Bragging Rights

After my recent premier in Publishers Weekly Magazine, I have more grounds for bragging rights.


As many of you know, I have tried my hand in the past at growing things and I am the only person I have ever met that managed to kill an aloe plant. I was doing okay for a while with my bamboo, as I only had to fill a glass bowl with water every month or so and even that my girlfriend did most of the time. But tragically the bamboo disappeared off the back of the moving truck on the way to California. Very mysterious, no? Or perhaps not, since I barreled down the interstate in a 26 foot truck with the back open for several minutes.

I suppose there is something to that old cliche’, something about getting back on that dead horse and beating it until it rides because even I have managed to grow something. Yes, dear readers, I am the proud parent of a ripe cherry tomato.

This all started with a witch who put a potato in my backyard and expected it to grow and though I watered that potato the only thing that sprouted was an ugly desert dandelion. But since I was taking the time to water it anyway, I figured I may as well get something more promising than an old potato. So, basil and tomato it was.

Some of my lovely plants.

But after the birth of my first fruit, like every new parent, I went a little wild. I started planting every scrap left over in the kitchen: the core of a pepper, three cloves of garlic, a ginger root that was too old to eat. I spent sixty dollars on a flourescent lamp and special bulbs and fancy organic dirt. I have since bought strawberries, mint, a pepper, cilantro, dill, a second tomato, and more basil too. They can’t all die, right?

This blog is certainly long enough but I can’t have a whole string of posts that are mere self-promotion, so I will continue on.


Lately, my internal alarm clock has been surprisingly accurate. I want to get up earlier than I have been, so despite having six or seven hours of sleep I wake up at seven exactly. But I hit the “snooze” button in my brain and think, let’s sleep for another half-hour and then I wake up at exactly seven thirty. I think 7:40 is a much better time to wake up and I go back to sleep for exactly ten minutes. As impressed as I am with myself, I don’t seem to be getting out of bed any earlier.


Though this took the least amount of work, I think it is the bragging right I am most proud of! As you all know, I have been going on at length about the eighty pages of novel I have written. No matter how much I write, it seems to stay around eighty pages. I suppose I am deleting things too. I have read several places that a “manuscript length” should be at least 150. That’s a long way to go from eighty. But I wasn’t using the standard manuscript formatting so I changed my novel to one column, double-spaced just to see how far off I am. It came out to 172 pages! And this is at a ten point font. If up the size to twelve, it fattens to 219 pages! That’s a hefty manuscript. In pages to pounds, I like the idea of my manuscript weighing more than I do.

Of course I understand that I didn’t actually write another 139 pages. But knowing that what I have is actually novel-length is a relief. Feeling like I need to write another eighty pages is such an uphill battle. And I may have that much more to write yet. But I can do so because the story needs it, not because an editor would expect it.


I may be walking proud these next couple of days but the truth is I don’t eat any healthier, get up any earlier and I don’t have a finished novel.