Friday, August 31, 2007

DQ Isn't Always a Frozen Treat

From my last post, readers may have chalked up my recent absence to the assumption that I’ve rode off happily into the sunset, concluding this account of my life with a “happily ever after” feel. Perhaps the more cynical among you have surmised an ironically tragic fate in the form of a freak camping accident, or a mix-up in the Radiology reports.

But alas, I have spent much of the earlier parts of the week utterly convinced that a man was trying to ruin my life.

Although I have in my possession nearly 900 pages of documentation of this fellow’s lunacy, the long reach of Don Quixote’s broken lance is not to be underestimated.

This fictional foe managed to steal not only the ample chunk of time I’d penciled in for his literary exploits Monday evening, but a hefty portion of Tuesday as well. By nightfall, I saw my life vaporizing into a haze of makeshift armor, lance work, and sword fighting.

As if stealing my time wasn’t enough, he attempted to pick my pocket as well, robbing me of the ability to turn in a feel-good back to school article I’d hoped to put to bed on Tuesday.

On Wednesday, I discovered that I’d read what my professor intended as an entire week’s worth of Quixote material within a 14-hour span. I softened slightly toward Quixote. Perhaps I could begin to view him in the same light as the rest of the unusual regulars that frequent my home, such as my daughter’s hungry friend, who is in my kitchen as I write this, eating a PBJ.

Today in class, I was quizzed on the extent to which I’ve retained data from my visits with DQ. Evidently I’ve been too chummy with Don, smiling and nodding during our visits when I should have assumed a therapist’s role with Mr. Quixote, taking notes on his case.

So, dear readers, don’t be too hasty to picture me heading off into the sunset, unless I’m fleeing an armored stalker on a scrawny horse.

Friday, August 24, 2007

Sunny and 75

There's an up-side to being a hypochondriac, and I have the good fortune of enjoying it at a perfect time.

I do not claim to be the Voice of Hypochondria, so I do not speak for hypochondriacs at large; however, I have found that the nature of the beast seems to run in waves.

Typically a "flare up" is put into motion with the advent of some disturbing or strange symptom. Depending on the nature and/or severity of the triggering symptom, a corresponding investigation/panic/general unrest ensues.

For instance, the time an ENT informed me that the sensation of fullness I felt in my right ear could be could be "a tumor, cancer, or worse", I plummeted quickly.

Worse than brain cancer? No web page anywhere on the trail I'd blazed through the worldwide web had mentioned possibilities that could stack up against such a prognosis. This was exactly the kind of situation I feared: an ongoing investigation in search of unknown and potentially terrifying horrors.

Without a doubt, I’d end up like the faceless patients I’d just read about in newspaper article on new advancements in facial reconstruction. I would be hideous, if I even lived, and would I want to, anyway?

My husband, the poor man, isn’t a lot of help at times like this. Having seen me through other tumors, gynecological uncertainties, and numerous suspicious moles, he’s become a bit hardened to medical drama.

“Your symptoms aren’t any different from the 20,000 other patients he’s seen,” he has said, resorting to factual statistics to back up his unnerving calm. “How many people have you seen walking around Hampton without a face?” he demanded.

“Maybe one,” I said, determined not to lose ground. There was the facial reconstruction article. Truthfully, I didn’t know where the woman featured in the piece actually lived, but she was in my local paper and that was certainly good enough for the purposes of this argument.

“One?” my husband raised his eyebrows in challenge. “And the newspaper doesn’t count.”

Transactional analysis, I remembered from my undergraduate psychology studies, purports the idea that we all live by a set of life scripts, or predetermined ways of responding to life events. TA- based therapy focuses on examining the predictable patterns, the scripts, by which we live by and changing or erasing those that are destructive or that we’ve outgrown.

As the author of scripts, director of productions, and small time actor, the concept of living by a psychological script intrigues me. On one hand, I don’t like the idea that I might interact with the world according to a limited range of predetermined responses. On the other hand, I am the author of the script, so the responses are mine.

Which brings me to the Dark Place. Over the past couple years, I have become much better at managing my spirals into this dim realm, but it's always a danger when I'm confronted with any type of medical uncertainty.

In the Dark Place, I shuffle around listlessly. I fall into inactivity. After all, with a host of disfiguring treatments and the grim reaper looming, there's no point in working on my novel. Ditto for working out.

Instead, I wonder if Brad and the kids will decorate for Christmas, and if they know the recipe for pasta fagoli. I burst into tears at the mere sight of any book from the Series of Unfortunate Events, because I’m certain I can’t hold on for enough family readings to see the Baudelaire’s through to The End.

I could go on, but you get the picture. Images of the Dark Place don’t quickly fade and I don’t want to burden you with them.

But the Dark Place isn't the only setting in which the Medical Drama script unfolds.

It was during the episode with the ENT that I realised that the promise of euphoria drives me to the Dark Place. I totally get off on the moment when the whole tawdry affair is laid to rest by whatever negative x-ray, lab result or simple a reassuring office visit the situation requires.

I’d get the good news and realize that I was going to live. After which the sky would seem bluer, the air would smell cleaner and life’s little trials would roll off my shoulders with ease. After all, I just last week I was dying. Reveling in life, I called it. It was a tremendous high that can only be achieved by going very, very low.

Once I identified this trend, I became better able to manage it. Now I don't often travel deep into the heart of the Dark Place, I just skirt the neighborhood periodically, get roughed up by a thug or two, and meander back home.

Consequently, the euphoria isn't quite as grand, either, but just as I'm still familiar with the outskirts of the Dark Place, I'm also pretty glad when I get to visit the suburbs of euphoria, and that's where I am today.

After my "look around" test was derailed by twists and turns in my internal terrain, I was sent for a CAT scan of my entire abdominal area. Evidently, things look pretty normal, and I get to be just a person who experiences occasional stomach aches, not a person with looming masses or chronic diseases.

It feels pretty good, especially since I'm headed out the door to spend the weekend at one of my favorite places. School starts Monday. Life is good.

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Even the Title of This Post Eludes Me

I have no idea what’s has been shuffling around in my walls in the wee hours of the morning, but it wakes me up as it travels behind the headboard and by the time it makes its way to the ceiling I’m halfway out the door with my blankets and sheets.

Having this thing cavorting around inside the wall is unsettling enough, but directly above my head is an entirely different matter. I have a drop ceiling—you know the kind--compressed, cardboard-y type tiles that you can break with one hand and a knee. Whatever it is, I’m pretty sure it’s heavy enough to break though those flimsy tiles and, as curious as I may be about the identity of this thing, I don’t need to find out in a 3 a.m. nosedive through a cloud of ceiling dust and rubble.

Don’t bother sending me comments assuring me that it’s is probably just a mouse—that’s why I have a husband. And he’s wrong. Just as surely as he was proven wrong on that November night in ’02 when months of speculation over “what’s living under the tub” ended when a Virginia Opossum feigned death on the bathroom floor after an altercation with my cat.

I’d like to report that the not-a-mouse is the only thing about which I’m currently unsure, but that would be sloppy journalism.

For instance, classes start Monday, but despite a rocky-but-ultimately successful roadside registration, I still wound up with a hole in my schedule. To my great joy, I recently found out that my full-ride scholarship really is a full ride—covering not only my master’s courses, but the undergraduate fill-in work I have to do as well. So I dropped the community college course in which I enrolled to save money. Only trouble is, classes are pretty slim pickings at this point, and I don’t really know if I’m going to find a class to fill that hole.

On the employment front, my editor is leaving the newspaper and we “don’t know yet what that will mean for the organization of the community news team,” according to an e-mail memo distributed last week.

On Thursday, I submitted myself to the long-avoid “looking around” test that Dr. M suggested as a tidy conclusion to all the stomach ache drama. The entire procedure was abruptly terminated upon realization that my insides feature more twists and turns than a Michael Crichton novel. Of course, it yielded only ambiguous results.

These uncertainties are merely representative of the steady stream of question marks that punctuate our lives. It would seem, then, that successful living requires the ability to carry forward in the midst of the unknown.

I’m not so good at that.

But then again, the Unknown is an untamed frontier that has stymied even our nation’s Secretary of Defense, I realized, recalling Donald Rumsfeld’s ruminations concerning “known knowns” and “unknown unknowns.”

I think I prefer the Yogi Berra approach to nebulous events. “You've got to be very careful if you don't know where you're going, because you might not get there,” Yogi advises.

My first response to the arrival of the not-a-mouse was to move out of the room until a corpse was produced, but after two nights on the not-exactly-a-sleeper-sofa, I returned to the bedroom in the interest of reckless living. After all, the intruder might have been a hapless passer-by. Sticking firm on the corpse thing could leave me displaced for a very long time.

I hit the door running around 3 this morning. Yogi’s right. Caution is in order—but where I’m headed is no mystery. I’ll like the Known, and the not-exactly-a-sleeper-sofa is a fine place to wait for a corpse.

Monday, August 20, 2007

Classical Education

I have no idea who Scheherazade is, and I’m pretty sure this is a problem.

At various points over the past year, I’ve been impressed by my need to “bone up” on my knowledge of the classics, as in, I got caught with my pants down in one too many literary discussions with folks much more well read than I.

The magnitude of the affair came to light when I innocently attended a luncheon several months back and somehow wound up co-teaching a writing seminar with an author who may or may not have been named Buckaroo.

Now, Buckaroo was a man of great literary acumen, capable of wielding references to Faulkner and Hemingway with the same skill that you and I might handle a butter knife.

I got excited when he mentioned C.S. Lewis, but Mr. Buckaroo wanted to delve into The Space Trilogy and The Great Divorce and other of Lewis’ meatier works that I have on my shelf in an untouched boxed set, right next to my well-worn Narnia volumes.

No match for Buckaroo, I went home to read magazines. Unfortunately, I stumbled upon an article in one of my writing magazines that leaned heavily on references to classical literature to illustrate points. Updike was quoted heavily, as well as several selections from The Grapes of Wrath, along with large doses of Scheherazade, whoever he is.

Recalling a failed dinner conversation involving Gatsby a few weeks prior, I plucked a dog-eared copy of Fitzgerald’s capstone work from my shelves. It was time to expand my literary horizons. I went with The Great Gatsby, because as I explained to my sister, at trim 180-medium type pages it’s a “celebrated, yet manageable work.”

A week later, I was tossing about references to Gatsby’s shirts and Fitzgerald’s thematic use of the concept of time. How quick! How effective!

Wasting no time, I pressed on to Walden. Around chapter three, my graduate school application was due, and I stalled out.

But I figured that a master’s program in English was bound to, you know, remedy the situation.

So it was with a sense of excitement last week that I perused the reading list for the upcoming semester. Don Quixote! Great classical fare! Searching my mental database, I remembered some sort of humorous battle with an army of windmills, and I thought I recalled some wooing of women.

At the Barnes and Noble on Saturday, I spotted Don Quixote among a display of classics. Eagerly, I grabbed a copy off the top of the stack—until I realized that the single copy in my hands was the stack.

Don Quixote is a formidable work. 900 pages. Small print. Glancing across the display, I spotted Don Juan, and realized he was the Don responsible for the wooing of women—evidently working quickly, too, judging from the slim spine.

I fear that leaves Quixote with only windmills; although you never know—-maybe somewhere in those 900 pages he’ll meet Scheherazade.

Sunday, August 19, 2007

Stranger Than Fiction

The first clue that I was in for an interesting afternoon came in the form of a sci-fi enthusiast who stopped by my table to offer a blow-by-blow account of a dragon warfare scene from a favorite novel.

I hoped the encounter would prove to be an isolated event in an otherwise productive afternoon of book promotion at Barnes and Noble, but those hopes were dashed in the form of a spindly, newbie writer of epic poems in search of a personal, on-the-spot reading and appraisal of said work.

After what I hoped was a gentle letdown in the form of an explanation that my presence on the premises was actually a work-related venture involving my own written prose, I settled in for a chat with Rain Man’s long lost twin brother. The conversation circled around a loop of instructions he was giving himself concerning what he referred to as “appropriate behavior.”

The conversation underscored why Dustin Hoffman’s deserved his Oscar, and why my BA in Psychology didn’t take. I attempted light and witty banter, before I remembered that savants are literal folk, not prone to levity. I helplessly offered the man a bookmark, actually finding myself wishing the poet would return.

Throughout the course of the afternoon, it became apparent that I need to add "Where's the restroom?" to my FAQ list. I also need to take note of the Barnes and Noble shelving policies, so I can better direct patrons to the works of other authors, although I was able to loan my book-signing pen to a gentleman wishing to jot down the name of an author he wanted to research later, at home.

Judging from the high-pitched incomprehensible chant I witnessed a woman delivering to the inside of a recently purchased book (not one of mine), I'd have to say that bizarre behavior wasn't limited to my little display table. An ill-wrapped sarong and cowboy-boot combo sported by one shopper indicated layers of complexity that transcend verbal interaction.

Perhaps the most shocking event of the afternoon was that I somehow managed to sell some books. The new characters I met along the way were simply a bonus.

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

The difference between lemon juice and lemonade

As I was heading out the door to give a book talk at the Gloucester Public Library yesterday, I found myself anticipating the Interesting Question. The Q and A segment invariably consists of a standard stable of stock questions that keep the rhythm, kind of like the drum line in a concert situation. But at every event, there’s always some off-beat query that calls for a bit of improv.

These are the questions that keep things fresh and fun, because, let’s face it, as relevant as it may be to discuss the origins of my literary pursuits (an early surviving work, The Happy Tree, dates back to 1977) and where I get my ideas (um, doesn’t everybody find 6 or 8 things utterly hilarious, significant or depressing before they get out of bed in the morning?) it’s much more fun to tackle questions like the one from the aspiring writer who wanted to know how many times his submissions could be rejected, as though there’s some kind of cap on the number of people who can dislike your work. (Wouldn’t that be great, if there were some sort of Writer’s Guarantee Program? Muster up the resilience to send something off, say, 30 or 40 times and then—bam! You’re a writer!)

Then there was the guy who wanted a breakdown of the “rules” governing exactly how mean or benevolent you’re allowed to make your characters.

I love that stuff.

Yesterday the question that caught me off-guard wasn’t strange or quirky, but it made me think. A young woman asked what gave me the confidence to think I could write in the first place.

Even though I gave her an honest answer involving some combination of feeling pretty in touch with the teen culture and all the encouragement I received from my supportive husband, I realized later that the question goes a lot deeper, because it really asks me to evaluate what kind of person I am.

See, I always thought of myself as someone who was up for a challenge. But I recently found myself wondering if that image is just a snapshot of Ideal Me, who we’ve already established as radically different from Actual Me. Because it seems Actual Me has a tendency to curl up into the fetal position at the first sign of adversity, a fact was underscored by a visit to the herbalist a couple weeks ago. During the course of the visit, Herbalist J suggested that the transient stomach aches that have starred in this summer’s medical melodrama could be gluten intolerance.

I received the suggestion with the enthusiasm of a six-year-old who’s just been taken off lollipops.

See, I don’t eat red meat. In fact, I don’t eat white meat, either, with the exception of fresh chicken breast cooked just so. I don’t like fish or seafood. Vegetables are good, but nothing too exotic, like artichokes or avacados. I like beans, but they make my stomach hurt.

Minus bread and pasta, I’ve got nothing.

At the mere suggestion of a gluten-free lifestyle, I envisioned an existence of corn meal and fritters. I was haunted by memories of mass cornbread baking late-seventies, when my mother filled little corn-ear shaped pans with a thick batter that baked into hard little corn-ear bricks. My dad, known for his indiscriminate ability to eat anything, made a valiant attempt to stomach the little cakes before taking them to work with a view toward eliminating a rogue band of mice. They didn’t take the bait.

So I went home and rebelled, gorging on wheat matter of all kinds. And I got a stomach ache.

So I decided to take my mind off things by curling up with the newspaper. An article outlining the progress of a major dig underway in Jamestown caught my eye. Turns out, they’re digging up a lot of teeth there these days. So they interviewed one of the archeologists to find out why. Here’s what he had to say:

“When the English settlers switched from their traditional wheat-based diet to a diet based on Indian corn, all the sugar in the corn led to what some of us call ‘Virginia mouth.’ They really suffered a noticeable decline in their dental health.”

Who knew? I altered my mental picture to reflect this new information: now I’ve got myself working through a bag of Fritos with a single blackened tooth, onward to the frame where I’m left gumming my way through a pan of cornbread.

Then I made a foray on to the information superhighway, and found a fellow blogger who goes by Gluten-Free Girl. I access her page, expecting nothing more than photos of a skeletal frame surrounded by corn husks and false teeth.

Instead, I’m greeted by pictures of plates of food and bouncy little stories featuring food as the protagonist. I figure I’ve clicked on the wrong blog mistake, but I read on to discover that it’s all for real. Every post is a celebration over some new perfected recipe or a fabulous dish or new restaurant she’s discovered.

Turns out this girl is one of those elusive famous bloggers we’ve all heard so much about. She also has a nice book contract and a new marriage to a chef who cooks gluten-free. I read and read for days, to the neglect of my own blog, fascinated by the fact that this woman’s career, even her life was jumpstarted by the very events I from which I’m seeking cover.

Isn’t it amazing that victims and adventurers can emerge from the same events?

I Have Not Succumbed to PVIRA or Other Ailments

Readers, I know I assured you that my blogging slump was a thing of the past, and that my current visible productivity does not match that rosy report. Please be assured that a post of reasonable length is the works. Go, do an errand. Sip some tea on the patio. Listen to a ball game. Then check back. In your absence, I will have returned with a post of substance and content.

Friday, August 10, 2007

And the Band Played on...

I caught the first whiff of the latent but impending danger as my daughter was preparing dinner. The smell was vaguely familiar, in a bad way, but was lost in a jumble of wonderful cooking aromas and quickly forgotten.

In the following hours, the smell of meatloaf permeated our home. Friends and family may be surprised to learn that I was entranced by the fragrant smell of the cooking flesh as red meat hasn’t passed my lips in years; however this loaf was loaded with veggies and bread which undoubtedly contributed to its enticing aroma.

The meal was cooked, served and consumed without incident, a detail I will insert at this point—once again for the benefit of family and friends who will be tempted to jump to hasty and inaccurate conclusions as the story unfolds.

Fire, you see, is a normal component of kitchen life in our home. Just as you might ask as family member to say, grab the flour from the pantry, we might ask someone to drop a flaming spatula into the sink; or open the windows to dissipate the haze.

Regulars no longer bat an eye at the sight of flames leaping from my stove top or oven; although once a kitchen conversation with my friend, Kathy, ended in some commotion over the discovery that my sleeve was on fire. Her fireman husband actually heard the “I’m on fire!” cry in the living room, but he disregarded the alarm as commonplace conversation and failed to respond.

Despite reasonable expectations to the contrary, casualties have been limited to the occasional spatula, bread bag or item of Tupperware.

Which was why a wave of recognition washed over me when the fumes reemerged as we were cleaning up after dinner. I’d smelled that chemical, laced-with-death scent in the aftermath of many a kitchen fire. Burning plastic!

For a steady fifteen minutes we searched to no avail for the spatula that had fallen, aflame, beneath the stove, or the piece smoldering Tupperware lurking somewhere beneath the scrubbed-down surface of our kitchen counters.

Nothing. Not so much as a plume of smoke or a warm surface was found.

Puzzled, we widened the parameter of our search, and discovered a crispy plug hanging tentatively from an outlet in our daughter’s room. Half in and half out, the plug must have shorted the circuit. Could have been worse, we thought as we headed out for ice cream.

Arriving home, we found the house had filled anew with the troublesome stench. Our daughter went to her room and returned with the report that her wall was hot. I wanted to call the fire department, but my husband insisted on “checking things out” for himself. Cutting the power to the upstairs, he ascended the steps with a flashlight. Feeling like a fiddler aboard the Titanic, I carried on--puttering about the kitchen, fixing a plate of leftovers for one of my daughter’s hungry friends, puzzling over the impending headlines: Woman Feeds Teen, Washes Sink While House Burns.

With the power off, the wall eventually cooled and the smell disappeared.

While we still have no power in the upper regions of our home, and our daughter continues to camp on a downstairs sofa, my husband’s electrician friends assure us that a sound plan is in place to rectify our electrical issues.

Perhaps, then those ill-fated musicians aboard the sinking craft had it right after all. Perhaps in the face of danger there are those who simply must carry on, feeding the young, entertaining the masses, carrying on the specter of normal in the face of the unthinkable.

So, my friends, should you pass my home and hear cries of fire or smell the stench of flame—-fear not. Carry on in full confidence that you are bearing witness to nothing more than a normal day.

Wednesday, August 08, 2007

Is there an Awareness Ribbon for PVIRA?

This post comes to you at the peak of a productive day of artistic craftsmanship, journalistic acumen and feats of home management. Oh, wait—that’s what Ideal Me did today.

Reality is a bit harsher. Actual Self has a well-documented history of Post Vacation Inability to ReAssimilate (PVIRA), last seen when I fell from the public eye for much of August ’06 following my return from Mexico.

I’d like to tell you that I use these periods for contemplation of my travels—but that’s the domain of my Ideal Self who would be engaged in writing elegant prose, crafting queries to magazines, and selecting photos for submission to contests.

Actual Self tends toward wandering…lost, bereft, prone to moping. A lot of choppy, start-and-stop activity. I drift from room to room, project to project, thought to thought.

It’s not that I’m doing nothing. In fact, at moments I’m somewhat impressed at the number of things I’ve checked off my little post-vacation to-do list.

It’s just that Ideal Me was going to do so much more. Ideal Me was scheduled to have completed a survey of American and English Literature and have taken 12 credit hours worth of CLEP tests. Ideal Me was at the helm of an ambitious promotional campaign destined to have propelled my new book within striking range of the New York Times bestseller list.

Ideal Me isn’t walking about with even a hint of vacation flab. She’s toned, on top of her game and working on a number of incisive stories with local flair and meaty angles.

Which reminds me that another new culinary establishment has debuted within city limits. Dean’s Dollar Dogs and Carnival Foods is now open for business, reportedly catering to the recently-escaped-from-the-Circus crowd, according to one eyewitness. Kim Bab is not on the menu, although I’ve learned since my last post that the Korean specialty follows a free-form spelling policy on a routine basis. One word, two words, bab, bop or even bob are all acceptable variations by which to spell the ethnic fare.

Although I won’t be pitching any culinary story ideas to my editor, the silver lining in my hazy sky is that I think the blogging slump is officially over. Unless this post is just another display of erratic, on-again-off again behavior. Time will tell. PVIRA follows its own course.

Friday, August 03, 2007

Extra! Extra!

In the interest of journalistic responsibility, it is my duty to report that you should not go looking for kim bap.

Further research has revealed that—gasp—a repeated typo in the New York Times led to my inaccurate report concerning the delicacy known correctly known as kim bab.

Evidently, the NY Times reporter suffers from the confusion of p’s and b’s, a malady that has oft afflicted me as well, albeit not in print in a publication of world-wide renown. In a humorous aside, I will confess that upon proofreading the preceding sentence, I had to correct the portion that referred to a “bublication of world-wide renown.”

As correcting the error in my previous post would completely ruin its title, I will follow the great journalistic tradition of referencing inaccuracies in later publication as opposed to a recall and reprint of the erred text.

In other journalistic news, I am happy to report that I do have a new assignment. However, it will be challenging to write the riveting slice of local Americana that I alluded to in my prior post, as the story concerns heartwarming yet commonplace happenings at the neighborhood Target.

At least I wasn’t sent to cover the opening of the new hot dog stand.

On the Map Without Kim Bap?

Having spent much of the past four weeks seeing a large portion of America, I’m left with a single burning question.

Why do I live here?

After all, in the grand scheme of things, Hampton, VA isn’t prime real estate, although the city sends us frequent communications to the contrary in the form of city property assessments.

Most of the email in my inbox would suggest that I live in New York, or failing that, South Africa. Both locales send me online newspapers and update me daily on items of culture and artistic concern.

Why just today, the New York Times sent me a “snack food alert” informing me where I can score the best kim bap—"a crunchy, chewy jumble of savory and sweet, spicy and cool, familiar and surprising"sort of entrĂ©e served in Koreatown. We have no kim bap. In fact, the biggest thing we have in culinary news is the new hot dog shop that opened near Wal-Mart.

Which calls to mind my city’s shopping situation, the centerpiece of which is a JCPenney surrounded by a pile of rubble that used to be a mall. Outside of the aforementioned, we have Target—and did I mention Wal-Mart?

I can’t offer much in the way of first-hand Wal-Mart commentary, although my husband and daughter assure me the police had the clientele pretty much under control during their trip last evening.

We have a lot of traffic, too—but none of it headed toward a ticket quite as hot as Negativland—a band playing in Midtown NYC tonight with a repertoire consisting of nothing but “found sounds.” I’ve never heard “found sounds” assembled into a concert, although I’ve stumbled across quite a bit of racquet that I imagine holds potential for riveting melody if properly assembled.

Considering my two-day plus blogging slump, I suppose I should put all the out-of-town literature aside and find some local art or culture to get the creativity flowing again. Maybe I’ll stumble across something I can pitch to my editor for an assignment.

I’ll write with such panache that when the online edition of the Daily Press finds its way to an inbox in New York or Johannesburg, folks will wistfully quote my prose on their blogs, wishing only for the opportunity to live right here, in Hampton, VA.


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