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Tracking Happiness: Chapter 15

This is CHAPTER 15 in our series offering gossip, novel backstory, and personal confessions about TRACKING HAPPINESS: A SOUTHERN CHICKEN ADVENTURE. We’re working our way through a novel here. If you’re just now discovering us, you can jump in now or go back to the first entry and catch up. If you jump in now, I can’t promise you it won’t be confusing, but it might be interesting too.

Ok. Last we left off: Lucinda was on the train (surprise, surprise) traveling down the West Coast on her way to San Francisco. She had recently discovered disturbing information about her dad. The chapter ended with a new character named Rahtz lumbering on board. We know nothing about him. Yet.

This chapter, of all things, contains the scene that produced the title of the novel: Tracking Happiness. Listen for it. You’ll recognize it. The scene features Rahtz, Lucinda’s new friend. Rahtz is full of wisdom. This is a common arc in my humor writing. It stars off FUN-NY. Then it slips in profoundly true sayings or situations, and you wind up with gems on life. If you read the reviews on CAIN’T DO NOTHING WITH LOVE, my award-winning short story collection, you’ll see this mentioned. I’ll put the link to the stories in the Notes Section. But DON’T go listen now. You’re reading Tracking Happiness, and multi-tasking is ruining our brains. Focus on this one thing: Chapter 15 of Tracking Happiness. When the chapter’s finished, go to the Notes Section, and either listen to more of me or bookmark the site. 

 I have to tell you: as I was writing this blog post, I had just arrived at the sentence in the novel, “We’re about to be the ham in the sandwich,” when my husband stood up and told the dog, “I’ve got to go fix your mama a ham sandwich.” Eerie. (And, yes, I have a husband who fixes me food. I might have mentioned this before because it is one of the facts of my life of which I am most proud: my husband is our cook. He keeps me alive. Sometimes with ham sandwiches.)

Okay. That’s enough preliminary information.

Fun Chicken Fact: Chickens are descended from dinosaurs. My friend Joe Hawes told me this fact, and I’m giving him a shout out for it. In fact, chickens are one of the closest birds to dinosaurs. What I heard is that as dinosaurs lost their front arms to wings, they needed something else to pick things up with (think that short-armed dinosaur in the cartoons). So they developed beaks. It’s all speculation. 




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