1.  I finally bought a photo scanner.  Why oh why did I wait so long?  The first picture I scanned was of my mother towards the end.  She looks perplexed.  My second scan was of me towards the beginning.  Before I learned to read.

2.  There’s been a pile of papers — all manuscript related — on the floor of the dining room (aka my office) since October.  And by ‘pile’ I mean it’s a good 2 feet high.  Yesterday I tossed half of it in the recycling bin.  The other half I filed away.  Ancient news.

3.  I found Jesus on a gold metal cross in the midst of the pile.  It was from Grandpa Red’s funeral in 1989.  No idea how it got there.

4.  I shoved all of my college notebooks and syllabi and teacher comments into one big clear-plastic carton.  And sealed the top shut.

5.  I’ve been wanting to burn one especially cruel critique that’s been haunting me for 6 months.  I finally took it out back, tore all the pages in half, and put them in the dogs’ stainless steel bowl.  Then I tried 4 times to light the edges — 4 times! — but they wouldn’t catch.  Being as scared shitless as I am of fire, I figured it was a sign, so I decided to drown the pages instead.  I used the dogs’ water.  It felt good, watching and waiting for the ink to bleed.

6.  I lost my sunglasses.  The good ones.

7.  For graduation, my daughter gave me a red scrapbook for Rejection Collection.  Here’s what her note on the front says:  I thought you could use this scrapbook to hold your acceptance and rejection letters to magazines and other publications you’ve submitted your brilliant work to.  I figure even the bad ones you’ll still want to read some day.  If nothing else but to mock their ignorance!  Ha!  Congratulations on your official graduation.  XO.  Smart girl.

8.  It’s raining real rain.  But I live in a place where it does not rain — not a single drop — from June through October.  I demand an explanation.

9.  Mira Bartok sent me the nicest note the other day.  Please check out Mira’s List for the latest news on all manner of artistic support and free money.  You can’t win if you don’t play!  A friend of mine just found out Friday that he was awarded the Steinbeck Fellowship — that’s $10,000 and a university office to write in for a year.  Not to mention exposure.  Congratulations, John.

10.  Also in the Rejection Collection notebook, this gem:

True success is overcoming the fear of being unsuccessful. – Paul Sweeney, author

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