On Saturday I went to the St. Louis Listen to Your Mother show. Two writer friends were performing. Little did I know that a breathy, unknown-to-me storyteller would make me cry.
She brought to the stage her best ammunition: her story. It was told honestly and simply, and chronicled getting a lung transplant from a young man named Kyle.
On Sunday I found a copy of one of my favorite books, George R. R. Martin's Fevre Dream. I found it at my favorite bookstore, Half Price Books (the Delmar one, baby--the fifth-largest one in the country!). It made me think of the battle that takes place in this novel (which is soooo much shorter than his G o T books).
If I tell you there are vampires in this book, don't be instantly dismissive. I don't read Anne Rice's novels (although perhaps I should). I definitely never did the Twilight books. Fevre Dream does have a vampire as a main character, but the story is so much more than thirsting after blood. It's the riverboat trade, indigo plantations, and a friendship between a riverboat captain and vampire.
I'm currently working (yes, still) on my WIP that's affectionately called my NIP (nightmare in progress). I hope I'm bringing my best ammo when I sit in front of my laptop. There's a part in Pat Conroy's South of Broad that brought my first-of-several epiphanies while working on this female-dog of a project. I thought I knew exactly where it was in Conroy's novel, I thought I noted the page number somewhere, I thought I remembered it clearly enough to mirror one single Conroy-crafted remark in my manuscript...
But apparently not, because now I've resigned myself to rereading the book and putting the page number on a billboard--'cause I don't want to prove true the "third time's a charm" phrase.
I began this piece of writing with several for-sures. I knew for sure who the main characters were--the WWWPs. I knew for sure how it would end. And in the writing, things have changed. The characters have become fictionalized, and the ending is not what I was planning on.
It seems the characters are in the driver's seat, not me.
If you tell me what is your best weapon as a writer (you can interpret that any way you want), your name will be put into a hat (a literal one; I don't know how to do those random-whatevers) for a copy of Fevre Dream. I'll draw names at the end of the month.