Jeff O'Handley, Author

Jeff O'Handley

The Doubting Writer Finds His Voice

Monday Already?

I admit I’m at a bit of a loss this morning–it’s Monday–how did that happen so fast? I suspect my sense of time dislocation is at least partly due to last week’s interruption to go to the airport. My own quick update is the Magpie is alive and well and loving life so far. We Skyped with her yesterday morning and she’s still super-excited, though looking a bit tired (in fairness, it was about 10 p.m. her time and she’s been on the go quite a bit). One of the things that will benefit her is that she’s living in an international dorm, has a Chinese roommate, and has become friendly with people from France and Lithuania who are also over there. Though they all speak English, they decided to speak Japanese as much as possible. She says it’s amazing how quickly she has gotten used to hearing and speaking it, and that she’s much more fluid already than she was. Immersion will do that to you.

The Catbird meanwhile had her first cross country race of the season on Saturday. It was cold. It was rainy. The course was sloppy. But I’ve noticed cross country runners take a certain pride in the “we never cancel” mentality surrounding the sport. There’s also a certain bonding that occurs in the face of shared misery; days like that are the kind that can become almost fun after a certain point, and can really bring people together. The Catbird ran reasonably well for a first race of the season, and will get a chance to improve on Wednesday. Ah, the grueling schedule of high school. She’ll know in the next couple of days if she’s got a part in the musical, which will add to the stress level. So far, she’s keeping on top of her work load, which is not small–no coasting in senior year for her!

There’s not much else for me to say here today. I was hoping to catch the Northern Lights this weekend, but topography and cloud cover conspired against me. Instead, I see these spectacular pictures from around the world and think, “Maybe next time.”

On Tuesday, one of the local arts groups has an open mic night for readers. I’m going to read one of the shorts that’s out on submission now called “Sunday Drive.” It’s one of the two stories I wrote last month that I’m rather excited about. We’ll see what kind of a reception it gets.

Time to wake everyone up for the day. What’s going on with all of you?

EDIT: Point of unusuality. Almost three years ago (!) I wrote a post called The Horse Latitudes. In it, I talked a bit about a movie of the same name I remembered seeing in school about a sailor who tried to fake his way through an around-the-world race and ended up going mad. When I searched for the information, he was identified as Philip Stockton (see this imdb reference). Yesterday afternoon, my wife and I watched a documentary called Deep Water. I quickly realized this was the story that had been told in The Horse Latitudes. There was no Philip Stockton, however (the note at imdb about The Horse Latitudes says “the true story of Philip Stockton”). The doomed yachtsman was actually named Donald Crowhurst. He did not enter the race with intent to cheat; facing financial ruin–and the knowledge that his boat would certainly sink–he succumbed to pressure to cheat. Months of isolation on the ocean and the pressure of knowing his lie would be exposed, he diverted to the Sargasso Sea and disappeared, leaving his wife and four children behind. It is truly a tragic story.

4 Responses

  1. Nothing's going on with me this week–thank goodness. Last week was a brain-drainer! Now I just have to finish proofing my latest and get it sent off to the editor. Easy, but time consuming, work. I'll take it! 🙂

  2. -Stacy–It's good to have time to refill your brain!

    -Donna–A lot of times, I just plain forget about stuff like that.

    -Jemi–I agree about immersion. She may come back unable to speak English!

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