Friday, December 13, 2013

Publisher Packages (or, Cutting the Cheese)

I am always humbled during this season by the many cards and letters I receive from distant friends and relatives.  I read them all, and I am also grateful for the unexpected gifts that arrive via UPS or Federal Express:  boxes of fruit, cans of nuts, lengths of sausage, tins of cookies.  These gifts make the season all the brighter for my family and are cause for celebration and gratitude.

Yesterday I received an unexpected gift, however:  a large box filled with an assortment of good eating and a fisherman's fillet knife.  The source?  One of the many magazine publishers I write for . . . and in this case an outdoor sportsman's magazine.  (Thank you, Gene!)

I would like to say that I am an expert on outdoor fishing and gaming--but the truth is, I'm like that German sergeant on Hogan's Heroes:  I know nussing!  Which makes my contributions to the magazine all the more intriguing.  I have to learn about my subject matter . . . I have to explore the woods, the lake, the river, or the tackle box as I go.  In this case, I'm always breaking writer's rule #1--which is commonly stated as, "Write about what you know."  But in my case, I'm writing about what I don't know.  But I revel in discovery.

I thank the publisher for this surprising Christmas gift and the size of it.  I should be sending him gifts, though.  He has it backwards.  

In 2014 I hope to be a contributor once again.  I hope to be a regular.  I've now written articles on fly fishing for smallmouth bass, on Indiana beavers, on Great Lakes charter fishing, antique tackle, and ice fishing safety.  But there's always more to learn.  The world is huge, and that's about the size of it.

In the meantime, if I ever do catch a fish (or buy a fishing rod, which might be a pre-requisite now that I think about it) . . . I hope to use the fillet knife.

Or I wonder . . . would that knife work on cheese?  I have a large block of cheddar on the kitchen counter.  And I haven't cut the cheese in a week!

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