As most readers know, Sal and I have now written three books. Hardly even mediocre literature but fun for us. By doing so, we have exposed ourselves (and our friends) to strange new thoughts, emotions, feelings, imaginations and, surprisingly, a pathetic level of little-boy sensitivity (little-girl sensitivity? No, not Sal. She’s OK). It turns out I kind of care what people think…who knew? It is not like I ever acted as if I cared…….
Anyway….Charlie and Nancy are the heroes of our new book, ACCIDENTAL FUGITIVES and, even tho it is NOT selling like hotcakes or even cowpies, it is stumbling and crawling off the shelves and, of course, the first buyers are our friends, neighbours and acquaintances.
I live for their feedback.
Translation: I am dying here.
Well, that is NOT QUITE true. A few have responded and I am eternally grateful. What is true is that the poor accidental friend who encounters me unexpectedly is immediately put on the defensive. “So…? Read ‘Fugitives’, have you?”
“Huh? What? What fugitives……?”
“The ACCIDENTAL ones! You know….? ACCIDENTAL FUGITIVES? OUR NEW BOOK!”
“Huh….oh, yeah…well, yeah…….well, no actually….I was gonna. Fer sure. But, like, I was just waiting for it to be released, ya know…?”
“Oh. That. Well. It was released. June 4th. But I understand. June 4th is really like BC Day, kinda. August first…same thing. So, I take it that you have NOT read it….not that there is any pressure or anything….?”
“Sorry, man. I’ll get to it. Honest. I really wanna read it. I love off the grid stuff.”
“This is not off the grid. This is adventure suspense. This is cheap B movie crap.”
“Oh, I really love cheap B movie crap, man. Cars blowing up and stuff.”
“Yeah. So better get on it. The first edition is already a collector’s item.”
“Really? That’s great. Man, that is so cool. A collector’s edition, you say? Can I get it at the library?”
“Yeah. Soon. They take awhile to process book titles, ya know, but then it’s not a collector’s edition.”
“Cause you have to give it back.”
And so it goes. What becomes the centre of our universe for at least a year is really just another mosquito of attention-getting for others that is usually ignored or successfully swatted away but sometimes just keeps buzzing …..like I do.
Like this is…….
Maybe I am not QUITE that bad. NOT quite. Maybe worse……
We currently have two young Kiwis Woofing here and E decided to read the book and stated quite sincerely that she liked it. That’s nice. Meant a lot to me. We gave them the day off. That evening, she repeated the compliments more generously and – you guessed it – they have today off, too. They are out kayaking and I am making them sushi for dinner.
It’s pretty sad.
But the really weird part is that my mind, when idle now, turns to more plot-lines for Charlie and Nancy. Today, I imagined a young woman escaping naked from a second story window ledge afraid to drop to the ground because the ground was covered in a bristly bush. And, well, since she was naked and not looking forward to the bristles, she was stuck just hanging there. Charlie was walking by the house she was dangling from and immediately went to her aid. After analyzing the situation from every angle – twice or more times – Charlie opted to turn a garbage can upside down, stand on it and raise himself high enough for her to get her weight on his shoulders. Then, both being careful to keep their balance, they carefully coordinate their positions with her slowly dropping to his shoulders and then climbing far enough down his steadied position to put a foot on the garbage can and leap to the grass a few feet away. Of course, her leap throws Charlie off balance and the two of them tumble in a heap onto the lawn.
“What has that got to do with any kind of plot?”
“Nothing. That is just the way my mind works. I just like the scene so much, a whole novel will likely come from it. A few chapters at least.
I am really going to have to spend more time fantasizing on this….in the interests of literature, of course.