Pioneers Still Take Out the Garbage

Pioneers still have to take out garbage

The One Child project is rolling out and things are going well.

In case you haven’t seen what’s happening on the Facebook site, One Child is my latest novel and the Enthrill Entertainment team has ramped this thing up to the stratosphere.

It’s being released day by day, for 30 days, starting on July 27th on our website, then as a trade paperback and an e-book on August 25th. The characters have Facebook profiles, the fictitious corporations have websites and there’s even an AM radio station out of New York with the daily news and updates on what’s happening in the book. It’s gaining a lot of traction, and the media is picking up on the buzz.

The Calgary Herald ran a great story the other day, not so much about the book, but mostly about the experience we’re creating. On the first page of Section B, there was a cool headline where they called me a “literary pioneer.” The rest of the article, almost an entire page, was on B5.

But it was the thing about being a literary pioneer that really grabbed me. To me, Mark Twain was a literary pioneer. So was Truman Capote. Hemingway, definitely. And Shakespeare, of course. Lots of others, but this isn’t their blog, so too bad for them because they’re not going to get mentioned.

Now I’m not even thinking about comparing myself to the Bard. Not a chance. Or Hemingway. However, I didn’t go asking for this - it came to me. The Calgary Herald said it, I didn’t. And while the Herald isn’t the New York Times, it is an A-list newspaper in a city of over a million people. Not bad. Not bad at all.

So I got to thinking, maybe I can get a bit of mileage out of this. Lunchtime was approaching and there was food to be prepared. Celia, the wonderful woman in my life, was in the kitchen and when I went out to see what was happening, she suggested that I could help.

I seized the opportunity. “I’m kind of busy right now,” I said. I pointed to my office door. “In there.”

“What are you doing?” she asked. Nicely. Really nicely. Nothing snide at all in her tone.

“Stuff,” I said. Like reading the headline on the newspaper article.

“I could use some help,” she said.

“I’m busy writing,” I replied. “Pioneering, as it were.”


“You know, the whole literary pioneer thing. I’m in my office pioneering in a kind of literary way.”

She eyed me with the curiosity one gives a mischievous monkey at the zoo and said, “Yes, of course. You’re a literary pioneer.”

“Exactly.” I nodded in absolute agreement. “Then it’s settled. I’ll do that while you whip up some lunch.”

“If you think that’s a good idea.”

“Oh, I do,” I replied.

I retreated to my office and checked out the article sitting on my desk. It was exactly the same as before I had ventured out in search of food. I leaned back in my chair and stared out the window at the huge spruce trees in my front yard. I didn’t feel any different. My writing was no better than it had been 24 hours ago. I was completely devoid of any epiphanies. Nothing had changed.

I had seen the look in Celia’s eyes and I realized the window of opportunity for me to evade house or yard work was closing quickly. The power and privilege associated with being a literary pioneer was already waning. Apparently, it was destined to have the lifespan of a fruit fly.

I needed to choose my trip to the pioneering well carefully. Dipping too often or too deeply could negate this incredible honor that had been thrust upon me. I vowed to treat it like someone had handed me a baby whooping crane. Well, maybe not that carefully, but definitely with more care than Tony handled the oil spill.

I headed back to the kitchen just in time to see Celia pulling the garbage bag from the plastic can under the sink. It was heavy and she was struggling a bit. I stared at the scene, transfixed. How would a true literary pioneer handle this? Would they snort slightly, pretend they forgot something in their office and return to the safely of their den? Or would they rise above the mundane and help?

I had milliseconds to make the decision. Her head was turning and in no time we would make eye contact. I needed to know my plan of action. If I were to help, I could sully the hands that earned the praise. Yet to abandon this beautiful woman in a moment of need…….

Our eyes locked.

“Here,” I said, “let me take that.”

“Thanks,” she said, backing off. She kissed me as I reached down and grabbed the bag. “Careful, it’s heavy.”

I lugged the bag out the door and down the sidewalk to the back lane. It was over. The life of privilege associated with being a literary pioneer had died a quiet death in our kitchen. I was back to being a thriller writer.

And that was okay with me. In fact, things were exactly as they should be.

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