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Posts Tagged ‘adoption’

Today is (probably*) Ludwig van Beethoven’s birthday, and it’s a date I note every year. That’s because it also happens to be my adoption date. 

Like a lot of kids, mini me went through an early phase where I pronounced new words as they were spelled (like “Zay oose,” here’s hoping no Greek gods were paying attention). And so in some corner of my mind this German composer will always remain “Bee Thoven.”

* * *

The 20 greatest Beethoven works of all time – Classic FM

Here’s where I admit that I find a lot of his work a little over the top, like he was angry at the piano or something. As my stepmother has been known to say, “Too many notes!” I still recognize brilliance when I hear it, and his approach is a lesson for creatives of all forms.

“To play a wrong note is insignificant; to play without passion is inexcusable.”

― Ludwig van Beethoven

* * *

Bring me my piano! Photo by Maria Lupan on Unsplash

* Beethoven was baptized on December 17th in Bonn, Germany, making it likely that he was born the day before. Let’s just go with it, shall we?

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There are a lot of ways to write, and a lot of types of writing. Fiction alone comes in novels, of course, but also novellas, novelettes, short stories, screenplays, etc. I happen to have a soft spot for the drabble.

drabble is a piece of fiction that is exactly 100 words long, excluding title. Explore the history of it at that link if you like, but for me the important part is the constraint.

One hundred words, no more, no less. 

It’s an easy number of words to produce, of course, but there’s something I find so satisfying about trying to build a story within the confines of such a concrete target. The limits inspire creativity, make finishing feel not only possible but inevitable, and provide a sandbox to play in, if you will.

It’s also a terrific way to dip your toes in the rapids of fiction. My first two publications were drabbles (thanks, Luna Station Quarterly!):

Ray of Light.”
The Witch.”

Go ahead, try it for yourself. And have fun!

* * *

This is my latest drabble, “Adoption Papers.”

I was sixteen when I found the receipt. My receipt.

“What the hell, Dad?”

The paper was old and faded, one tattered corner poking from a manila folder marked “Family Records.” There were maybe ten lines on the page, with a stamp at the top that read “Beta: Final Sale.”

Dad shrugged, like it was no big deal.

“Are you pissed that you’re a bot, or that you didn’t cost more?”

I hadn’t even noticed the total. 

“Twelve and a half bucks? Seriously?”

He smiled. “We always said you were special.”

“Not on special!” 

I blinked. 

“Wait, I’m a what?”

* * *

Photo by Alex Knight on Pexels.com

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Twelve and a half bucks, that’s what it cost my parents to adopt me. Would they have had to pay more for a white baby? We’ll never know, but according to NPR’s article on the issue, ‘Black Babies Cost Less To Adopt’, a skin-color based fee structure isn’t uncommon today. Not to mention how incredibly expensive the process is across the board.

/wtf, world?

Honestly.

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