Friday, May 17, 2013

Dear Daniel

Dear Daniel,

So I suppose I should be honest. I ate breakfast this morning at 4:30AM. Real food, but I’ve been measuring my calories all day and will be responsible at dinner. See, I was kind of wide awake even though my body was tired. I hate that. My mania makes me prone to bad sleep patterns. Well, that and a shitty mattress. And sleeping most of the day before.

So what have I accomplished today? Absolutely nothing it seems. So I forced myself to sit down and write to ‘you’. I get to do one of my favorite things tonight, I get to go to the bookstore. I know, I like to live dangerously.

Books have always provided an escape. And at different ages different authors were my shelter growing up. Judy Blume, Katherine Patterson, Scott O’Dell, C.S. Lewis. I read books like most people breathed air. As a high schooler that didn’t change. I was into Ray Bradbury, Douglas Adams, Sue Grafton, Mary Higgins Clark, and the one who changed my life, Kurt Vonnegut.
I always dreamed of meeting Kurt Vonnegut and telling him how much his books meant to me. His writings were darkly funny and I loved his recurring character of Kilgore Trout, a hack who could only get published in porn magazines.

The ironic thing is some people would say I write porn. I don’t write porn, but when you say erotic romance people conjure images of Fifty Shades of Grey. That is erotica. Which in poorly skilled hands is porn. I don’t write porn or erotica. Certain stories of mine are subgenre erotic romance and some are just subgenre romance.

I only have one straight dystopian tale and that’s Breath of Life. And it ends with the heroine dying. It’s dark and depressing. But then I was going through a very dark period with the 2012 elections and seeing the way one group played on people’s fears and whipped them up into a frenzy over the barely concealed racism. It was just hard to watch otherwise normal and articulate friends sending me pictures of Obama in a turban and him designed to look like a monkey. I feared we were about to be run over by these well meaning but misinformed people and it terrified me. It’s the first in a trilogy. It’s due out sometime this summer.

After I wrote Breath of Life I wanted to write something lighter. So I wrote Gemini’s War. Here’s an excerpt from it:

I ceased to believe in angels when I was three years old; when the evil from which my mother so valiantly tried to protect me came and took her, plunging me headlong into madness.
Evil I know your name. And it has always been Father.  
Three times I thought I’d broken the bond for good. Three times I was captured and dragged screaming defiantly back into hell. This time there would be no  escape. There was nowhere to run. It was sure to end in death.
The fight had finally been knocked out of me by the time I was twenty-five.
My father was all-powerful. His name rang through the halls of justice when an undesirable need arose to service the dark pleasures of those same men. I was his daughter, and I was not immune. My short life had been written in blood.  I could smell cigarette smoke and stale beer and heard the sound of raucous laughter as I lie there drugged and fighting to maintain consciousness.
“This is some cold-blooded shit. She must have something big on the old man.”
“But…his own daughter?”
“Hey, it’s not for me to judge. He pays me for this kind of work. I never said I was a soft.”
“You have kids, don’t you?”
I forced my eyes open as my heart still strained against the effects of the barbiturate cocktail they had injected me with a few hours beforehand.
“Yeah,” the fat one said, “I almost regret abducting this one. She just wanted to be
My eyes were losing focus again, and it was hard to breathe. I spied a gun out of  reach. I’d learned how to shoot one out of necessity. I stretched my fingers as far as they would go to no avail. My fingertips brushed the gun's grip. I knocked it to the ground, causing it to discharge.
The men jumped. “Goddamn it. Waste of a perfectly good bullet,” the fat one swore. “Tie her hands and feet.” The slender man hesitated. “Dammit, Johnson, if the old man isn’t hesitating in rubbing her out, what makes you think he’ll hold back on us?”
Johnson grabbed my hands without mercy and bound them together until the rope dug into my skin.
                I was too weak to fight back. The will to survive overrode the pain. I saw men running toward us as they heaved me over the side of the Kennedy Bridge. Were those FBI logos on their jackets? I screamed as loud as I could. I prayed they would rescue me as I plummeted towards the water.  I did not want to die.
Perhaps the law had finally caught up with my father and those he supplied with  young women. Perhaps they would finally be brought to justice.
                The water was freezing. I saw someone hitting the water  beside me as I lost consciousness. This was a force and a presence stronger and more intense than anything I had ever felt before, taking  me and kicking towards the surface.
Lighter fare, lol? I don’t really write comedy. I can write a funny line. I can be humorous around my friends. But you won’t find me writing romantic comedies. It’s not that I don’t enjoy them when they’re well done, but the only time I tried to write one it was dreadful, awful and not worth the paper it was printed on.
I ate responsibly but not exactly the way in my perfectionist mind I should have. But there will be good days and there will be bad days. Today, because I didn’t overdo it, was a good day. Now if I can just sleep worth a damn.


Amy McCorkle

No comments:

Post a Comment