Coyote Mercury

words, birds and whatever else by James Brush

The Accidental Hiatus-ist

We did not wash away in the floods, though I’m still trying to collect two of every greyhound for the ark I’ve been building. Unfortunately, they are each individuals, so I’m only able to find one of each.

Mainly, I hadn’t blogged because I wanted to finish my book. I didn’t want to sit at the computer writing and not be writing that, so blog went by the wayside to meet my self-imposed end of June deadline. I made it with a few days to spare.

The manuscript came in at 249 pages or 66,ooo words. A short novel, called A Short Time to Be There, at least for now. When I went back and looked at the early pages written before I really knew the characters or the pace of the story, I found a few chapters and some scenes that I didn’t really need, so I found myself going with Stephen King’s dictum: 2nd draft = 1st draft – 10%. When that 10% comes from the front end, things start to move better. Redundancies disappear.

I finished the book last week. The next day R’s grandmother died so we had to go to Orange to help with arrangements before the funeral. She died in her sleep at her home without any illness or hospitalization a few weeks shy of her 87th birthday. It was a tough surprise, but then it’s hard to imagine a better way to go.

On the long drive east to Orange, we saw a coyote standing on the side of the road outside Elgin. He ran when he saw us. We spotted a red-tailed hawk perched on a power line near Houston. A bobcat ran across the road in front of us in Orange. I never see that much wildlife from my car. I had never seen a bobcat before. The weather was weird too. Powerful storms kicking up while we were in church, where she was honored, and also right before the funeral.

My mind kept going back to Caesar: “When beggars die there are no comets seen; the heavens themselves blaze forth the death of princes.”

Of course she wasn’t royalty or even a prince, but she was noble. She would help anyone who needed it. She took in the lost. She never gave up on anybody.


  1. Ah, much better a flood of words than water.

  2. Congrats on having that first draft done!

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