"The notion that such persons are gay of heart and carefree is curiously untrue. They lead, as a matter of fact, an existence of jumpiness and apprehension. They sit on the edge of the chair of Literature. In the house of Life they have the feeling that they have never taken off their overcoats."
- James Thurber, My Life and Hard Times

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Hooked on Classics worked for me

Although I'm not officially enrolled in NaNoWriMo, I'm trying to keep a schedule this month and write at least 1,000 words a day. I think the contest's goal is 2,000 words a day, but I need to keep a goal I think I can honestly reach. I'm 10,000 words into the second book in my Peri Minneopa series, and I've been having some personal motivation problems. If I have 40,000 words by the end of the month, I could call it progress.

That being said, something's burning holes in the creative landscape of my brain, so I'm going to have to stop writing that scene where Skip is interviewing a possible suspect while Peri lays in the bushes of the Alta Vista Country Club, having been knocked out by a blow from a golf club, and then…

Anyway, I've been thinking about literary fiction in general, and the classics in particular. Until I married Dale, I had been hooked on classics. If it wasn't at least 50 years old, I didn't want to read it. My book shelves are filled with Dickens, Nabokov, Steinbeck, Cather. Oh, sure, I indulged in pulp fiction, but it had to be from a time gone by - Edgar Rice Burroughs, Zane Grey, Raymond Chandler. Dale got me into reading Dean Koontz, but that's another post.

Now this is coming back to bite me, as I race through all the mystery writers I missed, because if one more person says, "Oh, you've got to come, So-and-So will be there with a new book," and I have to resort to Google to find out how famous So-and-So is, I'm going to hit myself in the head with a rock.

But I still love the old stuff, and I especially love the resurgence of the oldies by way of the macabre twists. I bought Pride and Prejudice and Zombies just to read for Halloween. If I like it, I may have to read Sense and Sensibility and Sea Monsters.

As a writer, I want to get into the act. So, ladies and gentlemen, for your enjoyment, may I present:

Of Mice and Menopause
by Gayle Carline

"Where we goin', Georgia?"

The sweaty woman jerked down the hem of her sticky blouse and scowled at Lennie. "So you forgot that awready, did you? I gotta tell you again, do I? Jesus Christ, you're a crazy bastard!"

"I forgot," Lennie said softly. "I tried not to forget. Honest I did, Georgia."

"OK - OK. I'll tell ya again. I ain't got nothing to do. Might jus' as well spen' all my time tellin' you things and then you forget 'em, and I tell you again."

"Tried and tried," said Lennie. "but it didn't do no good. I remember about the rabbits, Georgia."

"To hell with the rabbits. That's all you ever can remember is them rabbits." And then Georgia took out her gun and shot Lennie, because he should've known better than to annoy her in the middle of a hot flash.

The End.

Author's postscript: This is in no way an endorsement of violence just because you're uncomfortable, nor is it an indictment of women over a certain age who are apt to find themselves a little cranky over the fact that someone has set their internal organs on fire. It's just fiction, people.

Okay, now I can get back to work.


dino martin peters said...

Hey pallie, well whatever that was, glads you gots it out of your system so you can move forward...btw Miss Gayle Carline...I love the classics as well...not as well read as I would like...but I loves classic books and classic films....guess that is why I am so stuck on our Dino...no one more classic then the King of Cool...

Anonymous said...

I need to reread some of the classics, beginning with To Kill a Mockinbird.

Stephen Tremp

Gayle Carline said...

The thing is, most of them break every rule of what editors, agents, & publishers tell us is "good" writing. They write passive sentences, and use descriptive dialog tags, and adverbs, etc. And yet, we love to spend time wandering around in their pages - at least I do.

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