Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Bit of something

This may materialize into a bigger work. The wheels in my head are turning. The concept won't leave me alone.


"It was a joke, Miguel," Rory sighed as she watched her more somber coworker arrange auto parts on a shelf while she wondered for the umpteenth time if the communication problem had to do with cultural differences or if the man simply could not stand her.
Miguel continued to arrange air filters before finally turning a brief, inscrutable gaze upon Rory.
"I'm sorry," he replied,his English thickly accented but impeccable, "I guess I'm slow today." He turned toward a small box of air fresheners and sliced into it with the precision of a surgeon.
"No, of course not," she protested, not even thinking that he may have been indulging in a bit of self-effacing humor. "It's just that I think in, and express myself in, almost completely abstract terms. You, on the other hand,operate in concrete terms because you're one of the most practical people I've ever met." While she was blathering on in this vein, he hung the air fresheners and would occasionally flick another inscrutable gaze toward her. "You seem to be of a literal turn of mind, and everything is to be taken at face value." Rory was proud of her intelligent, well-worded discourse and was dead certain she had made some kind of breakthrough in establishing friendlier relations with her coworker, or at least understanding him somewhat better. She smiled serenely and awaited Miguel's response.
"What can I say? Of course I'm practical. It's because I'm a Mexican," he retorted as he carried off a hefty pile of cardboard boxes for the baler. A flummoxed Rory grabbed the rest of the boxes and followed him into the baler room.
"Miguel," Rory huffed as they sliced and tossed cardboard into the enormous machine, "I hardly think this is a matter of cultural predisposition-" Before she could ask him if all Mexicans were sensible, practical, and had broomsticks up their asses, Mitch breezed in wheeling a flat full of various broken or damaged merchandise.
"Nah. His matter of cultural predisposition is a mad love mariachi music. Right, Pepe?"
Miguel continued working, ignoring both remark and maker. Meanwhile, Rory, rolling her eyes in mild irritation, wheeled around to face Mitch.
"Wow, Mitchell, way to C yourself into an A/B conversation," she snarled.
"Anything I can do to help,"Mitch replied. Any attempt at further conversation was stopped for the moment by the horrifically loud noise of the baler. Rory busied herself with the rest of the boxes that needed to be broken down as Mitch sorted and shelved the damages.
"I'm not really a fan of mariachi music," Miguel mumbled as the baler whined to a stop. He opened doors of the enormous machine and began shoving in the last of the boxes.
"So, what do you listen to, then? Classical? Jazz? Rock?" asked Rory in a polite, conversational tone.
Mitch, seeing an opportunity for mayhem, took it up immediately. "Ooooh, our boy likes Metallica and Swedish death metal, I bet. Please, Iggy, tell me you're not into those whiny, sissy emo bands."
Rory had to work very, very hard to contain her amusement. Mitch was a jackass- she always described him as Gregory House's loser pothead cousin- but his wit was sharp and as long as she wasn't on the receiving end he was really quite amusing.
"Actually, I've been listening to a lot of Led Zeppelin lately," Miguel retorted as he finished with the baler, retrieved a broom from the corner, and began to sweep.
Mitch beamed his approval.
"Iggy! Dude! Led Zep! That's awesome! You know they're the best band on the planet ever of all time." They grinned at each other while Rory stared at them, then glared at Mitch as he was obviously trying to start up with her again.
Miguel noticed. "Hey, Shoe Girl, you don't like Zeppelin?"
"I like them fine. However, the Who are the best rock band in the Universe, at least in my opinion, and Mitch knows it."
Mitch snorted, "Oh, please, Rory. The Who were all fine and good, but Led Zep rocked harder and badder and the whole world knows it. Unless, of course, you're special- as in 'short-bus special."
Rory crossed her arms and rolled her eyes. "I'm not saying Zeppelin didn't rock hard. I love them. I've spent hours rocking out to "Mothership" like any good rock aficionado. However, the Who crossed into artistic territory that Led Zep just did not."
Mitch snorted derisively. "Oh, yeah, Pete Townshend's gay little rock operas and concept albums and crap. Please. Rock isn't about art projects, kiddo; it's about pedal-to-the-metal noise and anger and sweat and sex and drugs. It's visceral, not that conceptual bullshit."
Incensed, Rory balled her hands into fists and cocked them on her hips. "Yeah, well, the Who had Keith Moon, you dillhole!"
Miguel looked at his watch and glared at them both. "I hate to interrupt such a fascinating exchange, but don't the two of you have actual work to do? Look, Mitch, you're right, Led Zeppelin is the best band in the world. Now, back to sporting goods with you, okay?" Mitch saluted and breezed out of the stock room.
"And you," Miguel turned to Rory, "don't you need to be playing with the shoes?" Rory's face reddened as she pocketed her box-knife. Making her way to the stockroom door, she wondered what she'd done to earn Miguel's scorn.
Her hand was on the door when Miguel said this. She cocked her head over her shoulder to indicate that she heard him.
"Keith Moon was the best drummer of his generation," he said, finishing the sweeping.
Once again, he'd thrown another curveball. Unable to respond, she left the stockroom to finish up in her department.

Saturday, October 6, 2007

Pictures of Lily- Novella

The swirling synthesized notes of Baba O’Reily took Marin back to his youth.

He was ten, and he was riding shotgun in Mimi's car. Mimi was his sitter, and his first fully qualified crush. It was 1974; he was nine and almost too old for a sitter. Mimi steered that huge gold Vista Cruiser with a combination of finesse and daredevilism that completely impressed itself on Martin as a quality to be feared and admired. He was in the throes of the purest of puppy love with his Mimi- a spritely maiden of 22 or so with long, wild, insane coffee colored hair.
They drove through suburban Kirkland, the rare golden afternoon sunshine lending a golden glow to the fallen leave and meshing with the crisp Autumn chill to make a peculiar magic that would stay with Martin forever, if only in his subconscious.

Concept- A 16 year old boy is given a car for his birthday by his dad in 1980. He finds pictures, a few years old, of a mystery girl named Lily. She sticks with him through a marriage and subsequent divorce. In 2005, he decides to find Lily, taking his teenage daughter along. There's father/daughter bonding, loss, grief, and redemption. And what of Lily?

This is part of a novella tetatively titled "Pictures of Lily" copyright 2007 by Anastasia Hunt.

Sunday, May 20, 2007

Initial Post

I created this thing, what, a month ago? Good grief.

Right. Well, I've been tinkering with the idea of another attempt at a novel. It's in the earliest of stages right now. I'll share with you the stuff I've just been writing down at random- please feel free to comment.

The central character, Ramona, is in her late 20's, painfully shy, and until her recent conversion to Catholicism has lacked direction and confidence. She had some serious problems in the past managing her finances, holding a job, and maintaining relatonships.She decides to get involved in the variety of activities that her church offers. She starts bonding with the women in one particular group, and this affects how she relates to others at church and outside of it.

She also decides to do some things that she's always wanted to do (learn to play the drums so she can join a rock band, finish her college degree, dye her hair turquoise). She also learns to stand up to the people in her life who tend to push her around.

Some of the other characters I'm tinkering with:
- Judy (early 40's) - dymanic, interesting, someone Ramona admires. Is classy, educated, well-traveled, and very fond of Ramona.

Elise (early 50's) - Ramona's mother. Can turn from affectionate and generous to cold and domineering almost instantly. Undiagnosed manic depressive disorder. Ramona's almost completely intimidated by her.

Arthur - Ramona's father. A shy, sweet-natured artist, he left Elise when Ramona and Josh were small children. Elise told the kids he was abusive and that he had died a few years after he left.

Joshua (mid to late 20's) - Ramona's brother. An accomplished and very talented musician. Generally confident and take-charge, he has managed to bypass the family curse of mental illness. Is the family member that Ramona is closest to.

Alison (late 20's) - the sane voice of reason in Ramona's life.

Shannon (mid 20's) - A friend of Ramona's for several years; tends to look down on Ramona's new drug free, less boozed-up, nine-to-five, churchified lifestyle.

Mandy (19 or 20) - a classmate of Ramona's. A single mom to a toddler. Struggling to escape her impoverished, overcrowded, indifferent surroundings.

Ramona acquires a kitten. Since she's in the midst of her mission to learn how to play the drums like a rock star, she names him Keith Moon.

Somebody (a non-Catholic) reacts to the sight of a priest tapping the keg at a church function.

Note on Ramona's door:
Attempts to channel Keith moon have failed; will actually have to learn to play these things.

"your cactus is getting fresh with me!"