Sunday, January 4, 2009

The Writing Adventure.

It is the end of a glorious eleven days off work where we did not think of work, we did not consider work, and we did not worry about work. It was what I call the dead zone at work—that time between Christmas and New Year’s Eve when nothing really happens in the whole world. We spent a lot of time driving and not really resting, but we’ve tried to make up for that time away from home these past three days. We’ve lounged around in pajamas, doing Wii Fit for a while each morning, playing video games, reading, and working on our great American novel. Yeah. We are. We have your envy right here and we’re writing about it.

This is something of a dream of any young girl who hopes to fall in love and be loved and find that her partner is also a creative mind who wishes to work beside her and love her and be loved. It is invigorating to have this project between us. We wrote two novels/screenplays/movies—we sketched out plots for hours in the car while on the way to Florida and while on the way back, too. We talked non-stop with “what about this” and “maybe this happens next” and “suppose so-and-so dies” falling out of our mouths and onto the steering wheel. I’m sure that we scared the young man who served us our cheeseburgers at Shoney’s somewhere between Columbus, GA and Opelika, AL. We sat there having eureka moment one after another as we discussed vigorously our ideas for a young protagonist and her series of mysterious events. We were alive and our synapses were popping. We were scary creative types. Perhaps we were even a bit eccentric with our spilling-out-of-our-heads ideas.

Why were we at a Shoney’s? One of America’s finest five-dollars-for-a-meal restaurants that, along with Sizzler and Golden Corral, keeps afloat the fried food buffet that serves millions of families out for a night on the town with twenty bucks. America’s formalization of meat-and-three but with five more side items and three kinds of bread. Pile it on. Get another plate. Please don’t sneeze while you’re scooping a mashed potato mound onto your plate. And if you do, make sure no one sees. No one sees the sneeze. Yes, this is where we find ourselves on Thursday night after a painful and fruitless hunt through the backwoods of Columbus, GA in search of Zeke’s Bar-b-que that most likely no longer exists. Not for what we can find.

Our adventure is slightly frightening. For a while, the plot-writing comes to a screeching halt as Mr. Husband locks the doors. I hear him hit the button, and I panic just a bit. I panic enough for Mr. Husband to say, “don’t panic” and then I know it’s time to panic. We look to Karen as our guide to get us out of the scary-lost mess where we see lots of questionable characters who seem to be up to no good and watch after us after we drive by. Karen is our GPS. She’s a Garmin Nuvi. She’s a new addition to our family, and we named her Karen. We named the GPS so that we can yell at her. It always helps if you can, while yelling, also degrade the being on the other end of the angry tirade. That being on our other end is now Karen. “Get us out of here, Karen!” we yell as we wind and drive through neighborhoods wishing and hoping for loud electric and neon lights that might usher us through the city in the city and not in someone’s backyard.

Karen let us down. I call her “the bitch” and Mr. Husband strokes her screen lovingly, telling her it’s not her fault. Damn satellite. We’ll call him Peter. This is all Peter’s fault! So as we navigate out of the mess, guided by no one but our own wits (a scary place to be with all the technology in the car and the big brain behind the wheel), we decide that we no longer want an adventure for dinner. We want reliable. We want something that looks open, is open, and will seat us quickly. We are licking our wounds as we pull into the Shoney’s, a restaurant that neither of us has visited for years and years, and we quickly turn our thoughts back to our creative endeavor.

Two Diet Cokes later, we have forgotten Zeke’s Bar-b-que that doesn’t exist and have immersed ourselves again into the plot. We are drowning in ideas that carry us out the door, back into the car, and all the way home past gas station after gas station. We are laughing and excited and so very happy to share similar ideas even if I don’t believe in Mr. Husband’s dead man’s switch plot device. He has many, many more great ideas.


Dale Gammage said...

Oh, I am totally commenting on EVERY forum you spew your "Jeff love" (or is that love your "Jeff spew"). Anyway, cool the jets missy. It's bad enough that little girls have their dreams busted by the 5th guy they are with, realizing that the only white horse their knight may be riding is made by Trojan, but to have their noses rubbed in the fact that someone did find their knight. You are a terrible person who deserves all the happiness life can throw at you!

Gary said...

A missed opportunity: You could have named the GPS "Sacagawea" (the obvious choice), "Roz" (see -- no Shoneys in sight if she gets lost!), or "Lola" (after Robin Williams' digital companion in the movie "RV").

Gary said...

Also: You need more candid photos. All this breaking of the fourth wall is somewhat tiring.