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 Slap some pesto or mustard on two slices of sliced ciabatta stuffed with roast veggies and mozzarella or provolone, and press the concoction on a warming grill. Mmmmmm.

It’s a yummers dilemma for me – although I do appreciate the above-described gourmet sandwiches, I don’t like ordering them in restaurants.  Whenever I hear myself saying panini I feel as if I’m using an Italian pejorative to mock the waiter’s manhood.

*   *   *

Every week should have a Yee-Haw! moment

Yeehaw owl

After Monday’s four-way Skype conference with Scarletta Press’s publisher and editor and publicity gurus, my head was spinning[1] with the details leading up to the launching of The Mighty Quinn.  I now have an even stronger appreciation for Scarletta’s social/media and PR directors, whom I picture as incarnations of the beautiful and fiery Durga, the multi-armed god of multitasking.[2]

I should be getting the final galleys for TMQ by the end of the month, and am so looking forward to seeing the additional drawings from Katie and Aaron DeYoe, TMQ’s illustrators.  Aptly described on Scarletta’s website as “the cutest pair of redheads you’ll ever meet,” Katie and Aaron’s delightful, whimsical line drawings capture the essence of TMQ’s characters, including the nemesis, Matt Barker.

matt_caveman*   *   *

On Wednesday I received info re another book that is approaching its launch date.  The editor of the Joy: Interrupted anthology sent a group email to the book’s contributors,[3] reminding us that proofs of our articles are due back to her by a certain date.  My name was on the email’s Good for You list  of authors who had already returned their edits, which got me thinking about the errors I’d discovered while checking the anthology galley.  Once again, while proofreading a story of mine (that had already been copy-edited by an editor, I was mystified and amused by the ghost in the machinery: the typos, missing or inappropriately inserted or transposed punctuation, and other boo-boos that were not present in the original document.

This is a common experience, in my experience.  For every five continuity errors a wonderful copy editor catches in one of my stories (“You describe your protagonist Arthur as a gap-toothed redhead in chapter two and a toothless blonde in chapter four”), I’ll find one randomly inserted apostrophe, inverted quotation mark, or the like.

Publishers, authors, editors – many if not most of us literati-types thought that electronic transfer of files and documents would eliminate the pesky errata gremlins.  You email the file, they open and/or save it as is.  What could possibly go wrong?  But, noooooo.  The phantom, inappropriately placed em dash strikes back.

MH, with with his years of chip testing/design and computer systems experience, is my go-to tech consultant.  I showed him the original document I’d sent to the anthology, alongside the galley copy I received with the mystery insertions.  I told him how frequently it happens with other publications, and therefore I don’t think it’s anything the editors are doing…and, so, what gives?  He admitted to being puzzled over the situation before offering this insightful reply:

“Something happens.”

*   *   *

Who was that masked man anyway?


On my way to running errands/get lunch, I tuned in to my favorite (okay, my only) classical radio station.  Without warning I heard the infamous and exuberant pounding cymbals and staccato strings – some Philharmonic Orchestra’s rendition of the William Tell Overture.

Specification:  I used the phrase “without warning” because some kind of intro would have been nice, seeing as how the overture to Rossini’s William Tell opera is one of the pieces of music that fits into my Move The Furniture/Pull Over genre.

If I am at home or work and a MTF/PO song comes on the radio, space must be cleared for dancing.[4]  If I’m in the car and a MTF/PO song is on the radio, in consideration of the safety of the other drivers I must pull over to the side of the road.  When the William Tell Overture[5] is in full swing I am Ke-mo-sah-be, Tonto, Silver, Scout – I am the entire cast of The Lone Ranger, galloping full speed over and through the faux-sagebrush-festooned Hollywood backdrops great plains and arroyos of the American West.

Safely parked on a side street, I caught my breath as the overture ended, and had a mild epiphany of sorts.  I am not a hardcore classics aficionado and am unfamiliar with Rossini’s opera in its entirety, and for the first time in my life I began to wonder about the rest of the work.  Imagine, attending a performance of The William Tell Opera, which would open with…well…The William Tell Overture. And The William Tell Overture is just that – the overture.  Not the after-ture, or the middle- ture, it is the overture.[6]   Imagine hearing it for the first time and thinking, after you’ve stopped hyperventilating, “Okay, now, what?   What could possibly follow this?!”

Clarification:  what, exactly, qualifies a song for the coveted MTF/PO status?  It’s difficult to explain.  With apologies for my appropriation of  SCOTUS Justice Potter’s infamous definition of pornography, I’ll just say that I know what it is when I hear it.  And Stevie Wonder’s Signed, Sealed, Delivered is a slam dunk in this category.

 *   *   *

Confession/Caveat

Even if your home-from-college-son is in the other room supposedly immersed in a computer game and with his headphones on, and you are in the kitchen with the garbage disposal running, do not assume you will be safe from his detection if you squeeze out a barking spider.[7]

You’re welcome.

*   *   *

There was to be more to this post.  Much more….  You could have be afraid, very afraid.  There were several deserving candidates for Asshat of the Week, etc.  What can I say – saved by the MTF/PO.  Push that sofa to the wall, get down with your bad self and shake your groove thang[8].  It’s time for hilarity to ensue.

Thanks for stopping by.  Au Vendredi!


[1] Spinning in a good way, as opposed to the Exorcist/projectile, pea-soup spewing way.

[2] Variously depicted as having anywhere from 8-18 arms, Durga is actually the Hindu deity representing the power of the Supreme Being that preserves moral order and righteousness in the creation. Which sounds like multi-tasking to moi.

[3] My story “Maddie is Dead,” first published in the literary journal The Externalist, will be in the anthology.

[4] Which in my case sometimes means just running around in a frantic if joyful circle.

[5] Someone smarter than you or moi defined an intellectual as “a person who can listen to the William Tell Overture without thinking of the Lone Ranger.”

[6] An overture is an instrumental composition intended especially as an introduction to an extended work, such as an opera or oratorio.

[7] Barking spiders – what farts are blamed on when there’s no dog available.

[8] Or accept that robo-call from Bangalore if your groove thang has been outsourced.