Happy Turkey Day


Have a great day, if you celebrate this holiday or not.

I’m off for Kuna land and hope there’s dip and wine to make up for the insane conversations. Wheee!!!

Watched the cutest Hallmark movie with babies and clueless men trying to take care of baby. They do know men have been taking care of kid for centuries now, right? Men are capable of seeing to babies. I know several myself!


War Anthology

So. Hi. Howya doin’? September is HOT AS HADES here in the east of Oregon. We had a storm blow through last night that started fires and knocked down trees.

My short story, the Cherry Of Her Lips, will be included in Black Hare Press’s War anthology, due out in October. That’s, um, next month. I really, really like this story of mine, so am glad someone else did as well.

I also have Annie Helps included in Are You A Robot? anthology, available on Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0BD851VDB/ref=ppx_yo_dt_b_asin_image_o00_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1

Plan on reworking a short story that has been rejected ad nauseam. Just gut it, restructure it, deconstruct it, whatever it takes. I did a rewrite yesterday and mmm…have a whole new way for that story to go. My my. The things you discover when you toss out the baby and the bathwater and the shampoo and the rubber ducky. Wheeee!

Grim Dystopia

No, not America. There are bright lights in the stormy dark of America. That’s rather dystopian in itself but…!

Work. Job. Employment. Dickensian horrors. Or maybe even some Russian novelist’s version of a workplace. Something full of not enough supplies, not enough workers to cover the shifts, not enough, not enough…ugh.

I started work at a local hotel. I won’t give the name in case they are MONITERING ME RIGHT NOW. I’ll call it the Shred Cat. You can puzzle out which one that is, m’kay, if you like.

I interview for about ten seconds at the Shred Cat. Basic questions. What hours do you want, what shifts, any problem standing for long periods, have to keep the lobby clean, etc. I do not hear back so I call, leave a message. I’m quite sure yet another place has given me the passive, won’t call back and tell me ‘fuck off and die’ message.

Nope. Shred Cat calls me back a couple days later. Hey, you wanna work for us? I, just happy to hear a yes from somebody, agree to be hired.

I’ve never worked in a hotel.

Not front desk, checking people in on a system I DO NOT KNOW. At least there’s training.

Yeah, training.

Now, the man who got to train this whackadoodle [that would be me] was a former police officer and in the Air Force. So, he’s a regimented martinet for how things should be. And I’m nervous and so aware of every last little to giant mistake I make under his exacting eye. Holy shit. I dread going to work to be trained, because it’s just a clusterfuck all the time. But hey, I also get to clean a lot and fold laundry. Because management decided front desk can also fold laundry when there are no guests to deal with…which is almost never.

Now, don’t get me wrong. Trainer guy is actually quite encouraging, as well as being precise. I always felt like I had failed miserably every training session but he kept saying, you are improving. You are getting better. Yes, now I can hunt and peck in addresses and not erase credit cards on file so readily. My eyesight is bad so reading those tiny blurry numbers correctly nearly caused poor trainer guy some heart attacks as people piled up and things bogged down. Yep.

Two weeks or so of four hour sessions for swing swift stuff. Three to eleven. I hate this shift. I hate it. It just ruins your day. I’d rather do graveyard or morning. I don’t mind getting up early. Graveyard starts at eleven, ends at seven. That’s doable. But swing…anyway.

Let’s skip to my first full shift by myself. Except it wasn’t because of course one of the management sorts happened to be covering the morning shift on this Sunday. I was a goddamn deer in headlights and the most woefully complicated reservations popped up that I had never trained for or even seen. So, she had to stay and help because I had no idea how to process the transactions asked for. I kept messing up, I kept making mistakes that I knew better than to make as the woman turned me into nervous jelly.

I went home Sunday in tears. I actually burst into tears during that eight hour horror festival of stupid mistakes, braindead idiocy on my part and sheer ineptitude.

I had to come back Monday and do it all over again.

I just. At least I didn’t burst into tears again. But I did cock up some room arrangements that took a while to untangle. There was also a rush of guests MY LAST FREAKING HOUR OF WORK and the laundry did not get attended to or the floor mopped…because I and the woman who had to stay all day Sunday because of me had to deal with the rush of people on Monday night. Including a Mormon bishop driving 75 miles to help out a young couple with kids from a small Idaho town. The woman had worked out a deal with him, so was waiting to check that group in herself and…ugh. I had an eight and half hour shift, but I did get to leave.

Now. People at work use Whatsapp. To communicate and such, instead of holding, say, staff meetings.

I find I am being blamed and roasted because…wait for it…the laundry didn’t get folded and the floor didn’t get mopped. I, um. Yeah, I can’t do two jobs at the same time. But I apologized instead of writing a novel-length accounting of my time to show why I didn’t get to the laundry and floor.

Now, the Whatsapp stuff is an addictive grim soap opera. You can follow the travails of housekeeping! You can ride along with the front desk drama! There are pictures! It’s all about tattling on others, mostly. Without any consideration that the place is woefully understaffed and sometimes, you just can’t physically get to something because shit happens and you have to take care of that shit right then and there. Like people showing up, thinking they have rooms reserved through their company or business and nope, not there. So, hey, have to call business, get them to make reservations, do we have their credit card on file somewhere and….uh huh.

Oh, so I ran into someone I recognized as having worked the front desk. I showed up, the day after the Bonnie Raitt concert, for training. She had no idea I was showing up, so I went home. This person is now working at the local canned food store. She was the clerk checking me out yesterday or so. I overheard the staff at the store trying to get shifts covered and remarked, hey, that sounds like my job. She looked at me. I looked at her. Hey, I know you. Yeah, I used to work at Shred Cat, it was impossible, they need to get their act together.

I don’t know how much longer I can last there, frankly. They’re just hiring warm bodies and throwing them into the grinder. My entire town seems understaffed. Running into that one all over. I might indeed have to consider becoming a teacher in Arizona, as my friend suggested. Kids and paperwork, oh my. And nasty parents, ugh. Still better than front desk torture.

Happy September!


I don’t know if you can cuss in a title but the F word sums up my August 2022 situation so far.

Looking for a job has always been a horror shitshow for me. I guess I need a makeover/faery godmother/trust fund intervention here.

I got three rejections on the same day. Nothing new but they were awful quick after I’d sent off my hopeful little submissions. Whack me with a hammer. It’s kinder. Maybe.

I am writing. Terse little sci fi attempts, mostly. I did get an idea for a possible novel out of one of those sci fi stories. That’s something, right? I can’t seem to concentrate longer than five seconds right now, so might be a while before I actually force myself to attempt the first chapter.

Going to the Bonnie Raitt concert in Boise next weekend. A bright spot!

I’ll end there. Oh and the squash bugs have killed a pumpkin, a zuke and a cuke plant. Fucking things.

PS– I just, um, got a job. Just like that. Yeah. Weird. But hey, thanks for zooming through my words a bit today.

Dog and virus

I do have the plague. Official test came back positive. Damn. Everything tastes weird or off. Dry cough. Trying to sleep, not get dehydrated.

Good news. Ready? The dog returned. Brigit, who’s been missing for days, showed up at three in the morn last night. I know!!!! Squeeeeee!!!! She’s mud-splattered and exhausted. And we’re all stopping to tell her we’re glad she’s back. Ah!

Going to try and be productive, somehow, today. Get some writing done, maybe. Get something sent off. I have not been sick for years and this crap is kicking me up and down and all around.

That pic above was taken by the Owyhee River. All three dogs, Brigit, Molly and Jake.

After the Flood

The rejections fly in, oh boy.

So here’s a short poem this sunny Thursday. It, also, was rejected. In keeping with the theme for this week.

During the Flood

The year seems wrung out already.
A damp moldy twisted rag
left beneath a sink.
I understand that story in Genesis
so much better now.
That urge to drown everything within reach
and hope what survives
learns all the lessons necessary
to not repeat the same damn patterns
like a needle dropped into a groove
on some old timey vinyl.
Except the floods that consume us
never erase that tideline
where we scoff at the past’s mistakes
while repeating the past’s mistakes
without a hint of awareness or irony.
Perhaps we must be so broken and lost
that we must invent a new way forward.
Perhaps monkeys will lick the sun.
I have no answers as this year speeds
toward some conclusion we all saw coming
yet never saw coming at all.

September Vistas


It’s the month before Halloween. My pumpkin patch is producing mini pumpkins. I have short stories being accepted. I even applied for a job.

I know the news has been a ghastly rollback of women’s rights, war, setbacks, WTF moments, etc…etc…etc. So here’ some pics of my dogs and the hills just up the road from me. The two Labs are Jake and Molly, with Jake being the black one and Molly chocolate. The other dog is the Cowgirl or Brigit, and we’re not sure what she is. But she might be a Kelpie or something like that. A stray dog I found by the bridge.

Old junked car and very dry hills.

Molly in the Owyhee irrigation ditch.

I took this in August, but isn’t this a beautiful bug?

Three dogs enjoying the day. That pump is for irrigation purposes, of course.

A row of cheerful sunflower-like wildflowers and…

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Naked Farmers of the Apocalypse

June, thou art far too hot, you crusty polyp.

So, here’s the opening to a novel of mine that might see the light of day eventually. Who knows. I do not. Gingerly tiptoeing away from THAT TOPIC RIGHT NOW.

NFOTA showcases young Candle who finds a newborn baby beside the Malheur River, near Vale, Oregon. She takes it home to her grandmother and hijinks ensue when the grandmother decides the baby was sent by God to give her a second chance at, well, everything.

from NAKED FARMERS OF THE APOCALYPSE, Chapter One–River Bank Kinda Rank:

     Candle Santiago let the smell of the Malheur River soak into her nostrils. Fetid rotting carp and soft rotting cottonwood branches. She moved closer to the stank little river, sniffing back a snootful of snot. Her allergies had come back for a visit. Springtime had come to Malheur County like a sullen bride walking down an aisle covered with dog shit. Candle waited for Tiff to show up; they would smoke a joint Tiff would steal from her mom’s new boyfriend, Mike. It’s good stuff, Tiff had promised. If I let Mike touch my titties, he gives me a joint. It’s totally worth it. Considering that Mike was over forty and Tiff was way under eighteen, no, it really was not. But Candle had her own problems and Tiff seemed fine with an old pervert slapping her tiny boobs or whatever he did.

     Something caught Candle’s attention. A splash. A faint little cry. Some animal caught in the act of drowning. Candle walked toward the heavy brush. There, a grungy pink bundle and yes, a tiny human hand extending from it. A baby. She bent over the filthy blanket full of a tiny child, which looked like a small wrinkled monkey. “Hey, what the hell.” A glance about but it seemed the baby had just been left there. Like that Moses baby in the Bible her grandmother loved to read. He floated down the Nile and the Pharaoh’s daughter scooped him right the bibbidy up. Except this baby didn’t look clean and cared for. It looked like shit. There was blood and goop on it. It didn’t seem hurt. Fresh born? Jesus on toast, as her dad liked to say, which made her grandmother lower her truly caterpillar-like eyebrows and mutter about Mother Mary, forgive my son. Candle picked the baby up and then nearly dropped it. It wiggled and went stiff and wiggled some more, and then sobbed. She had never held a real baby before. Her sister, Doreen, was a lesbian. Dora had told the entire family, at Christmas not two years before, that she wasn’t having no fucking kids, ever. Candle, then ten or so, had been too young to trust with Aunt Irina‘s brand new baby girl. Nobody was allowed to hold the little freak, who had been born with only one arm. There was also something messed up inside and everyone had acted real sad when Kaitlyn had died in the night. Just one of those things, Esme Santiago had moaned out. Just one of those things. Candle’s mother, Cris, had not been there. She had been down in Pasadena or Thousand Oaks by then. Now and then she sent post cards to Candle. I live here now, one had said, with a picture of something pretty on the front. As Cris did not have any money, Candle assumed she lived in a shithole and took the buses to get around.

     “I got it…what the fuck is that? Oh em gee, it’s a baby,” Tiff came up behind Candle, wearing her favorite pair of sweat pants, stamped with the Florida Gators and already holding out that joint, which she put behind her big ear. Tiff would have been somewhat pretty if only God hadn’t given her giant elephant ears. Tiff also had a strong stench of pot. But her mother had plants. Candle really didn’t pay attention to all that pot talk; it bored her into tears. “Whatcha doing with a baby?”

     “I found it. What do we do with it? Cops? Hospital? It looks real young,” Candle let Tiff peek at the dirty, squirmy little life.

from the Malheur Enterprise. Malheur River