Dear readers, if indeed any remain to me, I’m sorry that I have been away from the keyboard for so long. In truth, I have been writing plenty, but, as it has been predominantly classwork, I have chosen not to publish it online. I am now in two writing classes and a literature class, and it is only with the accumulated determination of a writer watching his peers excel him (for his want of constant practice) that I have been able to force myself to return to this blog. As I am now struggling to come up with a short story that I find interesting, I have taken a leaf out of Thomas H. Uzzell’s book (“How To Get Story Ideas”, published as part of The Writer’s Digest Handbook of Short Story Writing, Volume I) and have decided to spend some time writing 1000 words about the interesting events of my day, every day. Now that I’m done with this ridiculously formal and over-written introduction (I’ve been reading far too much Alexandre Dumas), let’s give this a shot:
Today started innocuously enough. My little sister roused me from the awkward sleeping position that I adopt on the small twin bed at home (my feet hang off if I try to sleep normally) to say that lunch was ready. Not having eaten breakfast, this has somewhat thrown off my eating habits for the day. I finished a surrogate breakfast (cereal without milk) at about 8:30pm. Lunch was leftover chicken-pot-pie, a dish that my mother learned from whatever ancient deity governed the art of cooking. I would rather eat this pie of vegetables (why is that so difficult to spell?) than an actual pie filled with cherries or pulped pumpkin and spice.
When I was younger I remember that I constantly misheard my mother when she said the name of this particular dish. Rather than “pot”, I heard “pop”. While this may, to you, seem an odd thing to call such a dish, it made perfect since in my mind. Whenever you microwaved “chicken pop-pie”, the chunks of chicken would often rapidly split as they heated with a peculiar popping sound. As I was unaware that any chicken would do that when microwaved, it seemed totally reasonable to assume that the special preparation of the dish granted this magical property to the poultry.
After lunch I spent most of my time packing, grabbing the various items I had forgotten when I first came to Boone this semester: Quidditch Uniform, dress shirts, ties, extra clothes-hangars, that sort of thing. After loading all that into the car along with a generous package of food provided by my mother, I had little to do but sit and read until the bread my father was baking was done.
This situation was remarkably pleasant for two reasons: Firstly, I have not pleasure-read in nearly a month, as I was writing a short story and didn’t want my ideas polluted by the uncomfortably relevant subject matter of the novel at hand, and secondly because my father bakes absolutely the best bread on the planet, and I haven’t eaten it in months. So I sat at the kitchen table, in the midst of the usual Sunday-afternoon Waldon Family bustle, reading as the smell of dad’s bread permeated the air. It was glorious. Also I was reading Patrick Rothfuss, a remarkably talented writer whom I would recommend to any fantasy enthusiast I know, and his delectable prose augmented the pleasure of the moment all the more.
When the bread finally cooled, I bid each family member farewell and galavanted across the county to where my friend Jesse awaited his ride back to Boone. We set out, stopping almost immediately to refill my car’s fuel tank and to furnish the caffeine that would fuel us for the next 3.5 hours. To our great delight, the Monster “Import” energy drink was available.
As an aside, to further both your understanding of my strange lifestyle and my word count, allow me to explain our relationship with Monster and its various species. Since middle school, our go-to source of caffeine has been Monster. While I suppose it tastes unpleasant when you first try it, I can no longer recall the sensation. Like coffee and alcohol, it is an acquired taste, a flavor that–for me–is inextricably associated with hilarity, lack of sleep, and my best friends. When Jesse and I began our commute to and from Boone, it was the natural choice to keep up conscious for the incredibly dull drive.
The significance of the species name “Import” attached to the genus of “Monster” is that the can is easily resealable. Contrary to intuition, Monster Import contains the exact same made-in-America fluid as the normal variety. Rather, due to some strange international patent law, the can is imported from the Netherlands. Why bother to import the can? The lid contains an ingenious screw-based device that reseals the can completely, but that only requires one finger to operate. This design makes it the optimal can while driving, as I can open it, drink, and close it without taking a hand off of the wheel.
After making the landfall discovery of imported cans, we set out for Boone, listening to an excellent recording of The Count of Monte Cristo (put out by USF in their LIt2Go program, available on iTunes). This isn’t the first trip we’ve listened to the book, but rather the most recent of dozens. While iTunes currently seems to lack an easy tallying method of the total length of the book, I suspect it’s nearly 100 hours of audio, and thus Jesse and I feel accomplished to have made it to chapter 93/117 in a year and a half of commuting.
We reached some excellent points in the narrative today, I literally saw Jesse’s jaw drop out of the corner of my eye during a particularly well-crafted twist. I think it’s a great credit to Dumas that 150 years after he wrote, we still enjoy the power of his writing. I must admit, though, that the style in which I am writing (full of prepositions and complex sentences) is borrowed, as it is what I have listened to for several hours. I imagine sleep will purge it from my system, so that tomorrow I write in a more modern, and hopefully less complex, style.
Tonight was a string of unpackings: clothes, food, computer, friends, and books. After that I just picked through the food I brought with me for a dinner substitute and began reading The Handbook of Short Story Writing mentioned above for ideas about my next short story. I had hoped to read some more Patrick Rothfuss after finishing this post, but it’s already past 1 in the morning and I have an appointment at 9 with a good friend. I also just realized that WordPress thinks I’m in the wrong time zone, as it is 2 hours behind me, but that matters little.
My roommate is abed, and I suspect that my incessant typing isn’t helping sleep to arrive, so I think I shall leave the tale of today here. Hopefully I’ll be able to summon the gumption to attempt this task tomorrow. Farewell.