After a web search I discovered that I might be Lactose intolerant. This might be due to the fact I shop when the store is near deserted to avoid “crop dusting” entire aisles. Now, I cowered in my living room yesterday because I was afraid of the snow. Circumstance drove me out today. There was a toy drive and I needed Lactose free milk. Stopped at the big box to pick up toys, a plush ape bigger than anything I ever had, a plush Tigger and virtual drum set. Why? From ages one and a half to twelve I was allergic to fur, feathers, wool and stuffed animals. I slept on a foam pillow with cotton sheets and didn’t have a security blanket. The drum set? Every kid needs a toy that will piss his or her (there was a girl on the box) parents off. It’s in their birthright. Kids should be allowed to misbehave, occasionally, be a little rowdy maybe embarrass their parents. The parents did it but adulthood conveniently erased all of that. Okay, I got the toys and drove to the Sears parking lot. I dropped off the toys and drove to Trader Joe’s, the nearest organic market I could find without an extensive on-line search. Got the first available parking spot and walked to the market. I was assaulted by Christmas carols from every store orifice I passed. Trader Joe’s was the loudest with some Christian song that had been driven into my head by the nuns for nine years. It was like a nail to the brain.

On today’s date Sitting Bull and Walt Disney died. Not in the same year. What do they have in common? They both took a niche group and united them. Sitting Bull was the driving force behind G.A. Custer’s glorious demise in Montana. He didn’t fight, he was a medicine man whose visions presaged the outcome. He was killed in U.S. custody along with eleven followers by U.S. troops. Walt Disney got kids to nag their parents to buy mouse-eared beanies, subscribe to a magazine that extolled the virtues of amusement parks he financed and built. He was a genial chimney smoker who died of lung cancer. His legacy has given us Brittany et al. I remember nagging my mother into allowing me to subscribe to the Mickey Mouse Club Magazine. I’m sorry, mom.

I started a short story about three months ago. I figured it for eight thousand words. I took an on-line mystery writing course. The story has grown. I started moving it along as the story saw fit. I’d go back and adjust for new developments, but by and large it moved right along. The course reintroduced me to outlining. Remember that from late elementary through high school when a teacher would forgo the Q and A method of finding out if the class had done the assignment and had them outline it? I’m doing that now. A free=form piece of work is becoming concrete and I see a whole lot of rough sledding ahead. So far, I’ve changed the ending four times and one of the characters twice. I’ve front loaded the story to set everything up and actually added a mystery to the story. I was able to knock out a thousand words every time I sat down, now I spend more time developing atmosphere and character. This story is growing like zucchini in the summer. It figures to be about twenty thousand words at best.

Monday was Emily Dickenson’s birthday. She is my favorite poet and I have a crush on her. That being said I discovered a one day course on her poetry at my alma mater. I’m going.

See you in the funnies.