Wednesday, September 27, 2006

Check Me Out @ Pindeldyboz

One of my stories is featured in an online zine this week.

It's partly based on a true story, actually. Well, the original kernel was true. All else twisted and stretched and dyed to fit my authorial needs.

But. When I was writing my first novel I was living in Charlottesville, Virginia. I wrote most of the book sitting in coffeeshops and restaurants in the downtown area, but when I bored of that I'd trek over to the local library to take advantage of the free wifi. Plus, when I got stuck there were free mags to read.

Anyway. One day this old guy sits down at the table across from me and starts talking to a mild-mannered woman caddycorner to him. He starts telling her that he's writing letters--to whom he never said--because Jesus tells him to. He addded that his wife was murdered ten years ago by a streetperson and ever since he'd been writing these letters. The woman ignored him, but the guy kept talking. He asked her if she believed in Jesus and she just sort of sighed and turned slightly away from him. He said, a little louder this time, that a lot of people--meaning her, I think--didn't believe in a burning hell but he did because he'd seen it. Then he slumped over his paper and began writing with a marker.

Being the voyeur that I am quickly closed the file I was working on and opened up a new doc, frantically transcribing everything I'd heard. A year later, sitting at the Flying Saucer cafe here in Brooklyn, I happened to stumble across the file while I was cleaning up the folders on my desktop.

I'd completely forgotten about him, but now here he was and I couldn't stop thinking about him and what he'd told that woman. A week later, I had this little storylet, Seven Things About Leroy.



Blogger Red said...

The hairs on my neck (little fine blonde ones, of course) are standing on end. This is so atmospheric, MJ. Really good stuff. You should try and get it made into a short film. It's so visual.

Thank you for sharing.

12:05 PM  
Blogger Diana said...

Poignant. I too could see him. Wonderful piece.

6:19 PM  
Anonymous colleen said...

This is why we write/type things down. If not we would lose big chunks of our lives.

10:43 PM  
Blogger * (asterisk) said...

Thanks for sharing, MJ. I liked that. Really cool format, too.

9:33 AM  
Blogger Martha Elaine Belden said...

so awesome! very haunting... and i'm with red... i definitely see powerful short film!

to add to the power of your story, i happened to be listening to my ipod as i read, and Bob Dylan's "With God on Our Side" was playing... it was eerily fitting and made the reading even more dramatic (just thought i'd share that)

anyway, thanks for sharing... so awesome!!

oh... and thanks for the prayers :)

5:48 PM  

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