It's hard to believe how the month of July has zoomed by. Just three weeks ago we were getting ready to drive up to Orlando for a quick reunion with my mom, dad, sister, and nephew.
On our way up and back, we listened to an audiobook that my spouse had already started during his commute to teaching: The Heart of Everything That Is: The Untold Story of Red Cloud, An American Legend by Bob Drury and Tom Clavin. It's the story of a little known Native American chief, Red Cloud, one of the few Native American chiefs to ever defeat the U.S. Army.
Long term readers of this blog know that I have a special spot in my heart for the Little House on the Prairie books and the whole subject of pioneers, Native Americans, and frontier life. It was fascinating to hear this book, which is quite explicit in the cost that came with opening up the frontier to a westward expansion by mostly white pioneers. The butchery on both sides was shocking to me, and I'm not unaware of some of what happened.
I didn't know as much about Fort Laramie, how it was buffeted on many sides as it most often simply tried to keep the peace. It occurred to me that Laramie would make a great name for the dean in my collection of linked stories set at a for profit art school in South Florida.
I came home from that trip with lots of ideas for that collection, and I did get all the stories into place. I think I'll spend the next month revising the collection. It seems like I might be able to do that even on the days when my attention span is fragmented--I want to see if I can revise here and there in the 15-30 free minutes that sometimes open up. I often try to make a submission during those times, but that can be much tougher, both in terms of needing more time/attention span and in terms of which journal is open at what time.
So let me use the windows to do some revision work on the three manuscripts that need it: my short story collection, my poetry collection, and my essay collection. I want them ready to go by the Tuesday after Labor Day.