God With Us
Big and Little Incarnations

What About Henry?


Here's some good news: Amy Lowe, Senior Editor of Ruminate Magazine, notified me yesterday that they would publish my short story, "Under the Cheerwine Moon," in their Spring 2009 issue. As Amy said, though it did not win the contest (judged by author Bret Lott), "the RUMINATE staff loved your piece so much that we would like to publish it in our upcoming Spring '09 Issue!" That's encouraging. It's the first short story I have ever submitted for publication, as most of what I have published is poetry. I'm glad the world gets to meet Henry and find out about my favorite soft drink.

You know, it may seem silly, but when you've thought about a character for a long time, you begin to wonder about the rest of their life. You ask yourself what they'd be doing right now. Here's Henry, a mentally retarded man who has lost the central figure in his life, his mother, whose ordered and structured life is slowly unraveling, and it's Christmas. What would Henry do?

I know what he'd do. He'd do his best to engage in all the holiday routines given him by his mother. He'd put candles in the windows. He'd hang the Moravian star on the porch. He'd put Tony Bennett's Christmas album on the aging Zenith record player his Mom bought with green stamps, back when there were green stamps. And on Christmas Eve he'd read aloud the Christmas story, the illustrated one from his Children's Bible, his voice taking on the cadence of his mother's. He'd sit in his raggedy brown recliner with his cat Sam, and remember her.

But that is another story. I hope you get to read "Under the Cheerwine Moon." I highly recommend Ruminate which, like all arts journals, is a labor of love.