Wednesday, May 12, 2010

It's the End of the Semester, Folks

So, so, so....I am in the middle of review column writing for Library Journal and final paper grading. Reference books (mostly two volume sets this time) about national security and human rights are piled up around the sofa like the Great Wall of China, and I have to bust a move to get them all done by tomorrow afternoon, which is my deadline. This morning, I spent most of my time grading the final five-page papers turned in by my Tuesday night Comp I students. Just have Saturday's Comp II papers to take care of, and I'm all done with spring semester.

As a break from the routine yesterday afternoon, before I went down to Wheeling to collect final papers from my students, I started writing a story for a new Woodland Press anthology, which focuses on dark Appalachian tales...details to follow once I finally get it done and turn it in. In the meantime, here is a two-paragraph excerpt:

"When the man finally stood at the screen door, he surprised Buella with his pallor. His cheeks had a grayish concavity. He’d pushed his hat back on his forehead so that the wide, pale plane of his forehead was on display. His hair, which she could see beneath his hat, was jet colored and slicked back with something that gave it an oily shine. His beard and mustache were trimmed with the same care gardeners paid the ornamental boxwoods Buella had seen around fine houses in town. The man’s facial hair, too, was black as bitumen, making his pastiness appear all the more startling. He smiled at Buella, and she unconsciously took a step back from the screen door. Her eyes went to the latch and saw the hook was in the eye. The man followed her gaze.

'Afternoon, ma’am,' he said, removing his hat to expose his lacquer-black hair with its fierce comb marks. A piece fell like a wet pipe cleaner onto his damp forehead and stuck in place. He put down his heavy, rectangular satchel."

Okay, this little piggy needs to get back to work now. I will have a much more exciting post tomorrow, especially since I have so much to say about Jo Neace Krause's amazing book, The Last Game We Played, which just knocks me out with every new story I read.

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