Day Four: My Fake Son Is Abducted

Wake up. Go to feed cats, dog and goldfish. Giant dog food bag is shaking. Has some kind of wild animal in it. Take bag outside. Slowly tip bag. Hear frantically scrabbling claws. When bag has reached 85 degree angle, opossum slides out. Stands there doing catatonic opossum thing while I go back inside to get coffee. Welcome to 5 a.m.

After breakfast, find daughter lying face-down on the street with bike on top of her. Yell from the door that she’s not getting out of school with faked accident.

Get strange look from new neighbors–the same people who, when I went over to introduce myself last week, greeted me with, “My God, we’re so sorry.” Had no idea what they were talking about. Turns out daughter told them she used to have a brother, but he was abducted by a maniac.*

Considered playing along. Finally decided to tell the truth.

gardening accident

Off to work!

Scribble, scribble, scribble in notebook from comfort of bed. This writer thing isn’t always so bad, other than the constant, oppressive brokeness. Experience warm glow of back story finally congealing like a nice pudding.

Get trapped by sleeping cats who hate each other. They are North and South Korea, and I am the DMZ. Have to pee but afraid war will erupt if I get up. Lack of nicotine gum finally drives me out of bed. Transcribe scribbles into various profiles/character arcs/outlines/lists. This thing is getting unwieldy. Now have close to 20 Word files. Wish I could grasp Scrivener, but free trial proved it’s way beyond my capabilities.

Days mystery manuscript has been out on sub: 41. Imagine fine patina of dust gathering on title page. It’s probably too smart/too dumb, too YA/not YA enough, too formulaic/too weird, or they just bought something similar. That’s okay! The new Persian Empire story is pure gold. My agent calls it Fifty Shades of Grey for teenagers.

Daughter comes home and cheers me up by singing Beatles medleys in her English Talking Freak voice. Then tells me how a kid at school got his arm caught up in the candy machine for entire duration of lunch and recess today. Laugh ourselves silly.

*not making this shit up.


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