[cb_profit_poster Storytelling]Clinton, S.C., Wednesday, December 11, 2013, 11:15 a.m.
It’s been a quiet week but one filled with satisfaction. On Monday, I wrote the first two chapters of what will eventually become my fourth novel. If you’re keeping a scorecard at home, that’s two (The Audacity of Dope, The Intangibles) out, Crazy by Natural Causes (not yet italicized because not yet published) on deck and as-yet-untitled in the hold.
(The baseball terminology is derived from Navy terms: it’s supposed to be “hold,” not “hole.”)
On Tuesday, I wrote a new song, which I had been aspiring to do for weeks. You may recall that, in the previous blog, I said I was going to write a song about writing fiction. Surprising no one more than me, I did it.
It’s called “It’s Only Fiction,” and here are the words.
My daddy was a drunkard but it wasn’t how I wrote him in my song / I claimed he was an uncle who enjoyed taking rips upon a bong / And the writer in my novel was descended from a friend who played guitar / I haven’t seen him lately but maybe he’s become a big rock star
But it’s not me / It’s only fiction /It’s not me /It’s someone else / It’s not me / I’m just the writer / I’m as boring as a buzzard circling o’er the pits of hell
I wrote about a singer who traveled with the cops in hot pursuit /His major sign of weakness was a taste for all forbidden fruit / While he was smoking pot in Hyden I was typing in my den / Trying to find a way to get old Riley out of harm’s way again
There’s a football coach in Caroline who taught me half of everything I know / But I never was a hero in the tension-charged events of long ago / I just did enough and saw enough to dream myself a tale / With memories and fancy mixing in and out along my sliding scale
In conclusion please don’t blame me for playing fast and loose with the facts / What separates the fiction is the truth that slips through the cracks / With my guitar at the ready and a website on my screen / I can take the full advantage of my itsy-bitsy writing machine
I’m hot. “I keep rolling them sevens,” as Jerry Reed used to sing. Of course, the flip side of “when you hot, you hot” is “when you not, you not.”
I’m due for a slump, but that’s not the right term. For every creative day I enjoy, there’s another for the facts of life to intervene. I just finished washing dishes. I’ve got to wash clothes sometime before Friday, because I’m heading to Winston-Salem, N.C., to sign copies of The Intangibles and The Audacity of Dope at Barnhill’s.
I got bills to pay. I got trash to dump. If I really get an outdoors impulse, I could ride around on my mower and clip down the wild onions that are the only plants still growing in the yard. It would be worth the reaction of people wondering why I’d be cutting grass in December. Kids might sneak over from the nearby apartments and whisper about the crazy white man mowing grass in cold weather.
I won’t do it. It would be too much fun.
And I need to write something besides this today.
The Barnhill’s signing (811 Burke Street, Winston-Salem) lasts from 6 to 6:30 p.m. It’s entirely possible that I’ll play a few tunes on my guitar, too.