Pic of the day: The White Bridge, by John Henry Twatchman
As for ‘story’ I never yet did enjoy a novel or play in which someone didn’t tell me afterward that there was something wrong with the story, so that’s going to be no drawback as far as I’m concerned. “Good Lord, why am I so bored”—”I know; it must be the plot developing harmoniously.” So I often reply to myself, and there rises before me my special nightmare—that of the writer as craftsman, natty and deft.
E.M. Forster, Selected Letters
I’ve been writing this thing of late, you’ve seen them if you’ve showed up here at all over the last week. They’ve all had the same title. Ten minutes. And they all have had the same basic concept behind them. Tell a snippet of a story, paint a word picture of a small portion of ordinary moments of life lived by ordinary people. Take ten minutes from one life and tell that story. And make them as compelling as possible by making them as real as possible. Look at my world, and the lives and events of people around me and, adding small fictional tidbits here and there and try to tell a story.
Call them character studies, sketches of life. Not meant to be anything more than that. Not trying to build any of this into a full blown story, not meant to be an inspiration for anything. Though the thought is in the back of my mind.
Has been ever since I lost my novel. It is on the hard drive of my desktop computer. Unfortunately something happened to desktop and it no longer works. Catastrophic damage? Unrecoverable? I don’t think so, but I haven’t the money to get it fixed. So for now I write on an old laptop, and hope to get the story off of the desktop when I can.
So I am for the moment doing these small sketches, preparing ideas for another novel. This one will be more slice of life, more along the lines of Sinclair Lewis’ Babbitt.
The pain that shot down the left side of his back made everything more difficult. As he got up from the old faded and torn brown leather chair, he had to lean heavily on the tray table in front of the chair to get up. The tray table nicked and scratched from years of use and abuse, swayed to the left and groaned as he got up. The leather on the chair crinkled and crackled as he moved forward, and groaned in time with the groaning of the table as he rose to his feet.
He tried to turn his head with some minor success though it hurt like hell, and began to make the turn to walk into the kitchen to get his painkilers. This was pain he knew would be there, but it annoyed him to no end, and he was unable to move his head as far as he wanted to. He grumbled to himself “Goddamn old man, what’d you do to yourself? You couldn’t leave well enough alone, and now you can barely move. Goddamn old man.”
A voice from the front of the house chimed. A high contralto voice said “You OK dad? Need anything?” His response was gruff and short “Nope. Got it.” The short haired brunette peeked her head around the corner to see him moving slowly from his chair, and she said to him “You know with your back in this condition you aren’t supposed to do anything. Sit down. I’ll get whatever you need.”
He stopped and slowly turned, purposefully making a show of moving extra slow and rigidly and said “I’m only going to the kitchen to grab some painkillers. I’m hurt but dammit I can still walk. Whaddayathink, I can’t take care of myself?” He looked at her with a slightly pained look and she walked quickly past him, kissed his head as she passed and said in a curt manner “OK, superman, you can do everything on your own. But while I’m here, I’m helping you. Siddown. I’ll get your painkillers.”
He glared at her back as she glided effortlessly past him. He looked painfully down at the chair he had been sitting in, and took the three steps that it took for him to get back to the front of his chair, stood between the chair and the tray table and fell into the chair. The chair and the man both groaned and grumbled under the impact of his large form falling into the old chair. The chair hissed as the air in the seat cushions were released slowly.
The woman came out of the kitchen with a glass of water and two large blue pills and said “Listen, dad, you really need to take it easy if your back is ever going to get better. You can’t go around like you are in your thirties anymore. You’re nearly 80, and frankly your lucky I had the week off so I could come over and help you today.” She looked at him and shook her head “I really wish you hadn’t tried to fix that busted pipe under the bathroom sink. That’s what professionals are for.”
He shook his head and said ” Listen, I can take care of myself. But thank you.” She reached over and handed him the medication and the water, and he took them both said a silent thank you and took them. He said “That was the al…” She cut him off and said ” Yes dad, I know what medicines you can take, and when you need to take them.”
That’s it from here, America. G’night.