Thursday, November 11, 2010

Pink Lemonade

Photo credit: Ruzova Limonada (Pink Lemonade) by Honza Groh from Vlastni Fotografie (Own Works)

Right now I am admiring the technology that allows me to type on a Mac at a Dunkin' Donuts, yet still connect to this blog and share my ideas and writing situation.  Truly--what a world is this, that we can so easily connect to others, and yet still so often don't.  Sometimes I think that the connection we forge with others over the net--most of whom we don't even know--come at the cost of those whom we see every day.  We connect, yet we drift...

Well, anyway, I mostly finished another Foster short story that I can submit to my writing group and then, after changes, send out.  The rough draft was written awhile ago, after a friend and I had returned from a very drizzly night at Fenway.  We'd gone to the Unos that's really there, that's also in the story, and we'd really run into--or, more accurately, profiled--the same two people depicted in the story.  One major difference is that we'd shared our thoughts and suppositions with our waiter, who'd also served them, and we had him in hysterics.  We had ourselves in hysterics, too, I have to admit.  My friend had dared me to share our suspicions with the waiter, and so of course I had, because I have brass buttons, for some reason, on our Unos excursions before hitting Fenway.  Our most famous incident is another story, maybe, for another blog.

Anyway, the food items--the salad, the chicken fingers--are all the same, as are the drinks: Sprite for her; pink lemonade for him.  She really did pay the bill, as in the story, and they really did look exactly as described in the story.  And, ultimately, especially after we noticed the pink lemonade towards the end of the night, just like in the story, we had the waiter in agreement with us.  He thought we were so cool and hilarious that he bought us a round of beer, each.  Very cool guy.

So we drew the same conclusions for the same reason as Foster did, and I admit now, as in the story, that people-watching is unbelievably amusing and interesting, but not altogether fair because of the conclusions you sometimes draw, often in spite of yourself.  As Foster says, profiling is not an exact science.  But you play the odds, and so by definition your suppositions will be right--most of the time.

I hope this story gets accepted and published quickly, so that I can share the link with you, and so you'll know what the heck I've been talking about here.  So I wrote the rough draft literally the next afternoon, in a few hours, but I did it in the third person because Cursing the Darkness, the novel on my website (see above) where Foster is the main character, had been in first person, and I wanted to see if a Foster story could survive well without him telling it.  In other words, is it the story that makes Foster shine, or is it his voice?  I decided that the third person with Foster was too mechanical, that the tone was lifeless, and that I needed him to tell it.  And so today I re-worked the whole thing in the first person, and I was 95% of the way done with it before I lost concentration, couldn't get it back, and so spent the next couple of hours catching up on work for my day job instead.

But not a bad night--finishing an entire short story by drastically changing the POV and voice, making the hard decision to do so (see an entry below; writing decisions are hard), and then catching up on work that really needed to be done for my job.  I could've been derailed by losing that creative focus, but I managed to salvage the night and get a lot done.  I tell you, for writers, that's rare.  Very rare.

So now I feel good.  I got a coffee for tomorrow, and an iced pumpkin latte for my better half, and soon I'll go back and hopefully finish the last 5% of the story.  If not, there's tomorrow.  But definitely tomorrow.  Then I'll have yet another story to send out--adding it to the other two.  This weekend, after I finish the rest of the work for the job, my next priority is to send out those stories.  Wish me luck!!!


  1. Who was the friend you were with? Sounds like a fun night out!

    1. I don't know, some moron...Ewwwwwwww...But it was fun, as that Pizzeria Uno tends to be!