Chicago

What’s a marriage without an anniversary fight?

The above picture shows exactly how far the annual putting up of the screened-in tent proceeded until we were both hot and sticky, then pissy enough to walk away. That was on Memorial Day; it’s rained every day since then so there the parts lie rusting. I can only hope the canvas isn’t growing mildew. I don’t know why. We put this up annually, it’s the same parts, yet every year we find a way to have it not go together smoothly the first time. This year was particularly awful. Husband was on the ladder, holding the top while I was to run around to all the corners and slip in the posts…and I found we’d assembled the panels incorrectly. Everything needs to be undone and reassembled. Good times…

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The long weekend was productive in that the garden bed I’ll be using is tilled and after years of having them, the gates are all on so I can dump compost in there without the dog deciding that some bits weren’t ready for the heap.

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I missed the blooming of the crab-apple tree, but the lilacs are out and so are these purple flowers though I’ve forgotten their name.

The weekend before the ugly one, we had a lovely time over lunch at Julie’s with Robert Little. He was in town for an impromptu visit from Chicago. Jim and Julie Tuttle joined us, as well as their grandson. (The dumpster photo involves a joke I’m not going to explain.)

I haven’t been writing too much, or submitting, but after a drought, I have an acceptance! Thanks to John Xero at 101 Fiction, my piece born from a Kathy Fish Reunion prompt called “Landscapes” will go live on 2 June 2019. I also received word that “Firstborn” written from a prompt in Kim Chinquee’s Hot Pants office on Zoetrope made the long list in this year’s Micro Madness Contest for National Flash Fiction Day NZ in conjunction with Flash Frontier. I guess my so called writing career isn’t dead yet…or is it? Check back soon to find out for sure!

🙂 Thanks for stopping by and for the read!

A bittersweet goodbye to August and summer

To everyone near, far, online, and otherwise, THANK YOU! I can’t imagine a better time than I’ve had recently. Before I get to the pictures, I want to give these props : Mike Joyce thank you for not only accepting my story “Things Left Unspoken“ and publishing it in the Tallchief Issue of Literary Orphans but also for the shout out on your editor’s note. To Michael A. Chaney, TED presenter, wicked brilliant person, I ❤ you for citing  “Things Left Unspoken” in your 30 August 2013 blog post, Top 10 Literary Magazines to Send Your Best Flash (and maybe get accepted too).  That was incredible. I also want to thank Alex Pruteanu just because he’s an awesome writer and friend and I think everyone should buy his book.

That said, what a fabulous traveling party. Family and friends arrived on Saturday the 24th. RISK was played, beer was sampled, bridge hands dealt, guitars played, and mallets were swung. (And when the pictures show up in my account, I’ll post them.) From here to Pennsylvania and back again with people from Portland Oregon, Boston Mass, Washington D. C. and Marilla and Depew. The following Sunday, we met up with our friends from Chicago and had a proper Sunday Chivetta’s chicken dinner in Arcade.

Husband went back to work on Tuesday so he could rest up from his vacation. I’ve been a ‘football mom’ lately and that has come to an end. Now, I press on with my writing. Yesterday, I received a personal, encouraging rejection from The Missouri Review. Today, I’ll be sending off an application for an Advanced Fiction Seminar. I have no idea how good my chances are–I just know it will be a no if I don’t try.

No matter, I have these incredible sunflowers in my garden attracting the bees.

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The sweetgum tree has already started to turn,pic1so it’s so long to summer and hello autumn.

Thanks for stopping by!

(These are just my creekside reflections. Your experiences may vary.)

 

Killer Tomatoes, because that’s what I grow.

My trip to Chicago was the best one so far. I spent time with friends and this time I went to the top of the Sears (Willis) Tower and even stepped out into the glass over-hang and had my picture taken. I don’t know what it is about that city–I’m generally scared to death of heights–but while I was there, I was fearless.

Back at home, I was pleased to find that my tomatoes had not all turned red at once. I was even home to pick this killer.

Over three pounds! People who have seen the plants and the harvest so far have asked what I did. I don’t know what to say because I planted my seeds later than normal and I didn’t think I’d have a good crop this year. The peppers I grew from the seeds from the peppers I got from Natalie last year were the ones that survived the slug attack. They are producing like crazy and have the most wonderful heat. I didn’t plant spaghetti squash this year, but the volunteers produced some great specimens that have found homes.

As to my other babies… I wrote–or at least started–30 pieces this summer. (Good Lord I love free-writing!) I’ve been working back through them and have 7 polished and ready to go out during this new season. When I saw that Tin House was looking for submissions with the theme of “this means war,” I smiled. I had one of those.

Queries for “Ellie’s Elephants” are going out to agents again. Having a few more credits and a little more experience is helping, I think. I just re-read the latest query letter and it sounds both more excited and more relaxed–if that makes sense. After so many re-writes and tweakings, I feel like I “know” this book better than I should, and now it’s a matter of finding someone to babysit.

Besides, I think I found my new love. I don’t know what to call it yet, but I’ll be chomping at the bit, waiting to write it. Let’s go NaNo!

Until next time!

*These are just my creekside reflections. Your experiences may vary.