It's trying to get cold around here. There were flurries north of Chi. If you know me, you know I'm the ice-man. I wear shorts all winter, but even I am cold and have the heat on as I work on the new book. But now that the weather is about to turn, the ol' lonesome neighborhood turkey is looking more worried than usual. And now he has developed a bizarre relationship with me. You knew that was coming, right? I can't help it. I have embraced the pathetic fallacy.

The turk comes to the front of the house and starts to yell. He does this weird yelp-and-pip holler. It means: LUIS! COME OUT HERE NOW! I come out and he comes running. he follows me around, but if I turn around, he strides away as if the bushes in front of the window are really interesting. But I turn my back, and he sneaks up on me, murmuring purring little turkey quips. Damn, I hope he doesn't try to mate with me. But mostly, he's saying, GOT ANY FOOD?

I'm used to freeloaders. In a writer's life, there are many odd hangers-on. I have a long history of freakish beasts and humans hanging around with their hands (beaks) out. The biker who sleeps on the couch and can't figure out why the house smells like fried eggs when we get up--though there's a freshly washed skillet in the sink and all the eggs are gone! So my feathered homeboy here has developed a taste for my wild bird seed (I put out the fruity cardinal mix, with raisins and cherries in it). So I go to the garage--I tell him to wait, and he waits. He may be cussing me, I'm not sure. "Fibble-dee-hibble," he suggests. "Peeple-freeple-PIP!-PIP!" I say, "Yeah, yeah--whatever."

I'm 2/3 of the way through Nayeli's Seven, my wild new novel. It is odd for me to have film-makers trying to get a peek at it before it's done. They want to know when Hummingbird II will be erady, too--since the movie's coming out in '09, and they'll want the sequel ready by then.

Just got to focus on the keyboard. This is my subversive, commercial novel. It feels good to write it. It feels lively. I hope you find it surprising.

I hope you buy a billion of them, like hamburgers, like hybrid SUVs.

Ah. The turkey is full. He shakes his tail feathers for me and my daughter. He regards his reflection in the side of our van and seems to find himself quite handsome. He peeps, "See ya, sucker!" and strides across the street.

I'm going to make coffee and go back upstairs. I'll pour you a cup. Back to work.

"Hey Dad!" Chayo keeps yelling. "Hey Dad! Hey Dad!" WHAAAAAT!!!!???? I scream, sounding like Hunter Thompson shrieking through a benzedrine melt-down. "Hey Dad!" She wants Halloween candy. Oh crap--the turkey's in the back yard now! He's looking in our windows! I don't know which of us attracted him--Chayo or me. We both sound like peacocks raising hell in here. He's at the back door! Quick--act like nobody's home! Turn off the lights! Hide in the back room! No! Nooooooooooooooooooooooo....

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