Your story masterfully depicts that gap between what we want and what we settle for. What inspired Bodie's character?
Bodie is a real conglomeration. He's me looking back on life and wondering if I'd be less neurotic if I was still working as a restaurant health inspector. He's my Irish grandmother who believed anyone she hadn't given birth to was "rather off." And he's like many actors I've worked with, seeking that elusive character the world can finally fall in love with.
You're a 3-time contributor to BT...we love working with you! What advice do you have for a new or emerging writer in terms of getting a story ready for submission to us and other places?
I teach writing at a university, and the thing I constantly stress is imagery. Giving the reader something she or he can visualize. Using the five senses to help complete your character's emotional journey. Words are great, but words—as beautifully wrought as they may be-—seldom have the lasting impact of a picture projected onto the landscape of the mind. Show it, show it, show it.