Because it's Cheaper Than Moving

I finally had to admit I had a roach problem after they stopped respecting the time-share agreement.

You know what I mean: You turn on the kitchen light, the tiny saloon piano stops for a sec, and then they go right back to doing jelly shots and playing poker in the toaster crumbs.

So I did the usual stuff.  Cleaned up real good, got careful with the trash, sprayed behind the appliances.  Then one night when I had some friends over for dinner, one of the little bastards fell out of a cabinet and right into the soup.


I got educated, got equipped, and then I got revenge.

It took two of us to pull the fridge out from the wall, revealing the hideous Blattodean¹ ur²-source underneath.  I spent about an hour mopping up six years' worth of furry ectoplasm, MIA cat toys, and the lone moldering Cheeto.  Then I sprinkled borax over the floor and caulked up the crevices, which was the best part (because I was all, "hey, this is like frosting a cake!" and they were all, "for the love of God, Montresor³!")  The last roach I saw was fleeing to Italy, carrying his father on his back.

By this point, you're probably thinking, "Dang, Tex - I came here to check out the writer's workshop, not to hear about your horrific affinity for literary allusions and squalor."  So here's what I got.

You work hard on your manuscript.  When you print it and re-read it and red-pen it, you can squash any number of scurrying typos and six-legged plot-holes.

But if you've done all that and you're still racking up rejections or watching your sales figures flatline, then you might need to take a deeper look at things.  This is where critique partners come in useful.  Capable as you are, sometimes you do need a battle buddy to help you pull the fridge out and see where your problems are coming from.

It's not easy.  In fact, it is embarrassing as hell.  But there is a real security in knowing that when a dinner guest doesn't finish her first course, it's because she didn't happen to care for fish-stick bisque, and not because of what she found floating in it.

-Tex Thompson, DFWWW member since 2012

Footnotes (just in case and just for fun)

1 Cockroaches are categorized in the insect order Blattodea.  Derived from the Greek word for cockroaches, “blatta”.

2 –ur has Germanic origins and can be used in a combing form to mean “earliest, original”.

3 Montresor was the narratator in Edgar Allen Poe’s work, The Cask of Amontillado.  In the work, Montresor tells about his deadly revenge on a friend who offended him…and it ain't pretty.

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