Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Around The Bend


There's a reason I don't talk about my writing process. If you don't want to know, wait for tomorrow's blog entry, or get my opinions and Weltanschauung with The Everything Box.

No? Okay, I put up a big red warning sign. So when the sweet deep river flows around the bend and you and your kids hit the rapids in your canoe, you can't sue the State for negligence.

I'm scratching my head over what to say about my writing process. It's basically: hear stuff, see stuff, make my characters do and say it. It's not hard to make any of it funny, because practically everything humans do is ridiculous, if not amusing.

If you don't think so, the next time you see a human doing something scary, bold or hectic, picture a chimp. The moves are the same.

So is the screaming.

This process is why people around me start being very afraid. If they say something clever, silly, wildly stupid or even brilliantly cliche, they gasp, "I shouldn't have said that! She'll use it!"

Of course I'll use it. I work part-time as a freelance journalist up here, and when the Sheriff said, "People in the county consider the west end to be the red-headed step-child," how could I not include the conversational moment?

In Desert Peach #20, where the Peach and Rosen are choosing the colors of the pansies to decorate their room -- it's a quote. A gay couple I know were doing the same thing. The shorter guy no sooner said, "Not the yellow! Get pink ones!" than his taller mate warned him, "Not in front of her! She'll use it!"

All the nasty things guys say about women in Desert Peach #22? Every one of them a quote, either from my time in the army, or even from the work of a colleague.

I don't have to make this stuff up. I don't have to raid anybody else's work. You're all walking around out there with your mouths open, and things fall out. And it's not just what people say.

Human beings throttle wolves with snares, and leave them wandering the tundra with swollen heads. They bomb cities full of living creatures (mostly humans, admittedly, and there is no dearth of those). They dam rivers and gill-net the sea, and then shoot seals at river mouths for wiping out salmon runs. They shoot deer for eating a few garden peas, and call it "Justice" -- which is now only another word for revenge. They keep horses alone in a fence instead of a herd, and then shoot the starving cougar who had to leave his home because it was clearcut. They blame everybody but themselves and refuse to clean up their own messes -- or get the rest of us to pay for it. They leave a heaped reeking trail wherever they go.

It's like following a horse. All I need is a shovel and a basket. And a comedy mask.

Did any of the kids make it to the bank?

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