My latest on Medium Online is "The End of the Beginning: Eight of Sabin Howard's Doughboys Get Ready to Go Back to Europe."
I wrote it to share--to celebrate--a milestone: Sabin and his stalwart team have finished principal sculpture on the first grouping of eleven figures from A Soldier's Journey.
I'm so proud of our sculptors Sabin, Charlie, and "Raymond." They've worked with focus and dedication through long hours and difficult situations. I'm also terribly proud of our good-spirited models. They also worked hard over the last year, ely during the quarantine months.
Everyone has made sacrifices and accommodations for the good of the project.
This achievement is hard-won. It's sweet for us. It makes it worthwhile, almost, to have to deal with the belligerence and incompetence of outside parties. They're a necessary evil. Doesn't make them easy to handle. I brace myself before every phone call, conference, meeting, and visit. I'm always relieved when contact concludes.
It's true that I have a particular failing in not tolerating fools gladly. My shrink has been yelling at me for a decade about that. Regarding my lack of patience for a**holes and idiots: it's not exactly ego syntonic, it's just not exactly ego dystonic, either.
But back to the trolls. What's the point of being an aggressive jerk with people who are working hard, in good faith, toward a mutual goal? It mystifies me. We were actually threatened with a "bloody fistfight" because the global pandemic posed challenges for our shipping plans. Do you believe that?
HELLO: THERE'S A GLOBAL PANDEMIC. And we were threatened after we had formed a quarantine pod, lived together, and worked together, all toward this end: meeting our deadlines.
The "bloody fistfight" folks are petty and unhelpful.
Then there are the incompetent folks: "Thank you for your patience while we slowly and belatedly attend to an important matter that you told us about two months ago and then again last week. That matter we assured you was well in hand a month ago." Grr.
And there's the guy who actually tried to tell me what to write. I thought I managed that situation well. I explained that my diction could have been worse. I didn't tell him to go f**k himself.
It's frustrating. I'm frustrated. I surmise that everyone living within a 75 mile radius of Washington DC is some species of awful. People far from the Beltway incorrectly assume that one political party is awful and the other is okay, depending on their personal predilections, and which media they allow to them what to think. It's actually far more widespread than that.
The whole DC area is toxic. Political party doesn't matter.
The sole exception is our brilliant attorney. But he's from the heartland and he lived in Germany for a while. He hasn't been spoiled with the DC power-lust. And so this is difficult for me. And yet, and yet... Sabin and the team have completed the first 28% of A Soldier's Journey, and it's beautiful. Uplifting, gripping. My husband's skill is amazing. I'm so proud of him and so proud to have served the process in my way.