Month: May 2014

A is For

Artichoke.  Hey, everyone, let’s eat this giant thorn-like thistle! I can’t imagine who first figured how to cook and eat these things, but I’m glad they did.  Stuffed artichokes are one of those things, comfort food and a luxury at once.  Luxury because of the cost and the work involved.  I haven’t made them in a long time, but yesterday I was inspired.

I know people have different ways of cooking them, and some stuff while others just dip the leaves. My favorite is pretty much the way I first encountered them, a little tweak of the stuffing.  Trim the bottom stems, take off the toughest outer leaves at the base, trim the sharp points of of the leaves, and then cut off the top of the artichoke (about two inches straight across the top, through the layers). Apparently my knife really needs to be sharpened, because I couldn’t actually trim the tops until after part 1 of cooking them, which is steaming/boiling in a tall pot for about 20 minutes.  Throw a bit of white wine, or lemon juice, or white or red wine vinegar in the boiling water before you add the chokes.  Last night I used a champagne vinegar.

Post steam. I really botched trying to trim them with that dull knife beforehand.

Post steam. I really botched trying to trim them with that dull knife beforehand.

You have to let them cool a bit before moving on to the next step, I generally turn them upside down to make sure any water caught in the leaves drains out, helping them cool.

I make the stuffing mix while they’re steaming. Equal parts fresh bread crumbs and ground parmesan (a good one! yesterday I used some romano I had left and then parm), a handful of finely chopped walnuts, a few cloves minced garlic (at least one for each artichoke), snipped flat leaf (Italian) parsley and mint leaves, fresh ground pepper.

Mix it all up.

Mix it all up.

Now that your artichokes have cooled a bit, finish trimming any sharp points–last night this is when I chopped off more of the tops, use your hands to spread the leaves some, and remove the centermost leaves and the fuzzy part in the bottom center of each choke.

A grapefruit spoon would work best for removing the furry middle, I don't have one, and use a teaspoon.

A grapefruit spoon would work best for removing the furry middle, I don’t have one, and use a teaspoon.

Beginning in the middle, start stuffing, pushing out as you go, so the mix spreads out, and gets through all the layers, a nice coating on each leaf.  I overstuffed last night.  Place each artichoke on each stem, standing straight up in a baking dish.  Put an inch or two of water at the bottom of the dish/pan, I also squeeze half a lemon in the water.  Drizzle a little olive oil over all.

I like a tight fit so they don't fall over.

I like a tight fit so they don’t fall over.

Tent aluminum foil over the whole thing, so steam will be created and cook everything further as it bakes. In the oven at 375° for about 40 minutes.

Enjoy, one leaf at a time, scraping the stuffing and soft bottom of each leaf off with your teeth, leaving a “shell.”

It's possible I ate so much I put myself into a carb coma last night.  Possible.

It’s possible I ate so much I put myself into a carb coma last night. Possible.


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It took me a long time to write yesterday’s post, mostly because it was upsetting. In the middle of writing it, I realized what a beautiful day it was outside so I took a break, and Art Child and I went for a walk.  West instead of the usual East, to Riverside Park.  The city is amazingly empty on summer holiday weekends–assuming you stay away from the tourist areas. Memorial Day weekend is Fleet Week, in addition to the naval ships and sailors, many people come by boat to hang out. I rarely make it as far south as the naval and coast guard ships, but it’s a good opportunity to enjoy the river.

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Riverside park runs along the Hudson River, from 72nd Street to 158th Street.  The park is split by the Westside Highway.  Then there are tunnels that pass under the highway for pedestrians/bikers/runners to reach the path that runs directly alongside the river.  To me, because of the highway and sewage treatment plant on the northern end, it isn’t quite as peaceful as Central Park, but the river makes up for it, and it is beautiful.

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Next to the boat basin is a cafe.  There are outside tables right over the river, and then a cavernous space that is covered but open, if that makes any sense.  It was packed in there yesterday, so I didn’t shoot any pics inside.

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Fringeland is meant to be a space for honesty, but not unrelenting angst and anger. I needed this walk, this post–how about you?

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This is the hashtag making the rounds on Twitter right now.  Yes, sorry, back to back quasi feminist rants.

The Gilded Cage

The Gilded Cage (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The hashtag and tweets are in response to this atrocity. A young man went on a rampage and killed seven people, including himself, in Santa Barbara, California.  First and foremost, my heart goes out to the victims and their families, including the family of this young man–who reportedly saw his rantings/manifesto, tried to get him help, reported him to the police.  I’m not sure how this still happened, and I’m not blogging about this to speculate re who dropped the ball.

No matter how many episodes of Criminal Minds I watch I’m not a psychiatrist, not his therapist, not an expert in human behavior, I can’t say if he was a sociopath or plain old crazy.    What I am is a woman.  And this young man’s harmful delusions centered around himself and women, their rejection of him.  His sense of entitlement to “get” hot (or whatever the current catchphrase is) blonde women, and their lack of interest in having sex with him.  Gee, can’t imagine why, his videos make him seem like such a charmer.  #YesAllWomen have said no at some point. If you’re an asshole, you’re going to hear no a lot.

The problem as I see it, the reason #yesallwomen is the hashtag and not something tied in to gun control, or “affluenza,” is that he was so easily able to find his peeps, other men who feel their dangly bits entitle them to say insulting things to and about women, have sex with whatever women they want.  In addition to his 140+ page manifesto, he left a hell of a cybertrail, rants on misogynistic websites.  No, I’m not going to link them, I’m not going to help give them more hits and traffic so easily.

It’s the same sick fountain of bullshit that allowed the man I wrote about in my last post to not see any jail time, for his ex-wife/victim to be told instead she should forgive him. #YesAllWomen are still individual beings with the right to say no, even if we get married

How many women, whether they’re twenty or fifty, can say they’ve never had the experience of being called a bitch or a tease because they didn’t want someone touching them? Or commenting on their bodies?  Because, yanno, we should all be flattered–it’s a compliment, someone wants you.  Yeah.  #YesAllWomen have experienced that moment of fear and tension, hoping the man making kissy sounds and following them will leave them the fuck alone.

Of course, this isn’t limited to misogyny, this young man’s rants had a heaping dose of racism and self hatred (he was half Asian).  Because it all goes together.  Hatred is hatred.  I do believe, I have to believe, that he was mentally ill.  But I don’t believe everyone who agreed with him, egged him on, everyone who is trolling by making provocative and hateful comments in response to the Twitter hashtag, is mentally ill.

Like every other social issue, I don’t think there is one answer, one solution.  So many things feed into these attitudes, beginning with children, teaching little girls to hate their bodies and at the same time teaching them their bodies, their faces, and how they display them are the most important part of who they are.  What? You would never feed into that! Never teach your little girl to objectify themselves, or teach your little boy to objectify girls/women.  Of course not.  So how come there are padded, push up bras in minuscule sizes in the girls’ department of clothing stores?  I’m a shoe gal, I admit it.  Heels are sexy, they make me feel…I dunno, powerful, in a way.  Women are and should be entitled to dress however they’d like.  Women.  Not girls, women old enough to have learned their bodies are a part of who they are, not the sum total.  Sure I’m uptight, sure I’m not an expert, but what is the reasoning behind these types of things beyond objectifying girls?  #YesAllWomen don’t look like the ones in magazines, and it can be a hard battle to find self acceptance.

Children are still told that when they’re shoved to the asphalt on the playground, it’s just because he/she likes you.  The same pressures put on girls are put on boys.  Stop it. Being a man has nothing to do with your girlfriend–who she is, what she looks like, or if she exists.

Women are still attacking each other for individual choices. What do you mean, you don’t want to have children/be married/have a career/use cloth diapers/breastfeed/formula feed? #YesAllWomen are being told they not only can have it all, they have to do and be it all.

With all my waiting on agent replies, I’ve been doing a lot of obsessing thinking.  One of my thoughts (and I’m sorry, I can’t remember how much I blogged about this and I’m too lazy to read my old posts) is about those romance novels that I wrote.  I’m wondering how much our society’s emphasis on romantic love contributes to these delusions.  I know, the romance heroes (mine or anyone else’s) aren’t misogynistic assholes–or if they appear to be at first, they quickly realize the error of their ways and come around to worship the heroine.  On the writer’s forum I’ve seen several instances of people being told by agents or editors they need to add in or increase the romance in their stories to make it more marketable.

Is this true, readers will be unsatisfied without romance in their thriller/fantasy/coming of age story?  Yes, we, as women, have come far.  As a society, we’ve come far.  Most people will at least pay lip service to lifestyle choices. But.  How often do you hear people asking a single woman when they’re going to get married? How about hearing someone ask your 10/11/12 year old if they have a boyfriend/girlfriend yet–and if the answer is no, why not?  And I’m not referring to Great Grandma asking these questions. If we believe a story is not complete without strong romantic elements, and we are partaking in a steady diet of these books and movies, how far away are we from saying people are not complete if they don’t have a significant other?  Hmmm, somehow this isn’t sounding as far removed from the days of “old maids”  as it should be. #YesAllWomen need to feel good about who they are, not just who they’re with.

Not all men are aggressive, entitled, driven-by-their-gonads jerks.  I believe, at this point, those men are the minority, especially as we look to the younger generations.  But too many still are.  And too many more are given a pass, because oh, well, that’s just men.  No, it isn’t just men.  It’s us, male and female, what we’re willing to say is ok and close our eyes to, and what we’re willing to stand up and say no to. Enough is enough.

#YesAllWomen because

everyone gets rejected. Deal with it.

rape jokes aren’t funny.

we still hear, “all she needs….”

we still hear, “well, what was she wearing?”

men need to know we value those who treat us as human beings, not objects.

you _____ like a girl shouldn’t be an insult.

love doesn’t conquer all.


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What Year is This Again?

NYC: Liberty Island - Statue of Liberty

NYC: Liberty Island – Statue of Liberty (Photo credit: wallyg)

I can’t even gather my words into a coherent rant, it’s more of a splutter.  A few days ago I read about this case in Indiana. In all honesty, at first I couldn’t read the article all the way through.  It’s like opening your front door and seeing something so terrifying, so shocking, your reaction is to slam the door shut, flip all the locks and put the chain on.  But you know it’s there, and know it’s only going to gain traction and strength if you don’t open the door again to confront it.

The bottom line, a man in Indiana was drugging and raping his wife for at least three years. She found video clips of this on his phone and pressed charges.  Good for her!  She did the right thing.  No excuses, no taking the law into her own hands.  Prosecutors did the right thing, asked for forty years in prison.  He was convicted of six felony charges, and sentenced to twenty years.  Here’s the part that makes my heart drop to my bowels:  He won’t be spending any time in prison.  Twelve years were suspended, and he will spend eight years in home confinement.  Why?  Because it was up to the judge.  A judge who told the victim she should forgive her attacker.

On a smaller scale, let me ask why?  Why does she need to forgive him?  What was done to her was immoral, illegal, unconscionable. Still, in my opinion she showed incredible strength of character by leaving him (so many women feel trapped, afraid and embarrassed in abusive situations they don’t have that strength), and by pressing charges.  On a larger scale, how can this sentence be allowed to stand under the guise of justice?

More than why, how?  How can this be?  How can any judge think this is ok, and where are our leaders to say, “Hey! This can NOT happen in a country that is supposed to be about equality and justice for all.”  Anyone who reads Mrs Fringe knows I lean left. But this isn’t about left or right.  It’s about assault, it’s about treating women as property.  Men and women in positions of authority should be speaking out about this, in my opinion.  Especially the women.  So where are you, Hillary Clinton, Michelle Obama, Nancy Pelosi, Oprah Winfrey, Jill Abramson, Janet Napolitano, Indra Nooyi, Ursula Burns, Diane Sawyer, Arianna Huffington, Melinda Gates, Ann Coulter–how about Lady Gaga?  There are many strong, powerful women in positions of authority in this country.  Apparently not enough.

That this woman was drugged and assaulted repeatedly over a period of years is sad and infuriating, but not shocking.  Again, horrifying for her (and her children!), but it shouldn’t represent anything grand. There are fucked up people in this world who do fucked up things, maybe I’m cynical, but I believe this will always be the case.  But this end result, this judge’s ruling does represent something.  It illustrates all too clearly there is someone in this country in a position of power and authority who believes wives are chattel.   That judge is an elected official–that tells me there is more than one someone who believes this.

According to this article in the NY Daily News, the judge told the woman to move on.  Maybe she could, if attitudes were different.

Sarcophagus of Crying Women

Sarcophagus of Crying Women (Photo credit:

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And Mrs Fringe Takes the Bait

again.  Even though I know it wasn’t meant for me, personally.  Let’s face it, I’m a complete unknown–which is kind of my point.

Plate coral eating a silverside.

Plate coral eating a silverside. So how come I feel more like that fish than the coral?

Earlier this morning I was going about my usual morning procrastinations, checking out Facebook, Twitter, etc, and I came across a link to this piece in the NY Times Book Review/bookends.   I know this is a rant I’ve indulged in many times, but aaaargh!  First let me say I haven’t read the original Lionel Shriver essay referenced, where she apparently wrote about feeling nostalgic for her previous commercial failure. Mmm hmm.  I adore her work and believe she is truly a brilliant writer.  Frankly, I’m pretty sure if I read her essay I’m never going to be able to read her fiction with an open mind again.  At the moment I’m wishing I didn’t click the link and read what I did.

Francine Prose and Mohsin Hamid each respond to this question of author success, the pros and cons.  Of course there are benefits and disadvantages, as there are to every choice, every person’s life/lifestyle/career.  Both Ms. Prose and Mr. Hamid are successful authors, and it was Mr. Hamid’s (who for the record, has achieved both commercial and critical success)  closing statement that has me pacing and ranting at my dogs.

“It’s a radical thought, but I wonder whether in some way we professional fiction writers might be better off if, like poets of old, we were to make nothing from our writing and had to earn our living elsewhere. Radical or not, it’s how most writers actually live today, working their day jobs, and writing — unpaid, alone, with passion — at night.”

Maybe my reaction is because I’m not part of that lovely “we.” I’ve yet to be paid for any of my words, therefore I am not a professional fiction writer.   But I make no secret of the fact that I want to be, and won’t accept being shamed for it.  If you want me to, I’ll admit to being a calculating bitch who wants my words to be read and I want to earn a dollar for them.

How unfortunate that my calculations are off.  If they weren’t, I’d be part of the we, one of the published, one of the eek! successful.

math disaster

math disaster (Photo credit: the mad LOLscientist)

What was I doing before screwing around online and reading this link?  Obsessing, again, about when I might hear back from agents, and debating with myself about whether or not I’m doing the right thing by holding off on sending more queries until I do. Because I would like to receive an offer of representation, and I would like to be published.  I’ll even go so far as to say I dream of being well published, and having my novel be well received.  That dirty whisper of success.

I am not the voice of the unpublished everywhere.  There are people who say they write solely for themselves, the work is enough, and if they’re never published they’re ok with that.  Though I can’t relate to those thoughts, I accept them at face value.  But they aren’t my thoughts.  As I’ve said many, many times before, I write to be read.  When I write, yes, I write the story as I see it, the characters as I imagine them, but I write with readers in mind, thinking about which words might be most appealing, which images will make sense to readers other than myself.

I do appreciate Mr. Hamid’s statements about commercial success involving luck.  I read no hint of dismissal or condescension in this, the talent and skill have to be present for any writer to be in a position to receive such luck, but yes, it’s a part of “big” success.

No doubt, there is a certain luxury in the process of writing without contracts or deadlines or expectations.  If other areas of my life are extra busy–hell, if I don’t feel like it! I don’t actually have to produce any words.  And I’ll go further, at this moment, I don’t have to think about bad reviews on Goodreads, or worry about what my children’s teachers–or my children–will think of me, personally, when/if they read my work.  That isn’t nothing, negative reviews and sometimes personal attacks are hurtful, even if you’re cashing a check. From my limited view of the world and the publishing industry, would I trade these luxuries for a few readers and a contract?  Absolutely. Am I crass for admitting this?   Maybe I’m just not that deep.

When Man Child talks about becoming a chef, and I see him busting his butt putting hours of hard, sweaty labor into it–not just cooking, but learning about other cultures, becoming fluent in other languages, and learning the business skills necessary, I don’t pat him on the head and tell him how wonderful it is that he can cook his own dinner.  And no one else responds to him by saying hey, maybe one day you can be a fry cook at McDonald’s.

The reality is that very, very few of those who attain publication will achieve such success that any of this is even a question.  As quoted above, not many published authors get to “quit the day job.”  No one argues this, not me, not Mr. Hamid, not anyone with any remote connection to the publishing industry.  I know this is the reality, but when I dream, that’s what I dream of, not nobly burning my pages for warmth and starving in a garret.



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Gray Morning Adventures

Well timed, it should be pouring when I pick up Art Child.

Well timed, it should be pouring when I pick up Art Child.

Since it’s the most intimate of relationships, that between myself and the ever growing circle of people I’ve never met who read here, I thought I’d share my morning.  I think it’s the Benadryl, lowering my inhibitions.

I needed to get my legs waxed.  I have one woman that I use and have used for years, I’ve followed her to three different shady nail salons at this point.  Great for her, not good for me is that she’s the least kept secret in the neighborhood.  And always booked on Fridays.  My plan was to go yesterday, but the girl was home sick.  Now, did I really have to do this today? It’s cool and gloomy, I won’t be putting shorts on in the next three days.  But yes, I had to do it today because I have to believe the rain will stop and the temperature will rise any minute now.  I’ll be honest, it’s been a while since I last went.  I don’t want to say how long, but the odds are “Summertime and The Living is Easy” was playing on my iPod.  Don’t judge, getting waxed is a luxury in my budget, why stretch the dollars when my legs are encased in socks, jeans, and snow or rain boots?

A new place opened across from the grocery store.  Much higher end than the “salons” I generally frequent, but I was certain they’d be able to take me right away.  Excellent, I figured I could bring my little cart, get waxed, and then go straight to the store for dinner ingredients.  And beer, because Friday Night Madness.  Since they’re new, maybe they’d even have a special discount.  Which they did offer, a free eyebrow wax your first time in, as long as you’re getting something else waxed too. I don’t generally get my eyebrows waxed.  A couple of times a year I go to the threading place, $7 takes care of it.  But, free!

Along with the contrast of bright lighting, clean corners, and elegant bottles of lotion, their wax was different.  Fancy.  A lovely color, and the woman peeled it off without needing to use strips of cloth.  Cool.  Friendly gal, chatting away as she worked, asked me questions, “complimented” me on how ungorilla-like (paraphrasing here) my legs were considering the amount of time since my last wax, told me all about the benefits of this special wax and lotions of more complicated than it needs to be process they use. I wanted to tell her to relax.  I’m not about to become a regular, but I wouldn’t forget to tip her.  My upper face started feeling a little weird.  At first I didn’t notice beyond the normal hey, someone just plastered hot wax on your skin! But by the time she was finished, I felt like I was having to push my eyelids open.  Hmm, mirror time. Yes indeed, big welty hives around my eyes, across my forehead, and starting to go down the side of my face.

“I think I’m having an allergic reaction.”  I kind of couldn’t believe I had to say this, since she was, yanno, looking at me.

“Oh? Oh no.  It’s just sometimes if it’s been a long time since you’ve been waxed, the body releases histamines, causing a few hives.”

What the fuck, is she Mel Brooks?  Anyone else remember History of the World, Part I?

Clerk:  Occupation?

Comicus:  Stand-up philosopher

Clerk:  What?

Comicus:  Stand-up philosopher.  I coalesce the vapors of human experience into a viable and meaningful comprehension.

Clerk:  Oh, a bullshit artist!

I could have run straight home, but it hadn’t begun to rain yet and I was right across the street from the grocery store, so I did my shopping, kind of amused by people noticing and not commenting but staring at the welts on my face.  To complete the perfect morning, it was a long, long line.  There was a baby/toddler in a grocery cart next to me, cute little girl.  She stared too, so I smiled at her in the hopes that my face wasn’t so scary she would begin crying.  Her response in a really loud and clear voice, “I did kaki.”

Maybe she was offering it for my next wax.

All I know is it isn’t even one in the afternoon, and I’m thinking about a beautiful moon I saw the other night, wondering if it’s bedtime.

Yup, I am still trying to capture a good moon photo.  :)

Yup, I am still trying to capture a good moon photo. 🙂

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Hey You: Story Time

Ahh, romance

Ahh, romance

I kept playing with that story.  It started with the idea of a twisted nod to the pressures of “romance” and idealizing others.  Sounds so modern, so 2014, right?  Shakespeare wrote Romeo and Juliet over 400 years ago.  You know the one where a 13 year old girl and a 17 year old boy decide they’re in love, and within days both of them and several others are dead.  Who wants a glass of champagne?

While I was thinking about it and before I began writing it kept changing, of course.  Filling in some parts and omitting others.  I had the idea to put it in second person POV.  For readers who aren’t writers and well past grammar classes, second person is  when the protagonist is referred to as “you,” as opposed to “I” (first person) or he/she (third person).  Not a popular narrative choice, it can be disastrous, calling attention to the fact that you’re reading a story (as opposed to getting lost in it) or, on rare occasion, it can work very well.

I’m still undecided as to how well it worked, but it was an interesting exercise for me.  I’ve never tried it before, and it brought me very, very close inside the main character’s head, and left me feeling a little breathless, even while I felt the breath of the protagonist.  Strange.  And nice to stretch a bit while I created some new characters.

It’s got a touch of magical realism, which I might or might not leave in if I ever change or expand it, one of the bits inspired by a photo I took on the street recently of a dead rat next to a cigarette butt.  I was going to put it here,  but Husband tells me that would tip the scales from edgy to tasteless and gross.  My gut tells me at least half of my readers would agree with him, so I’m leaving it out–I’ll let Husband know you all said thank you.

Tentatively titled “The One,” I’ve added a page above (cleverly titled Fiction II), you can reach it by clicking up top or the link right here.  

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Bubble Bubble

Macbeth and Banquo with the Witches by Henry F...

Macbeth and Banquo with the Witches by Henry Fuseli (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

It was a long week here in Fringeland.

I’m still waiting to hear back about the fulls that are out for Astonishing, and still waiting to hear about the apartment.  I could send more queries, but I don’t want to.  Not yet.  Frankly, I can only hold so many details about who has what in my wee brain before I’m overwhelmed, and this feels like my limit.  Sure, I have it all written down, keep notes and dates, but still.  Nothing like endless waiting to make you feel insignificant.  Passive.  For someone who writes, passive is a cardinal sin.  Good stories, good characters, have readers turning pages because they want to know what happens next.  Nothing happening, pouring the ninth cup of coffee?  Yawn.  If I were a character, I’d write myself out of the manuscript, or make horrible things happen to force myself to act.

Clearly, the answer was to start writing that story I’ve been thinking about.  Never mind that I wasn’t ready to start writing.  For a lot of people who write, that is the answer.  So I opened up a fresh blank Word document, and started writing.  I didn’t write the whole story, but a lot of it.  And it sucks.  Because while this method works for many, it doesn’t work for me.  Not for short stories, anyway.  I have to be ready, the characters need to be complete and clear in my mind, even if I don’t actually know exactly what they’re going to do until they’re doing it.

I have some very kind and generous followers here in Fringeland.  Kind and generous enough that I would bet $5 that two of you read that last paragraph and thought to yourselves (whether or not you’ve read any of my fiction), “it doesn’t suck, Mrs Fringe is being too hard on herself.”   Nope, I’m not.  Sometimes I write things that I think are pretty good, and sometimes I write things that I know should be burned, never to be seen by readers.  It’s part of writing, and in my opinion, it’s an important skill to have.

But between the unending waiting, the passivity and the suckage of that short story, I had a couple of those days.  Odds are if you write, you have them yourself.  The ones where you’re convinced that you have nothing to say, no grace when saying it, and every file in your thumb drive is evidence of your inability to phrase a coherent sentence, let alone craft a story someone would want to read.  This then leads to, “that’s why I haven’t heard back from the agents.  It isn’t because it’s conference season, or because there’s been 15 strains of crud viruses tearing through the city and I’ve seen many of those agents Tweet about being sick, and it certainly isn’t because they’re busy working for clients–you know, the ones that allow them to pay their rent, eat, and read queries and requested material.  No, no.  It’s because of the unbelievable level of suck in my manuscript.”

And then I had a day where I was laid out with the mother of all migraines.  I’ve gotten them for years and years, very familiar, and this might have been the worst one I’ve ever had.  My skull felt like a damn eggshell for about 24 hours after it ended.

Last night Fatigue came for dinner.  Turns out I wasn’t yet ready to enjoy a beer, but still, it was a nice evening, and after Art Child went to bed I read him the next two chapters of Astonishing–our current Friday Night Madness routine.  We’re past the halfway point in the manuscript, the tension is tightening, and Christina (main character), well, Christina is starting to really feel the effects of her drinking as she makes poorer choices, and the lines between real, surreal, and plain old alcohol warped perception become more blurred.  Fun, the last scene I read to Fatigue ends with a quote from Everything’s Coming Up Roses from Gypsy. Fatigue is a cabaret singer with an amazing baritone, and after I finished–you know I didn’t sing the lines with my Edith Bunker voice–Fatigue sang them.

And I had this moment.  Because Astonishing doesn’t suck.  It was a good scene, a good couple of chapters, and there is enough there for me to still believe this manuscript will be the one.  It was the right time for me to write Astonishing, and I think it is the right time for Christina’s story to be read.

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Ready for a walk?

Ready for a walk?

My plan was to write.  But it was beautiful outside, a perfect spring day.  So instead of working on the short story, I took a walk through the park and thought about writing, instead.  Sometimes this makes everything click into place, gives me a title and clear direction.  Not this time, but it was still beautiful.

I walked south, and ended up by the turtle pond.

When headed out of the park, I realized it was cat day.  Who knew? I’m kidding, as far as I know there’s no such thing, but I did see a few people walking cats.

This owner was trying to walk, but the cat was not interested in doing anything other than rolling on the ground, enjoying a dust bath.  Sadly, she wasn’t much more interested in posing for a picture, but wow, what a beautiful animal.

Some special breed, I didn't catch what.

Some special breed, I didn’t catch what.

I think the word leopard is in there.

I think the word leopard is in there.

And then at the exit, I saw this. He was eyeing a lively collection of pigeons and morning doves, then turned his attention to one of the old gated tunnels.  I think equipment is stored in there, along with many plump rats.  At first I thought oh, poor kitty is lost, he’s going to get eaten by a raccoon if he doesn’t find his way home soon.  Then I wondered if he was, in fact, a strangely colored raccoon.

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And this concludes today’s pictorial on the floral and fauna of Central Park.  Have a good Sunday, Fringelings!