The Analog Couch

One of the myriad of tidbits learned from the Vegas workshop was a concept called “The Analog Couch.”

Now, I’m not sure if this term is common among fiction editors or if it was just the editors on that particular panel (I’m a newbie to this whole publishing thing, remember). I’m not even sure if it needs to be capitalized. So when the phrase crept into the manuscript critiques, I picked up on it, made note and kept listening.

Then it happened to my manuscripts. Twice.

I started asking questions. What is this couch they speak of? Is it a real thing? Is it editor lingo? Am I supposed to know about this piece of furniture? Everyone around me seemed to understand and go with it, nodding heads in understanding, and I’m sitting in the back of the room going, “What did I miss? Help me out. Clueless Newbie Alert!”

Of course, I’m the clueless newbie who was too stymied by terror to raise her stupid hand for fear of asking the stupid question, “What is this magical, mysterious sofa?”


Diane, a loving wife and mother with a photographic memory, escaped the horrors of the street to start a family of her own.

Then the unthinkable happens, and she just can’t forget…

God, please help me not to be a cat. I don’t want nine lives. The four I’ve lived so far have been plenty.

Strange the prayers sent up when your mind has nothing to do. Nothing to occupy the time.

But I know I can’t do this metamorphosis five more times and carry with me every memory. Every detail. Every image in technicolor 3-D. I feel a bad spell coming. I’m seeing things.

This morning, I thought I saw David. But MoMo started having a fit and that was a distraction. At least for a few minutes. Then David, or what I thought was him, was gone, and I relaxed.

My back rests against the yuppie diner’s brick wall in Penrose Alley. Penrose Alley tucked away from the bustle of the tourists and crowds. The only ones coming and going here are those hauling trash and those considered to be trash.

At least it’s warm. I did that part right. Coming south for this regrouping instead of staying put in Chicago. I hate the cold.

I look at the back of Eddie’s head lying across my lap. His curly hair needs a cut. We both need a bath, but when your stench matches everyone else’s, no one smells anymore.

Trash smells of trash to other garbage.

Or of nothing.

Thank you for hanging out for a bit. Check back on the first Monday of every

month for a free fictional short, and be sure to visit my Amazon page.

Copyright © 2019 by B.A. Paul
All work is licensed for your personal enjoyment only. All rights reserved. This is a work of fiction. All characters and events portrayed herein are fictional, and any resemblance to real people or incidents is purely coincidental. All work published on this site, or parts thereof, may not be reproduced in any form without permission.

Beth's passion for writing started in grade school with an epic outer space adventure scribbled on 158 sheets of wide-ruled notebook paper with not-sharp-enough pencils. That manuscript was lost in a basement flood.

Thirty years, marriage, two kids and several dogs later, she's garnered enough story fodder to resurrect her passion—and this time she backs up her work!

She currently resides in Indiana with her family and a couple of meowing fur babies who enjoy walking across her keyboard.