Saturday, September 30, 2006

Red Keds

When I imagine giving speeches as a famous writer, I explain fiction thus:

Writing fiction is like building a log cabin. Sometimes, truth is the log. Sometimes, it’s the sticky stuff between the logs. Either way, the fiction writer need not tell which is which. She gets off scot free with the claim, I made it all up.

I recently received notes on my last script which is a modern Western family drama about a World Champion calf-roping cowboy who injures his wrist and returns to the ranch where he grew up. He wants to lay low. Hide out. Think about what he’s going to do next. The family he left behind have troubles of their own which they are all too eager to hand over to him. Everyone in the story has a secret.

The script begins in 1977, the day an orphaned boy, the cowboy to be, is handed over to his uncle. The first glimpse of the kid is of red Keds pounding against a couch. Several reviewers mentioned red Keds would not be child footwear in the 70s. More 60s or 50s, they thought.

Now, I looked at a jillion pages on wrist anatomy to get my calf roper’s injury right.

Make a fist. Rotate your fist clockwise a couple of times. Know what you’re looking at? A miracle. That movement is accomplished over eight bones that look like chipped marbles.

And what did Miss Obsessive Researcher do, come time to shoe an orphan? Slipped him into the shoes I got every summer.

Nevermind when.

So, I’m building my fiction log cabin, see, hiding my truth behind logs and caulk, and what I don’t realize is that I’m standing there bare-assed because I unconsciously reveal myself in my writing no matter how many times I say, I made it all up.

Some might think footwear notes are inconsequential compared to the more important business of structure, plot, formatting.

Au contraire, she says.

Red Keds notes are important because nothing should strike a false note with a reader. Nothing.

And, one of these days, you can come to my famous writer speeches and I’ll tell you why.

Friday, September 29, 2006

One Page Challenge

I heard it from Pooks, but it started here.

Post one page. No ifs, ands, buts, shouldas, whatever.

Thursday, September 21, 2006

Wednesday Night Out

The sign said CLOSED, but the door was open, so we went in.

The albino from the manager's office sold us tickets. He offered to make popcorn.

The theater was empty. Silent. The pre-movie soundtrack killed by lack of interest.

A man, who looked like Santa Claus in a wheelchair, motored in and parked himself in the handicap space. He wore a wool hat and flip-flops.

I pretended to look the whole theater over, so Santa wouldn't know I was staring at him, and saw a bald man so skinny, he could be the living skelton illustration, slip into the next to the last row.

A middle-aged guy who was a college professor, or I've never been to school, planted himself center screen, center row.

I went back to staring at the blank screen wondering if I was about to see a porno.

I snuggled up to my cold water bottle and wondered what would happen next.


Santa left ten minutes before the picture ended. Guess he didn't care who did it. Or gave up guessing.

How was the picture?

Well, there was a nice long shot of Josh Harnett's bare bottom.

The End.

Tuesday, September 12, 2006


Wonder where Eve went?

Sunday, September 10, 2006

Don't Say Aaahh . . .

Because that little heathen killed one of our chickens last night.

A buff hen named after a blonde movie star from old Hollywood, who never did anything except lay one egg a day and eat grasshoppers. The hen, not the movie star.

And if Night of the Chicken Murder wasn’t enough, a deer moseyed into the greenhouse and ate all the peas and the ripest green tomato.

Since when do deer eat tomatoes?

And then, as I was dragging the hose to the greenhouse to water the survivors, I spied a SNAKE lying in wait in front of the door.

When I turned to holler for Earl to come kill the snake, I swallowed a bug.

So, on this day, friends, the score is:

Nature 4 Humans 0.

Oh wait, the bug didn’t make it. 1 for our side.

Sunday, September 03, 2006

Mistaken Identity

My parents are moving to a new house. I've been helping my Dad make the "official" changes around town.

Twice last week, I was mistaken for my mother.


Someone tell me.

I do not look old enough to be married to a 78 year old man.