What I wrote in 2016

It has been pointed out to me by numerous smart people that authors who post what they wrote have a better chance of seeing them picked up for awards lists. Also known as: yes, I should write an eligibility post.

So this is me, setting that precedent, so I have to stick with it later in the future when I’m actually writing and getting published more prodigiously.

Short stories published in 2016

The Death of Chaos, published by Unlikely Story in The Journal of Unlikely Observances. This anthology was a collection of stories about April Fool’s Day, and The Death of Chaos is a creation story.

Sunny’s months were tranquil and calm. Plants grew, plants were harvested. Sheep lambed, lambs grew, sheep were slaughtered. Summer was rhythmic progress.

Seth’s madness was predictable in its unpredictability. Two years before, it rained green-bellied newts for a whole week. Four years prior, the clouds belched flowers, but only on the women. No one will talk about the Year of the Canned Beans. In the winters, anything could, and did, happen, and there was no question of why.

Unlikely Story’s on hiatus in 2017, but I look forward to their return, because their publications have lots of great work.

Other stuff

If you’re more of the User Experience or Design wonk, you may be interested in:

Out of network

This morning an acquaintance and I were discussing a medical issue and she suggested, “You should probably go see a geneticist.”

And my brain (being my brain) replied, “No, see, I can’t, because she’s dead.”

And that’s how three years on grief still occasionally kicks you in the teeth.

It turns out there are hundreds, probably thousands, of people who have medical degrees and specialities in genetics who could answer questions about Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome (EDS), Postural Orthostatic Tachycardia Syndrome (POTS), and Mast Cell Activation Syndrome (MCAS), all of which drift right on the edge of being good explanations for some of the wackier hijinks I’ve gotten into… but none of them are Aunt Ginny.

That specific combination of DNA genes and chromosomes, nature and nurture, experience and reasoning that I identified as Dr. Virginia Proud is not currently available to advise me on matters of heredity. I will have to suffice with some other MD and geneticist who, while not my aunt, can fill in the gaps of my knowledge, and who — I hope — is loved as fiercely and would be missed as long as the geneticist I would prefer.

She’s not really gone. She’s just moved out of network. Some day I pray my insurance will be upgraded, and I’ll see her again.

Two tales

Once upon a time, I wandered too close to the edge and almost fell. People who loved me caught me, dusted me off, and put me back on my feet. The end.

Once upon a time, later, some folks began to nudge me toward the edge, little by little. They didn’t want me to fall per se – but the closer I get to the edge, the better things are for them, so hey as long as I don’t actually fall no harm no foul, right?

Today people who love me — a lot of people who love me a lot more than I can even process — surrounded me, picked me up, and carried me away from the edge. They dusted me off and put me back on my feet.

My legs are a bit wobbly let and that other group with the nudging habits aren’t necessarily rendered harmless. Still, even a day on solid ground means something.

I love you all.

I will do what I can to repay in love and kindness what you’ve given me.

Thank you for watching out for me.

The end.

To fertilize lawn…

Reading the instructions on the lawn fertilizer. Let’s sum up:

  • Do not mow for two days.
  • Apply to dry lawn.
  • Allow 24 hours before mowing again.
  • Make sure the product has been watered in.
  • Do not water for at least 24 hours after the application.

It is spring in Pennsylvania, which is a shorthand way of saying it torrentially rains every 3 days, and in between the grass grows two feet an hour.

I’m pretty confident I can never actually use this product to its specifications unless I move my entire house and property to another state.

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