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Friday, June 24, 2011

Dysfunctional System


I can remember this letter and some of the events around it. It’s plain that it was never meant for anyone but sender and recipient. To be honest it’s nothing other than the events of my life strewn out on paper for the benefit of someone who was feeling down.
Cassi had asked me to send her a hard copy of something I said in an email and I obliged. She said she had laughed about it for days. I guess you had to be there.
Monday, 27th  September of 2010
Dear Cassi,

I do think I found the Email you were talking about.

‘The sad working of the dynamic of those people is more complex than is easy to understand.  A dysfunctional system established a monarch and a scapegoat and the other slugs in the pack pound on the scapegoat in order to gain clout with the monarch. Much like you will see with the comics in all truth.

People talk about dysfunctional families, but I prefer to say “dysfunctional systems" because the work place or social group may have the same dynamic.
In other words: "If you’re the scapegoat home you may become on at work or with your friends" which is what happened to me.
Anyway,
Swift is a good cat most of the time, but she can be a handful when she wants to be.  From what we understand she was left behind by a family that lost their home and couldn't take care of her anymore.
The world is sad and ugly sometimes.’

I guess it was funny, but you have to understand that it was the early cusp of the theory. The thing about dysfunction is that the only people who complain are the scapegoats. Everyone else has someone to put their problems on even though the system is hurting everyone.

Most folks are to much the fool to understand that putting a chain to the wrist of another is nothing more than to manacle them self. That's why I call it a dysfunctional system. If all of the elements, people and what not, could be properly employed then the system would be better for everyone. Let me use myself as an example, my family's activity caused my problems in life. This led to a significant loss of household income that could be placed as the major factor for many of the issues my relatives presently face.

They all convinced themselves that I had no value as a person and so downgraded who I was. Then we have the situation with (a mutual ex-friend) where he gave up thousands of dollars because he wanted to keep the producer as a backup plan rather than fulfilling his promise to me. He stood to be no worse off then he already was and could have gained as much as seventy thousand dollars to put into his next movie. If he ever makes a movie I will be surprised. I suppose your ex didn't lose all that much when he harassed me into leaving his company, but he had nothing to gain by my exodus.

Anyway Cassi, I think it's funny to send letters when I have a telephone, but it can't hurt. Um, and I need to reprint the other two letters I sent because I think the address was wrong. It turns out I forgot the black and left the diamond and knowing the post office you’ll never get them.

Stay safe,

Richard Leland Neal

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Image of a Man


This not being a letter I was hesitant to place it on this blog, and this is one occasion where I’ve left the name of the subject in the letter. The truth is that going over my old letters has become something of a trial for me, and I’m not making much progress because of that.

I have a backlog of more than a hundred letters that haven’t been placed on this blog and for every one letter I write I intend to place at least three on the net. There are some letters I reject and will not post for one reason or another, but those are in the minority.

This was an assignment for a writing class, a class where the psychotic teacher wouldn’t stop hounding me after it was over. It’s a funny thing about people they will all too often say “My way or the highway,” then come running after you when you hit the street.

Well, the class told me they liked this, but you tell me what you think.

3rd December 2007
Baby fat

I could tell the unmistakable form of Frank from a good distance. He is a big man, bigger then me by a good eighty pounds. I could tell something was wrong with him from his step. It was the unmistakable glide of small steps with its slow movement. As he came closer I could tell that his eyes were barely open. Just black slits on his baby fat face.

“You look like hell, Frank.”

“I’ve got a fever of a hundred and two,” he said without stopping. He just glided past as if it took almost all his energy to walk and it probably did. I’ve said many a time that a man as big as Frank is going to have health problems, and he calls off more often than most, and that says something out here.

I’ve often thought that Frank’s fight with obesity was a result of his rearing. He once told me a story about a time he got hit in the head with the back of an ax. He touched a spot over his eye on his shaved head. “I can still feel it,” he told me as I looked at the place were the ax had struck. He pull back his pinkish brown skin to reveal a cleave in the bone.

“I wasn’t supposed to be up that late so my sister snuck me back in the house. When my mom found out she started beating me. She hit it and broke it open again.” I figure that Frank seeks comfort in food. His mother obviously had to be a violent woman to hit her son as he was bleeding. 

“All right Rich, I’m going home.” I looked up from my thought to see Frank holding his fist out to me. I met it with my own, his hands were ice cold. I was relieved to know that they would not make him work in this condition. “I’m sorry for letting you guys down,” he told me.

“Shit happens, Frank, you get some rest.”


Monday, June 20, 2011

Letter to a Soldier: Lost Three Guards


I had forgotten about the time we had lost three guards at once and I was working so many hours that I couldn’t tell my head from my tail.

Would I trade now for then? Yeah, the economy was better.

25th June 2007
Dear (Soldier),

Well, we lost another guard, and another guard, and another guard. I didn’t get to know number two but the first man was a long time officer and the last was a big guy who was new. The older guard quit because they started messing with his overtime. They can’t get people and now I’m working ridiculous amounts of overtime. It seams as if they should leave well enough alone.

(The big guy) was terminated, really terminated, for scribbling on the guard shack. I’ve been working double time all week because of this. It’s worse than normal. I really hope that I get a reliable guard in the morning shift. Well, you play the hand your dealt.

(Your wife) called me the other day and we talked for two hours. We are getting on as old friends now. She is happy, or appears to be happy, with the way things are working out, and that is also good.

My writing has taken a dive this week. I’m just not feeling in much the mood for it lately. Yet the world doesn’t weight for moods. I was working on yet another short at work last night when I just felt so spent that I couldn’t go on. I propped myself up in a corner of the shack and spent most of the night in a half asleep half awake state.

My relief officer came half an hour early, but it was (the swing shift Guard). He has been in the United States for about two years and came early so that I could help him with his English. He’s a Pole. “I will never speak as you,” he keeps saying. I ended up leaving right on time and had to drop things off at the main gate, some paperwork, which my company had misplaced.

I have to say that the state of things is very discouraging. Then you have it worse then I so I shouldn’t complain. When I was at (the junior college) it seemed as if every time something came within my grasp it was pulled away. Now I wonder, having to stay late is a really big issue. I was thinking of taking three years more to get my degree yet now I just want to get out of security.

Anyway, my friend I hope all is well with you. I’m once again off to work. They haven’t told me yet, but I’m working a twelve again. At least I’m paid by the hour.

Peace and long life,

Richard Leland Neal

Friday, June 17, 2011

Letters to a Soldier: Writing About Stuff to Write


Yeah, this is one of those letters I wrote for no other reason than I thought that a friend of mine wanted to read them.

18th June 2007
Dear (Soldier),

Well, another week has past and I almost got a day off from work. Not really, we are now short three people. We had it down to two, but then one of the new guards quit because she was told that she had to come to work on time and would have to cut and apply seals like every one else. Not that I’m complaining, more over time is more money in my pocket and that’s a good thing.

As of the time I’m writing this I have about sixty-three days until school starts and around fifteen days to apply for the financial aid I’m not going to get. May as well apply anyway it doesn’t cost me anything, and I might need a student lone.

Your father is bothered by the fact that you called me and not him. I responded with the simple statement that (your wife) reminds you. Let’s face it, it’s normally the truth. Not that I’m complaining. (your wife) needs you more then I do, and it’s important for you two to be there for one another. Then when you think about it it’s always important to be there for the people you care about.

I’m working on a new play right now. I call it “A Mind Bending” about a man in an insane asylum who is on trial for murder. It doesn’t help his case any when he knocks out an orderly who had been beating him.

DAVID: The last time he hit me we were in a crowded hallway. I called out and fell to my knees. With six of your staff watching. He grabbed me by the collar to hall me to my feet, and I caught him off guard. It takes about thirty pounds of pressure to knock a man cold. When the other orderlies came for me I put my hands up, but one of them tackled me, and I hit my head against the wall. Not hard enough to worry me but loud enough to make the staff worry. It opened this (touches bandage on his face) and left a bloodstain. They took me into the infirmary to get me checked out, and I asked the doctor to look at my back. They took off my shirt and found my evidence compelling.

The statement is about human nature and how we learn to live with things, but I’m also trying to talk about the fact that you can’t get something for nothing.

In terms of novels I’m still working on the thing with the Deam. I don’t have a really definitive story line yet. More like a group of related short stories. Nothing developed at this point. I’m working on the other story, but I’m not getting far with the plot. Right now I have begun the story on the bridge of the “Star Seeker” as the ship has used its FTL drives and is lost.

I’ve changed the designed of the ship so that it was originally designed by Clordoenions and they sent an AI to build it for earth. The FTL drive that the Clordoenion ships use creates a universe that moves in relation to the existing universe. I don’t know if I’m going to keep the existing transformation ideas from the story. There are two reasons for his: number one is "how", and number two is "why".

I can see ships with limited flight capabilities that transform into robots, but they would function more as tanks then fighter jets. Jet stream or thruster assistance is a concept that makes cents to me, and having one form for speed and another for maneuverability is in current development.

I intend to read the Robotech books again for research purposes and the rest of the Herbert books once I’m done with Nylund. I still try to read one play every week because of my professional interest, but plays are harder to follow because they don’t have the detail and most of the Characters are less distinguishable.  

Anyway, man, I have to get back to work now and I suppose you do too, so have a good day and stay safe. 

Peace and long life,

Richard Leland Neal

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Letters to a Soldier: the Second Letter to His Family


This isn’t the first letter I sent to the family of a soldier stationed in Iraq, but it is slightly more composed than the last.

11th June 2011
Dear Everyone,

(The Soldier) called last night around twelve-thirty. It was the first time we actually got to talk since he got shipped out. The last time he called he got my voice mail. We had so much to say to each other and so little time to talk. I think it was the end of his shift again, but we didn’t talk about that much.

He said that he brought fifty books to Iraq with him, so he has no shortage of reading material. He asked me to send him gloves for the punching bag, and I already have some I can send off today. Mail takes about five days to get to him from us and about three weeks to get to us from him. He said that’s why he didn’t write, but I told him he should anyway if he has the time.

Here is the part none of you are going to like: wile we were on the phone he could see an explosion from his position. It was far enough off so that I could not hear it but close enough to surprise (the Soldier). Frankly, if it were a mile away it would probably feel like it was right by your shoulder. He didn’t seem to worry about it, and it did no damage to anything that he could see, just a puff in the sand, nothing more. It reminded me of the cold reality of this situation and our need to be honest with each other and set aside our differences. The trials of our daily lives are but ghosts and foolery to what (the Soldier) is going through.

There are so many times I wish I could have back. So many moments in the fifteen years that I have known (the Soldier) that are lost to me now as time does its inevitable ticking away.  I tend to be the man to see him off every time he comes around and every time I do so I feel as if we are letting him down in some way. I always think we should do something like sing “He’s a Jolly Good Fellow” or some other acknowledgment. I don’t know some expression of our love and support.

Yours truly,

Richard Leland Neal


Monday, June 13, 2011

Unsure


Okay, here it is, a real letter to Cassi.

6th June 2011
Dear Cassi,

Well, you’ll likely get three letters together this time. I was on my way to drop off my last letter when I found the preceding letter in my car. I had a good amount on my mind when I was mailing that. It was the last week of school, and I was worried about them letting me graduate.

I keep wondering what I’m going to do with my life in the bad economy. Nothing I ever do tends to pan out, or maybe I’m just not putting enough into it. I don’t know. I spent tens of thousands of dollars on my education, and now it looks like I’m going to have to double that figure at grad school.

I had to ask for an accommodation because I was working and couldn’t find an internship because I was working. Then I lost my job, and the accommodation was pointless. However, what was done was done, and I was going through with it.

After I passed the class I had to email an adviser, and have them change my records to reflect that I had been given the accommodation. I sent out the email half hoping that it would be denied and that I would have more classes. That’s a funny thing to hope for after all this time.

Then I got an email back saying that I had to wait longer. No plans can be made. Finally, I got a mail back saying all had been done, but even now I have no idea if I’m a college graduate. I’m listed as candidate not graduate.

Now I just have to hold everything until I get my diploma. I’m going to apply for grad school in that time anyway. There is no better way to test this development.

Stay safe,


Richard Leland Neal


Friday, June 10, 2011

Letter to a Soldier: Injured Man


In the time of my letters to Iraq I witnessed and suffered bigotry. The man mentioned here was treated this way both for his sexual orientation, and is emotional problems.
              
Some might argue that the two are one and the same. However, it’s not my place to judge people on their lifestyle so long as they give me no bother. I have every right to make comment of this man’s actions and his actions at work more directly.

You will note that I simply report the events.

10th June 2007
Dear (Soldier),

Once again in the saga of my life there is nothing good to report. Well, shit happens I suppose, I’m going to the gym more often now so there is hope that I will be better equipped to handle the coming school semester. It’s all about maintaining and planning and acts of shear will.  

I learned that as much as I can’t stand my work I can’t stand school more. I suppose I should say that I can’t stand theatre classes, but with as large a need for writers as (the college) has this is the best opportunity that I have to get my work on stage. I think about this fact a lot lately. Every day I come to work and think how much I want this to be over with, and that inspires me to work harder.

They screwed up on my paycheck, surprise, surprise, I’m missing hours and they are paying me the wrong rate. I already spoke to (the area manager) about it and he said that he wants me to call him Monday and remind him to fix my pay. He said that he would get me a check by the end of the week. I don’t believe him, but as long as he is working on it I’m not getting too pissed.   

We had another incident on Thursday. My swing shift guard, a homosexual from Poland, complained of a neck injury when I came into work at 2100 hours.  He had six hours into his twelve and looked to be in excruciating pain. I called (the area manager) and reported this, and he called back and sent (the swing guard) home. That’s where the story begins. 

(The area manager), with three guards out before (the swing guard), sent us a rover who had worked on the post beforehand claimed to know what he was doing. Yet, he had problems with seals from the very beginning, we have to cut them here, and he ran a cross seal after seal that he just couldn’t cut.

One of these had been a “cone” seal that had been fastened too tightly to get the cutters around its wire. I forced the cone against the trailer’s latch and inched the cone back along the wire and snapped the seal with the cutters. “If bruit force isn’t working your not using enough,” I explained and went back to my duty station.

It was about half an hour after that when a driver asked to have his seal cut. I looked back, no rover, I cut the seal myself just as (the supervisor) was coming back to cut a seal in his lain. “I’m going to get rid of this son of a bitch,” he said to me in his thick Mexican accent. I didn’t question, it was not my affair. Later I found out that the big issue had been that (the rover) had taken his lunch within an hour of getting on post. He had asked to go to the parking lot and get his food from his wife. He was out there for more then half an hour eating with her. He was a rover anyway no big loss.

Sometime after that (the supervisor) came to talk to me about (the swing guard). 

“Did he call (the area manager) or did you?” 

“He called then I did when he couldn’t get through.” 

“Weighting half an hour wouldn’t have killed him he could have staid for me. He probably just had a problem with his boy friend, and that's why he wanted to take time off.” 

This pissed me off something fierce because (the swing guard) is always working over time. For whatever reason he did not appear to be fit to perform his post duties and we sent him home. I think they are making his life style choices too much of an issue. It gets under my skin because (the swing guard) is an all right guy, and he bothers no one. Coming down on him for that crap is just too much.

Anyway, (the supervisor) said that I’m going to get Monday and Tuesday as my off days soon. I don’t believe that, we never have enough people, but it would be good for school if that did happen. We have one new guard to use as a breaker, but from what they told me she would not climb the ladders to put seals on. I think she will be out of here by Monday, and we get the next two new guards on Tuesday. It’s unlikely that they can shake someone loose before next week so I’m working straight through for at least another seven days.

Well, that’s what happened in the few days since my last letter.

Stay safe,

Richard Leland Neal
 

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Letter to a Soldier: the Two Trainees


This letter was written during a very hard time in my life, and I’m pleased that I have some log of it. The past is a notation of things we have done, mistakes we have made, and other things we should remember.

As I have said, this is another of the letters to a soldier on deployment in Iraq. I gave him a rundown of my life in order to have something to say.

You can tell me if I was a good friend.
2nd June 2007
Dear (Soldier),

I know it has not been long since my last letter, but to be honest your mother sent me a video, via email, and it has been bothering me from the day she sent it over. It spoke for the soldiers in Iraq saying things like “don’t you remember me?” and “Did I do something to make you angry?”

Does your mother feel that we have forgotten you? She sent that video to lots of people so I don’t think so, but it bothered me as much as it bothered (your wife). I never knew how difficult this business would be for every one. It’s funny how the ruined mind always thinks the world should be so pristine and that the small problems rate the same attentions as the large. We tend to snap and jeer at one another over small things, and forget the larger problems.

Well, enough on philosophies. Work is just as bad as it was in my last letter. The night after I posted it we had to trainees (Trainee 1), on his second day, and (Trainee 2), on his first. It was this night that the supervisor, give us hour lunches again. He didn’t tell me this until after my lunch, so he let me take half an hour later on. 

I could tell that (Trainee 2) was having problems from the first minute he was on post. They decided to have him work inbound log and the first question he had was: “Do the truck drivers fill this out?” Right, we stand here and hold the paper work and the driver does all the work for us. That’s what security work is like you just stand around making sure that ever one does the right thing. Writing down the logs was too much work for him. It was a bad sign.

During the slow times I got to talk to him. I asked him my usual questions. Is this your first post? “I can’t count how many posts I’ve been on.” Have you worked the company long? “Two years.” How did you end up with this shift? “School, I’m a full time student.” This wasn’t the place for him, but he was stuck here. Well, what ever, this isn’t the place for me either, and I’m just as stuck. I’m told he objected to getting on the rolling stairways we use to seal the trailer tops, but (Trainee 1) didn’t like doing it any more than (Trainee 2) did from what I could see.

(Trainee 2) took his lunch around 0311. He didn’t ask for permission because (the site supervisor) was not around to ask. 0400 came around and he didn’t show but I said he had been late so just let him have another ten or so. At 0420 (the site supervisor) told me to take my second half hour and I found (Trainee 2) sleeping in his car. I told (the site supervisor) who said “wake him up and send him home.” I woke him and told him all about what happened. He was upset, but not too upset, more upset then I would have been.    

That’s the story of the one-day guard. I told him to call the boss in the morning, and have him come up with what to do about this situation. We lost two guards that day, (Trainee 2) and one of the guards that walked out early the two days that client management decided to pay me a visit. As it stands, we are now two guards short, the 2100 to 0500 spot and the 2200 to 0600 spot. We lose 1.33 guards every week.

All this must be boring the flaming snot balls out of you. Don’t feel alone; the work is uninteresting to me as well because of the lack of interesting people. I don’t think this experience is as good for my writing as my last job. Then I’m caught between working on plays and working on books. When I work on plays it makes me want to work on books, but right now I need to work on plays.

(Pickle) came up with another line that just has to be in a play. “If you got drafted I’d have to pay all the bills myself.”  I’m trying to come up with another comedy that works with my “family”. It isn’t as easy as it sounds or reads, rather, but there are two many good lines to give up. 

I know you can’t talk about your work, and that’s no big deal. I don’t suppose you interact with the locals much either, but the imagination is always more interesting then the truth when it comes to the cloak and dagger stuff anyway. I worked with a man that served as an MP in Iraq and he told me that when he was shot at he had to write less then when he found damaged freight in the cross dock.

It’s been a crazy few days over here in the states. I hope things are going well for you in the sand box. If I happen by a nice specimen bottle I’ll send it down your way, and you can fill it with sand. It would be kind of cool to have a piece of Iraq.

Peace and long life


Richard Leland Neal


Monday, June 6, 2011

Letter to a Soldier: Sick at Work


I have to say that I don’t recall all the events listed here. It’s been four long years and a lot of headaches since. These letters were written in an effort to keep up the spirits of a soldier station in Iraq working in military intelligence.

You all can tell me if I was being a good friend.

The man mentioned in this letter as “roommate” had told the soldier’s wife that he was intentionally being cruel to her so she would not become attracted to him. Why anyone would let a man like that live with his wife I have no idea.

1st June 2007

Dear (Soldier),

(Your wife) asked me to tell you that (her roommate) is moving out. Apparently, it had something to do with his girlfriend dumping his worthless ass. She said that from an economic stand point it’s no big deal, because he is useless and expensive, but I can’t imagine you think this is a good thing.

I told your mom and dad that you called, and they were all happy to hear it, and your mom said she would tell your grandmother. I know you really can’t say much about what’s going on down there so don’t go into it, but I still wonder if they got (the intelligence man with the discipline problem) to go.

There was a big hubbub at work when I got back from the three day weekend. The client reported one guard on duty, me, at 0410 in the morning on Wednesday. The time sheets indicated four guards on post including the supervisor. This all got back to me at 1912 Wednesday after noon when I got a call from the roving account manager, who asked what had happened. 

When I told him he flipped and said “that’s bullshit, that is bullshit,” and then told me that (the big man), a guard in the supporting position of my gate, had gone home because he had not been feeling well. He had gotten tattoos the day before and hurt his leg. My manager asked me to come to post as soon as possible.

I made it there by 2000 hours, and (the site supervisor) came around 2020. He gave reprimands to the two other guards who had left early. The client gate manager came at 0200 hours to check and see if they had given me adequate support for the night and my Officer in Command arrived at 0300.

The only big thing is that I had over exerted myself the day before and had an infection in my throat. My mouth kept filling with goo, and I had to excuse my self to spit the clear slime in the bushes. By 0800 I had a fever and that staid with me until burning itself out before I came to work the next day.

Well, that was my week or rather the few days from the date of my last letter. I hope you are doing well and can write me back soon.


Peace and long life,

Richard Leland Neal

Saturday, June 4, 2011

Letter to a Soldier's Family


This is a letter to the family and friends, sent by email, of a soldier who was stationed in Iraq bat in 2007. It’s a funny thing how that friendship ended.

I imagine this is a less than thrilling post, but I’m trying to post three letters a week here and I’m lucky if I get to writing one.
30th May 2007
Dear everyone,

(The soldier) called me yesterday to let me know that he is getting my mail and that he is not writing me back because he is working very hard and has little time for anything personal. I’ve told him more the once now that he should be calling (his wife) or his family but it was good to hear from him.

He said that he had an important job, and that he is doing good things. He told me that it was all a good experience for him, but the better parts did not out way the bad, and that he longed to come back to us. He didn’t say more because he had very little time and just came off a twelve hour shift.

(His father, his mother,) your boy has turned into a responsible man, and I hope that you are all as proud of him as I am. 

Best wishes to you all,

Richard

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Letter to a Soldier on Deployment in Iraq "News of the Week"


This was me being a good friend to a fellow who was in truth no friend of mine. Sometimes I would write to him three times a week.

Funny thing is being a good friend never did a thing for me.

In any case there was a lot going on in my life at the time, and all those wonderful plans I had then fell to dust. It comes to me that over my life everyone has fought with me and that fighting was all I could do.

Funny how it turns out that way.

29th May 2007     


Dear (Soldier),

As always, I hope that my mail finds you in good health and I wish that I had something good to say. It’s the nature that nothing wonderful happens or that something wonderful is happening every day dependent on your outlook on life.

My week was going well aside from the fact that I had not been to the gym more than once this week, then I arrived a work Friday looking forward to a three-day weekend. The first thing that happened was that my boss told me that I would be attending work Sunday. Not only had I already made plans, but I was leaving to spend the weekend with (our mutual friends) from work that morning. This put me in an understandably bad mood but there was nothing I could do about it so I limped along as you do until four o’clock.   

It was at that time when a man from the (Shipper’s) office came up to me and said “where are the other guards? Are you the only one out here?”

“Am I the only guard out here?” I looked around. Yep, one guard working four trucks, not good, “I have to be honest with you, sir, I have no idea where the other guards are.”

“I see,” he said and walked off.

As I was working on the trucks I could see him making a phone call from the guard house. He walked back up to me and said. “I left a voice mail with the head of security and your boss.”

That was when one of the guards did show up to get a major tongue lashing from the client. “He’s been out here alone for half an hour” and so forth.  Long story short my boss up at the office got a pissed off message from me, and he called me back and made hollow promises and gave me Sunday off.     

I spent the weekend watching movies, playing (video games), and cooking. It was fun. The fact that this was a group of men primarily put a damper in it but you have to take your fun as you can get it.

I just got your message. Sorry, my phone was charging in the next room. I hadn’t thought any of my mails had gotten to you yet. (Your step father) thought they would take three weeks. Did you get the letter with my play and the book? I Figured if you had not responded to my letter that you had a good reason so don’t worry too much about it. I remember working myself to death and not being able to write you.   

As far as the play goes I didn’t start out making a short, but it came to me that the jokes would get old after some time. It really is the same thing over and over again, and I couldn’t think of anything ells that would illustrate my point. I suppose that I could go through pregnancy and have the two of them pretend that they don’t have a thing going still, but the main thing is “did I get my point across.”

The other reason I’m working on short plays is because that’s what the school wants me to start with, and I need a good amount of them to bring the semester off right. I would like to show the class twenty pages of material a week and that is nearly double what I have now. That’s every thing I have written to this point doubled including both of my full length plays.

This class is the best opportunity I will have in my writing career, and I intend to fight for every thing I can get out of this experience. It really doesn’t look like I will have another shot at this, so I have to make it count.

Anyway, old friend, that is the news of the week. I’ve never been good at letters.


I hope I’m not boring you,


Richard Leland Neal