I hadn’t planned on this blog being so nostalgic, I’m in danger of turning into a St. James Garrison Keillor if I’m not careful. Sometimes these posts have a way of going off on their own direction. I think I sort of know what Stephen King was talking about when someone came up to him at a signing one time and told him how terrible it was of King to kill off Tad, the child protagonist, at the end of Cujo. Mr. King’s response was that he didn’t kill him, he died while the story was being written, and he was just as upset as anyone that this happened. He also remarked that he wrote Cujo at a time when he was so full of drugs and alcohol he has no actual memory writing it. The book itself is written like a fever dreamt run-on sentence with no chapter breaks, and you can really get a sense that this may have all tumbled out of King’s brain and onto the page in one fell swoop.
[Editor’s note. This first paragraph was written over four years ago and then abandoned. Who really knows where it was all leading? Oh, and SPOILER by the way if you were planning on reading Cujo. The kid dies. Sorry]
Sometimes when I am looking for inspiration for a post, I’ll scroll back through the “drafts” that seem to accumulate in the course of “maintaining” this blog. I like the idea that I am a custodian of these posts. Adding some, taking some down as my mood and occasion dictates. In fact, careful readers may recall that one post a few years ago was just about the stuff that never made the published cut. (Considering what I actually do “greenlight”, it’s surprising that there is so much stuff that never sees the light of day. You’d think it all ends up on here, but it’s not true).
So I came across this post from four years ago, when this blog was still in its infancy. I must have considered the story important enough to include it in the “first round” of “St. James” stories, at a time when I was trying to get some of these down before the ol’ creative juices dried up. But the only thing that survived was a fragment of a story. Or not even a fragment. More like a preamble to a story. I was just getting started when it all fizzled out. And I can tell you why now. It was because I wanted to end this post with a clip of a song, but it was such an obscure song I knew I wouldn’t find any clips on youtube or any other place online. I would have had to somehow rip the CD that held the song, and somehow upload that file into wordpress, and that just seemed like too much work four years ago. Even now, to import a digital sound file requires some fancy plug-ins and account upgrades and whatnot and I just don’t think I’m going to make it happen.
But I think I really want to tell this story, so when I get to the part where I mention a song, you’ll just have to take my word for it that this song exists and that it is a real thing. Deal?
I don’t know what is about the Stephen King quotes tonight, but sometimes you have to go back to the source to get inspired. He had this other great one about the writing process, and how when he first sits down he can’t seem to write anything worthwhile for the first few pages, and then all of a sudden things start to mesh. He used the analogy of turning on a tap and letting the brown water run out first before the good clear stuff begins to flow. This is all brown water tonight.
It’s been 17 days since my last post. It sounds like I’m about to begin a confession session with a Catholic priest, doesn’t it? “Father forgive me, it’s been 17 days since my last blog post…” Is that how it works? I’m trying to imagine being forced as a kid to go in for a confession session. Would you have to go to your home church? Wouldn’t the priest recognize you? I’d be mortified. I’d either go across town to some unfamiliar church, or maybe I could wear a disguise and alter my voice? What voice would I use? Maybe Morgan Freeman? Would the priest wonder why some Morgan Freeman sounding kid was confessing stealing comic books and masturbating excessively? I think I’d try to make up confessions just to entertain the priest, maybe? “Forgive me father, but I wore white after labour day.” Stuff like that. Fun, right? Priests like to have fun too, don’t they?
Oh lord, we are almost at 800 words and we haven’t really done anything here……..OR HAVE WE? Maybe I just needed to turn the tap on for a bit and let the water run until it ran clear. In any case, there isn’t room or time to write the story that I meant to write, but that’s okay. It kept for four years and it can keep for a little while longer, I’m sure.
I don’t know if all the brownishness is gone yet. I wouldn’t drink it if I were you, but you could probably wash your hands with it if you had a strong enough soap.