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Hey, folks! Been awhile since I updated. My short story My Son the Dragon has been published in Fiction Southeast. This story originally appeared in Pequin; on my story’s page, it states it was first published in Penguin. That is incorrect. It was definitely Pequin. :)
I’m currently reading Blasphemy, the latest collection by Sherman Alexie.
I’m on Goodreads. Go see what else I’m reading because I never remember when people ask.
Hey, it’s Columbus Day! Remember when Christopher Columbus got lost, then found something that was already found, and then tried to pass it off as what he was supposed to find in the first place? He was like, “Hot dog! Gold!” and “WOMEN” and gave his best friend a young native woman for raping. (I believe this was in what is now Haiti.) Then he left some men there to explore and, you know, collect all the gold. When he went before the king and queen of Spain he was all, “The nautical experts were totally wrong! I found the Asian islands, Indians, and gold! GOLD.” I don’t know if he told them about the WOMEN.
Anyway, he went back, found the settlement he left behind burned to the ground (Lord knows why?), no men, and no gold! Being a fair and even-tempered man, as revenge — I mean, justice, he decided on forced labor and tributes from the native people, even though the queen of Spain didn’t believe in slavery.
Oh! And remember that one time, in what is now known as Cuba, when he tricked the islanders into believing he could control the moon by knowing when the next lunar eclipse would happen? Using those great tools of diplomacy — fear, threats, lying — he was able to get a trade agreement with them. Lol, Christopher. You may be the biggest asshole with his very own holiday.
My short story “My Son the Dragon,” originally published in Pequin a few years ago, was recently accepted by Fiction Southeast. FS is a flash fiction literary journal, online and free. The journal has published fiction by some of my favorite authors — Aimee Bender, Robert Olen Butler, Joyce Carol Oates — as well as unknown authors like myself. The journal’s first issue came out in Fall 2011.
“My Son the Dragon” will appear in the upcoming Fall 2012 issue. Interestingly enough, I’ll be sharing a table of contents with my talented coworker Robert Edward Sullivan. I highly recommend Robert’s stories, especially those published at McSweeney’s Internet Tendency.
The last time I updated about my personal life, I was quite upset with my insurance company, among other things, and how they did not approve a medication I desperately needed. A month later, they finally decided to approve the medication, which three specialists agreed I needed to take. It ultimately took a letter from the third specialist stating that if I didn’t receive the medication, I would most likely end up in the hospital (true) and then the insurance company would have to pay a lot more than $670/mo.
Once my prescription was filled and paid for, I made a claim to have the $700 (less any copays) refunded. My argument was that they had paid for the four refills prior to denying me coverage and that after a month of trying they approved coverage through December, thus they should have paid for May as well. A month after my request, I received a check for $670. Hooray.
In early July, I began feeling well enough to start really missing my job. I put in a request to return to work, got my doctor’s letter ready, and on June 30th I was back! This is the middle of my fourth week. The first two weeks went great but by the end of third week, the fatigue worsened. My garden, the house, painting, and my writing & art have all been set aside so that I can rest after work. And this is with only working part-time!
This past weekend I finally cleaned the whole house, which felt good but frustrating. I had started painting the entryway in late June but still have the trim & stairway to paint. I don’t want to fall into the rut again of only focusing on making it to work, keeping up the house, and having no life or no fun. This week has been better than last, but I’m still tired, a bit sad, and definitely irritable. I think I hide it well at work. I do worry about having to take another leave or, worse, not be able to work at all, getting in debt, making life tough for my partner and me, losing everything, becoming a bag lady. ;) Of course, I shouldn’t think like that. So far, so okay — ha.
This weekend my goal includes researching for my novel, reading a couple of novels, painting the entryway trim, and returning to work on the garden. I also need to really get back into a strict schedule of sleeping & waking, eating, taking my meds, and resting. I’m also looking forward to planting fall crocus in September.
As long as I remind myself to do one thing at a time (instead of trying to to do as much as I can all at once) and remember that I have time enough to save up what I had to use from my emergency fund during the 7 1/2 months I didn’t receive a paycheck and to update certain things in the house (counter tops, den, balcony, porch), everything should turn out splendidly!
Below are photos of my entryway. Eventually the balusters, stair risers, & trim will be painted white. I may carry the soft gray from the loft to the wall behind the stairway. The living room will be painted white — modern & airy.
The second photo is a limited edition print by Lee Strasberger. She had completed a number a drawings inspired by Brassai’s photography of Paris at night (1933). I love Brassai & I love Strasberger’s interpretation — I think the piece looks gorgeous in this frame and against the turquoise/teal blue. I’m hoping to buy more of her work for other parts of the house. You can buy original art and prints by Lee here: Lee Strasberger on Etsy