Thursday, March 20, 2008
There's Been A Big Story
My one and only attempt at collaborative writing was in the seventh grade. My friend K (not his real initial) and I decided in a burst of boredom, ambition, and access to my dad's old Tandy computer to write a story about yearbook camp (an event we were looking forward to in high school -- if this doesn't tell you all you need to know about the sad desolate nature of my social life, nothing will). We created not-so-thinly veiled portraits of our friends and enemies while my mother's creepy-ass portraits of tribal warriors from New Zealand stared down at us. For inspiration, we'd pace and shake our tornado bottles (plastic bottles filled with water and dishwashing soap -- shake and you'd have a tornado) in the small space off the garage that served as an office. If we'd lived in a town with a Chinese restaurant that delivered, we'd probably have tried to order take-out and settle in for the night, like they did on all the old newspaper shows; there's been a big story and we're going to be here all night!
Our final product, a real exercise in wish fulfilment, makes me laugh now. Our enemies suffered horribly under such fine writing as "Charles couldn't get head if he drew it himself" while our friends made plans to meet their new beloveds at Star Trek conventions. I ended up with the hot yearbook teacher (he didn't exist -- a figure draw solely from the imaginative powers of me and K) and K ended up with a girl (the one real bit of fiction in the piece). By the end, we were pissed as hell at each other; there'd been a lot of push/pull in terms of sentences. Plus, K wanted to illustrate the whole thing and decorate it with stickers which I thought would trivialize the power of our sentences. But it got done and as I watched page after page print off on the slow dot-matrix printer, I felt nothing but pride. Neither of us ever attended yearbook camp; I was "dating" my high school English teacher, and K had become obsessed with listening to George Michael, decorating his room, and pretending to be straight. We had a lot more to learn about writing fiction, but we were both becoming pretty skilled at living it.
Michelle's Spell of the Day
"I'll play it and tell you what it is later." Miles Davis
Drinking novel suggestion: Tweak Nic Scheff
Benedictions and Maledictions
Happy first day of spring!