The Dead Mule School of Southern Literature

A Merry Good Time to Exhale

Christmas was the day I felt some of the pressure leave my shoulders. There was nothing I could do about packages not making it on time, I’d locally delivered all the holiday treats, I even let Husband make the bed with the sheets wrong and let it go instead of redoing it. Cards were sent, food prepped, and vaccine shots were starting for emergency personnel. Letting go of this year is a physical relief.

Not having anyone over this year meant I could put off any deep cleaning that otherwise would have gotten done. Before Christmas, I pulled all of the books from the L in the library with the bigger fiction and the physical/societal/spiritual/financial books. Those shelves were cleaned and readjusted. Nothing is where I can find it and I found a different TBR pile to mirror the one I have in other stacks upstairs.

Christmas morning was scrumptious with sausages, pancakes, and mimosas. Thank you again to Gina’s husband for his syrup. We finally finished the syrup our neighbor gave us and opened yours!

I want to give a shout out to everyone who sent us cards; they do mean a lot to receive. This is the door we place them on to admire. Once we take them down, I’ll be putting a poster I got for Christmas on there. Thank you Michael!

Husband made me this:

See, when I do Zoom, I had a stack of books to set the tablet on for the correct height. Now, I have this platform with a place for the keyboard, making it such an upgrade in ease – and let, face it, beauty.

I’m not a “New Year’s resolution” type of person, never have been, but this year is hitting differently.  Had she lived, my mom would have turned 71 today. It’s weird to consider this since she passed away in 1997 at 47. I’ve outlived her by a few years. So has my sister. I didn’t get as much written, edited, or published this year and I’m kind of pissed at myself about that. I don’t need assurances, this isn’t a plea for pity, it’s a public acknowledgement of my personal feelings. Next year, I may publish less. Or more. I don’t know, but I’m cobbling together a list of goals I would like accomplish but I can’t make myself call them resolutions…not yet.

I do want to express gratitude to everyone at SMOLDR, The Dead Mule School of Southern Literature, Blink Ink, The Journal of Compressed Creative Arts, HAD, and Milk Candy Review for believing in my work and publishing me this year. Thank you. You all helped me survive this insane year. So did the amazing friendships I have with Nina Fosati, Chyo, my Husband, well, I could spend all day making this list and then nothing else would get done but yes, you are on the list…you know you are.

Thank you for stopping by and for the read. And on a deeply personal note, I doubt there are birthdays in the afterwards, but I hope my mom is having a happy day wherever she is. I miss her.

Working Theories

Well, aren’t I a bit chagrined to notice how late I am with this post? And surprised. I hadn’t noticed the date and I breezed over both reminders on both my calendars. So much for the “Writing things down so I don’t forget them” theory.

The garden is in and it’s now a race to kill the slimy slugs before they take out all of my pepper plants. They are gross, destructive and stupid. I don’t like having to kill things if I don’t have to, but all of these things have GOT to go!

Wednesday was hell, by the way. It might have put up a mental block on dealing with anything writing related. It was a brutal twelve hours of nothing but rejections. Totally wiped out the ‘happy’ I was having for my acceptance for “Educated Tina” in the summer issue of The Dead Mule School of Southern Literature. It’s such an honor to be included in a publication that has Dawn Corrigan’s work in it!

In other news, my mail carrier has been doing suspicious things lately. Not just to me, but to my neighbors, too. We either aren’t getting mail at all or we get mail for people who live two roads down. The day I got a credit card bill for someone on Snyder Road, I took it into the post office, handed it to the clerk and asked if my mail was there by any chance. “No,” she said, “They’re all back and no one had anything undeliverable.”

Great, I thought. Is someone else getting my rejections? I don’t know how much the lady’s credit card bill was, but it might have been a fair exchange. I’m trying to work that into a possible theory, but I don’t have enough information to work with.

And my son, daughter-in-law and grandson are coming to visit at the end of the month. I’m excited and have invited people to stop in to visit with him and his family. I don’t want to get my hopes up. I do that enough when I send out submissions, but I do hope everyone has a good time.

Right, so back to the writing challenge I’ve been keeping. I’m doing a modified version of Camp NaNo, I think. I’m putting in a minimum of 1667 words every day, but essays, flashes, and short stories instead of working on a novel. So far, so good, though a short story I started writing about a football player is on its third day and the ending still hasn’t shown up yet. I tabled it for something new today.

Anyway, the celebration of Husband’s & my 12 year anniversary is also going to be late, but it should be good. We’re going to see Shemekia Copeland at a tiny bar and grill. It’s so awesome already since we fell in love with her Turn the Heat Up  in the background. The title track is “our song.” To those familiar with the lyrics, it totally works. Husband and I get along great. The one part of the relationship that isn’t great is the most fun to work on. And now you have too much information. Congratulations!

Until next time!

*These are just my reflections. Your experience may vary.