an item on my bucket list. I still have many more and I'm not finished yet.

The book is plot driven, so the pages turn quickly.  It's a good read and takes you to a time and place that has now vanished. Ebbets Field is gone, the neighborhoods around it have changed, but Brooklyn remains Brooklyn and can never be forgotten. Anyone from Brooklyn owns a piece of it and will always find a way to celebrate this city which is considered one of the five boroughs with its own flavors and personality. If Brooklyn were an independent city, it would rank as the 4th largest city in the US, after New York City, Los Angeles, and Chicago.

So while we're at it, here's my writing as Eido Frances Carney, telling the story of the priest-poet Ryokan and my own experiences in following his path through training in Japan. One person, many threads. This book is published through Temple Ground Press.

I'll use this blog to talk a little about creative process, this and that, things that strike me that are interesting or useful about art and literature and the process of invention. I also paint and try to hold together these two arts however difficult it might be sometime. When I'm writing, I can't imagine painting, and when words get too close, I discover myself taking an aside to be silent in the work of painting. It might have been more useful in my life to have attended to just one, but many writers also paint and are quite good at both while only recognized in the one field of writing. One thing I will have to say is that writing takes up less space than painting which makes an awful clutter.

Here are several links:
A Parish Near Ebbets Field

Kakurenbo Or the Whereabouts of Zen Priest Ryokan