Cede Catalogue: giving it all away

The next in my parade of mischief, this one was inspired by a catalogue, as you certainly can imagine, from a local company called Sow True Seeds. The protagonists in these tales all yield in one way or another. (As the cover indicates this one has a record-breaking 378 footnotes!)

Person giving up

From the opening story

Sew True Cedes

I don’t think there ever are. True ones, I mean. They’re inherently reluctant. Anything ceded is, ipso facto, something that someone didn’t want to yield, else it would be “gifted.”

Does that make sense? What I’m driving at here is that if a person truly gives something up it suggests a heartfelt letting go, which one does with a gift but not a concession. A concession is extracted, like a tooth, and face it: No one goes into a serious dental procedure full of glee. (Well, maybe after nitrous?)

But here I’ve set myself up (see story title above) with the task of stitching together some sort of fictional quilt out of whole cloth regarding the up-giving of something or another. That’s the name game I play, starting with a title for a book that forces my hand—or my pixels, I guess—demanding something like 200 pages devoted to the beast thus conjured.

It’s a difficult task, to be sure. But someone has to do it.

Truth be told, I don’t honestly believe very many are up to the job. I mean to say, “I’ve been around the block a few times.”

Here I’m throwing myself into the breach. Think of me as a sacrificial lamb fed raw to the ravenous muse of fiction.

Or, hey, a scapegoat. Whatever gets ceded from here on in? Blame me. I can handle it.


Self-Evident: We Hold These Tooths

More of what you came for!

“I think it goes without saying—which is, of course, ever and always a lead-in to saying what the speaker has just told you didn’t need to be said in the first place—that it is the unvarnished tooth that draws our attention. Am I right? Of course I’m right.

“Sometimes, I’ll be the first to admit, it is “tooth and claw” (italics mine) that rivet us. “Red” said Tennyson and he was occasionally on point, but I submit it is the tooth that most bemuses us. As I faithfully recorded in “Jack,”1 when I was on that rocky ledge looking down and the bear was looking up at me the claws were an afterthought.”

1See Fifty Wheys to Love Your Liver, p. 59 (Fiction, yes, but faithfully recorded.)

You see? Of course you see. So, order already!


13, really? My 13th book? Waist Not Want Knot

So, lucky or not, here we go again. Another collection of improbable stories. But, actually, did you expect better? Really? Am guessing the Trumpidemic and its attendant seclusion has gone viral.
The latest eruption from my fevered head revolves around midriffs, stretch pants, rigging, rope, quipus, and what knot. This time with more than 256 footnotes to amuse and confuse (257, actually.) There’s an excerpt below the pic.

small cover

Waist Not, Want Knot (the title story of this collection)

—Let’s get the nitty gritty out of the way at the outset. This story is not about waists or knots. Anyone who tells you otherwise is a heathen and a cheat.

If you bought this book under the impression that it would contain pop-diet information, something about how to lose ten pounds in ten days, or help in acquiring the Boy Scout Pioneering Merit Badge, perhaps a diagrammatic exposition of the Bowline or the Trucker’s Knot, you are going to be severely disappointed. Though, truth be told, if you haven’t mastered the Trucker’s Knot by now you are a sad, sad case and have likely lost numerous valuable items from your roof rack or pickup bed.

If you have not yet lost numerous valuable items from your roof rack or pickup bed, trust me, it is only a matter of time.

More than a few of you likely saw the word “waist” in the title and immediately pictured an attractive young woman being sawn in half by a stage magician. We might as well nip that one in bud as well. No magic here.1

On the other hand, if you stumbled in here with an open mind and low expectations you might be pleasantly surprised.


1But have you ever considered how many assistants those guys go through before they finally “get it right?”