A work of fiction

Tuesday, November 28, 2006
I'm working on this holiday piece for the paper, and it's driving me absolutely crazy.

See, the thing is that the piece has to be fiction.

I don't write fiction. Or, at least, I didn't really write fiction until today.

I've dabbled, of course. I think every writer does. But it's not what I'm good at. Every time I try to write a piece of fiction, I end up telling the person's story in 10 inches, the same way I do a newspaper article: A person is born, he lives and he dies. The end.

Plus, it's just too much power, playing svengali with all these imaginary people and their imaginary lives. I don't want to get into someone else's head. I spend too much time as it is trying to get out of mine.

So back to this holiday story. It had to set the scene, establish some characters and be something fun and accessible to everyone, all within a few paragraphs. Ha!

My ideas have ranged from Santa in space to a would-be burglar, who is dressed like Santa and gets stuck in the chimney of a pizza place on Christmas Eve. (Except that one's not fiction; it really happened in Dayton, Ohio. The pizza burglar, I mean. Not Santa in space.)

One of my favorite ideas involved the break down of the Palm Springs tramway -- and a bunch of tourists dangle precariously over the mountainside like an ornament on a Christmas tree. But then I figured that nobody wants a huge local tragedy with their morning bowl of cornflakes, especially when the tragedy hasn't actually happened.

Stupid fiction. Why can't everything be real?


Monday, November 27, 2006
Desert colors

"You are the light, you are the refuge. There is no place to take shelter but yourself."
-- Inscription over Buddha's ashes.

Kitty, Hello?

Friday, November 24, 2006
Satellite head

Benefits to having a sick cat in the animal hospital:

1. No cat trying to tiptoe onto the stove and eat out of the pan while dinner is cooking.

2. No need to protectively shelter plates of food. Especially plates bearing seafood.

3. No smelly litter.

4. No loud meows to disturb business calls.

5. No evil genius cat taking a big dump right before company comes over.

6. Cat hair on clothing a thing of the past.

7. No diabolical feline leaping through the air and onto my back during upside-down yoga postures.

8. No more shredded newspapers.

9. No more scratching my arms or biting my feet. (Unless I tell Jason to.)

10. No more waking up to little paws swatting at my head.


1. Quiet

2. Sad

3. Lonely