Small Victories

It is Friday and I am still upright. 

Coughing, snorting, and trying to drown that damned frog with my my third gallon of hot tea since this morning, but upright.

That counts.


I sent off the “autobiographical” reenactment speech last night—a whole week before deadline, thank you—and received a reply this afternoon that it was more than acceptable and they’d “be in touch.” 

This is both a relief and a slight puzzlement—I wrote it for free* and I don’t have much in the way of stage direction or insights to offer, so I’m assuming any future  touching would be for edits, possibly for length.

No sweat—I could take out the poem, the obituary excerpt, and/or pare back hte bit about his best friend the radical socialist.

Or if it’s too long, I could put back one of his wives, his military “career”—which appears to have consisted mostly of a few months at Camp Cuba Libre during the Spanish-American War—and the subsequent book about said “career” (whoops, just remembered that one), numerous affairs with the women he didn’t marry, and a couple of great cautionary tales about the dangers of binge drinking.

So there’s room to move, if movement is required.

But for now, it’s one more thing off the checklist, if I had one. 


At the stroke of New York midnight tonight, Janet Reid will open the entry floodgates for one of her famous 100-word story contests.  The prize is an advance copy of The Devotion of Suspect X by Keigo Higashino and the thrill of knowing that for one shining moment, Ms. Reid liked your stuff.

And I’m done with my entry!   Trust me, this counts as a victory, long-winded as I am.

I’d enter the contest anyway, because I’m ever so slightly addicted to the mini-challenges, but I do want to read Suspect X, a mystery set in Japan.  I’ve always been fascinated with Japan, mostly because of Dad, who taught at the American School in Tokyo in the ‘fifties. 

Dad taught me how to use chopsticks to pick up almost everything—practicing with M&Ms is key—and tells great stories about his first trip to the baths, where an elderly gentleman taught him a lesson in humility, and skiing, where he learned of his own mortality, and bits and pieces of everyday life the way it was half a century ago.  Of all the items he brought back with him, I covet the beautiful book of haiku,each poem delicately drawn on one page, with the translation in lovely printing on the next. 

So I’m definitely there for this one—though probably not at midnight, even if I am on Central Time. 

Ms. Reid is only allowing entries for twenty-four hours, so come join me!  The more the merrier! 

And as usual, if you win, please let me borrow the book.


My wonderful First Reader got back to me with her impressions of the revised early chapters of my WIP and so far, so good. 

I’m still wrestling with how much I should reveal of each character’s backstory . . . but at least I’ve got the firearms legally back in the hands of my ex-cons!

Hey—anyone know what a Pennsylvania gun permit looks like? 


It’s nine-thirty, the kids are toothbrushed, pottied, and in bed. 

That counts as two.


*Three reasons:  the reenactment is the entertainment for a fundraiser benefiting the local writing center, so taking money from them in this economy made no sense.  The lady who asked me to write it is a lovely, sweet, and iron-willed woman—a retired children’s librarian, in fact— who would have repeated, “We can’t pay you much,” in an apologetic tone until I caved anyway, so I cut to the chase.  And I’ve never done one of these monologues before, so if it had stunk on ice, money would have been embarrassing.


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