bits and pieces

When I stepped out of my house yesterday morning at 4:30 to let the dogs out, it was 74 degrees. By the end of the day the temperature had plummeted thirty degrees, with an overnight low forecasted at 33 degrees.

I could say “Don’t ever change, Kansas City!” Or I could say “Don’t ever change Kansas City!” Knowing the difference could save your life.*


I received a rejection for my submitted story “Icarus” yesterday. I must confess that I was actually not disappointed by this. The publication was one I’d never heard of, and I suppose I was responding to a specific, themed call. But I’ve been thinking lately that I should maybe start aiming for more noted publications. Is this presumptuous? Arrogant? I’m not really sure what those publications are, though several of my writer friends list their credentials on their blogs, and they include some seemingly lofty bylines.

I also suspect that such “lofty” publications don’t need to resort to calls for submissions to attract quality work. In fact, I read a bit about the acceptance ethos at The Paris Review (quite legitimately lofty) and apparently they pretty much only take pieces that they have solicited. According to the article, they’d only accepted one over-the-transom submission in ten years! So far, that hasn’t happened to me. Still, just as with training for a marathon, you have to build a base.


Here’s a random photo selection from my huge collection:

That’s my current truck, named The Prolechariot by my clever son. When I bought it, more than a decade ago, I had a contest (on my old blog, Roundrock Journal) and the winner would get a package of powdered sugar donuts. There were some good suggestions, but Prolechariot seemed to resonate best with me. The beast is now eleven years old, and I have yet to break 100,000 miles on it even though it takes me to and from Roundrock frequently.


If you’re a follower of my Facebook page, you’ll know that I’ve been posting photos of various beers I have been drinking lately. One of those writer friends I mentioned has written a book called Stuff Every Beer Snob Should Know, which I’ve read cover to cover. I grew up in St. Louis and came of age in the days when you could cross the river to Illinois and buy beer at a fresh and foolish 19 years old. Thus I was raised on Anheuser-Busch products, or Big Bru as it and its kind are often called. Her book is beginning to wean me from this, and my nearly daily posts on Facebook are my attempts to show that I am making an effort.


I’m a bachelor this weekend. My wife has taken a four-day trip to St. Louis to stay with our son and daughter-in-law (but no grands, yet). They’ll be doing a 5K at the botanical garden there. My own wild debauchery will likely include haunting the aisles of several used bookstores and maybe buying myself some shirts. Also, yard work. Such hedonism will likely exhaust me. And, of course, there are the dogs I must tend to.


*Or this blog might.

Explore posts in the same categories: Ramblings Off Topic, short stories

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4 Comments on “bits and pieces”

  1. I admire the beer effort (and the truck!). What are you liking though?

  2. Paul Lamb Says:

    Indy – Still favoring the lagers, though I can recognize more “substance” to them than Bud Light. I had tried to develop a taste for IPAs back in the day, but it didn’t take. But I suppose I’ll keep trying other things and see what happens. (My son likes stouts and even made his own batch — that he’s had in his garage for years.)

  3. Nothing wrong with a craft lager! Did you like the wheat beer?

  4. Paul Lamb Says:

    Indy – I’ve been drinking Boulevard Wheat for years, and I do like it, but it’s a bit more pricey and not as “refreshing” as the lighter beers. But I keep trying.

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