I'm feeling a little bit better today; thanks for asking. My head doesn't feel like an excavated mine this morning, which is nice. Although, a bit of the ugly mood - the residual funk that accompanies phlegm - remains. Which is not so nice or I'm not so nice. And while I'm thinking about it - Please stop inserting commas before the conjunction in a sentence consisting of one independent and one dependent clause! You know who you are: you newspaper columnists, novelists and other so-called 'famous' writers. You seriously undermine my work as an educator when you whip those commas around like so many boomerangs. As if grammar were some kind of horseshoe match - as if being close counts. I'll tell you what I tell my students: Read the damn handbook. How hard is it, really? If the parts of the sentence that come before and after the comma can each stand alone - by all means, plop that comma down in there. Otherwise, keep your unwieldly punctuation to yourself.
And another thing: When visiting a bookstore near you, take note of the numerous jacket covers prominently featuring chickens. As I wandered through my local Barnes & Noble last evening, waiting for my daughter to finish with her dance lesson, I couldn't help but feel a bit of hope at the sight of so many books about these plucky birds. I thought - I have a story about a chicken. Maybe I've finally done it - written a literary short story about something people might pay money to read - I mean just look (I thought to myself) look at all these stinking chickens! Free-range, cartoon, vintage...certainly there's room for one more feather among the flock? But then I remembered that there are more chickens than humans walking the earth, so they can afford to be choosy.
For all I know, chickens are running the publishing houses. Chickens scratching behind the desk at the New Yorker. Chickens gathered around a table, discussing my story. "What does this chicken want? Has this chicken earned that cliche? This chicken has not been fully realized..."
Can't you just see the rejection letter? "Dear Fowl Writer:..."
Oh well. Cover your mouth when you cough. Keep your hands clean, and don't forget to say God Bless You.