Nanowrimo Day Two

Ultimate goal – 50,000 words.
Daily goal – 1,667 words
Goal total so far – 3,334 words

Words written today – 1,885 words
Words written so far – 3,570 words
Words to goal – +236

“Living with a whore–even the best whore in the world–isn’t a bed of roses.”
― Henry Miller

Running of the bulls, New Orleans, Louisiana

As I committed the other day, I am doing Nanowrimo – the National Novel Writing Month this November – writing a 50,000 word (small) novel in a month. Not necessary a good novel, or even a readable novel, but one of 50K words.

The second day of Nano, November 2, I was supposed to have a flex day off of work and I figured I’d get some serious writing done. But, as often happens, I had to go into work, teach a couple of classes, and get a reclaim shipment out – so I worked a little more than a full day – though I was able to slip out over lunch and hit the early voting.

I didn’t get my writing in until late in the day, but I did get it in. My inspiration for today was a bumper sticker I saw while I was stuck in traffic on my home from work a couple weeks ago. The sticker said, “I Love Crack Whores” – with a big red heart where the word “Love” is. It struck me as so strange that someone would put something like that on their truck, so I wrote it down in my little book of writing inspiration.

In keeping with the idea of Nanowrimo (putting words on the paper without worry – maybe trying some experimentation) I decided to make today’s work a long dialog between two characters, Odette and Bernard, stuck behind a truck like the one I saw. An extended riff in dialog form on the phrase, “I Love Crack Whores.” I was able to hit today’s word count without much trouble… it was sort of fun.

Here’s a snip of what I wrote.

“I knew a crack whore once. A very good friend of mine.”

“What? I didn’t know you lived in that sort of neighborhood. “

“I didn’t. Bad things happen everywhere. This was a long time ago.”

“Who? How?”

“A girl I knew since I was a little kid. She only lived a block away from me. But her family life was awful. Her dad was knifed in prison once. I never saw her mother sober and she had this creepy big brother that scared the shit out of everyone and his friends were worse. So she spent a lot of time at my house. To get away. “

“So how did she end up a crack whore?”

“Well, it was easier than you’d think. She wasn’t very good looking, this moon shaped face, and with eyes so far apart they almost looked like they were on stalks. Straight on, she looked like she didn’t have a nose but from the side it was like stair steps.”

“Jeez, poor girl.”

“Yeah, she never thought any boys would like her. So when she was old enough – or almost old enough, she started sleeping around. In high school. She would go with anybody that showed any interest at all and would do anything they wanted. The stories were wild.”

“So she was loose, that doesn’t make her a whore.”

“Well, no. But what she told me was that one night, she was really broke, needed to buy some new shoes or something really bad, and asked some boy, some rich boy, for a loan. No big deal for the kid, ‘chump change’ she said he told her, he gave her the cash. She thought it was a good thing, it made her happy, she bought the shoes. But then the next one, some other boy, gave her money up front. It seems the rich kid let it slip he had given her money, and everyone thought that was the business.”

“God, and she went along.”

“Yeah, I guess she did. I told her to stop it and she said she needed the cash, the boys seemed to think it was cool, nobody cared about her anyway. “

“What about the crack?”

“Well, she had the cash, she didn’t give a shit about anything. It was a spiral. The usual. Weed, then hash, pills, speed, and finally hitting the crack pipe. “

“How old was she then?”

“Junior year. Really sad.”

“Christ that sucks. Do you know what happened to her? Is she dead?”

“Oh no. Not at all. She ran away from home and that helped. Must have been really fucked up over there when becoming a homeless crack whore was an improvement. But I guess she hit rock bottom and came back up. Turns out she was a lesbian. Never knew it. Went to Law School, passed the bar. Now she’s a hotshot in Kansas City real estate. We’re friends on Facebook. She’s really into fitness. Got married a year ago, now that she can. Still awful ugly though.”

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Time Gains Momentum

“I am now 33 years old, and it feels like much time has passed and is passing faster and faster every day. Day to day I have to make all sorts of choices about what is good and important and fun, and then I have to live with the forfeiture of all the other options those choices foreclose. And I’m starting to see how as time gains momentum my choices will narrow and their foreclosures multiply exponentially until I arrive at some point on some branch of all life’s sumptuous branching complexity at which I am finally locked in and stuck on one path and time speeds me through stages of stasis and atrophy and decay until I go down for the third time, all struggle for naught, drowned by time. It is dreadful. But since it’s my own choices that’ll lock me in, it seems unavoidable–if I want to be any kind of grownup, I have to make choices and regret foreclosures and try to live with them.”
― David Foster Wallace, A Supposedly Fun Thing I’ll Never Do Again: Essays and Arguments

View of the Trinity River and the Margaret Hunt Hill Bridge from the Continental Bridge Park, Dallas, Texas

View of the Trinity River and the Margaret Hunt Hill Bridge from the Continental Bridge Park, Dallas, Texas

Truck is from Bertrand’s Inc..

What You See Over There Aren’t Giants, But Windmills

“Destiny guides our fortunes more favorably than we could have expected. Look there, Sancho Panza, my friend, and see those thirty or so wild giants, with whom I intend to do battle and kill each and all of them, so with their stolen booty we can begin to enrich ourselves. This is nobel, righteous warfare, for it is wonderfully useful to God to have such an evil race wiped from the face of the earth.”
“What giants?” Asked Sancho Panza.
“The ones you can see over there,” answered his master, “with the huge arms, some of which are very nearly two leagues long.”
“Now look, your grace,” said Sancho, “what you see over there aren’t giants, but windmills, and what seems to be arms are just their sails, that go around in the wind and turn the millstone.”
“Obviously,” replied Don Quijote, “you don’t know much about adventures.”
― Miguel de Cervantes Saavedra, Don Quixote

(click to enlarge)Wind Turbine Blade on a tractor trailer, Interstate 35, just south of the Kansas/Oklahoma border.

(click to enlarge)
Wind Turbine Blade on a tractor trailer, Interstate 35, just south of the Kansas/Oklahoma border.

Like Spiders Across the Stars

“the only people for me are the mad ones, the ones who are mad to live, mad to talk, mad to be saved, desirous of everything at the same time, the ones who never yawn or say a commonplace thing, but burn, burn, burn like fabulous yellow roman candles exploding like spiders across the stars.”
― Jack Kerouac, On the Road

Wind Turbine blades on Tractor Trailers, Interstate 35, Oklahoma (click to enlarge)

Wind Turbine blades on Tractor Trailers, Interstate 35, Oklahoma
(click to enlarge)

All up and down Interstate 35 you see trucks hauling giant turbine blades, destined for the wind farms that have been growing like mushroomy weeds all across the wind-swept plains.

“Shaw banged on the door of the shack and explained to the farmer what had happened. The farmer started his tractor and the two men rode back to the car. After tugging, digging, and a push from the tractor, they were able to free the Model-T. Shaw continued toward Clayton. Anxious, thinking about the baby, worried about more drifts, he kept the speed up, pushing the car to its limit. When he came to a sudden swerve in the road, he was going too fast to correct his speed. The Model-T teetered on two wheels and tipped on its side. For an instant, Shaw thought he was pinned. He was bruised and bleeding but otherwise all right. As he crawled out the window, he saw two wheels still spinning in the dust. He was able to pry the car out of the dust and tip it back, right-side up. The engine started. He finished the drive and made it to St. Joseph’s Hospital. Just as Hazel went into her high contractions, in walked a bruised, bleeding, dusty man, his eyelids clogged with mud, his fingers oiled and dirty. Hazel gave birth to a girl late that day, April 7, 1934. They named her Ruth Nell. She was plump and seemed healthy, but the doctor was concerned about taking her outside. The air was not safe for a baby. He ordered Hazel to stay in the hospital for at least ten more days and remarked that the young family might want to consider moving out of No Man’s Land. Others were buttoning up their homes and getting out before the dust ruined them. But the Lucas family had planted themselves in this far edge of the Oklahoma Panhandle at a time when there wasn’t even a land office for nesters. They were among the first homesteaders.”
― Timothy Egan, The Worst Hard Time: The Untold Story of Those Who Survived the Great American Dust Bowl

Chicken and Waffles!

I now have a new obsession. The recent trend of gourmet food trucks is… well, I like it. I like the idea of quality eats in a portable location. I like the culture that is growing around the things. I like the idea that the Internet and smart phones are what are making the gourmet food truck movement possible – you can watch the twitter stream of your favorite trucks and find out when they are near you.

It’s pretty damn cool, if you ask me. This is truly the best of all possible worlds.

Last Friday, I enjoyed some Korean Bar-B-Q fusion down in the Arts District. On Saturday, around lunch time, I felt a mite peckish, so I went on-line and found a food truck, The City Street Grill, would be near the Galleria, in the parking lot of a jewelry store, until 2:30. That’s a good location for me – I could go grab some lunch, then head up the tollway to Frisco and get some writing in at the college library up there.

I checked the truck’s menu… Chicken and Waffles! That’s the ticket.

The City Street Grille at a jewelry store near the Galleria, right by the Tollway.

The place was wicked hard to find. I drove right by it once. I have an innate fear of jewelry stores (a good survival instinct in these modern times) but I gathered up my courage and marched up to the truck. I can see the future in this. It’s actually a friendly situation – talking to the folks in the truck, other customers.

A customer waiting for his food.

The food was great. Fresh, aromatic waffle, succulent fried chicken, made right in front of me, easy to eat.

What more can you ask for?

Chicken and Waffles

Chicken and Waffles!