Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Putter (100 words)



I straightened the couch cushions in the living room…for the second time, wiped down the kitchen counter…again, and watched the news for an hour.
 
(no news is good news)

I put clean towels in the bathroom and washed the two coffee cups in the sink then put them away.
 
(wasting time)

Was this procrastination?  No.  Avoidance?  Yes.  The outcome would be no different no matter how long I lingered before I turned to the last page.

(finish it)

I zipped my coveralls and, box of garbage bags in hand, clicked the switch to illuminate the basement stairs and headed down.  

Monday, October 22, 2012

Unapproachable (100 words)



We were scared of her.  Her name was Amy - like amiable.  She was anything but.  She wore her hair in a tight bun and her mouth in an even tighter scowl.  She came to the office, did her job, and left without speaking to many.
 
One night at closing, as I set the alarm, I heard a whimper.  It was Amy.  I found her still huddled at her desk holding a small teddy bear.  She smiled at me through her tears, “It was Jamie’s.”
 
I knelt by her side, slipped my arm around her shoulders, and let her cry.

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Body of Work



A few weeks ago, I sent my 65,000 word novel off to an independent publisher in Seattle. 

And, now I wait.
 
When I was writing the story, I often thought of it as a human being.  I built the skeleton first, and one by one added the muscles and essential organs.  Then I put the nervous and circulatory systems into place to ensure all the parts of the story were connected.  Lastly I added the skin and facial features to encapsulate my words and make the finished product more appealing to the eyes/mind.
 
One of the hardest things about building my story was discovering many, many benign tumors that needed excised.  While they apparently did no damage to the body as a whole, I had to admit that the story was much healthier when they were gone.

Like the proud parent that I am in real life, I was ecstatic when “Rebecca” could stand on two feet and eventually even began to think for herself.
    
Like the anxious parent that I am in real life, I hesitated for months before sending my finished work out into the real world.  I wanted to make sure that Rebecca was perfectly prepared to live by herself without my guidance and tutorage.  I would think she was ready to go and find her shirt needed ironed, or hair needed trimmed, or she had a smudge of food on her face.  Finally, I knew it was time to let her go and see if she would be accepted by society.

And now I wait.
      
Funny, I don’t really think of the story as my child (I picture myself more as a mad scientist) but those correlations are endless.  For instance, now that I gave the first one my all – put in my very best effort to raise it right – I am starting all over again with number two.  And, just as different as two children can be, these two stories are nothing alike – other than the fact that they come from the same lineage. (The first is an introspective military/survival/murder thriller and the second is a more humorous but still dark take on vigilante society women...)

Will my creation be accepted by this publisher or will I need to have her come back home for more preparation before driving her back to the bus station to try yet again?  I do not know.  But patience is a virtue…one I do not have, so while I wait, I write.  "Justice Mae Applebaum" needs a femur.