I needed to put the trauma of the demise of my corporate life behind me and get on with something I could control. I can control my writing, and the time I spend on it, whereas I cannot really have much of an impact on my company. Yes, I still do my job and help get ready for the ultimate break up of our intellectual property. That no longer gives me any true satisfaction, since I spent a lot of time building our intellectual property collection.
I returned to a short story I’ve been working on for a few weeks. “Toad” is about 1100 words and features a ten-year-old boy spending a day on his own with two friends. I’ve read this at Lake Writers and Valley Writers, each time receiving excellent feedback to improve the tale.
One criticism kept coming up. I don’t identify one of Toad’s friends as a burro until the last page. Why? Because it’s clear from the beginning that the pal is an animal. Since the animal doesn’t have any lines, I didn’t see fit to say something as obvious as “Fatso was a burro.”
Then the question of a burro versus a donkey became a bone of contention. Some critics said they were identical. I maintain that the burro is slightly different from a donkey. A bit of research showed that I was right. I love being right.
What’s the difference? A burro is a feral descendant from Spanish donkeys, smaller that the donkeys brought over by the English later. Both are true donkeys, but come from different DNA sources.
Fatso is a burro. Having grown up in the California desert, I saw enough of these shaggy feral beasts to know one when I see one. And in my mind’s eye, Fatso is a fuzzy burro.
To my friends who wanted me to explain this in the story, NOT going to happen. For those who read this blog, this might be the end of the conflict.
Although, since another writer friend is on a quest to find out when mules first appeared in the Blue Ridge, this might not be the last word. If anyone has proof when mules came to the Blue Ridge, let me know.
Whatever. At least I’m writing and enjoying every word.