December 21, 2023

As we reach the final frenzy of the holiday season, I thought I’d do my part to make life a bit easier by keeping this one short. You know—to give you more time to fight the masses as you retail away.

With that in mind, let’s jump into the Story of the Week and, then I’ll end with a quick update on adventures in novel writing.

Only Here Because the HMO Sent Them

Bev, the eternal cynic, took one look at her Lamaze instructor and said, “She’s oozing so much enthusiasm that I want to throw a chamois over her and wring it out.”

“Honey,” her husband said, “remember your promise about being kinder as you embrace motherhood.”

Despite her pledge, Bev spent each class rolling her eyes and whispering wisecracks.

At graduation, the teacher told her, “Hopefully, we eliminated your anxieties about the discomforts of natural childbirth.”

“Lamaze Shlamaze,” Bev smirked. “I wanna be heavily sedated for the entire thing—maybe even through the terrible two’s—and the teenage years, if that’s doable.”

Prompt: Attitudinally remiss

The quest continues as I inch closer and closer to crossing the finish line of my first novel (“Questionable Characters”). OK, I might be leaving out a few insignificant details—like the massive rewrite process. The point is, I am continuing to push the biggest boulder of my writing life uphill and I’m still enjoying every minute of it—even some recent struggles where I discovered major plot holes big enough to drive whatever it is that you might drive through major story questions like, “Why would this character do that for no logical reason?” or “How did the hero even make that happen?” You know what I’m talking about—the kind of illogical stuff that can wreck an otherwise decent book or movie.

Today I passed the 91,000 word mark of my 339-page still not completed story. I’m starting to think I’ll have more than 100,000 words by the time I write the last line. This probably isn’t a good thing, but it should make it pretty easy for me to be very brutal when it comes to my second draft. Instead of judiciously editing with all the precision of a scalpel, I’m pretty sure I’ll be firing up my chainsaw, and that’s OK. At least I hope it’s OK. What do I know—I’m a rookie novelist with nowhere to go but up, right?

‘Nuf said. Time to wrap up another post. Here’s hoping your holidays are filled with nothing but good things, starting with health and happiness.

As always, thanks for listening.

Scotty out

PS—Last week’s story about the moms who used sperm donors generated lots of comments—many of them very funny. Some of my favorites fell into the inappropriate, junior high, laugh so hard you shoot milk out of your nose category. Thanks, kids. Keep ‘em coming!

PSS–LATE BREAKING NEWS…. Right before we went to press this afternoon, the Monterey Weekly’s 101-word story contest results came out. I still haven’t cracked the winners’ circle, but all three of my entries were published as honorable mentions. Better to be mentioned honorably than other ways, right?

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