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Say hello to my lil' friend

"Hey, you kids! Stay off my lawn!"
The essence of living in Montana isn’t the glacier-carved mountains, or the blue-ribbon flyfishing. It isn’t even the cute spotted fawn in your backyard eating your raspberries or that quaint "Horse Whisperer" vibe. No, the true essence lies in those peculiar people that move in next door that you'd swear are in the Witness Protection Program.

East Coast accent. Check. Jersey-bred wife with hair you can see from the space shuttle, Discovery. Check. Mows lawn in brown loafers, black socks, wearing a poly-pressed wife-beater––the whole ensemble finished with an unlit cigarette. Check. Book ‘em Dano.

We have new neighbors and honestly, I’m scared to meet them. I’m afraid I’ll find out my wife has borrowed a cup of flour "and now the juice is running, five points a week". I’ll wind up having my legs broken with a tire iron because I can’t pay the vigorish on an unreturned casserole dish.

The strange reality is that the fly-over states truly are the nation's repository for relocated persons. I have a friend in the US Marshals Service and despite what Tommy Lee Jones depicted; they don’t spend much time chasing bad guys. They spend more time transporting bad guys––on a really, really short bus, with handcuffs and leg irons. And occasionally they relocate some poor rat that turned state’s evidence and now wants to borrow my hedge trimmer because "some poor weeds is gonna get wacked".

Okay, maybe I’m just riffing on Montana because I’m missing it. I’m on the road and then flying to Virginia this weekend for Orson Scott Card’s Literary Boot Camp. As long as I’m not in WiFi hell, I’ll be making daily posts about my week of campus lockdown with 15 other writers. I’m picturing Stalag 17 with laptops.

(Speaking of Stalag 17, any William Holden fans out there? If you’re asking "William who?" do yourself a favor and rent Sunset Boulevard. Trust me).

And as if this post wasn’t drifting enough, I’ve sent out a handful of queries and have one nibble. More on that later.

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Reader Comments (12)

Oooh, congrats on the nibble! Keep us posted.

We've got brand new neighbors, too. If I listen closely, I can hear the faint strains of "Dueling Banjos."
June 7, 2006 | Unregistered CommenterJess
Yay, a nibble is good! Keep us updated.
June 8, 2006 | Unregistered CommenterJaye
Very exciting times for you, can't wait to hear how it goes.
June 8, 2006 | Unregistered CommenterFlood
It's been a good week.

I'll post more tomorrow, but I've had a callback from one agent, been accepted to the Squaw Valley Writers' Conference and had a short story accepted by the Picolata Review.
June 9, 2006 | Unregistered Commenterjamie
That *is* a great week you're having. Congratulations.

Dated an east coast guy once. Loafers, cigs, the whole nine yards. Broke up with him over those f--g loafers.
June 9, 2006 | Unregistered Commenterfringes
jamie, can't wait to hear about boot camp!
and congratulations on the good week. :)
June 9, 2006 | Unregistered Commenteranne frasier
Hooray on the nibble!

Re: Your neighbors...

June 9, 2006 | Unregistered Commenterm.g. tarquini
Good luck and congrats!!
June 9, 2006 | Unregistered CommenterLA

And as to your neighbors, are you sure you don't live next to MG Tarquini?...

June 9, 2006 | Unregistered Commenterdana
That made me laugh so hard I think I swallowed a filling.
June 9, 2006 | Unregistered CommenterJamie
Good luck with the filling. Get it fixed soon, so you can chew instead of just nibble.
June 10, 2006 | Unregistered CommenterDaniel Hatadi
Good luck with the nibble and short story. You're giving me nightmares. I'm super suspicious about getting too close to the neighbours. Co-workers you leave at work. The neighbours you can't avoid. Now there's something else I have to worry about.
June 10, 2006 | Unregistered CommenterAmra

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