Work In Progress

Yet Another Blog Post Wherein I Nakedly Seek Validation Despite Knowing Full Well That My Efforts Are Mostly in Vain and There Will Be Disappointment in the End

Now that I have your attention, let’s talk about me.

As some of you may recall, I mentioned last Fall that I was working on a short-story collection for publication. (Let’s be real, we’re talking about “self-publication”, that nasty phrase that instantly causes people you meet to change their tune from “You’ve been published!” to “Oh, I think there’s somebody more important over there. Nice talking to you!”)

Granted, I’d rather self-publish one of the several novels I’ve been working on since RuPaul was a child. But all of those efforts are in stasis, floundering about. (Those of you who also write books will recognize this predicament: The plot is fine so far, I have hundreds of semi-competent pages piled up, but that one final click you need to wrap it all up and give the madness some sanity is just not there yet.) So, I’m going with the short-story collection until one of the logjams breaks with the pre-natal books-in-progress.

And this is where you come in, Dear Reader.

What are your favorite stories that you’ve read here at Bonnywood? Which of the admittedly haphazard, random things I have unleashed in this tiny corner of the Blogtopia made you think “Huh, I might actually want to read this thing again someday, especially if there’s nothing new on NetFlix and/or you’ve got 30 minutes to kill until the dryer finishes tumbling the linens from the guest bedroom.”

Now, some of you are probably thinking “well, hell, I liked that one story about the Kumquat Insurrection but I don’t remember what it was called.” No worries. Titles are not important. Just throw a description in the comments and I should be able to figure out your reference. There’s a chance that I will woefully misinterpret your words, but that possibility is always there, based on the innumerable times I have completely missed the boat when it comes to comments. (I still feel flashbacks of shame from that one time I thought the comment was about an especially randy round of rural nookie when she really was talking about shucking corn.) Throw caution to the wind and let’s see where it lands.

I realize that some of you will simply give this post a courtesy “like” and then simply move on with your life, but the once-innocent Oklahoma boy in me hopes that an equal amount of you will help me out in this little adventure. I really would like to collect the Best of Bonnywood, from the readers’ perspective, not mine, and see if I can make my midnight scribblings into something more. As writers, we all have a yearning to capture those moments in time when we got things just a little bit right, even if some of us pretend that we don’t have that hope.

So, tell me what you want, what you really, really want. Zig-a-zig ah! (Did you really think I could make it through this post without a pop culture reference?)

Oh, and here’s a random sample of the stories that I’m considering as candidates for the collection, just to give you an idea. Don’t let this selection limit you, these are just contemplations:


The Attack of the Giant Mary


Peace in Our Time

Sushi in the Sky, With Rhinestones

Past Imperfect – #215

Dreaming in Reverse: Ten Books That Made an Impact in My Life – Part I

Dispatches from the Wasteland: The Day I Stopped Twirling and Things Got Real

Alone Again, Naturally – Part I

Sunday in the Park with Brian: Therapy Session #24 (The “Windchimes of My Mind” Version)

Idiot Fondue: Case Study #18


Again, don’t let this selection influence your choices and suggestions. I’d really like to hear what each of you considers some of the less-disastrous moments here at Bonnywood. Speak your mind and run with the wind.


Wide-Eyed Oklahoma Boy


Story behind the opening photo: Another snap from Hidden Valley Ranch in Pecos, New Mexico. I like how it’s not clear what you might be looking at, but there sure seems to be a lot of things that might prove interesting, if you just take the time to nurture and feed them…


50 replies »

    • Thanks, Beth! I’m actually more fond of the “six degrees” post than when I first threw that one out there. It was just a placeholder back in the day, something I scribbled out one night when I realized I hadn’t posted in a while…

      Liked by 1 person

  1. Not gonna do it, Brian. All have your quirky voice. But here. I like when you teach me something as well as entertain, whether it’s something about your life or the political climate…eeck. I loved learning what it was like to work a sketchy convenience store. Cheers!

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Well, I think your entire Past Imperfect collection should be made into a book. (Or does that entail getting copyright warnings from all those hundred directors and actors??? I’m not really sure about the particulars). And another for all the short trips down the memory lane, perhaps arranged chronologically? I’d love to have a copy of both!

    Liked by 1 person

    • I would LOVE to do a Past Imperfect collection, but you hit the nail on the head: I obviously don’t hold the rights to most of the vintage photos I use. But some of them are old enough that they are now “public domain” and others have been used so many times through the years that the ownership rights would be hard to establish, so there may be hope yet.

      As for the “memory lane” stories, I’ve thought about a collection over the years, I just didn’t know how to organize them. But I think your suggestion is brilliant: Just put them in chronological order and call it good. Thanks!

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Gawd. That’s like asking a food-o-holic to choose just one type of chicken from the buffet at Chuck-O-Ramas. So “like” and I’m toddling off into the sunset, satisfied completely with YOUR selection. I do have a wee request though. If you get your collection published somewhere, I’d love to know the details of that if you want to share them. I realize that kind of info is precious and should be guarded well, because a decent publisher (or agent) these days is rare as the proverbial hen’s teeth.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Oh, I’m sure I’ll self-publish this collection just like I did my first two books. Which means, of course, that no one but friends and family will read it, but that’s who I’m writing for in the first place, so it’s all good… 😉


  4. Wait a minute! You write stories? Bwahahahaha! I need to skim over them again. They do tend to make me laugh so hard sometimes that I’m afraid I’ll pee something.
    That’s what several people have told me I need to do…but I doubt I will. I did, however publish a book. It’s my own story but I haven’t posted anything about it.
    I say…go for it. The world needs to read your wonderful humor…none I have ever seen the likes of.
    And…self publishing? The cost is in the editing and the schematics of getting the damn thing to fit into the suggested parameters. If you’re computer smart…it will be a breeze. As for me…I just kept wanting to set something on fire.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Wait, did I miss a post where you talked about your own book, or did you really never say anything about it? (We’ve probably talked about this very thing in a comment thread and I just don’t remember it, because the mental decay has been knocking on my door for a while now.) In any case,you know I would love to read it…

      Yep, I’ve done the self-publishing thing before, so I’m familiar with the crankiness of the parameters and such. It IS a pain, but it’s much easier than that whole mess of finding an agent and a publisher and changing the stories to meet their expectations and blah whine blah. I’m just doing it to have a record of my writing, not for any glory….

      Liked by 1 person

      • No…we didn’t talk about it, so your mental decay hasn’t increased…LOL.
        I didn’t post about it. If you’d like to read it, the title is “A Wasted Life…The Story Of A Little Girl Who Always Thought…”One Day.”
        It’s autobiographical…from my horrid life with the ex, to my horrid life as a child, and…to my ultimate roar, maybe? It’s on Amazon Kindle or paperback.
        If you read it, you might understand why I write such cheerful and upbeat stories. Bwahahahaha!

        Liked by 1 person

  5. I kindof always just like the unassuming nature of your writing. So to point to one thing with flavour I enjoy might be wrong. I think you need to just let it be full of oxygen and real. Don’t overthink it. Don’t open the oven and lose the air. A soufflé will come out right if you let it be right. Bon chance

    Liked by 2 people

  6. I love Sunday in the Park with Brian: Therapy Session # 24, 10 Classic Movies Re-engineered for 2017 and the post with the photo of the 1920s woman in the (?) wheatfield (can’t remember the name). The selections you have here are sooo good though. I had a really relaxing lunch break reading a couple of them. Thanks for sharing your wit and charm with all of us. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Mrs Kim inconvenience store chronicles I particularly enjoyed, but its all about the quirky way of extrapolating a picture or basic starting point and then following it wherever the hell it and you go. On another note… Publishing. The Holy Grail of writers. You’ve got a gift, a cock-eyed way of seeing things. However, every publisher wants a Stephen King cash-register-writer on board. Good luck!

    Liked by 1 person

    • You have described me perfectly. I have the most fun when I start with a tiny little nugget of randomness and just let it happen…

      And yep, I realize I’m not marketable in any way but, for me, that’s also part of the fun…

      Liked by 1 person

      • Strange how from that tiny kernel or nugget the mind goes.The fun part is key, if it ain’t pleasing the author how can you expect it to please anyone else? As for the idea of being marketable, tell me ’bout it. Poetry is basically a womans preserve, and sarcastic humour has a pretty small chance of being looked at, but my moronic muse keeps on badgering. And, it is fun! Even if I’m the only one who’s (wryly) smiling.

        Liked by 1 person

  8. Well, your Past Imperfects are, as a rule, perfect, but if you want my honest opinion, you got a good thing going with Peace in Our Time.
    If you were to take all your growing-up stories, expanded them and maybe added a few.. It’s probably more complicated than what you have in mind, but my hunch is that once you got going, the words would pour out of you. Even if you don’t do it now, give it some thought okay? Pretty please?
    And before you say it, yes, I realize there have been loads of “gay-coming-of-age” stories, and maybe even “gay-coming-of-age-in-Oklahoma” stories. But there hasn’t been YOUR gay-coming-of-age-in-Oklahoma story!

    Liked by 2 people

    • Christi: I’m completely on the same page with you. I’m all for detailing my own “coming-of-age” trajectory, and I constantly have that brewing on the back burner. We may have discussed this before, not sure, but I plan to call that autobiography “The Predilection of the Southward Bound”. (If you don’t mind me getting a bit mystical, that title came to me in a dream one night, years ago. I can’t seem to shake it, so stick it shall.)

      Claudette: As always, you are the bee’s knees…

      Liked by 1 person

  9. Ok, I admit it, I have a crap memory, o to ask me what I liked the best out of all you have written – well ……..EVERYTHING (and yes, I did need to shout). I know you want folks to tell you what moves them (laxatives usually do if we really get down to it), but I personally find great enjoyment in reading what moves you, and the way that you tell me about that.
    Cop out – probably, but you could write a grocery list and I would read it.
    In fact, can you do that? I really want to see what you’d make of it – please, pretty please, with marshmallows on top.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Actually, that’s a very interesting idea, with the grocery list. I might use that on those barren nights when I can’t seem to come up with anything fresh, something along the lines of “this is what I bought this week and here’s why”. That could be a lot of fun, giving me a multitude of quirky pivots into randomness. Still and all, and I mean this with great sincerity, you have provided me with a lot of inspiration over the years. The posts I did based on your photos? Some of my favorites. So you shouldn’t be surprised when I eventually ask you if we can collaborate on a book together. Seriously mean that…

      Liked by 1 person

      • Um, Are you insane? A book! I can hardly string a sentence together let along a paragraph (have you been eating cactus again?) – You do know I don’t write, don’t you? 🙂
        Seriosuly, I really would love to read your grocery list – so that;s my challenge for yuo for 2019. Fee freel to challenge me back (but nothing too hard, remember I’ve only given you a grocery list).

        Liked by 1 person

  10. What I want to know is when is the cat going to get a short story collection together? I find him funnier than anything you ever write Brian and that’s saying something! Maybe you could collaborate with the cat? Or perhaps you could pinch a few of his stories? Anyways I can only remember the cat – I was laughing too hard to remember anything else because I was having to race for the loo because of the laughing and the peeing. Looking forward to whatever you and the cat throw together.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Scotch the Cat DOES deserve his own book. And since he’s now crossed the Rainbow Bridge, it’s important that I keep his memory alive. Thank you for gently nudging me in that direction, and I’ll see what I can do, because he would greatly enjoy knowing that his antics have folks racing for the loo… 😉

      Liked by 1 person

  11. Too many to mention, but off the top of my head;
    Bears on the road, All of the retail, The drinking list, The live commentary from an afternoon in a bar.
    Some of your links were before my time here, so I now have a row of little Brians across of the top of my screen waiting for me to pop back to and read. Spellcheck would like me to review the word ‘Brians’. I will add it to my on-board dictionary.

    Liked by 1 person

    • You know, I actually have about 20 of those “live bar commentary” pieces scattered in the archives, so perhaps I should contemplate a collection of just those things, working in a fictional storyline to link all the pieces. Thank you! I’m getting quite a few ideas from all these lovely comments…

      Liked by 1 person

  12. Well, I had a fun morning discovering a few posts I’d never seen before 🙂 My favourites from the list are:

    Alone Again, Naturally
    Past Imperfect 215
    Idiot Fondue
    Sunday in the Park

    There was also a really amusing tale of a night out at the bar where you were blogging as it happened, and the one with the bike, and your adventures with the car 🙂 (Oh, and any top ten lists about idiot drivers, because those always make me smile!)

    Liked by 1 person

    • Oh, thank you for all of these suggestions. I had originally contemplated some type of “themed” collection but, the more I ponder, I think it might be better for the collection to be a representative of ALL the goings-on here at Bonnywood, with the only emphasis being on “longer” bits than shorter ones. I’m sure my editor, if I had one, would strongly advise against this, but I’ve never been good with writer regulations, as the poor grammar in this comment amply illustrates… 😉

      Liked by 1 person

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