Leila caught a cold while composing this weekly update and claimed that she was only worth “two-thirds of my usual genius” (a statement which proves that the common cold has no ill effects on the ego). Instead of calling out sick and thrusting her duty on her fellow Editors, she asked that I, Daisy Cloverleaf, write the introduction to this week’s wrap and that she would handle the middle and end. Which is precisely what has happened.
Although some out there might consider me a figment of Leila’s imagination, rest assured that I am as self-aware as I need to be. And although I am, technically speaking, a Fictional Character (FC)–a talking, writing Pygmy Goatess FC–to be precise, that doesn’t mean that I don’t have a life of my own. You authors overlook that not all the FCs you create are counting away the minutes until you use us again. Some of us have projects of our own, thank you. And when I informed Leila that although I’d love to help her out, doing such would interrupt progress on an Advice Column I’m developing for syndication; I call it Dear Daisy.
Leila understands that, along with self-awareness, many FCs are also as venal as we need to be. So in exchange for taking up space until the recap of this week’s excellent stories appears, Leila has allowed me to publish for the first time anywhere a snippet of Dear Daisy.
I hope you enjoy it.
My boyfriend Trent and I, like, can’t decide whether to go with a Star Wars or Batman –themed wedding–you know? His folks are willing to go fund either if it means that we move out of their basement prior to the “End of Days” (As if–LOL!!!).
Trent, like, has a huge lightsaber (OMG!!!) for a Jedi wedding. But, like, the Joker is sooo sexy-fine!
WTF 2 do?
Tori of Torrance (she/her)
After giving your problem considerable thought I have arrived at the conclusion that I cannot possibly care less about you and Trent. But in an effort to be positive, I strongly encourage you guys not to reproduce. Consider it your gift to the human race.
Sincerely, if nothing else,
Daisy (Miss Cloverleaf to you)
In the Nick of Time, The Week That Still Is
As I sit here, still slightly befuddled by the effects that a combination of NyQuil and Jack Daniels is having on my central nervous system, I thank Daisy for stepping up (or stepping in it–depending on your level of tolerance for advice-seeking malletheads. FCs certainly have a way of saying things that deflect negative attention from the author). And now it is my profound pleasure to introduce the five writers who made the world a better place this week. One needs little introduction (but will get one anyway) and the other four have appeared on the site for their first times.
Jaydan Salzke authored Monday’s It’s Not About Her. Although I should heed the advice in the title, this is a wonderful example of perspective. The story unfolds in the eyes of a witness. Someone who must make suppositions based on observations. This comes off so clearly that it’s easy to underappreciate the amount of work that had to have been put into it.
If you hang around and contribute long and well enough, you inevitably attract laudatory adjectives. “Venerable,” “legendary,” “redoubtable,” come to mind when I consider Tom Sheehan. On Tuesday he added to his extensive site canon with Loaves of Life. He brings life to times gone by like no other, and even after all these decades he displays a stunning memory of events that isn’t steeped in sentiment.
Megan Wildhood made a memorable site debut on Wednesday. Her wonderfully ironically titled Modern Entertainment certainly gives new definitions for the concepts of family and community. It is both tense and sardonically funny. Such a rare mix, and the idea of it lingers long after the final sentence. You want more, but it ends at the right place.
Cryobaby by newcomer Sean Burke is an inventive look at EMTs of the future–or at least those in an alternate universe. This is a classic example of how “show” trumps “tell” in writing. It takes a minute, but when the image comes together at the end it is quite remarkable. I can see the patient hanging there, in all her tragedy. (If that last sentence has bounced off your head it means you have yet to read the story. You ought to fix that.)
Be Aware, The Hand That Feeds by another first time contributor, Stephan Oram gives a glimpse at a future that might be inevitable. I’m hoping that it isn’t accurate, but the society Stephen presents is so brilliantly presented that you can’t help but worry a little about the possibility. It marks one a bit grateful that they might be dead when this might unfold as reality.
As always, let’s have a hand for the five writers who, whether they produce in secret, or in the wide open, or in some other unknown way, have created stories for us to read and make comments on.
Nine New Ways to Avoid Heaven
Last month I made a list of popular items I do not like. This week, in a naked effort to stimulate conversation (something a bit more evolved than “clickbait”), I present nine things that I like but have no one to share my appreciation with.
- Liquor without ice. I never want mine on the rocks.
- A song sung by Yoko Ono: “Hard Times are Over” off Double Fantasy (this is definitely a one off).
- Anchovies on pizza.
- The smell of a cigarette freshly lit by a match.
- Coors Light (everyone I know rags on the stuff, but someone has to be buying it).
- Minor League Independent Pro Wrestling (The TV stuff sucks anymore because of money).
- Pigeons (no discernable minds, but they have a natural optimism I find appealing).
- Rodents (I don’t necessarily invite them into the house, but I do not spite their right to life).
- Infomercials featuring “stars” from yesteryear. It’s good to see that someone such as Jimmy “J.J.” Walker is still alive and making a living.