The Beetle in the Bathtub

Fable for a Monday Morning


One night a big black beetle fell into a bathtub, trying to reach water. The people who lived in the house watched the beetle attempt the impossible climb up the slick sides of the bathtub. But it was only a beetle, so they watched for a while and went to bed, leaving the beetle to continue its insurmountable task. Even the cat left the beetle alone, for it had learned months earlier that beetles taste nothing like spiders.

In the middle of the night, one of the sleepless people noticed the beetle again. It was still there in the bathtub, still making a valiant attempt to climb out of its prison. It hadn’t given up, wasn’t sitting in the bottom of the bathtub waiting for rescue. Having attained a magnificent height of an inch and a half, the beetle clung to the bathtub wall, waving one foot in an attempt to find the next secure foothold.

Admiring the beetle’s patience, the person finally moved the shower curtain inside the bathtub, thinking the beetle might be able to climb out that way. Then the person went to bed, leaving the beetle to figure things out on its own.

In the morning, the person went back in the bathroom, only to discover the beetle had climbed all the way up the shower curtain and was clinging to the very top. Not wanting to share the shower with a strange beetle, the person flicked the beetle off the shower curtain, and it fell down, down, down, into the very same tub from which it had recently escaped.

As the beetle paused to recover from the long fall, the person felt sorry for it and scooped the beetle up into a red plastic cup. Then the person took the cup outside and turned it upside down, dropping the beetle into the soft dirt of a garden bed. The beetle crawled away and found itself a new home in the garden, before anyone else tried to kill it.

Moral: Never, ever give up. Even if persistence doesn’t get you where you want to be, someone might feel sorry for you and give you a hand…especially if helping you is easier than disposing of your dead body.


Progress Update 2/18/15

I had every intention of writing a blog post or two between this one and the last, but my writing time seems to have evaporated this week.

I made a goal to write two short stories as follow-ups to “No More A Pawn.” So far, I have three ideas. I’ve finished the rough draft of “The Reluctant Squire” and I’ve accepted a challenge to write a short story next week, between 2/9 and 2/15. Except that I’m challenging myself to write two stories next week. The first will be the story of Sir Wilfred, as he attempts to get home. The second will be about Fionna as she begins her squire training. I’m currently plotting that one in preparation for next week. I plan to write them all, and see which ones I like best.

I’ve ran into a snag on my “Persnickety” cover. The ebook cover is great, and I love the way it looks. But the artwork doesn’t wrap around the print cover quite so well. So I will need to work on this problem, tweaking the artwork, or possibly considering other options. I also need to write the copy that goes on the back cover and make sure I have all the inside pages ready while I wait to hear back if I need to do any rewrites or revisions on the actual stories. And then I need to come up with something to use as a giveaway in connection with “Persnickety’s Book of Bedtime Stories.”

The plan is that I will be giving away free copies of the book to readers on my mailing list. Then, as a thank-you for those readers who take the time to post an honest review (even if it’s one star because they hate it), I will also give away copies of the follow-up stories. These stories will be available only to those readers, and will not be made available anywhere else.

Then of course, there’s always more coursework. I’m working through several courses and workshops through Holly Lisle’s website,, depending on what I think I need to learn at the time. My goal for the year is to get through all of the courses I’ve already purchased, except for possibly “How To Revise Your Novel.” That one might have to wait for next year. So far I’ve only gotten through “How to Write Flash Fiction That Doesn’t Suck” (which is a free course, by the way) and “Publishing While Broke.” And that coursework is on top of my writing and publishing goals for the year. So I’ve got my work cut out for me. The good news is that it is currently going rather well.