True story: On a day not unlike recent days (when darting into daunting double digits is doubtful), though nearly four decades ago, I was a callow undergrad at a sprawling commuter college* in the city where I lived. After the day’s classes, I went out to my Volkswagen Beetle and found the door locks frozen. So I called Campus Security since they prowled the parking garages to help the hapless. They told me that there was nothing they could do, but that they recommended people keep a can of de-icer in their cars for just such incidents. So think about that. You can’t get into your car, but you should keep the remedy for that within your car. (I eventually went to the cafeteria, got a large bucket of hot water, and poured it on my door handle. That worked. Of course adding water to a lock that had already frozen once was a fool’s solution, but it was an old Beetle, so I just left it unlocked for the rest of the winter.)


When I read Don Quixote many years ago, I kept a record of the number of pages I had completed as a weekly footnote in my old blog, Roundrock Journal. The paperback copy I had (which I intended to read on the 24 hours of my traveling to Nairobi and back) was 700+ pages. For whatever reason, I didn’t get much reading done on the plane, and it subsequently took me several months to finish the novel. I’m beginning to think I should do the same with The Hatawaki. I’ve been at it for more than a week, and I’m only a third of the way through it.**


Here is a picture of a round rock at my cabin:


I realize that I am probably missing some opportunities by not submitting my stories to magazines that charge a fee, even a nominal fee, but the ratio of acceptance to rejection in the submissions I have made elsewhere doesn’t give me the confidence to risk the money.


One unpleasant discovery when I was prowling through the history of this blog, as I reported last week, was finding that someone had linked to one of my posts and said dismissive things about it. I had asserted in my post that the old dictum that the only dialog tag should be some variation of “said” was arbitrary and often a wasted opportunity to use a stronger verb. The other blogger said that my post was “typical” of a naive line of thinking about writing, common to beginners. This other blogger has several novels published and happens to be a descendant of a very prominent British writer and thinker, but I still stand by my assertion about dialog tags! (In fact, one character just “chirped” in The Hakawati!)


And here is a picture of my dog, Flike:


I dream in color. What about you?



*And where my daughter-in-law is now a student!
** I finished it on 28JAN18, but I secretly wished it would never end.

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One Comment on “miscellanea”

  1. I love border collies. And his eyes!

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