In the car on the way to Mom and Dad’s, I read to Stephanie from my latest short story, the one I’ve been writing incessantly about on this page for the past month. And she really, really liked it, which was a really, really good thing. She commented that the middle section in particular was perhaps the strongest writing she’s ever seen from me. And the neat thing was that I agreed with her. In reading the story, I discovered how proud I was of it, and I saw how little remained to be done with it. For the first time in a long time, I was actually convinced I was on the cusp of a finished story.

It couldn’t happen at a better time. With colleges beginning their fall semesters shortly, literary magazines across the country will be waking from their summer-long slumber to begin accepting submissions again. And I’ll actually have a story to send them. I had hoped to have more than one story, and I still might accomplish that goal, but I’ll take whatever I can get. If one story is all I’m capable of churning out, then one story will be fine.

The visit with Mom and Dad and Grandma was pleasant, if a bit hot. In the living room, while we spoke of baby names and baby showers and other baby-related things, I flipped between ESPN Classic’s marathon of 80s-era Celtics-Lakers games, the Little League World Series, and, later, the Sox-Angels game. We had a roast for dinner (I’d suggested it the day before, without knowing how hot it was going to be) with all the fixings, and it was yummy. And Stef managed to pick some peaches from the tree out back before we left, too.

All in all, a fun, productive Sunday. We ended the day upstairs in bed, watching Ashton Kutcher in some lame-ass romantic comedy followed by Ashton Kutcher trying to “punk” rapper The Game and wondering if someone was going to get capped in the process. Sadly, there was no street violence to be had, which would have made the program a lot cooler.