Wednesday, October 20, 2010

It Was a Dark and Stormy Night; part xxi

The reason I put part xxi in the title is because I think I'll use the title again, and assumed I'd used it in the past. Too many Snoopy (Peanuts) cartoons back in the old days, before crack and XBox.

Anyway, what happened was I replied to a message regarding how I was doing with, "It was a dark and stormy night". I'm not sure what happened next, maybe a question about if that was the beginning of a book. I took it as a challenge to start with that and come up with a story.

So I did. No telling how many printed pages it is now. I haven't printed it.

We've got a guy posing as a panhandler spying on someone else, using an alias. There are desalination machines, bicycles, Little Eddie, a sneaky transplant from the company in Texas, a forklift fiasco, and what looks like a satisfying come-uppance.

We'll see what happens. At this point the main character may quit his assumed identity as he became rather comfortable panhandling under a pseudonym, sleeping in a tent and thinking of himself in the third person. But he can't exit that persona until the mission is accomplished, which it may be. If so, he's off on another adventure, as often befalls those whose lives are like a leaf in the wind--not predictable or purposeful. I try not to be too autobiographical, but it is amazing how things and people from your past and present can be reshaped to fit.

All chapter one consists of is the one line, "It was a dark and stormy night". Being set in SoCal, the eager reader quickly discovers it was dark and stormy somewhere else, but not here.

One thing I do little of is description. Maybe I should work on that, but I get tired of reading when someone spends a page detailing the color of sunlight on someone's shoe, or goes on about something like an apple when it has no purpose whatsoever. I mean if a character is a pompous bully, what more can you say? Seen one, you've seen em all. That is not really a serious statement, only sort of serious.

I'm pretty sure the scenes are feasible. All the action that depends on the laws of physics is pretty sound and realistic. Less extreme than my usual, like the time someone was beheaded by a flying CD of Ethel Merman tunes. In that case, just playing it at high volume would more likely do the trick. I was never a big fan of dear Ethel.

It is a dark and misty night. This makes two in a row. All day in the clouds and mist. A coyote howled. His colleague coyotes yipped and yapped, then fell silent. An owl, or what I think is an owl, keeps doing that howl hoot thing. It could be Indians or mountain men sneaking about communicating in that way. I've seen it done in movies, and Davy Crockett actually mentioned it in his book.

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Ballistic Mountain, CA, United States
Like spring on a summer's day


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