Jeff O'Handley, Author

Jeff O'Handley

The Doubting Writer Finds His Voice

Musical Monday: Someone Keeps Moving My Chair

There may be a quirkier band in all the land than They Might Be Giants–but I haven’t found them yet. The song goes back almost 25 years at this point (cry) to their 1990 album, Flood. The video was made by an 11-year-old boy several years ago. It works, in my opinion.

In other news, hmm, let’s see. Oh, big stuff, The Catbird and my wife depart today for a couple of days to look at a couple of colleges. Unlike the Magpie, who knew exactly what she wanted to study (and leaves for Japan in 4-1/2 weeks), the Catbird really doesn’t know. That makes it a bit harder to know where to look. I’m hoping this trip will help her figure some things out.

Remember last week, when I wrote about how I wrote something that my writers’ group liked, much to my disbelief? On Wednesday, having to wait for a couple of hours for a ride, I ripped out what has turned out to be a 10-page short story that I really liked–it’s thoroughly unpleasant. It’s currently out with the writers’ group and a couple of other friends. I’m interested in seeing what they think of it. My wife did not like it; it made her uncomfortable, which was part of the point of the piece (interesting side note: Stephen King always talks about writing for your ‘perfect reader’; he says his wife is that person. I seem to like to make mine uncomfortable).

Did anyone check out the supermoon this weekend? Saturday night, it was so bright it almost hurt to look at. And just now (well, when I wrote this, not when you read this) I stepped out with the dog and was surprised to see it up there still, very large, very bright. It reminds me of a line from Robin Williams many years ago, on some HBO special. He interrupted himself, looked off wonderingly as if he were staring up at the heavens, and said, “Look! The moon, like a testicle hangs low in the sky.” I really have to wonder why some things stick in your brain like that.

Speaking of sky-watching, the Perseid meteor showers should be visible the next couple of nights. The extra bright moon may get in the way a little bit, but it’s usually worth watching. We had a bit of cloud cover last night, so I’ll have to try again tonight.

That’s about it for me for now; how’s things by you?

EDIT: As a rule, I try not to subscribe to Magical Thinking. As a kid, I remember my mother sometimes thinking she must have ESP because she’d be thinking about a person and they’d call. The question Mom (and no none, really) wants to hear asked is, “What about all the times you were thinking of that person and they didn’t call?” or the equally-annoying, “What about all the people who called when you weren’t thinking about them?” It’s definitely fun to believe that you have ESP, or that there’s some sort of universal fabric we can’t see that ties us all together, you know? And there may well be such a thing, but I don’t place a lot of stock in it.

Still, I find it odd that I mention Robin Williams here and fifteen hours later find out that he passed away. I remember seeing him for the first time as Mork from Ork on a Happy Days episode, and then, of course, there was Mork and Mindy (really, a show that does not hold up well at all, but Williams was brilliant). As a family we watched Mork faithfully, and when Williams had his comedy specials on HBO we watched those, too. The man kept us in stitches. I still have no idea how a man’s brain can work as fast as his did; it always seemed to be a hundred yards ahead of everyone else. He left behind a great body of work and had a tremendous influence on so many people. He will be missed.

5 Responses

  1. Love that video–and done by an 11 year old? I wonder what he's doing now.

    So many fun sky things happening lately. As long as the weather cooperates, I might be able to see it.

  2. Well, then, I'm guessing your wife is NOT your perfect reader, huh? 🙂
    That's okay. My husband isn't mine, either. That distinction goes to my daughter.

    It was rainy/cloudy last night, so no moon or meteor showers (not that I would have seen those!). I think it's supposed to be raining for the next couple of days, too. Which is okay. Our grass could stand a sprinkle or two.

  3. -Donna–unfortunately, our skies are not cooperating much. I don't know about the kid. I think he's 16 or 17 now, given the age on the video. I think his Mom posted it for him, and there were no comments about what he's up to.

    -Stacy–I would never say that! I think I have a consistent ability to disturb her. Actually, when I finished typing this in and making my first round of edits, I pushed back from my desk and wondered aloud if there was something wrong with me, hah ha.

    -Jemi–still a day or two left, maybe you'll see it yet!

  4. Sometimes it's better not to know what you want to study. It makes it less embarrassing than if you're sure but later change your mind (like I did). Good luck to both your daughters! That's interesting about the"perfect reader." When I write for myself – what I'd like to read – none of my CPs like it. That's weird about you mentioning Robin Williams here. Even weirder that he'd commit suicide. So sad. 🙁

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