Jeff O'Handley, Author

Jeff O'Handley

The Doubting Writer Finds His Voice


This post today is coming pretty much straight off the top of my head. I’m shooting from the hip. Working without a net. Pick your metaphor, whichever you like.

I hadn’t intended to take a Christmas blogging break, but in truth, I haven’t been thinking a whole lot about the blog this week. No big advance plans, like “on Friday, I’m going to write about…” I do have a couple-three half-completed posts sitting around, but getting them up to ready stage would be too much work, and today, I feel like I got flattened by a truck. Or a whole convoy.

Yesterday morning, we took a three hour drive into the depths of Pennsylvania to see a friend we haven’t seen in a little over four years. In fact, the last time we saw her, her now four-year-old son was a mighty huge lump in her belly, so it was our first time meeting him. We had a great time, and the young one was not shy at all. We ended up leaving a little later than expected, and found ourselves driving through snow for part of the way, on some windy country roads, with a lot of truck traffic (and now I have seen what gas drilling can do to once-quiet rural neighborhoods, but that’s something I won’t talk about here, now). It was uneventful, but the first forty minutes or so were pretty tension-packed for me, so I’m a little achy this morning.

Anyway, about the four-year-old. My own kids are a long time removed from that stage, and I’d forgotten how much fun this stage is (especially when the kid isn’t yours). Not enough to make me want more kids, mind you, but they sure are fun at that age. And they say some pretty funny things.

We were in a restaurant for lunch, and the little guy looked like he got his foot stuck in the chair. I said to my daughter, who couldn’t see what was going on, “He’s trying to extricate his foot.” The little guy hears me, and says, “No, I’m trying to pull it out.” Later on, he was showing us some cars (big fan of cars, he is). One of them had machine guns mounted on the sides, and he started to pull them off. “I can store them under the chassis,” he says. I said, “Oh, they’re removable.” “No,” he replies. “You can take them off.” As Kenny Bania would say:

I love it.

Oh, and if you ever find yourself trying to write a four-year-old, it’s good to remember: they’re wheeler-dealers. They try to negotiate everything. They put Monty Hall to shame. Maybe I’m so tired today because of ‘sympathy exhaustion’ for his Mom.

Forgive the rambling, and have a safe and happy New Year’s Eve. If you’re out on the roads, be careful. We’ll see what’s in my noggin come Monday.

8 Responses

  1. I love little boys!! I miss having one of my own. Mine is well over 6 feet tall now. He was never a wheeler-dealer, but he never missed a chance to correct someone's English. Still does that! He'll make a good lawyer some day soon.

    Oh, I saw this documentary a few days ago called Gasland. It was all about the natural gas wells being drilled all over the place. They spoke to a great deal of people in PA, which is where I was born. It's so sad to see all that devastation and learn how the wells have contaminated everyone's drinking water.

    I'm glad you're back home safe and sound! And I'm so very, very happy to have met you in 2011! I am truly blown away by your talent as a writer. I just hope I haven't scared you away with my writing!!

    Have a very happy New Year, Jeff!

  2. 🙂 My nieces are about that age, and yes, it's always fun to listen to the things they say. Have a good, restful weekend.

  3. Thanks, everyone. Little kids like that are definitely a lot of fun. Nancy – Gasland. Yes, I've seen it, it's been a rather polarizing film. The whole issue has been rather polarizing. I only hope it doesn't get any uglier than it's already gotten.

  4. Ah yes, I presently have a four year old who keeps us alternately entertained and exasperated on a daily basis! Hope your new year was fabulous!

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