Happy Leap Day, everyone. An extra day (!!) to write and submit and obsess and waste time not writing and then even more time by obsessing over why you’re not writing.
Mondays, I submit (submit to the master, oh lord, do I sound like I might write “Fifty Shades of Grey” wannabe erotica, lol?). And today I got my butt up out of bed early and zapped off a poetry manuscript to a chapbook competition and a collection of poems to a backcountry literature anthology.
And the day is far from over. I still have to submit an application for a conference scholarship, a book manuscript for a creative nonfiction contest and my poetry manuscript to yet another chapbook conference (Whew! March 1 deadlines, you see).
I’m pushing to do this all soon, before I run out of steam (i.e., lose my nerve and decide that everything I write is crap and why not give up and slump in front of the TV with a bag of pretzels and “The Bachelor”).
But before I break out the pretzels, I have to share this. It’s a passage in the short story “The Dead Sister Handbook: A Guide for Sensitive Boys” in Tunneling to the Center of the Earth, a collection of stories by Kevin Wilson. I’m a bit in love with this book.
The shirt smells faintly of grass and smoke and lavender and everything else that makes up the only remaining elements of your sister. You breathe in the scents and though you cannot sleep, it staves off remembering; it keeps you from crying.
And, oh, oh, oh, this passage from his story “Blowing Up on the Spot”:
Her eyes gleam brown like caramel and when she catches my gaze, her smile creeps across her face in small increments, as if her happiness starts in one place and slowly moves out in all directions.
Usually I hate when I read that something “gleams.” It’s like, come on, is that a cliché or what? But in this instance, it fits.
I just discovered this collection (it was published back in 2009–where have I been?) and can’t stop reading. I’m supposed to be out running right now and I’m still stuffed in this chair, crouched over Wilson’s book. Because the stories are that damned good and the writing is that damned fine and Wilson’s mind is that odd and quirky and wonderfully unique.
Have a happy Leap Day, everyone.