By Henry Dumas
September 11, 2022
Assignment: Write about that happened in your life since our last meeting in June
I wish I had something interesting to write about, like traveling to far off galaxies or meeting a beautiful, older, busty alien female that needs to be rescued from evil green skinned androids. I could write about riding off into the sunset and living happily ever after.
Instead, I will write about how I really spent my summer. I get up almost every morning, hours before the sun rises. Well, I should say, Mr. Bladder gets me up. I sit at my desk that faces east toward the Wasatch mountains and look at my computer screen. I wish I could see the mountains, but my back yard neighbor’s house hides most of my view. What I get to see is my neighbor, Candice; because I look directly into her kitchen, and like me, she opens all her blinds and windows to let in the cool morning air and light. She has what I call a litter of kids, seven to be exact. She’s a Mormon, so that explains the kids. I know why Mormons have lots of kids, but that’s a story for another time. She’s up before dawn doing chores, fixing breakfast, and getting her kids off to school and on Sunday, church. She flutters around her kitchen, filling lunch sacks and preparing breakfast. She always waves at me and I wave back. I often wonder what she thinks about the crazy neighbor, head down and typing feverishly on his keyboard. I’m surprised she hasn’t shown up on my front doorstep with a plate of cookies and questions about my early mornings.
I entered a writing contest at the Salt Lake Community College in July. There were several categories of writing, including adult science fiction. It had to be 7400 words or fewer, so I changed my alien love story, wrote an ending, and submitted it. They will announce the winners in October and they will invite the participants to dinner in November. They are waiting for the college students and teachers to start the fall semester and have them read and judge the stories. I don’t expect to win the contest, but it’s exciting to know that strangers will see my writing and I hope they will enjoy it.
I spent the last week in August at a science fiction writing seminar. The seminar was in the United Kingdom so I had to attend the meetings on zoom. The biggest problem was, the United Kingdom is seven hours later time wise than Utah. I spent several late nights and early morning hours talking to some of the best science fiction writers in the world and attended workshops and networking breakout classes they called speed dating. It petrified me the first time I went to a networking breakout room, knowing they would put me with three strangers and we would work together on an assignment. The only thing that kept me from having a heart attack, the assignments were exactly like what we did in our Joys of writing class. We would have a starter paragraph, read it, add to the story, and pass it on to the next person, just like we did in our class. I could tell the three ladies I shared the class with got a chuckle at the words I wrote.
I spent most nights and some days square dancing. Dancing is great exercise; you walk several miles in a two-hour session; it helps your memory and is good for your brain. I have four different partners I dance with and sometimes they all show up at the same dance. We sit together, and I call them my sister wives in regarding Mormon polygamy.
Finally, I can’t forget to mention Christine, my motorcycle. She patiently waits for me in the garage and I can tell she is always happy to see me. Early morning rides before it gets hot and late-night moon lit highways and talking to crazy night people are some of her favorite pastimes. The only problem I have with her is that she always wants to race other motorcycles. No matter how often I tell her. “No, Christine, we are not racing,” she always disobeys me.
Well, that’s my boring summer and I would write more, but I can hear Christine calling from the garage and I know she wants to get going before it gets too hot outside.