Emergency Garage Sale and Writing News

How’s that for a catchy title?  Wondering what the heck I’m talking about?

I woke up yesterday with the intention of dedicating some time to writing.  I’m pretty excited about my current project, a six-part series about an Army medic from each of the living wars.  The hardest part was finding real veterans from each of those conflicts who were willing to share their stories.  I finished the story of Dan, a Desert Storm veteran, last year, and released it as Medic! Part 4: Desert Storm.  It turns out that this confused a lot of my readers, who not seeing parts 1-3, held off.  No matter how many times I said that each story could be read separately, it didn’t matter.  George Lucas did it with Star Wars, but apparently I’m not George Lucas.  I still had to write the stories as I found the right people, so I wrote Medic! Part 5: Iraq, then I doubled back to Medic! Part 2: Korea and Medic! Part 3: Vietnam.

I was lucky enough to meet Henry, a WW2 veteran who got kicked out of school when he was 15, then conspired with his cousin to use his uncle’s notary seal to forge a letter from Henry’s mother, stating that he had been born at home and was actually 18.  After running away to enlist, he found himself on the shores of Normandy on June 6, 1944.

Henry is a pretty active guy, so he’s hard to nail down for interview time, but I was able to do so again last week, so I have a few pages of notes about his return to the U.S. on the RMS Queen Mary.  I was ready to sit down for a serious morning of writing, and hoped to get very close to the end of the draft.

Well, what happened was…

My wife has been talking about having a garage sale for weeks, and had decided that Saturday was the day.  However, earlier in the week, she decided that there wasn’t time to prepare for it, so she scrapped the plan.  I woke up that morning and planted myself in my recliner.  It was going to be great to just write.

At 8:30, she looked out the front door and discovered that our neighbor across the street was having a big garage sale, and there were a half-dozen vehicles parked on the street, with people browsing her various wares.

“We’ve got to have the yard sale!  There are people across the street and they will come over here!”

Suddenly, this was an emergency.  My half-hearted attempt to talk her out of it fell on deaf ears.  I kept my annoyance to myself (which is difficult for me) and just went along.  She began pricing items while I moved the cars out of the driveway and onto the street.  I sat up tables and ran a clothesline across the garage door.  She went in at least three times to attempt to summon assistance from our two teenage daughters, but I think she would have had more success trying to wake the occupants of a morgue.

By lunch time, I was ahead about $40 by selling some of my old stuff, but she had only made $8.80.  The gender gap is real, people.

Today, I’m back to writing.

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