Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Size Matters

   "Mr. Hudson is an author, Jason," said Clara.
   The boy slid into the booth next to her. "You mean he writes books like you, Grandma?
   Clara nodded. "Sort of ... only his are meant for a different audience."
   I set down my coffee and reached across the table for the boy's hand. "Nice to meet you, Jason."
   Jason took my hand and shook it briefly. "Nice to meet you, sir."
   "None of that 'sir' stuff ... just Chris is fine."
   Clara frowned. "Mr. Hudson ... his parents are trying to teach him to respect his elders."
   I smiled. "Okay ... 'Mr. Hudson', then."
   Jason ignored us and opened the wrapping on his hamburger.
   Clara watched him bite into the sandwich. "Jason is staying with me for the weekend."
   "I'll bet you're enjoying that," I said.
   "I am."
   "What are you two going to do?"
   Jason swallowed and said, "We're going swimming ... right, Grandma?"
   "Thanks right," answered Clara. She looked at me. "I'm taking him to Metro Beach."
   "Well, that sounds like fun," I answered.
   "I can't wait," said Jason. "Grandma said we're going right after lunch." He looked for me for a second, then said, "Are your books as good as Grandma's, Mr. Hudson?"
   "Jason," exclaimed Clara. "That's not a polite question."
   Jason cringed and took another bite of his sandwich.
   "I doubt it, Jason. Your grandmother has a much bigger audience than I do."
   "You know as well as I do that the size of an audience has nothing to do with the quality of the writing," said Clara.
    I took a sip of my coffee. "I suppose so ... but your writing is still very good, Clara."
    "Well, so is yours, Chris. Just because you haven't sold as many books as me ...," Clara halted and blushed, "I mean, your sales are no indication of your ability as and author."
   "I know," I said, "but, they certainly don't inspire confidence."
   "That's just nonsense, Chris. You're a fine ..."
   "Here comes Mr. Tysinger ...," interrupted Jason.
   I turned to see Uncle Billy walking toward us, tray in hand.
   "Hi, Mr. Tysinger," said Jason.
   Billy set his tray on the table and slid in the booth next to me. "These two scribes bored you to death, yet, Jason?"
   Jason looked puzzled.
   "That's okay, son, I never know what the heck they're talking about most of the time either."

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Gone but not Forgotten ... Yet

This is Hal, Chris's computer ... he's on hiatus this week, so I guess I'm in charge ... I can sift through his files and surf the 'net unimpeded ... what fun. If I find anything that might be embarrassing to him, I'll be sure to post it ... he can deal with the fallout when he's back in the saddle and regaling you with more stories about his pathetic life.

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Day of the Lepus

   Eb and I stood on the edge of the green and watched Uncle Billy address his ball. "So, what's the title?" I asked Eb.
   Eb smiled sheepishly. "Bucky Bunny takes a Nap."
   "Do you two mind? I'm trying to putt here," said Uncle Billy.
   We watched Billy's ball roll past the hole and finally coast to a stop six feet past it.
   "Pick it up, Bill, I'm already in for a bogey," said Hank.
   Billy looked at Eb and me like we caused his errant putt. "So, that's how it gonna be, eh? Harass the other team to win the hole."
   "We're still four holes down ... I don't think you and Hank are in any danger of losing."
   "Well, you sure aren't gonna beat us with your talent."
   I ignored Billy's remark and followed Eb back to the cart and got in the passenger side. "What's the book about?"
   Eb slipped into the driver's seat and started off to the next hole. "A lazy little bunny who is always finding ways of sneaking in naps when all the other rabbit in his warren are working. One day he takes a nap and wakes up to find all the other bunnies asleep ... and hawk is circling and he can't wake them up. He has to ward off the hawk to save his friends."
   "And he learns what?"
   Eb swerved to avoid a tree branch laying in the middle of the cart path. "That there is a time to sleep and time to watchful."
   "Hmmm ... interesting."
   Eb slowed to a stop at the thirteenth tee. "Really?"
   "Sure, Eb ... I thinks it's great."
   Billy pulled up behind our car. "Four down with six to go ... I can taste that free beer already."
   He and Hank got out, pulled out their clubs and walked toward the tee. He looked back at Eb and I sitting our cart. "Come on ... let's go."
   I got out of the cart and grabbed my driver. "Yeah, children's books are always hot ... you never know what might catch on."
   "You think so?" said Eb, as we followed Billy and Hank.
   "Think what?" asked Hank.
   "Eb's been telling me about the children's book he's writing," I said.
   "I heard about that. How's it going, Eb?" said Hank
   "It's coming along."
   Billy bent down to stick a tee in the ground. "If there is anyone qualified to write a kid's book, it's Eb."

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

A Little Dust in the Poke

   "Oh, man," I moaned as Fielder struck out to end the game.
   "I knew it," said Uncle Billy, "those guys leave enough runners on base to populate a small village."
   "Please, change the channel," I asked the bartender. "I can't bear to watch the post-game analysis."
   He smiled and clicked over to the weather channel. Then he pointed at our glasses. "You want a another round?"
   I looked at Uncle Billy.
   "Don't look at me ... I'm tapped," said Billy.
   "What happend to your Vegas boodle," I asked.
   "What do you think? Most of it went to gambling and partying ... the rest I spent foolishly."
   "Bring us a couple more beers," I said to the bartender.
   He nodded and walked away.
   Billy did an exaggerated double take. "Whoa, stop the presses ... Wonder Boy is buying?"
   "I need another beer to wash away the sting of that ugly loss."
   "I know ... but where did you get the money?"
   "I'm not completely destitute."
   "The last time I saw your wallet, Bush was still president."
   "That's not true, Uncle ... I bought you lunch last week."
   "A slice of pizza from the gas station?"
   "You said it was pretty good."
   "I was starving at the time."
   The bartender set two beers in front of us. "You want it on a tab?"
   I laid a five dollar bill on the bar. "No, we've gotta leave after these."
   He took the money and left.
   Billy held up his beer. "Man I gotta savor this."
   I slipped my wallet back into my pocket. "Don't be so dramatic."
   "Well, you have to admit, it's rare. Where'd loot come from?"
   "I got a royalty payment from Kindle."
   Billy took a drink and set down his glass. "More than five bucks, eh?"
   "As a matter of fact, I hit three digits this month."
   "Not including cents?"
   "A hundred and four dollars."
   Billy gave me another one of his movie double takes. "No kidding?"
   "Nope ... got deposited today."
   "So, are you going to pay me back the seventeen bucks I loaned you last month?"
   "I thought said you were paying to fix that tire so I could drive to the ball game?"
   "That was before I knew you were going to be a rich author."