Oct 28, 2016, 11:30AM

Keeping Up With the Quibbits’

Patience and practice lead to… something.

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“I don’t think this passage works.”

“What do you mean.”

“I don’t think… this… passage… really works… at all.”

“What is that supposed to mean?”

“It doesn’t work.”


“There isn’t a single coherent thought in here.”

“Well, that’s not very nice.”

“Don’t deflect! I just don’t know what’s going on. The reader does not know what is going on.”

“Maybe I’ll edit with Bennington.”

“Oh, you are being so difficult!”

“I’m an artist.”

“Oh, get over yourself!”

Monica threw the manuscript onto her husband’s lap and walked out of the room. She’d had enough. Ever since she and her husband had returned from the asylum, he wouldn’t stop acting irritable. He had so much agita and it was bringing her down. Her morning trips to the grocery store always started with a flurry of texts from Rooster—get me this, get me that. We have water—he doesn’t need to have it sparkled! Water is fine the way it is! Monica would become so frustrated with Rooster in those days, and he never seemed to listen or retain anything. Their place was a mess, covered in foreign hairs and paintbrushes and pens and books and endless stacks of paper. The manuscript for Always a Stone was becoming more than either of them could handle: 10,000 pages unedited, with an extensive foreword and afterword and introduction that were taking up more of Rooster’s time now than the actual story. Monica still hadn't returned from the store with his ink and his paper and his sparkling water, when—

“Are you writing about me again?”



“It was just a little bit.”

“A little bit is too much. Did you change anything?”

“…sort of.”

“Like what?”

“Uh… I’ll make us people.”

“I thought you already changed it.”

“Did they have coconut flavor, or—“

“Oh…my god.”



How could I have dreamed up the publication of my own novel all while locked in a hospital for political prisoners, only then to escape with the pluck of my invincible wife and make it home alive? Well, you’ll just have to find out next time—

“Are you serious?”

“Why are you looking over my shoulder!”

“I just… I can’t wait, you’re such a genius.”

“Aw, thanks smiley face.”

“You can’t include a sentence like that in your book. That’s like straight out of a teleplay or something.”

“Stop judging me.”

“You’re acting like a brat.”

“I know….”

“Do you want to eat dinner soon?”

“Yes. What are we having?”

“I don’t know, I was thinking fish.”

“Good. I hate them.”

“They can be nice!”

“Not in my experience.”

“I have a friend that’s a fish.”

“Good for you.”

“Oh stop it.”

“Are we doing salmon or trout or what?”

“Trout? I don’t eat trout. You know that.”


“I’ll eat anything.”

“Okay… salmon.”



What will happen to the Quibbits’ next?

You can do better than this, Roo.

I know…

—Follow Rooster Quibbits on Twitter: @RoosterQuibbits

  • I thought Rooster already published his novel, and Michiko Kakutani tore it apart. Didn't she get a restraining order against him? Or was that all in his head?

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