Micro

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A sunset in Eastern Oregon

A few micro fiction attempts of mine. 

 

SUGAR AND FIRE

Is there is anything as sugar-sweet as first love? Maybe an actual slice of carrot cake with cream cheese frosting comes close. I, at fifty-four, had finally succumbed. Oh, the resistance to the universe itself! My avoidance of others, my shyness a shadowy wall others seldom wished to try and climb. She takes my hand. We watch the world burn together. The delight in her eyes beneath the sorrow we both manufacture. Our honey laughter as we nod solemnly. The delight we succumb to as we sink to the oily dirt to couple like snakes in a famous garden. We drown in sugar and fire.

 

VENEER

Lulu opened the box marked Veneer. The curled up skeleton of her father’s cat. The claw marks on the thick cardboard. But Veneer had not been a young strong cat when put into the cardboard tomb. “I killed my cat for your mother,” Kaleb said. Lulu folded the leaves back into place, traced the old duct tape remnants. “She asked me to prove if I loved her. What can I do, I asked. What can I do? Your mother held Veneer in her arms. She held him out to me, my trusting little Veneer. Always such a small cat. Kill him for my sake. I want to be your goddess. I command you to kill him. For my sake. So I did, Lu. I did. A box, some duct tape. Quiet then the stink. Then just quiet.”
“Love is bigger than cats,” Lulu replied. “My new stepfather doesn’t get that.”

 

DRUNKEN BEES

Bloom hated her name. She had a tattoo of the devil on her arm to remind her she was not some flower or houseplant. Be nice, her nice mother counseled without an ounce of pity. One day, as stories often start, Bloom noticed a tree. A little plum tree with white-petaled glories full of drunken bees having orgies and feasts. Her fingers ran along the back of a bee, but it melted away to the next blossom’s well. I wish to be the bee, not the flower, Bloom decided. She cut off her princess long hair, she wandered the world looking for herself. Time passed with enjoyment, with sorrow; she tasted almond candies in Marseille, she slapped a bear in Canada. I am Bloom blooming, she often said, then got it written on the back of her latest lover. On her deathbed, she held out her hand. Bring me a plum tree full of drunken bees. I want to start this all over again. Her fingers ran over the air. I wrote my name in the skin of this world. I wrote my name.

The Rabbits

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Eastern Cottontail. Wikipedia

I give up. I’ve been trying to place this story and it’s been a thousand percent ‘oh hell no’ from every avenue.  Got the latest one today: We’re sorry but our editors would rather cut their own heads off than accept this in any capacity! Good luck with all your future endeavors. Please send us money and hey, get our endless email blitzes about all the writers that are not you! Hugs and smooches! 

So.  Three rejections today. Must buck up and carry on. Stiff upper lip. This day, too, shall end. 

A note– this story arrived from some strange misty corner of my head. It offers no hope for humankind. Adult themes. About 3100 words. 

 

THE RABBITS

865741, Cell Block D, observed something new. Through the shimmering electrical promise of death, she observed a rabbit munching the rank grass of the tiny field that nestled against the barrier of the prison fence. Sunlight turned the long ears pink as the insides of seashells, when the rabbit stopped, froze, sat up, then went back to feeding. 865741, also known as Silent Rag, ignored everything else happening in the small exercise yard and delighted in that lone bunny, eating lunch. Shadows filled the sky above as yet another thunderstorm drifted in from the east, off the nearly dead ocean. Silent Rag did not tell any of the other women or draw attention to that feeding wild animal, who fled for no reason at all that Silent Rag could discern.

But she had learned to be careful, and then learned to be as silent as everyone wanted her to be. She turned her left forearm up, examined the still-healing deep scratches placed there by Homestead Bon, the toughest bitch in Cell Block D, as Homestead Bon informed one and all from her six feet one inches and her gigantic hole of a mouth. It seemed important or something to be the toughest. Axegirl made a fuss to her small group of worshipers, and Homestead Bon made it clear Axegirl should keep that talk to herself. Tough and nasty, who was toughest and nastiest. As if that changed anything or made life a bowl of cupcakes and freedom pies. Silent Rag had the rest of her life to watch tough bitches come and go. She had been caught sticking a knitting needle up her works and the law said no, women were to have kids no matter what and you’re unnatural and bad. Goodbye! Silent Rag tried to remember her actual name. It had been something like Lana or Lucy. Something sweet and feminine and sweet. The field through the electrified fence had gone empty of rabbits. Beyond it lay dry dusty hills and people wary of women in bright green jumpsuits.

Why had Homestead Bon scratched her? Silent Rag stared at the asphalt, rather than be caught, even accidentally, looking at the wrong woman or even one of the guards. Everyone here seemed full of angry wasps. That anger never died. Why had Homestead Bon dug her fingernails into the soft, sagging meat of Silent Rag’s arm? What ya thinking in there? What ya thinkin’? That giant’s bellow of a voice, that powerful hand. No reason, there had been no reason at all. An act of some merciless God. Silent Rag heard an argument nearby. She heard the whispered plans of escapers. She heard the cries of birds. The crackle of guard radios. In ten minutes, those slated for exercise hour would be lined up and marched back in. Back to their cells or back to their chores. Silent Rag would go to laundry after this. Wash sheets. Dry them. Over and over. Wash sheet. Dry them. Over and over.

Something smacked the side of her head. She cowered down. A guard, the mean one. Carrie or Candace. “Time to go, retard,” Carrie or Candace said. Silent Rag stood, not making eye contact, to go take her place in the lines. Paired up. She stood beside Flight, a ragged-faced murderer, who had once tried to fly over the walls of Imptown. What the correctional facility, oh wasn’t that funny, was actually called no one called it that. It had become Imptown, so named, goes Imptown folklore, by one of the more famous inhabitants, who claimed she was a servant of Satan. Story goes this servant of Satan had been freed by imps sent by her master, who had done so during one of the worst riots to ever develop. Over bread so moldy no one could eat it. During a stormy night, of course. Which had knocked out the power, of course. It was even further said that during this long night of rioting and imps sent in to save the devil’s favorite servant, that the devil himself showed up. And fought the warden. Or had been the warden. The story had several versions, all of them vague and often bloody. “Silent Rag!” Another harder slam to her head. “What are you standing here for? Let’s go!”

Silent Rag had been standing still instead of moving along with everyone else. Everyone else turned to stare at her, mark her, note her hurt arm, note her now bruising face. The laws no longer seemed to care what happened to prisoners. The laws no longer came to help. Parole hearings and parole boards had become the stuff of legends, same as that night the imps had come to free the devil’s favorite. Silent Rag got into step beside Flight, who muttered and snorted and smelled like piss. Fly me to the moon, Flight repeated over and over and over. Fly me to the moon.

The steam rose. The smell of harsh detergent. The tired rounded backs of women taking wet loads from the giant washers to shove them into the giant dryers. The sheets stained with blood and shit. No matter the bleach used, those stains from the holes of human bodies never faded enough. Silent Rag worked, her mind filling over and over with that lone rabbit eating rank grass, the sun turning those long ears into seashell pink. Her hands filled the washers, dumped in the prescribed measure of soap, put the bleach in if the load had been marked for bleach, folded or swept the floor if there was nothing to put in or take out. “Hey, you really don’t talk? You got a tongue and you still don’t talk?”

Newbie. 991209 it read on the breast of her bright green jumpsuit. Bright malicious eyes in her moon face. Young. Like a puppy with rabies before the rabies has kicked in. Silent Rag moved away, sweeping the cement floor. Unlike that rabbit, she could not flash away and hide herself. She could only wait to see what this newbie would do to her. Fighting back was reserved only if it looked like death would arrive soon. And even then. Maybe death would be better than this. Except the preacher man said death was worse, far worse, than this. Which confused Silent Rag and kept her from sawing her wrist back and forth over the sharp edge of the screw on the underside of her cot.

“Okay. I like doing laundry. I don’t mind it. My hands get red but it’s better than stirring slop all day. They had me in the kitchens and I burned that stew they have in the big cans. I let it burn, you know? I ain’t never cooked in my life, so how did I know to keep the heat low and shit? I’m J-Snatch, we’re in the same block. Shit, mama, you’re old. You ever getting out of Imptown or what?” J-Snatch folded jumpsuits and towels. “Well, my real name is Rosarita, but K-Tell says I need an Imptown name, so she started calling me J-Snatch. I’m a thief, I used to steal purses. You’re famous. Been here near thirty years, they say. Thirty years, I say. No shit, I say. I can’t even imagine that. Is it true? Everybody lies in here. Even me. I used to be so honest, except for the stealing. Now I just lie and lie. You know?” J-Snatch looked over at the guards, who were watching the laundry room hungering to hurt someone, to put someone in their place. “I hear if you let the guards do stuff to ya, you still get treated like shit. It’s a tough old world. They weren’t wrong about that, whoever said that.”

Silent Rag could hardly breathe. What was this? Why was this newbie being friendly? It wasn’t natural. J-Snatch kept yakking away. Until it was time to stop doing laundry and go back to the cells. Four hours of laundry, two hours of the cell, the meal half an hour, then back to D Block, where the cell remained open for two hours and the women could come and go as they pleased. Then lights out. Until morning arrived at five. Always at five. The unholy buzz of morning’s warning. Ten minutes to stand in front of the cell you called home so you could be checked off the Who’s Still Alive list.

Silent Rag lay on her cot, in the dark, with her arm itching. She had not been offered medical assistance, as those in charge decided she needed to be taught a lesson. You’re in here to be punished, this is nothing compared to what your baby had to go through. Silent Rag had accepted that and tried to keep her festering arm clean and dry. But working in a laundry did not help that at all. She let her fingers run along the parallel scratches and it did not seem they were healing all that quick. That lone rabbit feeding free as it pleased. That rabbit showed up in her dreams and turned into some creature with long naked wings. And it flew away over the walls of Imptown and flew into the moon. Silent Rag sat up right before the morning warning sounded. She emptied her bladder and her cellmate called out to Jesus, still asleep somehow. Ratti, however, spoke of nothing but Jesus all day so it made sense she’d call out for her boyfriend all night. Ratti spoke of Jesus as one might speak of a husband, but many women in here did.

“Good morning, Rag!” This drifted down from several cells up. J-Snatch. And then Homestead Bon spoke as well.

“Shut your hole.”

“I got a right to tell someone good morning, you fucking cow,” J-Snatch called back and laughter colored the air like a rancid coating of mist.

Today, there were two rabbits. Silent Rag watched them from the corner of her eye, sitting hunched up near the death fence. That death fence beckoned the gals to try it, just try it. How many had been scooped up with a shovel and slid into a bucket after trying that fence? How many? But the two rabbits hopped and fed, hopped and fed, in the shadow of the junky trees, filling their bellies on the rank long grass. Hop, feed, look around. Hop, feed, look around. The scuffle of a fight, the guards yelling. J-Snatch and Homestead Bon, of course. That had been building for days now. J-Snatch a smart-mouthed bright soon to be rabid puppy facing off against the rabid dog that actually ran this shitter. Sorry, puppy, thought Silent Rag. Sorry. She watched, while appearing not to watch at all, as they all did. She watched Homestead Bon bang J-Snatch’s head against the asphalt. As the guard hovered nearby, waiting for Homestead Bon to kill her so Homestead Bon could go to solitary and J-Snatch could go in the incinerator. As prisoners who died got cremated, their ashes thrown away. No lawyers showed up to ask why they had died. Or who had killed them. No anymore. That had ended twenty some years ago, longer. Memory had become a sheet too ripped up and full of holes to be used anymore. Homestead Bon got admired and praised by the guards for being strong and not succumbing to the prison blues, as the inevitable crush and grinding got called. The guards admired the prisoners who could keep the others in line and rewarded them for doing so.

“That’s enough,” said Carrie or Candace or Pauline or Penny. Homestead Bon got marched to solitary, grinning, her big hands dripping with J-Snatch’s drying blood. J-Snatch still twitched now and then, her head a new shape. Her face seemed missing. She still twitched. The rabbits hopped and fed and sat up. Silent Rag caught a glimpse of other guards arriving to drag J-Snatch to the infirmary. J-Snatch twitched and sent out cries that sounded like a crow. The end of exercise time sounded, early today. Silent Rag lined up beside Flight, who muttered about flying to the moon.

The giant dryer sent up smoke right before it died for good. The guard came over and cursed, then told Silent Rag to put the wet stuff in another dryer, but there were none open. The dryer, dead as J-Snatch, would sit there waiting for repair or replacement. For years perhaps. And yet the same amount of laundry would be expected to be done. Or there would be consequences. No money in the budge, it was claimed, to fix anything yet all the money in the world to punish. No money in the budge, ever, to improve Imptown in any way. No money in the budge, ladies! Rabbits with seashell pink ears, munching rank grass in the sometimes sunshine. Soon it would turn hot and dry and the rains would not show up again until the fall, if they showed up at all. Rain had become a rare thing here at Imptown and the lands around it. A slap. The guards on the other side of the big dank room. “I know you was friends with that commie bitch,” Homestead Bon said. She had an odd streak of absolute patriotism and long eyelashes stuck around her wolverine eyes. She grabbed Silent Rag’s left arm, then laughed. “Looks like I marked you as mine, honey. I branded your ass!” And everyone nearby laughed as well, like well trained seals at the zoo. Silent Rag had gone to one once. Those animals in pretty cages. Those animals in such pretty cages.

Homestead Bon turned to go back to folding sheets nearby. Silent Rag saw the gleam of metal in the lumpy wetness of the undried sheets. A spoon shaped into a crude little weapon. Her hand closed over it but she slipped it into her jumpsuit, down between her sagging breasts. What are you going to do with that, she asked herself. What are you going to do with that?

Her heart beat in secret little pumps and bursts. Don’t know yet. Don’t know.

Silent Rag waited now every day for her glimpse of those rabbits. Sometimes they remained absent. Sometimes just one, sometimes both. Her arm festered, then slowlybegan to heal but she was not so young anymore. Her bones ached and her back seized up now and then trying to move wet stuff into the dryers. Newbies came and went. The old timers got older. Some even managed to finish their sentences and were let go. Only to return not that much later. Once a captive of Imptown, it seemed, you remained one all your life. Learning your lesson never took hold here. Nobody ever learned anything but how to line up and keep their eyes slid away just enough. Just enough. Jesus shook a finger and yelled a lot during Sunday yellings from various preacher men. Always men. No woman ever showed her face during Sunday to lecture other women on getting right with God. It would have caused riots. It had caused riots. Women found being told they were sinful nothings by another woman intolerable and an excuse to go crazy and try to kill everything nearby. Silent Rag felt that, too. Women telling other women they were damned, no sir. Men could say it because men lied all the time. Women meant it and that could not be borne.

A man with a shovel stood on the other side of the death fence today. A baseball cap shielded his face somewhat from the sun. Homestead Bon wandered over as Silent Rag forgot to pretend she wasn’t watching anything at all but her own big feet, in cheap canvas slip-ons. “We got pests around here. Gonna be some dead bunnies, yessirree.” All one word, yessirree. Silent Rag kept her head turned toward that man, with the slight belly, sliding that shovel’s end into the untilled earth, then shaking something from a tin can down into that wound he had made. “Poison. It’s poison. Gophers, rabbits, squirrels. All dead. All dead, Rag. All dead.” Laughing as little creatures died. Laughing. No. No, that was not what Homestead Bon’s laughter sounded like. Homestead Bon honked and oinked her laughter. This sounded…like fingernails scraped along a scarred gray wall in solitary. “Fucking shits,” Homestead Bon whispered in such honest disgust that Silent Rag met the wolverine eyes and they were the eyes of some woman so lost, so insufferably damned, it blinded her for a bit. And then it was just Homestead Bon lurching away, her big hard body giving tiny shudders, her fists perhaps never to become hands again.

That night, Silent Rag sat on her cot, holding that bit of metal, turning it over and over. The pulse in her wrist throbbed. She heard sobbings in the dark and the grunts of women finding solace and the sighs of ghosts. Night sounds never changed, nothing changed and perhaps she had just imagined Homestead Bon with her hidden little soft spot toward some stupid wildlife far too stupid not to try living right up against the death fence of Imptown. Nothing changed in the day time, but Silent Rag noted that Homestead Bon sometimes looked at that little patch beyond the fences humming with devil juice. As if looking for wild rabbits with seashell pink to their ears. With her wolverine eyes as soft as the down on an inner thigh.

Years pass like the snap of bones. Silent Rag sat watching, yet not watching, that field on the other side of the death fence. No rabbits. No rabbits for years now. They had cut the old trees down, leaving raw stumps, as if to make that sad view as sad as possible. The sun hit her face and burned her skin. There. The seashell pink of an ear. Had she seen that with her fading eyes? Her eyesight seemed worse lately. Her head ached and the world seemed dimmer, indistinct. Yes. A single small rabbit, in the shadow of one of the stumps, wandered in off the sagebrush dirt hills. Axegirl beat Homestead Bon to death nearby as the guards waited for the right moment to step in. That rabbit began to feed on the long rank grass. Silent Rag stood. She had that bit of shaped metal spoon weapon in her right hand. She sank all six inches of it into the back of Axegirl’s neck, with everyone growing still at this third entering the known world of Who’s Queen Bitch of Imptown showdown that had been brewing for days now. Homestead Bon lay quivering and twitching, the guards began to yell and beat at Silent Rag, who withdrew that makeshift blade from downed Axegirl. “For the rabbits,” Silent Rag said to Homestead Bon, who twitched and bled all over the exercise yard’s cracked surface. She jammed that makeshift knife into her own throat. It went easy as pie, just as easy as pie. 865741 smiled up at the sky, hoping she got made into a story, hoping she got remembered. She felt nothing at all after her small wish.

 

 

Death Rattle Cat Rant

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Death Rattle, Nampa, Idaho Oct 4-6, 2019

October. Halloween. We’re approaching my favorite holiday. My pumpkins were eaten alive by bugs. It’s cold here.

And I will be mingling with other humans this weekend. Dread is my main emotion, frankly. I have pretty much turned into cat lady practically sealed inside a dwelling with her stacks of TV Guides from the 80’s. Remember those???

You could read, ahead, what was gonna be on TV! Do the crossword puzzle. I don’t know, it’s been a while. Remember magazines? Ah! The only reason I actually go to a doctor is to sit and read Sunset or Reader’s Digest. What are they wearing in Aspen for the 2002 Fall season? Laughter really is the best medicine. So why am I here when I can cure whatever’s wrong with my heart rate by just laughing at it?? I’d save myself getting weighed, then having to wait for whatever pills big Pharma…Anyhoo!

Oh, cat lady attempted joke. Then distracted by TV Guide nostalgia. Then dad jokes about magazines in general. I am so woke. 

Dread in dealing with others.

I will have to do small talk, maybe. If I talk to anyone. I might not. But I am manning a booth. [Womanning?] I’m selling, I’m a salesperson for a few hours this Caturday.

I don’t have a cat, I should not make cat jokes.

I haven’t even seen any cats about, we used to have them all over. There used to be cats that lived with us. I remember a cat of ours that got trapped by the hammock. That was one mad cat once we got it cut out of the strings.

Another cat from way back adopted my mother at a sale barn where she was buying pigs. It brought my mother her kittens. People were glaring at her cause this calico kitty was VERY LOUD AND INSISTENT that my mother was its goddess and reason for being. Alice lived with us for many a year, the best mouser ever. She lived outside. I don’t remember if she got spayed, she probably did. Our animals did not go about having loads of babies when I was little or when I got older.

Spay and neuter. I worked in animal shelters. SPAY AND NEUTER YOUR GODDAMN PETS. PSA over.

Well, as this post will get maybe just me ticking it as a ‘like’, thank you for reading.

I think I am actually ready for this coming event hawking my wares to the truly indifferent public. I looked up how to get there—it’s just a street over from where I was last year, so that’s good and nice and good. Same exit and everything. Score! My anxiety level will creep high and higher yet as the week winds down. But it will be over by next Monday and then the anticipation and dread of the Mountain Home reading.

I will be in Nampa, Idaho this weekend!!! Road trip! 

I will be shilling my books and some art, and then reading a flash fiction piece on Sunday about a naughty computer program called the Fish Whisperer. Naughty in the PG sense, not X. Sorry.

The Death Rattle Writer’s Festival starts this Friday, runs through Sunday. Okay. Bye!

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from Flickr. Downtown Nampa, Idaho. This is where I will be. Looks like a movie set, almost. Almost. 

 

 

Death Rattle Writer’s Festival

I will be attending the Death Rattle Writer’s Festival in Nampa, Idaho, this first weekend in October. I will be reading a flash fiction piece and manning a booth. I am attempting to SELL STUFF and this time, plan to offer some painted objects as well as my books. I plan to get the bank app on my phone as no one carries cash anymore. Except, um, me. And some business cards! I tell ya, I’m almost a competent adult this time around. 

So plan on my writing about that experience and how it goes.

If you happen to be in Western Idaho and wish to attend:

https://www.deathrattlewritersfest.org/

Nampa is next door to Boise, by the way. Idaho is right next to Oregon. [Some might not automatically know where Idaho is. I get fuzzy on the what states are what back east and geography in general. I am so very American.] 

Some pics of my wares and of course, my two novels are available for e-readers and your real life bookshelves. Cheers, all! And thanks for reading, as always. 

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Salt clay ornaments.
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Close up of salt clay star ornament. 
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It was windy when I was trying to take ‘artistic’ shots of a few of these. 
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I tried to keep them simple, elegant and sparkly. 
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Some painted rocks. 

 

 

Garden Gnomes

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Spooky blurry pic of my guard toads. 

No, this isn’t about my delusions about my garden statuary. Just a cutesy title. Click-bait-ish, even.

That’s what counts these days, clicks. Right? Not content or accuracy or sense or anything remotely with any merit. Quantity of clicks! A bit cynical? No!

The bugs slowly eat my poor pumpkin alive. They’ve killed one plant, are working on the other one which persists in sending out a long arm with blossoms on it. No round small greenish balls forming…not one. Just leaves, blossoms and bugs.

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Poor punkins! But still trying. 

Is there anything better than watching a pumpkin grow, mature, turn orange? No! There isn’t. My pumpkins rather mirror my life at present. All efforts consumed slowly by bugs that don’t seem to notice whatever is thrown at them. Or even care when you flick them off or smush them. There’s more bugs alive than bugs smushed. I can do some sort of math. Is it entirely sad I am comparing my life to how my pumpkins are doing? Probably.

But, bright spot. The herbs thrive. Sage, thyme, dill, lemon balm, oregano. Rosemary! I mean doing well and having a ball. A bumblebee even visited my lemon balm. I remember my mother petting one, how she told me you can pet them, they get so mad! But they don’t turn and sting you. You just stroke their furry, fuzzy backs, they grumble and lumber to the next bloom. There used to be more of them. And not one hummingbird. They used to show up, even though I don’t have that feeder out so many have out to tempt the teensy birds. It seems the winged wonders had become legends and myths in my yard.

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Go, zukes, go!

Another bright spot. A dear friend of mine from way back when has a wedding to attend in Beaverton. Ah, she can spare an hour or two for lunch as she buzzes through. She’s got kids, a tiny dog, a husband with her and it’s good. It’s so good to see her again. We talk as if we lived next door to each other, not several states apart. The wedding is for her son, a son I used to babysit when he was very very small. Yeah. I’m an elderly dog lady, it’s official. Maybe an elderly garden lady? An elderly pumpkin sadsack?

I have books for sale. Go buy them. I wrote them. House on Clark Boulevard and Oregon Gothic. When other books will arrive, I just don’t know.

I also combined my watching of Bohemian Rhapsody and not even getting an interview for an on-call job. Freddy Mercury’s Sister. It blurted out of me, I tidied it up and have sent it off to…well, see what happens.

Because gardening and writing are pretty much the same thing.

Stop, wait.

It’s a lot of waiting and bugs eating your work. Sometimes there’s a grand harvest of two zukes! Sometimes the stuff you ignored and didn’t think was that good just thrives away among the weeds and rocks. [I’m looking at you directly, thyme patch.]

Sometimes the yard bunnies munch your veggies to nubs–That’s when submissions get lost or you didn’t read the rules which stated, in six point font, that your story has to be 800 words on dino-human love triangles and you sent them a four thousand word opus on rodeos in space.

I tried to keep to one subject or at least link a bunch of ramblings to a single image/thing. Plus plug my writing.

I plan to spend September plugging my writing. As considering the garbage-y cowering state of my country right now fills me with actual road rage. If that makes sense.

That surge of DIE MOTHERFUCKER DIE to the granny who wobbles into the road ahead of you, then drives twenty miles below the speed limit. As you test to see if your brakes actually work or not. Good thing you weren’t bopping away to throbbing bubble gum music or distracted because you just spilled your pumpkin spice latte all over your dog. Yeah, that kinda WTF R U STOOOPID insta-rage.

Oh don’t worry. Political rants will explode here like the whitebro outrage over some MeToo thread. Don’t even worry about that, dearies. 

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My single dill plant, what a champion. 
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Extreme closeup of rocks! 

Rejection’s Poster Gal

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Three dogs, one river. Miz Bridge, Jake in the middle and Molly the Chocolate Lab. Owyhee River.

Hello, various readers and passers stopping by on a snowy evening. Some Bob Frost to start us all on the road to hilarity and good cheer.

I’ve lost count of the rejections this week but it’s a LOT. I either need to write up a new batch of stories, poems and plays or keep sending out the same old crappola. Hoping this time. That time. This time over here.

That it will be different.

Except right now, truth is so much goddamn stranger than any fiction I could fart out or compose while munching French pastry and sipping Italian wine. While seated outside at a sunny cafe in Athens, Greece. I’d write longhand, of course. Using my own blood as ink.

Cause I’m a writer, dangnabbit! That’s a word you hear in old timey cowboy movies as they were not allowed to say ‘god damn it’.

Yes, the American political and all other scenes are just rife with WTF, then topped with Is That An Actual Tweet? followed by Don’t Read the Comments Section, ended with I Am So Done With Social Media, I’m Off To Raise Sunflowers To Help Third World Scarf Herders. Then the cycle starts all over again. With variations.

It’s the downward spiral. It’s the we’re imploding and prolly gonna take the entire world with us. It’s…it’s fucking hot right now.

So my thoughts are roughly—it’s hot. I should write something. About. Something. It’s hot.

Being poor, air conditioning is one of those unheard of, rich people inventions that exist in movies. Sort of kidding. I have a tiny fan. It helps. I go outside, throw water on my squash. I dig out weeds. I hear the hawks raising their kids down the road. Noisy bastards. Shut up, hawks! The corn hides the ditch bank road so the dogs have to listen real hard instead of watching to see who drives to and fro on what they obviously consider their bit of territory. Any engine gets them still and holding their breath. It’s rather creepy-cute.

What to write about. My hot take on politics? Nah, that’s just solid cuss words at this point. Eve Carlin, from hell, shouts out, hey, throw in some other words there. Feminist issues that affect us all? Golly, I’m either too much or too little here or…eh?

Oh!! Sidetrack. Here we go.

Saw the Spy Who Dumped Me. We have free Epix, whatever. So, the plot, eh. Some international whatever, been done a gazillion billion times. However, what’s fresh, you ask? Or haven’t asked at all though you’ve made it this far?

The relationship between the two best friends. Played by Mila Kunis and Kate McKinnon. It rang every true bell. How they support each other, are there for each other, their acceptance of each other’s faults yet the irritation over those faults…it’s all there. I especially found my bell rang over Kate’s character being called ‘too much’ by a lot of people, including the secret spy/boyfriend of Mila’s character. And Mila’s character siding with Kate’s character, then telling her she’s not too much. Ah!! I almost teared up.

As someone who’s been repeatedly called ‘too much’, which I ALWAYS took as—

there’s something very very wrong with me; nobody likes me unless I act quiet and not myself. I am a monster!—

That moment reminded me of what great friends I have.

I could write about my own experiences with people trying to whittle me down to acceptable size.

And never show that writing to anyone because it would be like ripping my face off and gluing a salted strip of razor blades in its place.

How I have the self-esteem of a dead rock and yes, have let other people define me because 99% of those people tell me I’m ‘too much’…!

And when I try to not be a monster, I find that I am silent and limp as moldy lettuce stuck to the gunk under the veggie drawer in the fridge. And that I am angry. Then I explode and people walk about me as if on the most delicate eggshells and…yeah, pattern.

Pattern! Yep. Pattern detected.

So I’ll stick to making up monsters or writing about sexual encounters between dinosaurs and women. Is that still a thing?? What about man’s inhumanity to man?

Oooh! I smell a Nobel outta that one!

I’ll call it Man Being Mean to Men. It will feature no women characters whatsoever. It will just be two white straight guys on a beach arguing over who’s the bigger victim of post-post modern society as the world literally burns. I will use a thesaurus a lot. I will describe their inner penis. A lot.

I suspect if I actually did write something like that, it would probably actually sell.

I’m not bitter.

Nope.

I am. I am so bitter I’m a walking moldy lemon at this point. Okay.

Rejections fast and furious this week. I’ll not buck up at all. I’ll stew in my own sweat until autumn shows up and it’s STILL FUCKING HOT GOD DAMN IT FUCK FUCK FUCK. But hey, the nights are cooler. I should move to the Artic. Except it’s on fire where they’re not drilling gleefully for oil. Where else is cold?

Minnesota? Maine? Montana? It would have to be within walking distance. How much can I stuff in a backpack? I’ll have to dig up my jars of pennies I buried for a rainy day. Some jars only have one or two pennies in them but hey, that first step, amirite? Amen! A cave, some berries.

I can be the Unibomber without all the baggage.

Holy moley, what a scattershot post. But I felt it important to not write yet another political scream that is only heard by some wide-eyed mice in a deserted choir room.

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I managed to capture an actual bumblebee sampling my lemon balm plant. Isn’t it gorgeous???