D.V. Sheppard

The web-log of a duck-herding author.

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Ode to the Okra - Omnomnomnom!

"Mmmmm Okra! Omnomnomnom!" - the Wombat 

A while back I mentioned that my better half - the Wombat - wrote a hilarious love letter to okra. Here it is! Enjoy:

Pickled Okra: Or How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Long Distance Relationship

            Walking through the grocery store is always a heart-wrenching experience, knowing that I’ll catch a glimpse of you high on a shelf in the pickle isle stoically occupying your tiny spot like a sentinel. Oh my pickled okra, as I sit and reflect on our delicious history together, I realize that there must have been a time that we didn’t know each other. And yet, that’s so hard to imagine! As long as I can remember you’ve always been there, though mostly at a distance, like a well-loved uncle who also just so happens to be a mid-tier celebrity that travels more than stays at home. Always too expensive to actually be with you, but hyper aware of your presence wherever I go.
            Your label has been crafted into a face of comfort for those that know your inner zest, yet somehow common enough that you blend in unassumingly with the crowd. You have no need to bring awareness to yourself more than you do, because you’re an underground success. You have no need to show off or catch anyone’s eye, nor do you make yourself more important than you actually are. And to me, that’s one of your best qualities. I can imagine that you’re there for me; just me, you, and the memories that we’ve had. And sometimes that’s enough.
            Other times though, that’s not enough at all. I long for the cool touch of the glass jar that surrounds your true desirability. I ache for the soft gasp of air as the vacuum seal is broken with a steady counter clockwise twist to your golden lid. The burst of salivation as the aroma of your fermented spiced brine reaches my nose, like a salty dill perfume, causing my mind to reel as I so willingly recount our times together. The liquid that is your brine reminds me of the many tears we’ve shed for one another in what seems like eons since our last one-on-one connection.
            But most of all, I hurt for that soft texture as I sink our teeth in to the present moment with you, as we mingle the remembered with the new. It’s only the two of us now, reliving so many fond memories, just as we create new chapters in our long history together. Your soft and beautiful skin that hides an equally beautiful inside. A deeper core that pops with new and hidden excitement for life within every opened seed. I know these flavors have been kept hidden from the world; that this experience is just for me.

            Yes, sometimes it’s okay watching you at arms distance as you follow your dreams of niche success. It’s okay to ache a little as you wear your outer shell for the rest of the world, even if you never reach the widespread appeal that so drives you. But at other times, I need you here in my hands. I need your smell, your touch, and the salt that speaks so loudly of your experiences. But I’ve also learned that the distance makes every encounter a special treat. And while I wish we could always be together, maybe it’s the distance that has made our love grow so strong in the first place.

- Love, 
The Wombat

Wednesday, February 4, 2015

Because, Life (IWSG)

I've been reading a couple y'all's recent posts and it seems I am not alone in January kind of... well suckin' awful. I don't know that I would say the month in its entirety held a complete enmity on existence, but it sure ended like it wanted to suffocate as much as it could manage.

I felt like crap last week. Pissed. Apathetic. Hurt. Numb. An awful cyclical LAME. I spat more expletives either in my head or out loud than I have probably in the past year as a whole. I don't swear as a general rule, so for me, it was a sign that I really didn't give a... poop... about anything.

I seem to be recovering, though, there are some things in life that I really wish would heal. Wombat and I dedicated the month of February to Prayer. Because... we really aren't good for anything else. Something's gotta give and when something's gotta give, you got it give it Up.

What does this have to do with writing? Dumb question, I know. How many of you can actually get good work and writing done on a project when you feel like you're in a mire? (Please, have mercy and don't post that it's during that time that you get all your most brilliant revisions and publications done, or I might cry)

I've done little if nothing. I couldn't remember why it mattered, or why I ever cared. It was sad face. I'm coming out the other end as of this Monday. Heck, I even had one of my patients at work offer a kind gesture that made me feel a little warm and fuzzy. She's one of those intuitive sort -you can't escape them seeing through the smiling lie on your face, no matter how practiced you've become (or not, My job in a nutshell? Maybe.)

So here I am tentatively poking my head out, wondering if it's safe to touch the manuscript again. It hurts to look at it and feel nothing. I have some hope.

 Alex J. Cavanaugh's Blog HopOn another note, as I have just delved into revisions for my book, I thought that I would take the advice of... well... some brilliant blogger that I read... can't recall who... it's all a blur... who mentioned writing a query letter even before writing a book - just to prove that your book is query-able. My book is definitely already written, but I figure as I am revising, it's in a "tear me up, glue me back together" stage that would allow major changes - should I find my story lacking important query-able elements. I don't know if that paragraph made any sense, but I have to hit the loo, so I'm not going to look back and fix it if it's gibberish because I need to go.

Well... I'm back... You'd think I had kids with how unabashed I am with sharing the schedule of my potty breaks. Anyway...

Thanks for listening, IWSGers. I will leave you with one more face palm. My last post was a lament on how my bitty super-beginner writing class didn't help much with my paper like I was hoping. This week - two papers that I passed around returned with incorrect grammar corrections. I think I incredulously ranted on my way home, but I suppose that's not fair of me. I know they were trying to help. Needless to say, I've officially adjusted my expectations, and will work on appreciating their efforts and willingness... but otherwise maybe just submit my paper to the schools online writing center for a tutor to look over.