Today I woke up with the tension helmet. (World’s worst heavy metal band) It has taken most of the day to get to the point where I can sit up without feeling like my head is going to snap off and roll away. That thought is only made grimmer by the knowledge that my head would be covered by lint and cat hair and stray post-its, only to land either in the plants or catpan. (It’s a gift to take a moderate annoyance and shove it right over into a downright disgusting thought.)
I have started Helen Epstein’s Where She Came From. The author’s tone and the way she lets the story unfold is intriguing. Her mother was a dress maker who survived a concentration camp by saying she was an electrician. This statement alone makes me want to know this person. Epstein goes on to describe how her mother doled out pieces of their family history, always while she was sewing, weaving the story in no particular order. This provided the impetus for her search for her family history, to fill in the cracks.
That would be enough for me and reading this makes me feel extra guilty for not wrapping up my own stories. I have a mental picture of Vanessa, Charlie, Sara, and Nichols sitting on a bench, rolling their eyes and tapping their toes impatiently waiting to get off my lazy behind and finish the story already. The story is finished, but I haven’t put it on paper. They say that means it’s not finished.
When I write an original story, the characters appear and tell me the particulars. I know admitting that kind of thing makes me sound crazy. But the things that occur to me when I’m not writing do a great job of proving my insanity. Yesterday, I was bothered by the “Pop goes the weasel.” First of all, I think Popping the weasel sounds either incredibly dangerous or terribly inhumane. Secondly, why was there a monkey and a weasel in a cobbler’s shop in the first place? This is exactly why I have a hard time putting together the pieces of my own stories , I keep getting bogged down by the details that others are clearly accepting as truth, such as the concept of a shoemaker allowing wildlife to run amok in their place of business.