Thanksgiving is rolling up like an Army deuce-and-a-half driven by mercenaries on high octane and I’m not ready for the holidays! I’m pushing through a rewrite of my novel, The Ways of Being Foreign, killing those choice words and phrases that don’t move the story ahead. This is a worthy investment of time because there are common threads between the Vietnam War three decades ago and the situations that make Americans today feel like expatriates in their own country. Memory is a sieve through which we can screen the value of our past actions—and that’s a good reason to write.
More to the moment, I’m also polishing and proofing short stories for Volume II of Cruising the Green of Second Avenue. I’ve been told by the angels at Wild Child Publishing (www.wildchildpublishing.com) to have everything completed by the end of this month. Whew! I don’t want to give anything away, but the last two stories in the series dramatically complete the epic of “growing up” in the late ’60s-early ’70s.
It’s been a year to be thankful, with a number of acceptances by publishers. Today, I also received a note from the editors of The Written Word (www.writtenwordmag.com) accepting “The Wishing Pool” for publication in the coming weeks. I’m happy, not only for the sale, but because the youngsters in the story nibbled at my heart. Perhaps I once was “Otto,” making bets on when the first snowfall would close school and wondering when my father would come home from his business travels. Perhaps we all were young once, when holidays reached magical stature.