On this day in 2001, Congress certified George W. Bush the winner of the 2000 election, a tragic event that will haunt and torture the people of this nation and the world for generations …

This is also the birthday of French radical Joan of Arc, born on the 6th of January, 1412.  And on this day in 1977, John Gardner won the National Book Critics Circle Award for his novel October Light, a well-deserved distinction; but I think of John Gardner as the author of the books On Moral Fiction and the Art of Fiction.  Mr. Gardner died on the 14th of September, 1982 in a motorcycle accident, four days before his third wedding.  He was 49.

Writing log:  Completed a version of my story Magnanimity and recorded the first complete draft narration I use to lay out sound design and revise text.  Also began revising my story LDP after receiving comments from good and generous reader/editors.  And what grates most is that I have three stories submitted to carefully selected literary magazines, publications I have read, and with two exceptions, have yet to hear from any of them since submitting the pieces in October.  No news is good news I suppose, but I am still learning a personal lesson that began when I was first in school – how to stand in line.  I do not wish to scatter shot my pieces to a large number of magazines I have not taken the time to carefully read.  I suppose I would publish faster that way, but is the point to publish faster, or to publish the best story in the right market … parts of me are very young, though you wouldn’t know it to look at me.

Reading journal:  still making the rounds of eighteen collections of short fiction and still thinking and journaling  about Tennessee Williams, Andre Dubus, William Trevor, David Eagleman, Steven Millhauser, LU Xun, Lydia Davis, Roald Dahl, Ludmilla Petroshevskaya, Thomas Lynch, and have been thoroughly enjoying the exotic short stories of Susan Compo, set in punk scene LA … reading after dinner, started the latest biography of Kurt Vonnegut by Charles Shields … also have begun reading in search of short fiction for the spring edition of My Audio Universe … scouring online literary magazines 2.5 hours every day … I plan to make a financial contribution to Duotrope, a fabulous resource.

Last, there is no snow in the Sierra yet this season, so I have yet to go skiing, but I am well on track to skate a dozen times while the rink in downtown Reno is open.  I have been skating since I was a child and played hockey in high school, but since then I only skate at public sessions and think of myself as an ice dancer.  I know, a challenging thought for those who know me by sight, but perceptions do not matter on the ice.  What matters is that I skate as comfortably as I walk while dancing to a special mix of skating music on an mp3 player.  I am shameless when arcing inside and outside turns to Little Walter Jacobs or T-Bone Walker or Donna the Buffalo or Ernest Tubb …  I wear myself out flouncing around the rink practicing the rudiments of power skating I learned at Syracuse Blazer summer hockey camp in 1972 while Hollywood Fats takes a long solo.  Central to my enjoyment are my cherished CCM Ulta-Tacs.  The sight of these skates is so pleasing, I oftentimes leave them out where I can see them.