My favorite book about writing is Stephen King’s On Writing. At one point in it, he describes good writing as the ability to kill your darlings. By this, he means one of the hardest parts of writing is deleting a good sentence, a well-organized paragraph, or an interesting anecdote when it doesn’t fit the rest of the manuscript. Sometimes the very best stuff fails to make the cut. My blog is one place for me to put some of my discarded darlings. I started my blog because literary agents and potential publishers criticized my failure to have any kind of a social media presence. I’ve stuck with my blog because it’s a good place to publish short pieces of writing that don’t go anywhere else. For example…

Several years ago I was wine tasting at Elmaro Winery north of La Crosse. Clare was with me, and she asked whether she could taste the wine, too. I looked that the woman pouring the wine (the sommelier, the bartender?)and asked, “Can she?” The woman asked me whether Clare was my daughter. I said she was, so the woman turned to Clare and asked her how old she was. When Clare said she was seventeen, the woman said, “Then I can pour your dad an extra glass, and he can hand the glass to you. If you were eighteen, you’d be an adult, and your dad would no longer represent you. I wouldn’t be able to serve you because you aren’t twenty-one, but your dad couldn’t serve you either because you’d be over seventeen. Today you can drink as much as your dad lets you. A year from now you won’t be able to drink at all. I don’t make the rules; I just follow them.”

Someday, this anecdote may fit into a larger piece. For now, it’s part of this week’s blog.

Steven Simpson