What’s in YOUR birch tree?

People have asked where the cover design for Raw Footage/dream-tipped memoir comes from. You can see their point–a creepy birch forest giving way to some kind of path that is stalked by an outsize male cardinal.


Well, I would never have guessed it myself, but it is perhaps the central joy in writing fiction, and, that is what you unearth about yourself in the process. Especially in this kind of writing where you just let loose with an idea and write it. Don’t be fettered by grammar and style. Just let it happen, like a jazz man lets it happen, no editors allowed. No rewrites, the original is the only real thing.

Of course, though, I did have to read it before putting it out there, and, on the reread I discovered that a number of haunting images recurred in the 41 dreams. Surprised the heck out of me and got me thinking what an image so stark as a male cardinal in a birch tree might indicate about me. While that does remain an outstanding mystery, it happened enough inside the covers to believe it might be the best art FOR the cover.

I had to face the music, my own music: I do love birch trees more than life itself, always have, always will. It has to do with the black etchings on that pure white bark, yes, but I know there is something even more diabolical and otherworldly going on here. (For anyone who travels Rt. 4 through Woodstock, Vermont, the model birch tree for my writing stands on a small hill off to the left as you enter town from the East. It is beyond belief beautiful.) I’ll let you know if I ever figure it out. And then there is that ballsy little male cardinal, perched in the birch glade like he owns the place. He knows he is gorgeous and he is evidently your guide into my subconscious whether you like it or not. Is it coincidence that birds and trees save children in German fairy tales? Probably not, I’m thinking.

Anyway, I am just saying to you that writing unlocks all kinds of weird and wonderful things from your interior and allows them to bubble up to the surface where you and the world get to enjoy them and bask in the warmth of a greater understanding.

As always, please check out this book and my others, and bother to write a review–good or critical–here or on my author page at Amazon (W.M. Philion).



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