Early July

I have to give credit to a neighbor who said that today feels like a scrotum -- as if the Earth were sticking to the sun's leg. Roger that, Pat. Still we finally got the hot tub off the porch and the dry wall up the stairs. We started a diet, we ended a binge, we found great comfort in the way sparkling water makes the strawberries bubbly.

There's not much news from N.C. except that it's hot in the day and humid in the night and vice versa. We've been remodelling since I "finished" my Ph.D. and landscaping and gardening and plumbing and you get the picture. For the most part, I've had two hours a day to write, and I'm working on The Wickedest City, which is becoming more of a historical novel than a Western. Even when it was like a Western, it was more like the movie Wallstreet, except without Charlie or Martin Sheen. It does have John Wilkes Booth in it, but I don't feel qualified to compare the actors.

traci's teaching students how to dream on the page, how to turn off their conscious mind and find out things through their writing that they don't know that they know. One thing we love about Guilford is that most of the students trust her to teach a course this way. Others reject the notion that they can't think their way into a story. Jerks. "Let them sit there in their heads writing diary entries," I tell her, "see if I care." But she pushes them and even more of them get it. I don't know, maybe I'd still rather teach middle-school math (my last major before English).

The kids are great. At least that's what I hear. Zac's been at the beach and in Athens and back to the beach -- I've only seen him a couple times. Naomi, Leah, and Sam are in PA with my folks for three weeks, catching and releasing racoons in wooden cages and swimming in one spot against the Allegheny's current.

I turned 33 the other day, so I set a new writing goal: I want to be the oldest "great American writer under 30" ever -- it will be tough, what with time and space going on and on like that forever. On the phone, Naomi asked me how old I turned. I said, "33." She said, "Neat. That's two of the same number." Later traci asked me, and I told her, and she said, "Neat. That's the same number twice." Genetics is a funny funny thing.

Two more years! I know I dwell on it every year, but I haven't had a birthday to look forward to since I was twenty. Two more years! The day I've been waiting for since I first learned about the judicial, legislative, and executive branches. That's right. Two more years and I'll be old enough to run for president. My elementary teachers all told me that "anybody can be president." So I figure I'll do it at least for a few years.

Maybe you all recall when I woke Naomi up for another day of fourth grade on 05 November 2008, and before she opened her eyes, she said, "Who won?" And I said, "Barack Obama. Are you excited?" And she said, "No. Not really. It's not like he's gonna come to our house or something." And that was the moment I decided my platform for 2012: If you elect me president of the United States of America, I will come to your house. I will sleep on your couch. I will leave the toilet seat up.

Anyway, Pappap and Aunt Jan drive the kids home Sunday, and Zac got home this evening. As for remodeling at this point, the good news is: traci and I are the only family members with a bedroom these days. The bad news is: the only bathroom in the house is in our bedroom. Oh, life, you thoroughly fickle thing.

Also, Desi says hello:


  1. How happy am I that you are blogging again? I am 99 percent* happy. That's two of the same thing.

    *the remaining 1 percent is lingering sadness that we're not even in the same time zone as you guys anymore.

  2. this was so great! there should be a like button. big like :-)