Words and Numbers 83/ Dentist appointment/ I’m scared of this story
Posted on July 2, 2012
Another dentist appointment, 8:30 am. Made it no problem. The doc showed me into
torture chamber and we began fitting the appliance. There were long periods of idlness between tries. There’s a poster on the wall. It says; The trick to life is making it look easy. The picture is a dog on a tricycle with a cat balanced on his head holding a balance pole with two mice balanced on either end. One mouse is doing a one hand stand the other is balanced on one foot with a ball balanced on a foot and both hands. All I could think was the cat had to adjust his grip on the pole because the mouse with the balls is heavier than the mouse just doing a handstand. The question is; Do I over think things? Am I obsessed with ridiculous hypotheticals? Am I losing control of my brain? Why am I not having fantasies about the obviously attractive dentist? Should I be happy because I got a lead-in to an otherwise unformed blog?
I’ve got a story. Everybody who calls himself or herself a writer has a story. I’m scared of this one. First, it started out way too easily. Second, it worked from the beginning. Third after two submissions to my instructor she says I should submit it to three magazines (names withheld here to protect the unwary). Her editorial hints are extremely helpful and pick up on things I missed during rewrites. They’re bits that were written down because I couldn’t think of or blocked the right words. There is one phrase I use which is really un-PC. I should have caught it, but it flowed. I can fix the story and fill in places that were marginalized because of word constraints. Being afraid of a story isn’t new, back in Creative Writing I had a story that worked really well. It was a mash-up of real life and fiction created in my fevered brain. Everyone in the class liked it. I wasn’t sure, something was slightly amiss. The instructor submitted it to a college writing contest. It won. I got sixty bucks and the story got published in the college literary magazine. I never saw that, the presentation of prizes was at the end of the semester and I couldn’t get away from school quick enough. I reread the story on occasion and I find holes big enough to drive through. Not demeaning the judges decision, but I was there and some things don’t track. Back to the story at hand, it’s a short piece that gave me a chance to have a flawed hero and an equally flawed villain. One thing neither resolves their flaws. I’ve got to work the story with a light hand adding and subtracting only where it’s needed. I don’t need to screw the story up by trying to make it what it can’t be, a novella.