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  • Writer's pictureLuella Schmidt

Folio: Week Ending 12/04/22

Updated: Feb 21, 2023


  • Published a new essay for my America This Week Series on the book, How Civil Wars Start by Barbara F. Walter, final at 2,367 words

  • Revised short story Lost Dog, final at 998 words, submitted to four publications. Inspired by the bestest dog ever, Cece!

  • Gone with the Wind essay, attempting my first satire for Mirror in the Sky project, and I don't know WTF I'm doing yet; 1700 possibly useless words right now.

  • Polished an experimental micro flash story, Tapped, and submitted it to a contest. I used 2nd person point-of-view and over-the-top alliteration, which makes it a fun and lyrical read. The story itself is advice for overcoming writer's block. It's probably too weird to get published, but it was super fun to write & a lesson in ruthless editing to keep it at 300 words hahaha.

  • Submissions: 15 Waiting: 5 Rejections: 10

Can confirm

Mirror in the Sky News:

  • Last Wednesday's Meetup was for the novel Catch-22 by Joseph Heller. This is the funniest novel I've read on the Top 100. Satire is my fave, and I desperately wish I was this clever. Such detailed and unique characterization. Check out this incredible sentence by Mr. Heller:

Doc Daneeka rose without a word and moved his chair outside the tent, his back bowed by the compact kit of injustices that was his perpetual burden.

Or this one!!

Hungry Joe was a jumpy, emaciated wretch with a fleshless face of dingy skin and bone and twitching veins squirming subcutaneously in the blackened hollows behind his eyes like severed sections of snake. It was a desolate, cratered face, sooty with care like an abandoned mining town.

My copy is full of awed underlining.

  • This coming Wednesday's Meetup is the Album Club: Michael Jackson, Thriller. I've been periodically singing and dancing around the house to it for the last few weeks. Billie Jean's iconic bass. Collab with Paul McCartney and Vincent Price on the same album. Art so powerful that it changed multiple industries and convinced MTV that the world did indeed want to watch "black music".

  • Mirror in the Sky Publication: Studied other pubs this week.

Listening to:

  • Podcast: Rachel Maddow's Ultra is a mind-blowing historical dive into the pro-fascist and pro-Nazi elected officials and powerbrokers in the 1940s. We came very close to losing our Republic then too, and it's always instructive to learn what worked and didn't work in the past.

  • Song: My friend Beccah randomly texted me Cool Change by the Little River Band from 1979, and I've been obsessed with it all week. The way he sings about his love of the water is the way I feel about reading and writing. "Staring at the full moon like a lover." Bliss.


In 1858, right before the Civil War, a dude named Henry Hammond, a huge slaveholder oligarch from South Carolina gave a speech in the Senate. He said the southern slavery system was the best in the world and should be spread everywhere. He said there would be war if the North kept trying to stop it. The South would win because cotton was in such demand worldwide that they could make any country help them by threatening cutoff. He warned that because the North had allowed poor, landless whites to vote, those poor landless whites were now a majority and would vote to take all the rich men's wealth. So the South HAD TO control the country for all their sakes. The only thing standing between "anarchy and poverty" was the wisdom of the southern oligarchy, who insisted that the government's job was to protect property and nothing more, no matter how many voters wanted the government to do more.

It's easy to get bogged down in political parties and 24-hour news cycles, but this story really hit home for me that the enemies of democracy have always been the same. Every time wealth accrues to too few people, they turn into a mafia-like organization, align with other bad actors, and threaten and kill people to keep their money and power. And the only people who can stop them (so far, historically) is a powerful & non-corrupt government. The federal government is largely compliance and law enforcement, which is why the lawbreakers always try to weaken it. I wrote a little about it in this essay about the movie, The Godfather. The worldview that the rich and powerful "deserve" to lead is pervasive and disgusts me.


  • I am not watching any series right now, but I've got my eye on Severance (Apple TV) because I'll follow Adam Scott pretty much anywhere.

  • The second season of Firefly Lane has dropped on Netflix. This series is based on the books by Kristen Hannah, one of my favorite writers.

  • Why are there no Christmas movies on this list? Because my tree isn't up yet, it isn't Christmas season yet at my house. The next Movie Club Meetup is It's a Wonderful Life!

How About You? If you read, watched, or listened to something that sparked your imagination this week, share it in the comments!

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