April 29, 2009

Driving

Here is a new segment to be inserted into Fragments of Fiction.

A month or so ago my editor sent me an email asking for me to send over a rough draft my new novel. He said that he didn't expect fireworks to shoot from it, but that he'd be pleased if it honked a time or two.

I must have read that line two or three times before I realized that he had really said that. What the hell does he mean about it honking a time or two. Instead of asking I sent him a note saying that I understood why I was the writer and he the editor. I then explained to him that honking made me think of tooting and that tooting was a euphemism for a stinky bodily function and that his line stunk.

If I hadn't already published a half dozen books I probably would have been shown the door or at least read the riot act. Thanks to the almighty dollar I was spared that indignity.

Anyway, I had to give him something so I quickly banged out the words below. I hoped that it would buy me some time, maybe another week or two.

I have images floating in my head that I thought that I'd share with you. One is of a man and a woman walking down two parallel paths. As they go down these roads they encounter all sorts of different creatures, a girl and her small dog, a scarecrow, a tin woodsman and even a witch or two.

But since the roads are parallel they have to overcome these challenges without help, or at least it appears that way. To those who don't know them it looks like they are fighting the flying monkeys all by themselves. But the reality is far different. Because even though they are physically separated there is more to them than meets the eye.
There is a connection that exists on a very deep level, deep enough that sometimes the two of them forget that it is there. But every so often it sends out a little ping and that reminds them of its existence and they remember that though they are not together now, they aren't really apart either.

So they continue to walk on down the yellowbrick road and through the fields and forests. Under blue skies and grey they march to beat of their respective drummers. And if you look at them closely you can see that every now and then they check the horizon, peering out to see if they can catch a glimpse of the other.

Neither knows for certain if these roads will ever cross. It is too hard to see that far ahead and at the moment the all powerful wizard's cellphone is broken. The trackball failed and in his frustration he flung it out a window, where it was taken by a large duck.

On and on they march towards the Emerald City because there is no turning back.

In some ways it is a screwy tale and if I was to give you the details I am sure that you would shake your head in disbelief. It is no secret that most writers write stories about what they know.

Or at least that is what they try to convince you in school. During my days as a creative writing teacher I used to say, "Writers write about what they know because they want to write what is right."

I liked it because it was meaningless drivel that I knew would be picked up by someone and paraded around as if it was passed down from Mount Sinai to the Children of Israel.

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