I am a popular author in the world of fiction, known worldwide...well perhaps not in the undeveloped countries, well...actually... I have sometimes up to six readers at one time who follow my blog. Save for family, and a lone nurse from Cleveland, Ohio, whom I fondly call a friend from highschool, Elmo remains. Elmo, my most consistent and objective reader, sort of, reads my stories without fail each Friday morning. On my I-phone. That he reads my stories after my treating him to a boilermaker, shot of whiskey and a beer if you will, two if my tale exceeds 500 words, in no way clouds his objectivity and/or glowing review. My newest ambition, ‘Stoner Kills Killers in Kansas,” includes a private investigator, his secretary and a woman of the night as it’s main characters. A murder case unfolds and Rock Stoner, P.I. is on the case. Well at least his name was Rock Stoner. There’s a lot more to writing a story than meets the eye.
I have been accused of having too close a relationship with my characters but I hold steadfast, that bond is what makes them remarkable. Well it seems my character, Rock Stoner, is now, not taken with the stereotypical macho protaganist that is featured in my murder mystery. He didn’t care for the name, preferred a more generic Ira Greenberg and we were off to the races. He said he was more emotionally present and God as my witness was “taken aback,” his words, taken aback, over a fight scene in which his opponent took a half gainer off a twenty fourth story roof. In my day a man who declared themselves emotionally present, were, well you know. I immediately validated my support of the LGBTQ community. He protested and procaimed himself heterosexual but sensitive and added a cavalier Seinfeld wave with “not that there’s anything wrong with that.” Gushing my admiration for the Jewish Federations of North America, fell on deaf ears.
The door had been casually left ajar and the prostitute took exception to being called ‘Roxie.’ I had to hear a heart rending story about whores being people too and my responsibility as a writer as it pertains to the matter. When outlining the P.I.’s secretary’s description, I yelled, “call yourself whatever you want.” She burst into tears and I was thirty minutes consoling her, until she finally whimpered, “would Alice be alright?”
The pendulum swings from the caring, benevolent characters racing, seemingly hand in hand through the pages with me, to the cusp of bloody labor strikes.. Perhaps you think my flair for the dramatic, a bit too much but these hurdles and confrontations are the ingredients of the blood, sweat and tears, first dripping then awash from the writer’s brow.
Back to my protagonist, I never know what I’m getting when going to my character file. I’m doing a sequel to ‘Bird Cage’ in six months and he’s just as likely to march onto the page with an eye patch, wooden leg and dagger in his mouth as not. Then again, I think I could make that work.