This particular aside began with a unique sounding blurb emailed on to tons from my address book on Monday, August 30, 2010 10:05 AM under the heading Subject: Sounds Like a Clever Story:
by Kevin Alan Milne
FROM THE BOOK JACKET:
Sophie Jones has had more than her share of tragedy, and every time she tries to move forward, her past drags her back. Her one consolation is discovering she's not alone when she whips up a batch of Misfortune Cookies that become a surprise hit with customers. People delight in Sophie's unique handwritten messages, such as "Is it love or pity? Try not to dwell on it."
However, when her ex-fiance, Garrett Black, walks into her shop, he reacts quite differently. Sophie isn't depressed; she's a realist who knows happiness is like a chocolate -- sweet, but gone too soon. Garrett, on the other hand, contends that "true" happiness has no end. Since he broke their engagement with no explanation and then disappeared, he's hardly one to argue that point, but he does.
So Sophie proposes Garrett take out a want ad in the local paper seeking sustainable happiness. If he gets a hundred acceptable responses, she'll go out on one last date and hear the reason he broke her heart. Sophie knows he has no chance of winning, but she doesn't count on his determination, or the surprising way the ad changes her life. In the end, Sophie might have to concede that happiness isn't always fleeting.
to which I appended the message:
The next time I bake, I think I'll try a batch of "misfortune cookies". Maybe messages such as "You have just narrowly avoided (insert outlandish disaster here)" would be good for a few laughs...
"Have patience: rainy days will soon return," certainly would work here, too.
At 11:04:34 AM CDT, my youngest sister LBHH responded: My cookie would say, “So your arm hurts. Live with it.” [She'd done severe rotor cuff damage in a fall from her bike, giving not only excessive pain, but preventing her from working past the time where her bene's ran out.]
Last week's might have read, "Humane trapping relocates the blame," after MS released a coon from the live trap in a wilderness area and watched it hot foot it across a field, making a bee line for a barely visible rooftop. Definitely one of the "Free Lunch" crowd.
*****on to next email, which contains a five line character description of a memoir, lightly disguised by the insertion of "lawyer" and a social climber future divorced man******
I will be 66...
My novel is about a young girl (she was 12 when I met her, and pregnant by her father, the fifth of five daughters to be so treated. (Why was this guy NOT in prison??) who does not believe in abortion, but ends up having one. (She also does not believe in incest or rape...)
1. main character is a newly minted lawyer who believes she is unsuited to motherhood based on numerous experiences with babysitting for mothers who did not/could not/would not take the time to nurture their children in their upscale neighborhood. To this end, she decides in seventh grade that the way to avoid messing up a child’s life is produce none. She is mistaken by the world as a feminist and viewed as anti-male, yet in reality she is a closet romantic. Athletic and well-rounded, she plays all sports with a degree of competence, but excels at none. Her most exhilarating experience was hiking in the Rockies, but her fondest wish was for a pack horse to do the heavy lifting. She picked up a pair of banty weight fancy western boots by Justin at Wall Drug on the way out. Her guilty pleasure is curling up with a brain-dead romance after dealing with deadly dull legal works all day. Inappropriately religious. Dislikes coffee, but enjoys its smell.
2. Johnny, a well-dressed but luggage-less hitchhiker, is handsome in a sleezy Italian mafia fashion. Articulate and well-spoken, he belongs on the Las Vegas strip. Builds up respect and confidence over a three day period, then “makes the fruit fall off the tree.” Borrows $20 and leaves afterward. Talks literature and art at an educated level. Race horses are the only equine in his vocabulary. Knows what wines go with what meals. Tan line broken by white space on ring finger.
3. best friend- party girl athletic blond, excels at all sports, horizontal or vertical. Social drinker. Natural flirt. Hard working, hard playing. Did things for a pair of jeans men seemed to like, married or single.
4. social climber in firm going through a fashionable divorce. Cares for his children, but has grown away from his “starter” wife. Plans to be her next love interest.
5. rabbi - contact for abortion. Crisis of faith - move on to bigger area, socially more “Jewish”, or stick it out with the prots in central Iowa. Very small congregation, but super rich in understanding and resources, he takes an active part in helping troubled youth, regardless of their religious/irreligious leanings.
(establishing the date: met girl first year at Toledo? Probably not. Ted showed up in my life right after I had recovered from the abortion. Met the guy returning from getting Lava Ridge Poteka in Oregon, took Jay Dee along to ride in the mountains, an old dream from the Year the Hugus Family Reunion was held at Hidden Valley, WY, after hiking over an 11,000+ foot peak in the Rockies.)
Time to come clean. I have a few faults:
1) so seriously dyslexic that I once, after falling off my horse going over a jump in an open jumping, knock down and out class at a Pinto show hosted by a jumping stable, ran a "perfect" AQHA #2 reining pattern, [then standard across the Midwest] only to have the judge tell me, "I have to disqualify you -- You're the one who landed on her head, right?" "Yes. I thought I had the perfect run on her." "You ran it in mirror image. That's the best trained mount I've ever encountered. She ran it 100% smoothly." As he walked off, I thought, "Probably because for once she was paying attention, instead of being bored by an oft-repeated routine, even though I only ride the pattern during competitions. Otherwise, I just do random moves as the spirit moves me."
2) so verbose I can spend (and once did) 3,000 words to tell a 1500 word story. After tentative acceptance by a magazine IF I could hit the 1500 word mark, I made nine straight edits, recopying only when each edit became too messy to follow (pre-computer era) before I got it down, to the very word. Since I'd stubbornly decided not to delete a single event, the result was the tightest writing I'd done up to that point. It's been published three times (that I know of, by others, and is also in my blog and linked into my web page.)