What kind of jam is this, he asked.
Seedless raspberry, I answered.
He chewed his English muffin slowly, staring at me. Pensive eyes.
I set the toaster half a degree too high, so periodically, he crunched loudly on some blackened bits. He has strong teeth.
What did they do with the seeds, finally he spoke.
These are seedless raspberries, sweetie.
Another bite and a louder chomp down. That second half was more than a little burnt. I ejected an involuntary muffled squeak.
One cannot grow raspberries without seeds, he continued.
Oh. There are seeds alright, just stored in minuscule organic knapsacks at the bottom of my bush. Bees make more than honey.
Knowing that reply would please him, distractedly I reached for a book perched on the table in front of me. Senses now tingling in high gear, my mind focussed on teeth and lips and substances smeared all over.
Being a mind reader, he knew better than to ask for more details. A semi-wicked grin replaced his crisp chewing sounds. A splotch of ruby jam seeped from and remained at a corner of his mouth.
Yes. Morris had taught his pupil so much about sustainable agriculture husbandry.
A point on mentorship in general:
Today I realized I have a secret mentor. Each read of Diane Williams’ fabulous short stories creates a desire to write one of my own. While many drafts are in my notes, only one is published (link below). Today makes number two.
Diane, you are a short story writing genius. Although we have never met, I was a lucky girl the day I found one of your tales. Currently, I own two of your nine books. Today my sweet guy gifted me a copy of your latest NOON journal.
Some might suggest I have a lot of balls crediting you for inspiration on my amateur efforts. Maybe so. All I can say is this. If someday I can come anywhere close to approximating your magic, well then, the genie in the lamp finally granted my first wish.
About this much-debated writing dilemma:
“Hey poets and fiction writers, craft better headlines.” That is a typical writing advice theme.
So look. The artist in me wanted to select this title: Mentorship. Then I launched a self debate and changed my mind.
Following an eTrip to Headline Analyzer and 17 versions later, I crafted the one you saw at the beginning of this post. Rated 75 points. Excellent score, right?
I wish I could say this decision settled the artsy-markety dilemma for me. It did not.
Do not be surprised if someday you see this post with an edited title.
© Suzanne V. Tanner, 2020. All Rights Reserved.
Thanks again for your time, my dear reading and writing friends. If you wish to reach me by email: email@example.com.