Wednesday, February 19, 2014

"Ya better say your prayers, ya flea-bitten varmint!"

This has been a good week for keeping "rejected" in the title of the blog.  I had two short stories rejected and was eliminated from the Bluecat competition.  On the plus side, I made the finals for this week's 5 minute fiction contest.  I've won that a few times… but lost far more.

And that is the business side of writing.  On the personal side?  I can see improvement.  I like the stories I've been writing.  Today I'll be submitting short to a magazine that has rejected every one of my submissions for over 10 years.  Stubborn?  You don't know the half of it.

Washington Orville Hampton had this to say about stubbornness.

May 24, 1875 -- California, USA.

We finally reached San Tomasito at a quarter past 10 in the evening.  Sherwood took care of the animals while I arranged for our lodging at the only establishment that offers rooms.  It is disconcerting to be billed by the hour, but the linens are fairly clean and after a week on the trail, the subtle perfumes that permeate everything here are quite welcome.

Our pack mule, Bill Jefferson, decided to quit early this morning.  He sat down near the Amarillo Arroyo and wouldn't budge.  I grew tired of encouraging him onward after a few moments but Sam kept at it.  Sherwood advised me that once a mule quits, it's over and we should just leave him for the pumas, but Sam wouldn't leave old Bill.  The two of them made an ornery pair and we (Sherwood and I) had enjoyed many a laugh as the diminutive teamster waggled his finger in the face of the apathetic animal.

After an hour, Sam took a rest but he didn't give up.  When Sherwood suggested to him that we leave Bill, Sam started in on the rootenist, tootenist tantrum I'd ever seen.  "If there's one thing I hate more than a stubborn mule," said Sam, "It's the pumas that eat stubborn mules."

I had not seen a puma since leaving Chicago and although the taverns in Denver were full of tales, I had become something of a skeptic.  "Oh, they're there." said Sam.  "Hiding in the crevices."  Sherwood nodded sagely.  "He's right, Wash.  There's pumas in the crevices."

But Sherwood also told Sam that we weren't going to wait for him to save the mule because those said same pumas might take us if we spent another night on the side of the trail.  "I can take care of the pumas." said Sam, firing off both his revolvers.  I swear to you that the blast actually lifted him into the air.  I dare say that were I a puma I would not tangle with Sam.

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