On the blogging calendar I established through my class, Saturday is designated as writing day with blogging relegated to maintenance only. However, today my writing has been so inspired that I had to share. It is not the work in progress to which I always refer, but instead a brand new short story. Here is the opening:
I’ve never understood why fine Southern ladies always deliver bad news in a whisper. If this well-mannered matron is your mother, and she leans in close to confide a secret of tremendous import, brace yourself for one of three things: 1. Someone who is of no particular significance to you has done something scandalous and is going to Hell; 2. Someone of great significance to you has done something really stupid and she expects you to fix it; or 3. (this one is my favorite) your great-grandmother has come back from the dead.
That last one is the one to watch out for. Great-grandmothers who come back from the dead are never back because they are happy, and it is nearly always you she is not happy with.
I have had so much fun with this today. My motivation was how many people have told me in the last week that I needed to write down the stories about my family. Just so you know, I am in fact haunted by my great-grandmother; I do have her portrait stored in my basement with a blanket over it; and she was so mean that said portrait survived two house fires. Funny thing is, I don’t think she minds me telling you she was mean, so long as I also mention that she was rich and socially very well placed.
I’m 1200 words in, but I have to go and get my teenager out of bed (all this practice with raising the dead can be very helpful). I have, however, achieved my new standard of performance as set by Ray Bradbury:
I alway say to my students, give me four pages a day, every day. That’s three or four hundred thousand words a year. Most of that will be bilge but the rest…? It will save your life!”