Howdy, ya’ll. Okay, I don’t really talk like that, but it sounds friendly. I did my last face-to-face writing session with my best accountabuddy! While I’m mega sad, I know that him moving to Wisconsin is good for him. We’ve even talked about doing our writing sessions over Google Hangouts. It has a Skype-like function, too. #ThankGoogleForTechnology
Here’s what I learned this week: I really want my story about the two forty-year-olds on a date to reflect who people are today. Just to be clear, this is a new story I’m working on. It’s fiction, but it’s not unrealistic. As a result, I had written a scene with them discussing a segment they heard on NPR. This time, I was really struggling to get started because I’m not sure what will be the denouement of the story. Where is it headed? I allowed myself to write whatever, which led to these characters talking about music and TV shows. It sounds boring, even to me, but these conversations are interspersed with memories, such as when the man brings up The Coasters and the woman remembers her parents dancing to “Smokey Joe’s Cafe” in the living room.
I’m sure I’ll go through and edit out loads, but at the time it was fun to just write like I was talking to someone, as if I WERE the characters. How often do we really see ourselves in fiction? One problem with that is the man and woman start to sound the same, and we all know the narration has to match the character.
Near the end of my hour, I decided to go back and look at some older work, a series of flash pieces go together that I wrote circa 2009. And wouldn’t you know it: the main character is an old depressed lady whose cat has died — and she has yet to acknowledge it (she even keeps scooping the empty litter box) — and wears a big red hat that gets bigger as she gets sadder! It’s like the hat weighs her down and hides her from the world.
You don’t wear hats. Sure, there was that one summer you had the floppy sun hat, but then you wised up and got a parasol. What is your obsession with hats? You should Google this later, something along the lines of “Are hat obsessions a sign of a gaping internal psychological wound?” On a positive note, now I know I can take the hat out of the date story and polish up these old pieces! Hooray! #Winning
See you next Saturday!
*I changed my header and logo. I’m hoping it’s easier to see and more fitting!