Jackson Pollock’s Fruit Salad

Normally at the beginning of the year I have a pretty good idea of what my career goals will be. This year my goal was to survive the Anthology Workshop at the end of February, hopefully selling a story in the process. The rest of the year I’d figure out later. I know that sounds like I’m throwing fruit on a canvas and hoping that the outcome is something other than a sticky mess. But when you’re juggling the pears of a day job, the oranges of an intense writing workshop, and the sour apples of a dying pet, hail Mary throws are about all you can do.

So, did I make a masterpiece? Perhaps. Out of the five stories I wrote for the workshop, three sold. Nothing to sniff at for sure but instead of finishing my second novel I spent the next six months hurling more and more fruit. Starfruit and persimmon, blueberries and cherries, all were thrown at the canvas. I didn’t need more fruit but it was hard to say no when the opportunities arose. I mean, how often does one get offered the persimmon of an invite only anthology? Even if it doesn’t hit the canvas it would be wrong to pass up the chance to make the throw.

And miss I did. But a few of those persimmons are still in the air so maybe one will land. I hope all of them will hit but the longer they’re in transit, the more I wonder. This isn’t a slow-motion montage and the canvas hasn’t been pushed back fifty feet so it should have connected by now. Right?

Given that I accomplished my initial goal, I can definitely count this year a success — though I certainly don’t have any desire to repeat the clean up. I haven’t decided if I’ll stay the course in the new year (you know, to improve my aim) or to set a new goal. Perhaps adding a laser sight to the act. Who knows. Whatever I decide, at least I know I can make one hell of a fruit salad.

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