Outed Sportscaster Feller Found Dead

“Yeah, I’m as gay as they get.” Nationally syndicated sports journalist Thorton Feller’s recent announcement stunned the sports community. Outed Sportscaster Feller Found DeadUnsure if his word was genuine, many decried his declaration as a publicity stunt for wider readership of his idiosyncratic column Feller’s Beef. Outed Sportscaster Feller Found DeadWhatever the angle, it soon became the only topic on tap, forcing Mr. Feller to protest vehemently. “I’m not a gay sports journalist. I’m just a sports journalist. That’s it.” Outed Sportscaster Feller Found DeadMr. Feller’s ire became particularly inflamed by the most square-jawed of the scrum, Rock Misogyny, shrieking, “But you came out!”

Feller lost his composure, striking with a sharp slap. “We’re all fucking gay!” Outed Sportscaster Feller Found DeadA melee ensued; bats were raised, sticks waved, and Feller was dead.

The scrum laid full blame on a member of the custodial staff, an illegal immigrant it turns out, who hated sports journalists.Outed Sportscaster Feller Found Dead

Damn Thud

I was let down again. Disappointment reigns. IMAG2350It was a writer’s workshop this time, an opportunity that almost seemed ideal, like it really would work. I was sure of that. Well, I wasn’t sure. Not quite that. But confident. And confident they would accept me. Almost. And then. Thud. Damn thud.20140104_131501I mean, I keep expecting something, at some point, to work. There should be. There must be. I mean, I get that it’s a struggle to find an agent and a publisher. I get that. But a workshop?! Come on! Not a workshop. What now? A deserted island. A mountaintop to clear my head. Damn thud. 20140104_131450Ugh and damn. When is this thing going to turn? The thing is to push ahead. To fight back. To make it work. And to drink. mcmanusYeah, at least do that.

Counting Olympic Medals

The Olympics confuse me.

Adelina Sotnikova

Adelina Sotnikova

Is the medal count simply calculated by the sum total? This currently results in these standings: 1. Russia 2. USA 3. Norway

Or are the medals weighted at Gold (3), Silver (2), Bronze (1)? Which creates this ranking: 1.Russia 2.Norway 3. USA and Canada  (tie).

Or is it the Gold standard, focusing solely on the total of Golds (and using Silver and Bronze as tie-breakers)? 1. Russia 2. Norway 3. Canada.

_72844207_hi020961546Whatever the system, I find my Olympic excitement waning. I’m instead considering what seems to the more important question: Why does one count Olympic medals? podium jumpThis counting patriotism leaves something to be desired, constantly turning to the next event, looking for the right flag, focusing on the new countryman to give her all. France's Thomas Krief slides during men's freestyle skiing halfpipe finals at 2014 Sochi Winter Olympic Games in Rosa KhutorWhile I have certainly cheered on my country, I have only found myself invested in Canada’s games: hockey and curling.

Kaitlin Lawes

Kaitlin Lawes

The passion of these Canadians is unchecked, the intensity bordering on hate – the good kind; you will never see a more indifferent handshake at game’s end.

Marie-Philip Poulin

Marie-Philip Poulin

It’s a raw display without the niceties and platitudes. And it’s a lot better than the counting game.

Embracing Rejection: “Dear Author…”

Dear Author…

I was delighted to receive your query, and I have given it my most careful attention.

We appreciate your patience in allowing us to completely evaluate your material, giving it the ample attention it deserves.

Please forgive this impersonal note regarding your query.

20140217_103329Please accept my apology for this form response.

Apologies for not answering in a more personal manner; given the large number of inquiries, it is simply not possible.

We are a small agency and do not have the staff to critique everything we receive.

I wish I could talk to every author who contacts us. Although that is not possible, you can read an interview with me on the subject of career development on my agency’s website.

Please be assured that your manuscript has been read and thoroughly evaluated.

There are many reasons to decline a manuscript.

Under other circumstances, I might want to take a look at some of your writing, but I’m afraid I am swamped with current circumstances.

While this appears to be a strong project, I’m afraid it doesn’t strike me as a likely fit with me and my particular editorial contacts.


The extract was read with interest, but unfortunately we are not interested in pursuing this project.

After review of your materials, we must respectfully pass.

Unfortunately your project does not meet with my current needs.

We don’t feel that it is quite the right fit for us.no-def-not

I’m afraid I wasn’t drawn into it to the extent I would need to be to offer my representation.

I’m not convinced I could succeed in placing your work.

Unfortunately your novel is not right for us.

I regret it is not a match.

Not for me. Thanks anyway.

It’s not worth my time.rejected_540This has nothing to do with the quality of the work.

My taste is eclectic and I am always seeking some balance in my client list.

We are taking on only a limited number of clients and feel that your work is not a good fit for our list.

As an agent I have to jump on those projects that excite me from the get go.

Please accept my regrets concerning your proposed submission.

Reading tastes are very personal however, so another agent may feel differently.

We certainly recognize that might well be passing up a good opportunity.

Your work deserves only the most passionate of advocates, and I am sure that with a book like this, you will find a good home for it.

misfit toysWe’re sorry for giving you a disappointing response.

We hope that you are not disheartened.

You may well become a hugely successful author, and this letter will become a document of our total failure to sign you before the lecherous hands of another gets their hooks into you.

We encourage you to keep writing and try other agents.

Best of luck elsewhere.IMAG3467

“my bad side” Opening Revised

I’ve changed the opening to my bad side. Yes, again, but now it has more action, more of a hook, as those in the know have advised…DeeMy hand reflected ghostly in the silver elevator panel. There was a kind of liquid sound, almost like metal rain, inside me, a fluid crinkling in my brain, chewing into my ears and down my neck. I didn’t know what was wrong, a sickness or terror. Crystal was convinced she had brain cancer. She was always saying things like that, determined to be the loneliest, the purest of all. I rotated my heel back on the stiletto, my foot angling sharply up, and thrust through out of the elevator, only half open, my key already out, and pushed hard on the apartment door.
derek“Last warning.” Derek stood between the back of the couch and the window, a broom held up. Apollo crouched, his sleek serval shoulders tensed, his rear legs coiled like springs.

“What are you doing?!”

He turned on me. “Your fucking cat—“

“Leave Apollo alone!”

“Leave him alone?” Derek stepped sideways, his fire fighter’s cap tilted back. “Are you fucking serious?”

Apollo kept his body tight, his eyes on Derek, watching him, a rodent in the savanna.

“This fucking exotic monster of yours attacked me!”

“You need to leave.”

He came around the couch, stepping drunkenly; that’s when I realized he had a gun. “What’s with the dress? You fucking a prince?”

I stepped back.

“You turned your sister against me!”

“You need to go home.”serval-hitting-out-1sApollo sprang, stretching fully across Derek’s chest and dug his claws into his shoulder. There was a bang, like a window slamming shut. Apollo fell suddenly, in the middle of the rug, his bottom leg stuck out. I crouched over him and saw the hole in his shoulder, a tiny nothing and then a watery line of red trailing into the rug.

“I told her to call me.” Derek stood just above. “You know that.”  

Everything in me was twisted tight, my heart erratic, a mess of veins squenched together, vibrating madly, almost still. I grunted as I swung around and threw myself fully into his legs, bringing both of us down, my arm under him. I swung at his face, missed, hitting the floor, surprised that none of it hurt, that I was that strong and had the gun, got up and kicked him in the neck.

“She’s gone, Dee.”gunThe gun snapped up and hovered, a living thing, and there was a vibrating sound, the light hard and burning, and then Derek was looking at his blood coming out.

“Stay there. Just stay there.” 

He slumped back, his hand drunkenly clawing the air.

I tried to lift Apollo, but my arm wouldn’t work, and could only pull him around, his long legs almost lifeless. I drew the clothes off the dresser into a bag, a pile of shirts and underwear from a drawer, all of it onto his cage, like I had been waiting for this, and dragged everything behind me onto the elevator. 

The Moment

There is that moment, warm,  familiar with being here, almost comfortable with the parameters of this life, knowing little,  knowing everything in that.

Southeast Iceland

Southeast Iceland

Words and sounds are light and full, making sense, building something, bottle in hand, knowing there will be more, and there will be.

Central Iceland

Central Iceland

Thinking to stay in that, just the moment, almost forever, and realizing what an idiot, and laughing, because it was delicious and is gone.

Lake Myvatn

Lake Myvatn

Winter “Buzz” scene

The snow was deep, some drifts as high as 15 feet. 20140213_094247He made a cave and sat there alone. The walls were more blue than white. He stretched his legs legs out and watched his breath float in clouds, listening to his snowsuit crinkling and then the shifting and cracking of the snow.20140213_095949He heard steps, his father and Mr. Wylie.

“Huson had a break-in?”

“They went after his motor, chained to his Ski-Doo. Cut the goddamned thing off.”20140213_093923

“I heard they were in Reynolds’ place last week.”

“Left the door wide open. Ruined the floor.”

“They catch anyone?”20140203_190741

“Kids, goddamn good-for-nothings.”

Their voices vanished. He stared at a tiny animal trail going into a frozen hole. He only saw the animals dead on the road, frozen and squashed. 20140209_192120

Little Bag of Popchips

The little bag of Popchips was a brilliant blue, shiny and wonderful; she reached out with a finger, pulling at the edge.

“Looking at our agendas…” The principal was young, wide eyed. “You’ll see we have a lot to get through. A lot.”
She touched the bag, turning it in closer; she loved Popchips, how they were light and baked.
“This is our first draft of the policy document.” The principal spoke in staccato, her words bulging with excitement. “Our team has put a lot into getting this together. A lot. And now we need your feedback.”
She read the top line and then turned the page, flicking the edge of the little bag. She scanned the page; it looked fine. She reached for the little bag crinkled, but it crinkled. She snapped her hand back.
Her pair-share buddy was checking his messages.”What do you think?”
“It looks fine.”
He slid the policy document under his phone.
She pulled at the edges of the little bag; it wouldn’t open.
“Are we supposed to write on it?”
“I don’t know.”
She tried again; it crinkled and wouldn’t give.
“Can we all turn to the second page?” The principal asked.
521b9dafc55b5.imageThey all did. They had to find a phrase. And they talked about that. She touched the bag again, her fingers going out and back. She kept doing that; she couldn’t stop.
“We could just delete it,” a small voice suggested from the back.
“We could,” the principal replied slowly.
“Are we going to apply the policy document this year?” Another asked.
“That’s a very good question.” The principal was standing right behind her, the edge of her pant suit descending in a long clean line. “The answer is we just don’t know.”
popchipsShe tried the bag again, pulling the edges out hard, but it wouldn’t give.
“Are we going to finish the agenda?” The first one asked, almost sounding sincere.
“That’s why we wrote it out for you,” the principal replied. “To see if we could get to the end.”
She pushed the bag away, deflated, and her pair-share buddy snapped it open.
images (1)“Oh.”
He went back to his messages.

Still Angry with Philip Seymour Hoffman

I get that Philip Seymour Hoffman had an addiction. I get that he was a sensitive person who ate himself up with his intensity and devotion to his work.

Phillip Seymour Hoffman in "Owning Mahoney"

Phillip Seymour Hoffman in “Owning Mahoney”

And I get that there is a black hole staring back at all of us. 20140131_222323

And I know that there are few, if any, who can match, Hoffman’s talent, his roles in Happiness, Magnolia, Doubt and on stage as Willy Loman.

"Death of a Salesman"

“Death of a Salesman”

But I’m still pissed off at the guy. His death makes me lousy. Not sad. Mad.

Hoffman in "Happiness"
Hoffman in “Happiness”

His energy is gone, fucking gone. I can’t forgive him. Not yet.

And I expect it to be a while before that changes, considering that I’ve yet to forgive Jerry Garcia for his dumb-ass death…18 years back..Jerry Garcia