Philip Brewer's Writing Progress


Saturday, 06 July 2002

[photo of morning glories]

I went for a run early on the fourth. Next to the failed convenience store, between the sidewalk and the street, there's a strip of grass. Blooming in the grass, thick and low-to-the-ground like dandelions, were morning glories.

Morning glory is a weed around here. If you don't mow regularly, you'll find morning glory vines twining their way across the ground.

If you don't mow at all, of course, the morning glory will quickly be supplated by chicory, golden rod, milkweed, ragweed, and other tall plants. But if you mow every now and then, you'll find the morning glory tends to spread quite nicely. But this display, as if it were trying out for the role of dandelion, was new to me.

I haven't been submitting my stories. It's a classic error--collect two or three or four rejections for a story and then quit sending it out. It's foolish, and yet I find myself doing it anyway.

I had an extra impediment to sending stories out lately, though. After I upgraded my computer to MacOS X, my old text editor didn't run. (Most programs will run, but not this one.) They have a new version that does run, but it wasn't a free upgrade and I didn't want to pay a bunch of money just to get to where I already was. So, I thought I'd see if I could make do with what was available.

There were several programs that provided most of what I wanted, but I had trouble finding something that provided exactly what I wanted. (This is odd: all I want is a program that will print double-spaced courier with one-inch margins and a header on each page, but I tried various things without finding anything that was entirely satisfactory.)

Eventually I bought the latest AppleWorks. I'd had various versions of AppleWorks, all the way back to version 2-point-something, and I have various AppleWorks files that I really want to have continuing access to, such as my database of fiction submissions. AppleWorks is fine for formatting mss for printing, but I was still looking for a tool that did it in a more MacOS-centric fashion.

Over the fourth, though, I finally took a serious stab at getting mss formatted for printing (using AppleWorks, since I hadn't been able to get any of the alternatives to do exactly what I wanted). Then, today, I went ahead and printed a couple. Since all but one of my submissions came back some time ago, this will bring me to three.

I also did some writing, playing with an idea I had for a mythic piece. I've got about 500 words. I'm not sure if it's going to work out or not, but it's what I felt like working on.

Jackie made me a peanut butter and jelly sandwich for lunch. She had suggested peanut butter sandwiches. Then, when it was time to fix lunch, she asked if I'd rather have peanut butter and jelly. I said "Sure." She started to leave, then said, "I would have just asked if you wanted to have jelly on it, but you seem to think that's odd."

It's true that I'd think that was odd. A peanut butter sandwich is a particular thing, and a peanut butter and jelly sandwich is a different particular thing.

Imagine someone offers you fried chicken. Now imagine that they propose, almost as an afterthought, "Would you like me to wrap the breast around a slice of ham and some cheese before I fry it?" That is more or less how you make chicken cordon blu, but it's still an odd way to ask if you want some.


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