Finding a cop you're not related to

Somewhere along the line, a few years ago, the tax base in Tull got stout enough and the houses got paid-for enough that it became time to have some official representation of law and order in this town. In the past, the isolation of the town pretty much guaranteed that just about any would-be criminal would get good and lost before ever reaching the city limits, but every now and then a bad wind blew long and hard enough to throw a not-quite-desirable someone down the winding road that eventually led to Tull.

A stretch of good road

There were three ways to get in and out of Tull, and in the grand scheme of twentieth-century road construction and enforced commuting, none of them were exactly optimal.

Characterization: Wanda

…so, anyway, Wanda looked at him with murder in her eyes and said—nothing.

It's funnier if you knew her, truly.
But if you know me, you know a little about her.I rarely write of my father's family; not because of lack of interest, but because of lack of knowledge. My father has several siblings, most of whom are still living, but whom I have not seen in years. Moving seven hours away virtually guarantees that you lose touch with many of the family figures that you counted as regulars among your childhood holiday celebrations.

Retloc Returns

The night before a visitor arrives is always a night of quiet, panicked, introspection. Especially when it's a visitor I've not seen in a while, and if it's someone whose opinion I trust.

Tomorrow, Colter arrives for a short visit. He's headed out east to attend a concert and putting in a side trip to Alabama as a bonus.

Colter and Amy, doing their usual photo pose.Mc and Mc

(A picture of us from our last meeting if you're curious—come to think of it, I'm wearing that sweater right now. Full photoset is here.)

His is a friendship filled with memories of every color and shape. Colter, who let me sleep in his dorm room heaven knows how many times during my freshman year while I was distraught over another, floundering, friendship.

Drawing compasses in the air

Ever noticed how only the very strangest of the learning mnemonics you used as a child are the ones that stay with you to adulthood?

Yesterday afternoon I actually started laughing out loud at myself as I tried to orient myself to the four directions of the compass. In doing so, I mentally drew a compass in the air—east on the right, west on the left—and finally placed myself facing north.When learning directions, I was never entirely certain if, when looking north, east was on my right or on my left. For some reason, I just had trouble making it stick. But, it turned out, I wasn't the only one, and a fellow student piped up with his "easy way to remember the directions on a compass."

He said, "You can remember to go clockwise, right? Start with north, and move around the compass like a clock, and say the phrase 'Never eat soggy worms!' and there you are—all four directions!"

Damn him.

A letter, a confession. Hello, Rachel.

In retrospect, a hiatus was exactly what I needed. I wasn't happy with anything I had to say; none of it felt meaningful or thought-provoking. So I decided to take a break, throw myself into something else for about a week, and I knew I'd come back full of ideas and ready to tackle the world—in a literary sense, of course.