Pitching Unsolicited Manuscripts

I’ve gotten in a good routine here at my Airbnb without my kids or my dog or my big house to look after, aside from managing some final projects. There is something to be said—a lot to be said— for living a simpler life. While our three-story, 3300 square foot house was beautiful with lots of great spaces and amenities, it’s the sort of home where minor projects become the reason to call in a contractor. I don’t own a ladder tall enough to clean my gutters or change out the ceiling light bulbs in the main living space, for example. So here I will say for the record: I never want a big house again.

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Breaking Bad versus Game of Thrones

At the balcony of my Air BnB, I’m facing what might be the only (and loudest) water feature in all of Houston proper. I’m exaggerating of course, but not much. Even a retention pond is hard to find here, never mind a natural water feature. The Buffalo Bayou, slowly flowing about a mile south from my location, is remarkable in how unremarkable it is. It’s just there, a barely moving river way down in a ditch that splits the road and floods when a tropical depression hangs around for too long. Speaking of which, there’s a giant storm brewing a few near Corpus Cristi a few hours south. We expected heavy rain this morning, but so far, so good.

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The One Thing You Need To Know About Your Characters

Plot is simply letting characters’ desires unfold and run to their logical ends.

Ray Bradbury

My house is empty now, save some cough medicine and my Macbook desktop computer, which will travel in the back seat of the car. The contractors are upstairs painting and listening to Mexican ranchera. A favorite just finished playing, a song by Los Angeles Azules, “Como Te Voy A Olvidar.” And just like that, I was transported to someplace in Central America, sometime last fall. What fun.

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In Writing as in Life, Let Your Subconcious Do The Work

I have officially been edged out of my house and have made a little office for myself in the garage. The contractors have made their way from the third floor, all the way to the first floor of my house, working their way down and repainting the entire thing along the way. Eventually, they will blow out the garage, and I will be stuck on my front lawn as I supervise the job and keep them moving along. We’ve been under construction in this house for most of the time we’ve lived here, thanks to the hurricane, so I know I need to stick around while the work gets done.

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On Catching Up with Friends

My neighborhood Ready Pet clinic is busy today. I came in earlier hoping I could do a walk-in with my cats, but they had nothing available until now which means that today my cats have had the misfortune of two round trip car-rides to the vet instead of one. My elderly cat, Minnie, hissed and spat when I put her in her carrier the second time. Poor her. Coming from a family that likes pets in theory (but not in reality), it occurs to me to wonder why I continue to own pets. I suppose I like to care for them and dote on them somewhat. I mean geez, here I am writing about them. My pets also amuse me. Even so, I’m not very hopeful for the 14-hour car ride to Florida with my animals.

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A Time Travel Rabbit Hole

I have spent the better part of the day packing boxes, getting them ready for movers to wisk away into the portable storage container that’s sitting on my driveway. The moving company is called College Hunks Movers. I saw them advertised someplace, and called and that was that. I don’t shop around unless Steve makes me. They are reputable enough to have a customer service script, so when I called to book my movers the lady on the phone said,

“How many hunks will you be needing for your move?”

All I’m saying is these guys who show up tomorrow better be hunks. And better be enrolled in college.

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Sources of Inspiration

It dawned on me that this might be the first time, ever, that my kids are away and Steve and I are totally, 100% at peace about it. At present, the kids are at Camp Grandma and Grandpa, and though I feel like we must have done this at some point before, I don’t think we have. That’s because this might be the first time that both my kids have out grown certain (annoying) behaviors and we’re finally tipping the scales of joy versus pain in the right direction.

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Air Travel Is Not What It Used To Be

Sitting at the Orlando International airport, air travel is in a sorry state. I’m struck by the empty spaces peppering the ticketing counter, which under normal circumstances would have been packed with families vacationing to Disney World, and kids in mouse ears. I haven’t seen a single set of mouse ears yet. Earlier this year I did a lot of air travel. I think I flew four times in January while still mobilized and it was, normal. And fun (even when we missed a flight). I guess we’ll all get used to this.

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