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Excerpt, Introduction, Departments of Defense

Starting tomorrow, while I’m busy with a household move, I’m presenting excerpts–some several pages long, some very brief–from the thirteen essays in the thesis I submitted this summer for my MFA (I’m using the magic of scheduled publishing to make these fragments appear while I am otherwise occupied).

Here’s an excerpt from the Introduction to orient you:

“The essays in Departments of Defense were originally intended to be united by the theme of my time in military service, until I realized that the unifying theme was actually the ongoing inner struggle of a quixotic, idiosyncratic narrator (a character who is somewhat like me, if not exactly the whole story). So these essays bridge military and civilian life, marching across battlefields familiar to many of us, such as love, loss, growth, aging, misdirected benevolence, squirrels, and the exquisite pain of household moves.”

The essays are not quite in chronological order, but it’s fair to say the military essays are generally earlier, and feel and read that way, as well. They all were revised… workshopped… revised again… and again… and again… and will no doubt again feel the pain of RPOD (Red Pen Of Death, as I call the fine-point Flairs I use for revision). I can tell you that no matter how they read today, they are all better than they were when I began them.

I hope you enjoy the fragments; your comments, if you have any, may take a day or two to appear while I am Othewise Occupied, unless you are a registered Typepad user. (Easy and free, but I understand if you don’t want to deal with One More Thing!)

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