In Which I Say Something Nice about Bredesen

Karl Dean is, of course, running again for mayor. His Facebook campaign ad reads, “How did Karl Dean overcome a 1,000-year flood and an historic recession?” I think we have to guess by “an historic,” that he did it by using his superpower of turning British. Which is a weird superpower. You put “u”s in places and drink tea and say “an historic.” I’m not sure how it helped overcome the flood, but who’d have thought getting bit by a radioactive spider would do so much for Peter Parker?

But here’s the other thing. Because of the Green Vest of Comfort, I remember Bredesen being everywhere during and after the flood. Maybe that’s an inaccurate memory, but that was my impression “Oh, there’s the Governor, with his Green Vest of Comfort.” Yes, I laughed about it, but I remembered it. I don’t recall Dean doing things during the flood. I mean, obviously, he did. But “overcome” the flood? Dude, people are still living in mold-filled hellholes. Other people aren’t yet back in their houses.

“Overcome” is optimistic.

And don’t even get me started on the recession crap. Is that behind us?

Anyway, Dean should get him a green vest. And perhaps actually overcome the flood before bragging about it.

Yes, I know, he’s going to win re-election. And fine. He’s done a fine job as a mayor in his own way. But dude definitely hasn’t done anything to be all cocky about.

Exciting Book Things

I just received Jewly Hight’s Right by Her Roots in the mail! I know Jewly some and she’s very lovely and down to earth, but I am completely fan-girl excited about this book anyway. Which just goes to show something.

Weirdly enough, I also think I’m back on track with the novel. I had hoped to have everything second-drafted except for the Watseka material before I went to Watseka and here it is mere days before I head north and everything is second-drafted except for the Watseka material. I am up almost 10,000 words, just over 61,000 now.

Last night I was working on the part where the Satanists fuck up Hannah’s sacrifice (Did I tell you that there are Satanists? Lord, I am kind of tickled to hear different people’s ideas of what the book is about, just based on the half-assed ways I’ve been describing it. But yes, there are Satanists. They fuck up. They go to jail. The Devil loses a finger. And Hannah learns the hard way that people are not lying when they warn you against fucking around with the Devil.) and so the gist of this section is that, in order for the Devil’s daughter to go live with her aunt, some living person has to go to Hell to take her place. Hannah.  So, the Devil is blessing or cursing or whatever the Devil does his daughter and Hannah, because of her Midwestern boobs, is able to steal said blessing.

Long story short, obviously.

Anyway, for being a book full of genuinely religious people, there’s no Bible quoting in it. But I thought, if ever there was a moment, when you are face to face with the Devil and you have just, hopefully, fucked him over, this is the moment when you’re going to throw a good gotcha Bible verse in his face, right?

So, I’m trying to think of a time in the Bible when a gal outsmarts someone evil or does something kind of the same or steals a blessing… Oh, right? So, I’m flipping through Genesis and there’s Jacob stealing Esau’s blessing with the help of his Ma, Rebbecca, and, when Jacob’s all “I don’t know. What if Dad figures out it’s me and curses me,” Rebbecca says “Let the curse fall on me.”

Which is exactly right on the one hand. Except that no curse comes. They do fool Isaac. And Rebbecca, though she does all this shit, is not the focus of the story at all. She makes the story possible but isn’t central to it (though, please understand, I mean from the perspective of how this story was taught to me as a Protestant woman at the end of the 20th century, which does not reflect how the people who told the story may have understood it).

Which made it perfect again.

So, that pleases me. I think that’s just right.

My plan is to, you know, go to Watseka, see if I want to say something more or different about it once I’ve been there (though it occurs to me that I’ve been to Watseka plenty. I just didn’t have a reason to give a shit.) and get that part fixed up. Then I want to give it a good read-through to make sure it’s as good as what I can see.

Then I’m going to ask some folks to read it, hoping that their feedback–what makes sense to them, what doesn’t, what comes too late, what comes too soon, what’s boring, what’s weird–will help me give it it’s final shape.

And then I’m going to try to find an agent.

Which means I’ve been working on pitches in my head–“It’s the story of a Methodist minister’s daughter who is slowly turning into a flock of birds. And there’s a threesome with the Devil. And a discussion of the merits of “Am I Human?” both Danzig’s version and Will Oldham’s. And some people are maybe turning into dogs. And a woman is possessed by the spirit of a woman who never was actually possessed herself. It’s kind of about what happens when Midwesterners move south and stop going to church.”

As you can see, it needs some work.