Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Dead Cows, Dead Nazis, and a (hopefully) Not-Dead Story

I'm feeling slightly less panicked today than I have been over the past few weeks. I have cranked out a VERY rough draft of my next story, and I don't completely hate everything about it. That's progress, right? It actually ended up taking a very different direction than what I had planned (which isn't saying much since I had very little planned.) But just going where the writing takes you usually leads to good things (or so I'm told.) I ended up doing something a little different and splitting up the narrative between a first person narrator and a limited third person. I'm not sure it works yet, but I like the idea anyway, so I guess that's something.

Because I'm working on what has come to be known as a "Laura" story, I had to call one of my technical advisors (my mom) today to get some advice on a somewhat grisly detail of my story. (Just exactly how long could a dying cow remain lying down before the end comes?) Who would have thought I'd ever be asking that question. Unfortunately, my TA couldn't give me a definitive answer and will have to refer to another of my TA staff, my grandmother. I guess if you're going to write about farming, it's handy to have some farming types on staff. Makes me sad that the real expert is no longer around to answer questions. There would be no inaccuracies in my farming stories if Granddaddy were my technical advisor.

Before I start sounding too celebratory about my writing progress, I should remember that I still have several hundred pages of Flannery O'Connor to wade through before my third deadline. I must say that while I love O'Connor, this complete and extended immersion into her writing has tempered my affection a little. I'm afraid there may indeed exist too much of a good thing. All my other books (that I really want to read) on my reading list are tantalizing me and making it harder to plow through yet another story of Southerners fallen on hard times. Was anybody sane or even nice in Georgia in the forties and fifties? Apparently not where Miss O'Connor hung out.

As a reward for all my hard work (we'd be doing it regardless), Steve and I are going to see Inglourious Basterds on Friday. I can hardly wait. We haven't been to the theater since Public Enemies (yawn), and I could use a little cinematic therapy. Actually, it's more like Quentin Tarantino redeeming me from the cinematic sins of Michael Mann. Please, Mr. Tarantino, send me a little senseless violence with a simple plot and lots of dead NAZIs. Warning: If anyone cries, falls in love, or looks passionately into somebody else's eyes, I'm out.

My other reward for eeking out another story (rough though it may be)? I get to write a blog entry. Why is it that writing a blog entry is never intimidating? Nor does it hang over my head like some dreaded chore. Sometimes story first drafts do that. You'd think I didn't love writing the way I have to force myself to sit down and work on first drafts. Oh, well. Here's hoping another good movie will come out soon so I can "reward" myself after the next story. And the one after that. And the one after that.

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