17 June 2021

All's Well That Ends in a Story


Since everything that happens could be turned into a crime, every crime can be used again, and everyone is a potential character, or at least part of a character.  And every story has another way it can be told.  (You should hear some of the ones I've been told at the pen.  Or at the laundromat.)

Ripped from the internet:


Well, there's a game that's hard to resist:

Gone With the Wind: Spoiled rich girl pines for married KKK guy.  Marries another guy for spite and 2 others for money.  She keeps the plantation.  (Historical Romance.  Warning:  Contains material that some might find offensive.)
The Fountainhead:  Spoiled rich girl pines for lusty architect, but marries 2 men for their power in order to keep him unsuccessful, because if she can't have what she wants, she'll destroy it.  (Warning:  Contains material so inane that some people have mistaken it for a political manifesto.)  

NOTE:  I'm beginning to see a pattern here...  

SECOND NOTE:  Speaking of political manifestos: 

The Communist Manifesto:  Classic apocalyptic thriller of good vs. evil, in which the proletariat rises up against the evil capitalists in a violent apocalyptic revolution. The resulting dictatorship of the proletariat causes the state, family and religion to wither away and die, and everyone lives freely in an endless paradise on earth.  (Claims scientific basis, but really based on German philosophy.)

NOTES:  Very poor experiential track record. Much easier to read than Das Kapital. Also suffers from what is now the libertarian mindset in that it assumes two "facts" that have never been in evidence when it comes to human beings: (1) that we always act rationally and (2) that we always care about their neighbors. 

Emile, or On Education:  Influential treatise on the education of young children, whose author put each one of his five children into an orphanage. 

1984:  The World State keeps everyone in line in a totalitarian oppression based on constant fear and propaganda.  

Brave New World:  The World State keeps everyone in line through unlimited sex, drugs, and entertainment.  

NOTE:  What is it with these patterns?

And back we go to spoiled rich girls:

The Razor's Edge:  Spoiled rich girl falls for dreamy new age guy, but marries for money.  Later kills his fiancee; is surprised when he doesn't appreciate it. He gets enlightened; she doesn't.

To be fair, there are also a whole list of novels / books / stories / plays / movies about spoiled rich guys:

Eugene OneginAnna Karenina, etc., there's a shoal of Russian characters, all interchangeable.
Adam BedeTess of the d'UrbervillesEast Lynne, and every other Victorian seducer.  
But let's let Tregorin in The Seagull sum it all up for all of them: 

The plot for the short story: a young girl... happy and free, like a gull. But a man arrives by chance, and when he sees her, he destroys her, out of sheer boredom.

The Southern version is different:  from Quentin Compson in The Sound and the Fury to Brick in Cat on a Hot Tin Roof:  A post Civil War Southern gentleman, neurotic, introspective, supposedly intelligent, spends his time whining and drinking, but almost never screwing.  (Which is why his sister / fiancee / childhood sweetheart ends up in bed with the roughest trade she can find.)

On to other things:

Finnegan's Wake:  An Irish wake (in case you don't know, endless drinking & talking) and a resurrection (or maybe not).
NOTE:  It helps if you read it aloud, while drinking Irish whiskey, with an Irish accent and a high pitched voice (like Joyce's, below).  Or you could read Philip Jose Farmer's Riders of the Purple Wage, and discover the joys of jacking in as well.  (Look it up.)  


Finnegan's Wake is best known for its polyglot language that includes English, Latin, Gaelic, and some words that he made up himself.  The opening line:  "riverrun, past Eve and Adam's, from swerve of shore to bend of bay, brings us by a commodius vicus of recirculation back to Howth Castle and Environs" - can give you the impression that you understand it.  How about this?

"Wold Forrester Farley who, in deesperation of deispiration at the diasporation of his diesparation, was found of the round of the sound of the lound of the Lukkedoerendunandurraskewdylooshoofermoyportertooryzooysphalnabortansporthaokansakroidverjkapakkapuk."  

Speaking of interesting words, perhaps invented, the other day a friend of mine mispronounced "speculum" as "spacula".  I replied that a spacula was the offspring of Dracula and a kitchen utensil, which is exactly what a speculum often feels like.  

Ah, vampires:

The Twilight Series:  A handsome vampire likes to play with his food.

As John Franklin once lectured in Laskin, SD, in a hopefully soon to be finished story by yours truly


"Continental European vampires are predators, pure and simple. But the fictional vampires of England and America are like cats:  they play with their food. And only Americans would come up with vampires that not only play with their food, not only fall in love with it, but want to have sex with it.  That and American Pie makes one suspicious of American kitchens."

BLATANT SELF PROMOTION:

My story "Collateral Damage" is in Murderous Ink Press' Crimeucopia: We're All Animals Under the Skin.  Available at Amazon.

And my story "The Sweet Life" will be in the July/August Issue of Alfred Hitchcock Mystery Magazine.  That's my 30th story in AHMM!  Thank you to the late, great Cathleen Jordan and the current editor, Linda Landrigan!  


12 comments:

  1. An amusing reminder for me of many happy moments browsing the movie briefs and TV show promos. I have always regretted not doing something with a little flick called " The Cannibal women of the Avocado Groves".
    Congratulations on you stories!

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  2. Congratulations on your stories, Eve.

    This was a great post. It points out the absolute truth that plotting always depends on something going wrong. If it's all rosy, what's the point, especially if you can't play with your food (I love that)?

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  3. Janice - I want to see that movie! That could be as good as "Attack of the Mushroom People".
    Steve - Yep, something has to go wrong. Glad you liked "play with his food" - after all, what else would you call it?

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  4. Eve, congratulations on hitting 30 in AHMM. Keep writing those stories. I think; at one time or another, I've met most of your SD characters and had a beer in some of your story settings. It's like old home week.

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  5. I liked your pattern-finding. I wrote a song once that went like this, in its entirety:
    There was a lass and she loved a lad
    hi fi diddle i darrow
    and that boy treated that girl so bad
    hi fi diddle i day
    if you want to know how he done her wrong
    hi fi diddle i darrow
    listen to practically any folk song
    hi fi diddle i day

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  6. Congrats on the new story! And how do you pronounce lukkedoerendunandurraskewdylooshoofermoyportertooryzooysphalnabortansporthaokansakroidverjkapakkapuk? Maybe you can upload a video of you saying it?!

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  7. R.T., I'm glad you feel at home in Laskin. I certainly do.
    Rob, great pastiche. And Barb - no, I can't pronounce it, and I doubt that Joyce could either.

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  8. Excellent. Really enjoyed this.

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  9. Remind me never to play this game with you! Damn, you're good.

    >A handsome vampire likes to play with his food.

    Too funny!

    Congratulations on your 30th! Brilliantly done, Eve.

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  10. Keep ‘em coming, Eve, your stories and prĂ©cis that skewer the classics both. My very favorite is Richardson’s Clarissa (1748). Bad boy falls in love with good girl. She’s so very very good he can’t believe it, so he tests her. When she passes all his tests, he drugs and rapes her. But then she’s not good any more. He won’t marry a bad girl. And she dies. Because a bad girl can’t have a happy ending. Yuck.

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  11. Liz - Great one on Clarissa!

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