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Nothing I have to say today is the slightest bit funny, relevant, or interesting.  But if I don’t post something, I will feel that I am betraying one of the most basic rules I had established for myself when I started writing this book.  It leaves me in the perilous position of trying to force out an uninteresting article or losing what little momentum I had gained over the past month (a month that garnered 1031 hits, thanks to any of you reading this right now).

I’ll offer another excerpt for now.  Maybe tomorrow the muses will return to me with some ideas.

Now she would be tied to a sewing machine, lodged in a shop, away from the streets that she loved, kept like a pet until taken away from that to live in another prison of marriage.

“It will be all right, Love,” her da continued, placing his big hand on her tiny, delicate shoulder.  Without thinking, she squirmed out from under it, sliding off her chair to stand sullenly in the corner of the small kitchen.  When she looked at him, however, she immediately regretted it; the pain on his face broke her already aching heart, and she descended to the floor, sobbing raggedly.

Her ma shook her head sadly.  Emily, through her tears, could see how old she looked, how careworn.  She could see the line about her face that deepened as she frowned, the coarseness of her white-streaked hair, the spidery veins that stood out on the backs of her hands.  As Emily stared, weeping, at her mother, her da stood over her.

Then, sighing, he sat down on the floor next to her, not touching her, but simply sitting next to her as she cried, his large hands folded in his lap.  Her mother turned back to the kitchen counter, wrapping food in paper packages for her da’s lunch, placing them carefully in the battered tin box that he had taken with him, every day, for as long as Emily could remember.  As she watched her ma slowly fill up the box, her tears gradually lessened, resolving into sniffles and hiccoughs, and she pushed herself up from the floor, standing in front of her still seated da.

He looked up at her with his pale blue eyes, his face still bruised with hurt.

“Will you help your old da off the floor, Love?” he asked.  “His knees are stiff as rusted bolts, they are.”

Emily, still sniffling, extended her hands, grasping one of his with both of hers, and pulled mightily as her da rose with exaggerated slowness.  She tried not to smile at him, with little success.