Monday, August 10, 2009

Blogging a Novel, Part One

I had intended to start with a much bigger chunk of book, but I'm so excited about this that I want to show something right away. And so, I present Lique.

PROLOGUE
“Rock. Paper. Scissors. Mere words? Perhaps. Separately, they describe potentially useful items, depending on what it is that you’re trying to accomplish exactly. But together, they are a national obsession. Formerly, this sport of gentlemen was confined to schoolyards and seedy back alleys. In fact, as recently as 2002, the Bloomington-Normal Cup, the national championship of Rock-Paper-Scissors, was actually broadcast on UPN. Imagine that. UPN.
“And then, in 2003, everything changed forever. Rock-Paper-Scissors, or RPS as it’s known to its devotees, escaped from its Pandora’s Box, and much like the evils that escaped from the literal Pandora’s Box, greed, hatred, violence, sex crimes, there was no putting it back. And the modern-day Pandora, destiny’s unwilling patsy, was none other than Scott Ponzi.
“Like all great American heroes, with the exceptions of Batman and William Randolph Hearst, Ponzi came from humble, some might say hardscrabble, origins. Born to a fishwife, spawned from the loins of a man he never knew, Ponzi spent his childhood in abject poverty. The target of frequent beatings as a young man, Scott did not turn to drugs or hardcore fantasy role-playing as so many others did.
“Instead, Scott turned to America’s secret shame, Rock-Paper-Scissors. It’s unknown where he first played the game, whether it was in the comfort of his own home with the shades drawn or in the parking lot of a massage parlor. Definitely one of those two places, though. Regardless, the game touched something within him. And with nothing left, Scott Ponzi had no reason to be ashamed. He played Rock-Paper-Scissors out in the open, in the light of day.
“First his community, and then the nation, asked themselves ‘Who is this plucky young man who so casually flaunts societal mores and customs?’ And there’s nothing America loves more than an underdog, unless it’s an underdog who somehow legitimizes something that was previously a taboo. And so, America embraced this gangly young man.
“Ponzi won that year’s Bloomington-Normal Cup without breaking a sweat. He was the hero of a nation. Corporate sponsors flocked to him like scabby groupies to a KISS concert. Coca-Cola, Chrysler, Sony, Keds, they all wanted a piece of him, and he was more than happy to oblige. Scott Ponzi had spent his life in poverty and suddenly found himself with unlimited money. Perhaps it was that taste of the good life that made him forsake his training, all but turning his back on the sport that made his name. Still, his own natural talent won him a second championship in 2004, though it was, in the words of the fat guy at the sports bar ‘Closer than it had any right to be’.
“And then, one year later, a barely recognizable Ponzi was defeated in the final round by a plucky young upstart, one Barry Lique. Ponzi was devastated by the loss and injured by the small items thrown at him by the record-setting audience.
“Scott Ponzi has been missing ever since his defeat. It has been five long years since anyone’s laid eyes on him, and his story is incomplete. And so, here we are, outside his mother’s house. If anybody can point us to Ponzi, it is the no doubt overwhelmed occupant of this particular suburban nightmare. Join me, won’t you, as we enter to find the secret of Scott Ponzi,”
“Hello?”
“Yes, good afternoon, Mrs. Ponzi. I’m famed documentarian Desmond Trawler. You may have seen my film Won’t Somebody Think of the Children?
“What?”
“Or perhaps Puerto Guernica: Dustbin of the West.”
“I don’t know what you’re talking about.”
Schlongs of Chicago – A Cockumentary?”
“Oh, we rented that one! Wait, are you looking for Evelyn Ponzi? She moved to Scarsdale two years ago.”
“Goddammit Lonnie! I’m trying to make a film here, and you are supposed to be my fucking research assistant. As a fucking research assistant, perhaps you could take it upon yourself to, oh, maybe do some fucking research!”
“Can I go back inside now?”
“What? Oh, yes. I’m terribly sorry ma’am. And I’m sorry for my language. I tend to swear when the people around me are miserable fucking failures.”
“Nice.”
“What’s that, Lonnie? Now you’re chiming in? Didn’t have this much input while we were chartering a fucking flight to Shitsville, USA, now did you? And that’s all you’ve got in response? A hand gesture? Wait, are we still rolling?”
“You didn’t say ‘cut’.”
“Fuck. Cut!”

Sunday, August 9, 2009

Return of the Undead Blog

Wow, five months since I've posted anything here. My once-glorious blog has withered away to nothing, and for that, I apologize. Sure, I've been providing almost-daily content over at spunkybean, so there's always that. But with all of my entertainment content moving over there, I haven't had much to write about over here. I'm not into posting personal news and such here, and I sort of hate it when the blogs I follow do that. Heck, I'm creeped out when people share actual details about their life on Facebook. And don't even get me started on Twitter, that enabling device for douchebaggery. Frankly, there's no good reason you should care about any of that stuff, so that's out as a blogging topic.

Still, I feel like I should be writing about something other than TV on occasion. I feel like I should be generating something original, rather than only reacting to things. I haven't decided what that's going to be. I'm getting the urge to create again, though. I'm thinking about trying to to write a book, and posting each chapter as a blog entry. I realize that may affect my ability to get it published, but I busted my ass writing Borrowed Time a few years back, and to this day something like twelve people have read it. You know what? That's what I'm going to do. I'm going to post a novel in first-draft form, as I write it. That sounds kind of daunting, but I'm taking a crack at it. And now that I've said it publicly, I have to follow through. So in the very near future, expect to see the first chapter of Lique. I'm not going to say more about it, but it's a plot that I've been working on for seven years in one form or another. It's going to be a relief to finally make some progress on it. Hopefully, the first chapter will be up next weekend.