If you saw photos of my den or workshop, you'd contribute to a Kickstarter to get me counseling and/or medication. Given my turmoiled hoarding, I amaze myself by completing stories, getting them published, reviewed and other work of being a writer. And they don't resemble the den, most reviewers say.
WIP, work in progress, is used to described unfinished literature. Under construction, not so much. Do you ever wonder which applies to you, your work and life? I waver between which to use in describing elements of mine. So, that decision is still in progress.
Under construction, but my part, complete
My recent drought of published stories will end with the release of
Lost Trails: Forgotten Tales of the Weird West, Vol. 1, Cynthia Ward, editor.
My contribution of How Five-Gashes-Tumbling Chaneco Earned the Nickname will debut there. Kathleen Alcalá and Ernesto Hogan also contributed stories. Here's the editor on Five-Gashes: "In my American history lessons, the Anglo orientation left little room for the history of Nueva España, not much more for the founders of colonial Santa Fe, and none for the natives' experiences. In How Five-Gashes-Tumbling Chaneco earned the nickname, novelist and short story author Rudy Ch. Garcia weaves the three perspectives into a zany tale of Aztec nagual spirits, Supai villagers and a shaman of dubious repute and powers."
I avoid buying new wood and stick to reuse-recyle-repurpose, found in alleys, and leftover-from-other-projects wood. The sandbox walls used up years of cedar and redwood cutoffs too long to throw away or burn, and too short for other things.
Yard-long steel rods hold the walls together and connect at the corners. I'll build a frame for a burlap-sack roof. After I finish other projects. Oh, and fill it with sand. Completion date: this month. Hopefully.
She specified height, width, shelf features, and I don't know where her meticulous attention to detail comes from, certainly not from me. The upper metal was purchased, but only half as tall as she required.
The challenge was to create this without any dowels showing. A couple can be seen from behind, but nowhere from the front or sides. If you could count them, you'd find I used all 16 of my clamps and could've used four more.
Clamps off this afternoon. Sand and stain with tung oil and cut two sheets of whiteboard for shelves below. Anticipated completion: by Monday.
Denver's changed climate appears to be "too much spring rain leading to root rot." Anticipating that plant on ground level has become fruitless, I'll be building these around the house so we have organic veggies, even when the supermarkets are empty. Next spring I'll add tent structures to limit the rain falling on the beds, which would complete them. I hope twenty inches is tall enough; this bed took half a yard of soil.
He's a work in progress and still under construction. Like my Cradle for Abuelo story that's casi, casi ready to impress an agent or publisher. The story doesn't mention Nieto by name, bit it revolves around the cradle I built for him. There's no completion date for him but it will be past my own expiration date.
Opening lines of the Cradle story, hecho
I believe these words are set in stone, until an editor says otherwise. Eleven thousand words in total that are meant to be heavily illustrated. For 10-12-year olds. Completion date for sending it out: Next week. Friday. Or the following Monday. Swear. But it begins with:
Dawn's sunrays flowed across the Southwest until they touched an inner-city neighborhood, where they somehow lingered over a home painted sky-blue and trimmed in coral-brown.
High above, on the front ridge of an approaching storm, a nagual spirit sat wondering if he should encourage the clouds to avoid the home and go somewhere else.
"I've thought about it enough," he told the clouds. "You've got hail the size of baseball-clumps and might damage Abuelo's new awnings. Plus, you'd wreck his wife's garden. It's time for this Aztec guardian to do his duty."
With that, the nagual swept his hands over the storm front, and a heat-blast from his palms nudged it eastward around the neighborhood. Smiling with pride, he raised his arms and dropped like an elevator at top-crazy speed.
The tidy-looking house cuddled amidst bunches of black and pale rosebushes all around, and a small adobe workshop out back blazed from a skylight's reflection.
Swallowtails, bees and red-headed woodpeckers danced about, smelling plenty to satisfy their appetites.
Nua slowed when he passed through the roof as if it were made of dreams. Coming to rest by the kitchen table, the invisible boy-spirit made himself a seat out of air….
Hibiscus are about a month or more late. But they'll be done in a week or so.
I've got cedar boards from old pallets piled in back. They're for bat houses yet to be started. Three at least, maybe more for other people. Bat sightings this week out front nearly hit 70, more than double what I've ever counted in decades. Our monsoony climate has provided insects to sustain an increase in bats. They know it and must've bred to meet that. Some will be searching for new homes. And yards to drop their guano. I need to make these now. Mañana or at least quickly.
Es todo, hoy, which means this piece is completed.
RudyG, a.k.a. spec-lit author Rudy Ch. Garcia, holding off on new tales to finish what's on his screen