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Linnet McLaughlin
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How the Playground Series was Born

The day started out typically, with my husband bringing me a cup of coffee-yes he does this every morning since the a.m. is just not my time of day-with a big smile and a “Hey sweetheart, what’re we doing today?” Of course this is a rhetorical question because- as I said- this is not my time of day, so any questions directed at me before the cup is empty? Most likely going to be answered with some form of grunt, scowl, or even hiss if I’m particularly cranky.


But of course the question sticks in my mind as every sip of french-pressed Colombian brings me closer to coherency. This particular morning I decided on absolutely nothing. It was going to be a 'hang around the shanty mama' kind of day, where I might work on some writing, or I might do some reading, or maybe I’d just sit in the chair and spend my time dreaming up a new character (aka go to LaLa land, where I frequently live).


So I finished my coffee and proceeded to tell my husband what I’d decided when I got a whiff of something particularly nasty. I glanced around to locate the source of the foul smell and Howie helpfully filled me in. “Don’t let Lucy inside, she rolled in horseshit.”



I’d had my cup of coffee but it was still just a tad early for me to be dealing with a stinky pit bull, even if this particular pit is the cutest dog you’ve ever seen. So I gave her the full force of my “it’s still morning” glare before stomping around to find the shampoo and a towel.

Now Lucy is by far one of the best dogs you’ve ever seen or heard about- she loves all people, all animals, she comes when she’s called, and she’s an excellent traveler.. but if there’s one thing in this world she despises, it’s a bath.

And she always knows when she’s going to get one.


So after ten minutes of hide and seek I finally nabbed her and put on the leash, then recruited my brother in-law to hang on tight, at which point she began bucking like an actual bull and it took another five minutes to wrestle her over to the water.


I was immensely grateful to PJ because if I had to do it alone I would have likely suffered several face plants from the strength of her sixty pound muscled butt yanking me around, and without trapping her the whole thing would’ve been impossible.


But PJ is a strong guy so he managed it and within a few minutes she resigned herself and let me do my thing. Of course by the time she was thoroughly clean I was thoroughly soaked from the ten times she shook on me…which I swear she does on purpose, I mean can’t she wait until I’m all finished before letting the droplets fly?


Well that was how my day began, and something about the chilly wet wake-up call energized my mental faculties. I had been struggling with the ending for a book and Howie had suggested I start writing some short stories as an exercise to overcome the block.


I sat down at my computer and remembered that I'd once wanted to write a series based on the interesting questions Howie had posed to me in the first months and years of our acquaintance-- conversations that had resulted in my breaking out of the indoctrinated construct that had been my life to that point.


From that point to this one I've lived with a very flexible perspective on the world around me, and this series is the closest I've ever come to relating it on 'paper'.


So dear reader, if you're even faintly interested in new perspectives, if you enjoy a challenge to the status quo, and especially if you like a hint of the supernatural then take a trip to The Playground...



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