The War of the Adverbs

Cross-posted in Urbanagora...

Today was my second marathon editing session for Hell-Bound Train.  The day began with helpful comments from a friend in the Southern Hemisphere and the evocation of Stephen King, chanting, "The road to hell is paved with adverbs."

Once alerted to the adverbs' presence, I cannot avoid seeing them.  They're laired everywhere within the manuscript--weasels lurking to pop out and slow down the action or muddy my descriptions.  Mentally, I throw my hands into the air, hyperventilate, and run around my desk like Kermit the Frog before a Muppet Show.  "Ah, ah, ah, AH," I realize I am yelling out loud.  My cat, Mitzi, jumps from the desk and stares at me as if I had transformed into an inhuman monster.

I lift my pen like Tony Perkins in Psycho and begin stabbing at the adverbs.  Almost, suddenly, nearly, closely--they all fall before my onslaught.  There are ls and ys flying to either side of me as they're excised.  I realize that in the early days of my Urbanagora content, I used those words to shield me, to enable me to equivocate or retreat from an untenable position if a critic attacked.  I don't need them anymore, by God.

Now it's passive voice that's everywhere.  These columns sound like goddamn lab reports.  Slash, rewrite, annotate, cross out entire redundant paragraphs.  Pant, pant.  One entire piece goes in the trash--not worth saving.

My word babies crawl from beneath the wreckage of a demolished essay on polygamy, mewling like kittens calling for their mother.  They stop to lick remnants of the blood and gore of murdered language from their fur.  They stare up at me, wide-eyed, and ask, "Is it over?  Is it safe to come out now?"

"Very soon, my darlings," I reassure them.

I've made progress. Nine more weeks of this to go.


New Kid's Story

I wrote this story for Cheron's granddaughter Lilith.  Feel free to copy it, draw crayola illustrations for it and pass it around at grade schools or homeschools.  All I ask is that you put my name on it as author.

Violet and the Little Giant

By TC Trumpinski 

            There once was a little girl with golden hair and beautiful purple eyes.  It was the custom of her kingdom to name their girl children after flowers, so her parents named her Violet.

            Violet lived in a warm brown cottage at the edge of a rich village.  Her father grew wheat and her mother baked the wheat into bread the villagers bought from her in the morning.  Violet had a lot of time to explore and to play all day, because school had not yet been invented.

            Behind the house, in a barn with lots of levels to sleep on and soft moss on the floor, Violet kept her riding cat, Chauncey.  All of the people in the kingdom rode riding cats because the cats had eaten all of the horses and ponies a long time before.  The riding cats were the size of tigers, but didn’t scratch or bite because the people fed steaks to them morning and night.

            Violet had her own little saddle which fit right on the back of Chauncey.  They were good friends and rode together through fields and forests.  When Chauncey would come to a creek, he would jump from one bank right to the other so he and Violet did not get wet at all.

            One day, Violet was going for a ride with Chauncey.  She put on her riding pants and a bright yellow blouse with red buttons.  Her mother tied a bonnet onto her head and kissed her on the cheek.  “Stay close to the village, Violet,” she said.  “There are creatures in the forest—wolves and spiders and giants who will chase little girls and eat them up.  Come home by supper time.”

            “I will, mommy,” Violet said.  “We won’t get into any trouble at all.”

            Violet put Chauncey’s saddle onto his back and tightened it so it would not fall off while they were riding.  Chauncey let out a loud meow and a roar when Violet climbed into the saddle.      They rode south into the forest which grew near the village.  At first, Violet was very careful, because her mother had warned her to watch out for dangers.  A little later, though, she and Chauncey spotted a rabbit and began to chase it.  It jumped over logs.  It ran along the side of a cliff, Violet holding on for dear life.  Finally, the rabbit jumped over the widest creek Violet had ever seen, and the riding cat could not follow.

            They had gone further from home than ever before.  The sun was overhead, since it was noon, so they could not tell east from west or north from south.  They were lost and Violet began to get worried.  Where were the wolves, spiders, and giants?  Were they hiding somewhere, behind trees or in the bushes, to jump out and eat her and Chauncey?

            She got down from Chauncey’s back and looked around.  The insects in the bushes made squeaking sounds, and when they did, Violet would jump.  She could not find any path or way out of the woods, so they decided to follow the creek.  The two of them headed back they way they thought they had come. 

            The woods were getting darker and scarier the deeper they went into them.  As they came to the bend in a creek, they heard a very loud splash from the other side, behind some trees.  Violet crept forward, pushing bushes aside to see what had made the splash.

            It was a giant!  He stood twice as tall as her father and wore rough green trousers which came to below his knees.  He was barefoot and the tops of his feet were covered with rough black hair.  Above his trousers was a checkered shirt, red and black, and he had a brown belt that had a golden buckle on its front around his waist.  His head was huge and had a mop of black hair on his head which looked like it had never been combed.  A robin was nesting just above his right ear, hiding in the tangles.

            Violet tried to be very quiet, for she did not want the giant to eat her.  The giant did not notice her or Chauncey as he picked up more stones to throw into the creek.  The creek had widened right here and had formed a wide, wide pond.  He picked up a flat stone the size of Violet’s head and skipped it across the pond—once, twice, three times before it finally splashed and sunk to the bottom of the pond.

            The giant did this for quite a while, then stooped and picked up a huge boulder.  He raised it over his head and threw it into the pond with all of his might.  A big wave of water splashed up over Violet and Chauncey.  Violet let out a high-pitched “eek” and Chauncey roared, for the riding cat did not like getting wet.  They were both frightened because they could tell the giant had heard them.

            The giant put down the next stone he was going to pick up and looked toward the place where Violet and Chauncey were hiding.  He began walking closer, a little bit at a time.  Finally, he pushed the bushes aside and saw the two of them hiding there.  He let go of the bush and backed away across the clearing.

            “Please don’t eat me,” the giant said in a frightened voice.

            Violet and Chauncey came out from behind the bushes.  “We don’t eat people,” Violet said.  Chauncey nodded his large head in agreement.

            “You don’t?”  The giant seemed surprised.  “Well then, what do you eat?”

            “We eat vegetables and beefsteak and hot baked bread,” Violet told him.

            “So do we,” said the giant.  “We don’t eat people either.”

            Violet wondered about this.  Her mother had said giants were dangerous, but this one seemed friendly.  Maybe she had never met one, so she didn’t know any better.  Violet decided to watch the giant closely and run if he showed any signs of being hungry.

            “Would you like to skip stones?” the giant asked.    

            “Sure,” said Violet, and reached down to pick up a small, smooth one.

            The two of them played together for quite a while.  When they got tired of throwing stones in the pond, the giant took out his huge fishing pole and put a snake on the hook, which was as big as Chauncey’s paw.  It was not long before a fish took the bait, and the giant put the largest fish that Violet had ever seen into a basket.

            It was getting late when Violet and Chauncey heard a deep voice growling from far away in the forest.  The ground shook with footfalls and trees were pushed aside as the source of the noise came closer.  They were scared, but the giant shook his head at them and told them not to worry.  “It’s my dad,” he said.

            Violet and Chauncey bent their heads way back to look up at the giant who came into the clearing.  He was as tall as the tops of the pine trees around him.  He looked down at the little giant and the other two of them by the pond and said, “Who are these creatures, son?”

            “They’re people, Father,” the little giant said.  “They live in a village where the forest road reaches the plains.  They’re really nice and they don’t eat us after all.  She and the cat are lost.”

            “I told you not to talk to strangers, son, but they seem harmless enough.  Lost, you say?  I can take you as far as the forest road and sent you off on the right way to go.  You need to come home now, son, supper will be done soon.”

            True to his word, the little giant’s father led Violet and Chauncey to the forest road and pointed to the north where her village lay.  Violet thanked the giants and said goodbye and she and Chauncey started for home.

            They arrived home just as the sun was going down.  Violet’s mother was in the barn looking for her when they got back.  Violet took off Chauncey’s saddle and brushed him down while her mother fretted over her.  Violet promised never to be late for supper again, for as long as she lived.  Her mother forgave her and gave her extra jam on her bread, since Violet looked extra hungry.

            The next morning, Violet woke up to lots of noise outside her house.  She opened her window and looked down.  As far as she could see, there was a line of villagers heading toward her house.  They seemed very excited and more than a little bit puzzled.  She threw on her slippers, headed for her front door and opened it, her mother walking behind her.

            There, on her doorstep, was the little giant in his play outfit.  Behind him, the villagers stood, their mouths open, for none of them had ever seen a real giant before.

            “Can Violet come out and play?” the little giant asked.

            “Yes, she can,” Violet’s mother answered.  “But you have to come in for lunch afterwards.  I’ll make really big cookies.”

            And Violet and the little giant were best friends forevermore.



Well, I Didn't Expect This!

I recently became enamored of the character of Red Molly from Richard Thompson's 1952 Vincent Black Lightning.  The song is about a young outlaw who robbed enough to buy the mentioned motorcycle and then fell in love with a fire-haired woman in black leather.

Here's a webpage with a video of Thompson singing the song.

In any case, after I heard the song on the radio, I began thinking of Red Molly as a pooka, fond of leading bikers on wild rides.  I sent him an email the other day, asking him if I could use his character in a story.  He wrote back and said:

Hello Tom,

Thanks for writing. You are welcome to use the character's name and/
or likeness in the story without permission
(from the record company), as long as you're not
quoting directly from
 (the) lyrics...

Best regards,

The Beekeeper

Wow, just wow.  I mean, like, this guy sang with Sandy Dennis in Freeport Convention.  He's one of the greatest (and most underappreciated) folk-rockers of all time.  He's a British Dylan.

Goddamn.  In any case, the story will come out in the next couple months.  I didn't really expect permission, so I haven't plotted much of it yet.  Way too late to put it in the book, even though it is a sequel to one of the Margee and Jerry stories--Maxwell's Gremlin.



First Draft--Finished?

Finished the last piece, a Tonica story about my father and his experiences in WW2 and how they impacted my life.  

I did a word count and the book's going to be over 92,000 words.  I'm not sure if this is a lot or not.  In any case, it's about 40% fiction, 15% memoirs and the rest either speculation or commentary.  Twenty-five percent of the material has not been published anywhere previously.  I had hoped for a bit more, but sooner or later you have to stop fooling around and start polishing the material you have written.

It'll be tough getting it all ready to submit by the first of April, but I'll do my best to meet the deadline I set last November.



Desert Wind is Done!!!

At least the first draft.  It's the third Margee and Jerry story--the second in line chronologically--and flowed like water from my fingertips.  I didn't really even have to outline it.  It came together right after New Year's Eve and stayed crystallized until I finished the other stories that were distracting me.

This means that I have one more essay to finish and then edit the Urbanagora articles that are going in and it'll be ready to go.  Yippee!



90-degree turn

I'm about five or six thousand words into the new Titan story and I'm going to have to shelve it for a while, if not forever.  As it is now, there's not a sympathetic character in the piece--one megalomanic, three snivelling lackies and two decent people with huge tragic flaws.  Just not suitable material--it might be saved by a complete rewrite, but I don't have the patience right now to do that.  And, on top of that, it's boooooring.

However, fear not.  I had a suddent burst of inspiration last night while sitting in the car waiting for Marcey, came home, sat down and wrote the following short-short in 80 minutes.  It's a Valentine's Day card for the wives (and they loved it.)

The Very Lonely Girl


            Once upon a time, in a village far away, there lived a very lonely girl.  She would lean her chin on her hands in the evening and watch the young lovers of the village pass through her garden hand-in-hand.  She would wave to the young men as they passed by on their way to study or war, but few would wave back, and even those did so half-heartedly.  Finally, in a cloud of despair, she asked the Turtledove what she should do, figuring that the bird knew much of love.

            “Why don’t you climb the path up the mountainside and ask the women who live there?  It is said that they have all of the knowledge of the world.”

            The girl decided to do just that, so the next morning she put on her travelling clothes.  She tied a red scarf to the end of a stick to make a bindle which would hold all that she’d need for the journey, threw the stick over her shoulder and headed out of her door.

              The path out of the village sloped gently up the hills heading to the mountains.  After she had travelled all morning, she came to a lovely house of polished wood.

            She knocked on the door and a woman answered.  The woman didn’t look very much older than the lonely girl, to tell the truth, but her blue eyes hinted at more than one lifetime.  She led the lonely girl into the inside of the house and sat down at her desk, which had several scrolls next to an inkwell with a goose feather pen in it.

            “Why did you knock on my door?” the blonde scribe said.

            “I am a very lonely girl and I do not know what to do.”

            “There are many things written about love and loneliness.”  The scribe opened a door to a room that led off beneath the mountainside.  “Everything you see here in the library speaks of such things.”

            The lonely girl stared.  There must have been thousands, perhaps millions of scrolls carefully wrapped with ribbon and placed, each in its own cubbyhole.  The far side of the room vanished in the distance, too far to see.

            The blonde scribe walked to a cubbyhole, checked the number at the top and handed it to the lonely girl.  “You can borrow this.  Use it as needed, but make sure you return it.”  She gave the lonely girl honeyed milk and little sandwiches and sent her on her way.

            It got very hot in the afternoon, so the lonely girl took off her wrap and put it in her bindle.  The path was getting steeper and she was both tired and thirsty when she came to a cottage set on a flat spot on the mountainside.  A fresh mountain stream bounced down from the top of the mountain, crossed the path beneath a stone bridge and tumbled down toward the village.  The lonely girl could see the streets and pathways of her village far below like lines on a map.

            She knocked on the door and a woman answered.  A plump woman with rosy cheeks and long brown hair stood in the doorway and blinked at her.  Within the cottage, a cooking fire burned in the fireplace with a stewpot bubbling above it.  The strange woman motioned her to come in, then sat down at her loom and began to move the shuttle.

            “Why did you knock on my door?” the housewife asked.

            “I am a very lonely girl and I do not know what to do.”

            “I remember being lonely once.  Then I had my children and I no longer had time to be lonely.”

            “How many children did you have?”

            The round woman stopped for a moment and sat completely still, counting in her head.  The lonely girl waited several minutes and, just as she thought that the woman had fallen asleep, the woman answered her, “All of them,” and began working the treadle and shuttle once more.

            The lonely girl’s eyes filled with tears at the thought of that much love.  The weaving woman noticed and nodded her head slowly.  “Behind my house is a garden.  Take that pouch on the table and fill it with the herbs that smell like mint.  Put it in your bindle and take it with you.”

            The lonely girl walked out of the door and looked behind the house.  It seemed as if there was one of every kind of herb that she had ever seen and many, many more that she had not.  The garden stretched off into the distance, filling a mountain valley that faded into mists.  Once she had the pouch filled, she returned to the cottage to thank the woman.  The weaver was just sitting down to supper, so she filled the lonely girl with savory hot stew and warm bread and butter and sent her on her way.

            The sun set and there was more than a little chill in the air.  The full moon rose, giving just enough light to keep the lonely girl from tripping on the nearly vertical pathway.  It was fortunate that it was wide, for the drop over the side would surely have killed her.

            At the top of the mountain, there was a hut made of rough logs.  Had there not been a light visible through the window, she would have thought that it was abandoned.  Ravens circled far above the house and owls hooted from the bare trees in the yard.

            She knocked on the door and a woman answered.  She was gray-haired and her face had lines, but she was smiling up at the lonely girl.  An inviting hearth had logs burning on it and the woman had a cup and saucer of fine china sitting on her table.  A Tarot deck was next to the saucer, and four cards had already been drawn.

            “Why did you knock on my door?” the wise woman asked.

            “I am a very lonely girl and I don’t know what to do.”

            “You know, granddaughter, I live here on the mountaintop and young people come to see me.  They want me to make magic potions so that their beaux will not wander or philters to place beneath their pillows so that they can dream about their true loves.  I do as they bid, and then they leave, without asking for the wisdom to use what they have bought from me.  Would you like to draw a card?”

            The lonely girl nodded and reached for the deck.  The wise woman stopped her hand for a moment and looked directly into her eyes.  “You know, granddaughter, that this is not a game.”  The lonely girl nodded again after a moment’s hesitation and pulled the top card from the deck and turned it over on the table.

            “Number 8—Strength.”  On the front of the card, a woman with a garland of flowers was holding the mouth of a lion.  “It’s also called Fortitude, and in some decks, it’s called Lust.  This is a very auspicious night for you.”

            The wise woman stepped to the cabinets lining her wall.  She opened a dusty one and removed arcane instruments, creams, and lotions and felt around at its very back.  She pulled out a key on a ribbon and blew the dust from it.

            “You’ll need this, I daresay,” and handed it to the lonely girl.  The lonely girl put the ribbon around her neck and tucked the key into her bosom.  She yawned, for it had been a long journey.

            The wise woman made up a feather bed for the lonely girl and not long after her head hit the pillow, the lonely girl was dreaming a deep, dreamless sleep.  The next morning, as the sun rose over the peaks of the mountains, the wise woman waved at the lonely girl and sent her on her way.

            Going down the mountain was much easier than climbing it.  She pondered the events of the day before, but thought it best that she go straight home without stopping at the other cottages again.  By the time she got back to the village, it was late afternoon.

            There was no one on the streets, no one in the shops, and no one in their gardens.  It was as if the entire village had stolen away during the night.  She searched up and down and could not find anyone stirring at all.  Finally, as she passed the fishmonger’s, he opened his shutters a crack and said, “Hsst.  Over here.”

            “Where has everyone gone?” said the lonely girl.

            “A huge lion has come to the village and has driven us all to find shelter.  The last I heard, it was pacing back and forth in the town square roaring and beating the air with its paws.”

            The lonely girl thought back to the card drawn last night and said, “I’ll go see if I can do anything.”

            She carefully approached the town square.  Even before she arrived, she could hear the lion’s roars echoing from the stone walls of the houses and shops.  She stood at the mouth of an alley and watched the lion walk around the fountain in the center of the square.  It would pace for a while, then stop and roar a challenge at the buildings surrounding it.  “Whatever can I do?” she thought to herself.

            “Maybe the scroll has something to say.”  She reached into her bindle and pulled out the scroll.  The ribbon was tied in a complicated knot, so she held it in her teeth and pulled until it came apart.  She held the scroll in front of her and unrolled it.

            GIVE THE LION WHAT IT NEEDS was written on it.

            She re-rolled the scroll and carefully put it back in her bindle.  Very slowly, step by step, she crept into the center of the town square, looking like a mouse approaching the milkmaid’s cat.  About half-way there, she realized that the herb in her pouch smelled a lot like catnip.  She pulled the pouch from her bindle, opened it and tossed it next to the lion where it spilled out a pile of fragrant leaves.

            The lion sniffed at the leaves, then stopped pacing and roaring.  The lonely girl stepped into the square and asked, “Why are you roaring and pacing in the town square?”

            “I am angry and don’t know what to do.  I am going to eat the people of the village unless they give me what I want.”

            “And what is that, o lion?”

            “I want a human heart.  It is said that within it dwell the secrets of the world and they must be mine.  Perhaps then I can find what I need to know to settle my mind.”

            The lonely girl pulled the key from her bosom and looked it over in her hand.  Then, she placed the key within the keyhole on her chest and turned it halfway.  She reached inside, pulled out her heart and offered it to the lion.

            As she fell to her knees, her breath stopped short in her throat, she saw the lion transform.  Now a handsome man, he reached for the heart and took it from her weakening hand.  Her head nodded onto her chest.

            The lion-man looked at the heart for a second, but realized that there was no time to spare.  He pulled the key from the dying lonely girl’s hand and opened his chest as well.  He pulled his racing heart from his chest, put it in the lonely girl’s and closed it up quickly.  He placed hers in his chest and did the same.  He knelt on the cobblestones of the village square and lifted her chin.  The color rose in her cheeks as she stared into his eyes, lonely no more.




Groundhog's Day

Simulaneously posted in Urbanagora

I just returned home from a wonderful brunch sponsored by two of our Best Friends, Heather and Doug. I put on Carmina Burana cranked it on my headphones and got to thinking about the holiday.

It's not just about that big, silly rodent. The second of February, the astronomical center of winter, has been celebrated for a long time. In our common European culture, it began as Imbolc in Ireland, then was transferred first to the Celtic Goddess, Brigid. Then, when the Irish converted to Catholicism (and incidentally, saved Western Civilization) the name was altered to Bridget. The Catholic Church nowadays celebrates it as Candlemas.

The Sun is halfway to the equator now. Despite the foot of snow outside the window of the ManCave, I know that the green sleeps beneath. The dying of the light, which was arrested six weeks ago, has proven to be averted once more. In Europe tonight, women will parade with headdresses made of rows of candles to celebrate this victory.

To a certain extent, I think that this holiday works as confirmation of little rebirths, of little resurrections. Human beings don't usually change very much from the person that they are at twenty years old or so. When they do, it's generally the result of metaprogramming changes from a traumatic or inspiring event. These are called epiphanies, and can be profound.

I've got a buddy, Bill Taylor, who was a progressive for years. He had gotten tired of life, had become set in his ways living out on his farm near Monticello. One day, he cut his left forearm off with a chainsaw. He managed to get the stump tied off with a bicyle inner tube and the EMTs got to his farm and got him to the hospital--too late to save his arm.

He said that it was one of the best things that ever happened to him. It made him realize that his life was precious and he could still make a big difference in the world. He increased his involvement with a program to built radio stations for the native people in Central America.

Another old friend, Doug Jones, was the CEO of a tech company. He journeyed to Mexico and, while he was down there, contracted an infection similar to meningitis that came close to killing him. Soon afterwards, he left his position to work on a similar kind of project. He had been raised Unitarian-Universalist and he decided to promote a project to build fifty UU student foundations around the country at universities.

I also reference my story (once more--old-time readers, sorry): In November of 2005, I suffered a heart attack that permanently disrupted my heart rhythm. The doctors have no idea why my heart is still beating, yet it does. I was dying of oxygen-deprivation until they found the mostly-blocked main artery. When I recovered, I found that I could now write fiction, at the cost of my scratch-pad memory.

I decided to drop out of college for the second time in my life (the first time, I was merely a student) and become a professional philosopher and writer. After my first month at doing this, I can assure you, it was the best decision I have ever made in my life. My God, but I feel young.

Nothing focuses a person like the imminent threat of death. Ultimately, our mortality is a gift, rather than a curse. I hope that humanity finds something that will continue to capture our attention in this manner when a generation or two down the road death becomes an option or an accident, rather than a sure thing.

I leave you with a 2005 column written by Jonah Goldberg of National Review about the philosophical meaning of the day and the wonderful movie with Bill Murray.

Live each day as if will never end. Live each day as if you'll be judged by what you do during it.

"Suddenly before my eyes
Hues of indigo arise
With them how my spirit sighs
Paint the sky with stars

Only night will ever know
Why the heavens never show
All the dreams there are to know
Paint the sky with stars

Who has paced the midnight sky?
So a spirit has to fly
As the heavens seem so far
Now who will paint the midnight star?

Night has brought to those who sleep
Only dreams they cannot keep
I have legends in the deep
Paint the sky with stars

Who has paced the midnight sky?
So a spirit has to fly
As the heavens seem so far
Now who will paint the midnight star?

Place a name upon the night
One to set your heart alight
And to make the darkness bright
Paint the sky with stars."--Enya, Paint the Sky with Stars

TC Trumpinski

New Interview up on Urbanagora

 I've got the second interview with Jeanne Robinson about her zero-g flight up on Urbanagora, if any of you reading this are interested.  I'm going to send the three articles to Tom Smith and see if he is interested enough to link to them on his blog.

In other news, I've started the last short story (one of the Titan stories) for the book, and once it is done, all I have to do is one more memoirist essay and then begin editing the reprints of UA articles that will be featured.  I sat for the cover art last Saturday.  The new story is titled, Thorns Also, and Thistles--a hearty handshake and pat on the back to anyone who can figure out the origin of the title without using Google.  I figure gundo'll get it, sure as anything.

I'll be doing a reading at Capricon from 4-5 Saturday in room 214.

I get to go to the Green Room, I get to go to the Green Room....

I'm also on a bunch of panels, including two with Jody Lyn Nye and Mike Resnick.

Now, all I have to do is concentrate on not sucking.



Kittencon Status Report

We had a discussion last night, and it looks like Kittencon will April 4-6 this year.  It's Lady Cheron's seventh wedding anniversary with the Borg and it is also likely to be either immediately before or after the release of Riding the Hell-Bound Train.  As always, it is also an opportunity to worship the lovely blonde wife.  We aren't expecting to have a guest of honor, but I will probably take an hour and do readings from the book in the commons on Saturday night.

We're expecting at least three of the folks that we met at the Heinlein Centennial to attend, so there will be new friends for you to meet.  We'd love to see each and every one of you, of course.  I hope that this long notice will help you with your scheduling this year.  We made damn sure that it won't conflict with Mom's Day weekend at the University or Easter, but if you're looking to make hotel reservations, it's always best to make them early and then cancel if you can't make it.

Cheron's going to help me with The Cockroach Fairy.  I was hoping to have the fairy speak only in iambic pentameter like a Shakepeare character, but worry since I haven't had my poetic license renewed in some time and am afraid I can't pass the written part of the test.  We'll see how this works out.

Last two weeks at work.  I have minor things to do, but they are absolutely necessary.  Must not let 'Net distract me.



Brain on Fire

 Man, I've got it bad.  Definitely in middle of manic phase.  That's ok, getting creative blasts out of virtually random pieces of input.

Had a conversation with my co-worker, Lauren, about exterminators and suddenly had a burst of light inside my brain:

Estimated length:  6000-7000 words

Working Title:  The Cockroach Fairy--A Christmas Story

Opening premise--Cleaning-Type OCD college professor finds a cockroach in her briefcase.  She screams and smashes it with a paperweight.  When she lifts the weapon afterwards, she finds that she's seriously wounded a fairy.

Got a two-page outline finished over the lunch hour.

If it's going to be as good as I think it is, it'll be a book exclusive.