Some things just won’t leave you alone. They may fade into the background for days, weeks, months–even years. But they’re still there, and the oddest things may bring them fully back into your thoughts.
I was working the mystery section at the library last week when I started thinking about a certain thumb drive in a certain drawer back at the house. The one that has bits of doggerel on it, my entries into the Scarlet Boa (I should have won, y’all! (Okay, looking back, it’s not my best work, but fun nonetheless)), the one with the beginnings of a short story that rattles around in my brain from time to time. It’s not quite “The Chicken Farmer’s Wife,” an epic short that Mr. F and I began and that never fully hatched, but it’s there. It’s also the one with my novel–some 150 pages–on it. The one that’s been languishing for several years now.
The novel–well, it sucks. No, really, it does. Sucks big green ones, to steal a phrase from my friend, T. A serio-comic mystery in which the plotting is haphazard, the dialog is wooden, the action is just about non-existent, and most of the characters are cardboard cut-outs, this is one confused piece of writing.
But four characters keep coming back to me–the two central protagonists and the two antagonists (or are they?). Quinn and Davis; Jane and what’s-his-name, the guy I never got around to naming, or if I did, I don’t recall his name. He was a minor character originally, but over the years, he’s become much more integral to the story. I guess he needs a name now.
Which sort of suggests that I may start tinkering with the novel again. I know more about the story now, about whodunnit and who saves the day, and I’ve never been able to stop thinking about Davis, who may just be the world’s most perfectly imperfect man. I adore him. I really do. It could be that Davis deserves a fuller life than the tiny one he has now on that thumb drive. Quinn, too, who’s quite likable, though she’s no Davis.
And then there’s Gert, who insists that is her name and not something softer. She’s Gert. She’s been stuck on an island for years now, in a situation that perhaps should be resolved, though in fewer pages than a novel. I know more about her now, too, and about what drives her. I’ve crept more fully into her mind, seen through her eyes, and I feel more sympathy for her. Maybe she deserves a fuller life as well.