Chess on ice

This morning I got caught up on short story submissions. Three stories have been out for more than eight months, so I sent polite queries about them to the editors. Another that I had already queried about back in December has received no response, so I followed up with a withdrawal letter. This is a case of a market that sounded promising but never got off the ground. I also had a few other stories that were returned lately that I researched new markets for. I have one 5000-word caper story that I have no idea what to do with.

My latest Storytellers Unplugged essay is now online: Going for the Gold.

Received some hopeful news yesterday about a possible foreign deal for one of my works. Can’t say more because it is far from a done deal and may not transpire, but I pleased to discover that it was being considered.

I thought this week’s Men of a Certain Age was one of the best yet. A character with a gambling addiction makes for some extremely tense situations–they’re almost painful to watch. I’m not 100% sure that I’m happy that he got away with that huge gamble, but on the other hand I don’t think he got away unscathed, since his girlfriend seems to have cooled toward him. I liked Scott Bakula’s scenes this time, and Andre Braugher’s character’s decision to leave for another dealership will surely shake things up. Only one episode left this season.

I’ve been watching curling at lunchtime. It’s not a game I ever played, but both my brother and brother-in-law were curlers. When I was in junior high and high school we used to ride to town on Friday or Saturday night on a bus my next door neighbor ran to take people curling. We’d get dropped off at the skating rink while they went on to the curling rink. It’s a much more difficult game than it appears on the surface. A lot of strategy. They’re always thinking one, two, three shots ahead and strategizing about things like whether it’s better to get zero points in an end rather than one so you’ll be the hammer next end (the team that gets to throw the last stone). Check out a match — it’s more exciting than televised pool or bowling, I promise!

Last night’s hockey game between Canada and Norway was fun. Scoreless first period and then eight unanswered goals over the next two periods. Not quite the level of a blowout the women have seen in their first two games, but a decent showing nonetheless. At 8:00 I had to switch over to Lost, but I monitored the score during station breaks.

Speaking of Lost — you know the drill.

The numbers, ah, the numbers. I don’t know that we’ll ever receive any more satisfaction about their significance than what we learned this week. However, what is most noteworthy about Jacob’s scrawls is not the numbers associated with the major players–it’s who wasn’t there: Kate. In an earlier season, one of the others complained to another that Kate wasn’t even “on the list” and this was confirmed by her absence last night. Perhaps she isn’t a candidate because Jacob told young Kate not to steal again and she disobeyed?

Fake-Locke disturbs the balance. He picks up the white rock and heaves it out into the ocean. I’m still not convinced that Jacob = good and MiB = bad. I’m open to the possibility that MiB’s incarceration on the island is unjustified and that we’re being played to follow the normal system of black = bad. Maybe not, but I wouldn’t feel cheated if they went that direction.

So, who’s the urchin? At first I thought it was a reincarnation of Jacob, but I’m also open to the possibilty that it is some version of Aaron, even though he was taken off the island. And oh, how Richard Alpert has fallen. At first he was the calm, balanced, mysterious voice of mystic reason and now he’s just a scared puppy. It’s not a sudden change, though. We’ve seen the creators chip away at his mysticism a bit at a time over the past two seasons–like in the scene where Fake-Locke tells Richard what to say to the wounded Real-Locke during the time leaps.

As for real Locke–he’s still toiling away in obscurity, but he’s somewhat happier. His father didn’t steal his kidney and throw him out a window, at least, since he’s on good terms with the man. And he’s getting married to the love of his life. Still in a chair, still under the yoke of a moronic boss, but then Hurley comes along and gives him a new opportunity. And who should one of his new colleagues be? That bomb blast changed some things a lot more than others. Presumably Ben’s father never went to the island. Maybe Ben’s mother lived in this timeline. And the fortune teller from Tricia Tanaka and Rose now both work for Hurley. Fascinating.

I do wish Frank would get more screen time. He’s funny as hell. “This is the weirdest damn funeral I’ve ever been to.”

And Sawyer, still the con, reading his marks, sees right away that Locke ain’t Locke.  That was quite a tumble he took. Not as bad as falling from a helicopter, but still.

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