Thursday, November 30, 2006

A Man Divided

They say that time is constant. By which I mean every hour is sixty minutes, every minute sixty seconds ... blah, blah, blah.

I’m sorry, not to be unscientific, but I just don’t see how this can be true. The hours, the minutes, the seconds that I spend droning away at work (I won’t bore you with what I do. It’s too depressing.) seem so much heavier than the same time I spend on writing. Seconds do not equal seconds my friends.

The hardest part of writing, funny enough, isn’t the writing at all. It’s digging up the time to put your butt in the seat. I have a saying: I work to live, not live to work. Isn’t it a shame that we waste so much time working our lives away, missing out on the things we love most. We ration ourselves out like the last piece of bread divided among an army.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m thankful for my job. It’s just frustrating when you read what established writers have to say on the subject. Oh, I read fifty novels a month. I write ten hours a day. I don’t worry about my household chores. I just sub them out to someone else.

Yeah right!

Read a lot. Write a lot. This is what is said to be the key to becoming a good writer. I don’t disagree. But there are only so many hours in a day. At least eight go to work. Another two to four go to maintaining the house after work. There always seems to be some obligation reaching in an stealing another couple of hours or so. Sleep ... can’t forget sleep. I’ll give that necessity five hours, on average.

So what’s left? Not enough.

So here is where I’m divided. Do I read? Do I write? Do I edit? Do I spend the time submitting my work? Or should I write an entry to my blog (one that maybe no one will read)? All of these are important. All.

Maybe someday, when I’m established, and someone is paying me to do the things I love, I’ll have more to ration out to my army. It will probably still be bread, but at least there will be a few more slices to work with.

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

"Fox Lane"

"Fox Lane" was published in Seasons in the Night, Volume 4 (the same issue in which "A Town Full of Holes" made its second appearance).

The story came to me by accident in a way. I was asked to write a short story (at the time no one knew that I was a writer) for a Halloween party; one that could be read while the group was being led through a spooky field to an old dilapidated house.

Most of the elements of the story are true. There is a Fox Lane that is little more than a driveway. There is a withered old house. And yes, there was even a mummified cat in the house. But as for Ida May and her coven of kitties – I told you I had a strange imagination.

The party went well, the haunted house was scary, and the story ... well, you can figure out the rest.

Fox Lane
Gabriel Beyers

There is a road in Monroe County, Indiana, called Fox Lane, that is nothing more than an old winding driveway leading to an abandoned farmhouse. This house once belonged to Tom and Ida May Fox.

Tom and Ida May never had any children, and neither had any living relatives, so when Tom passed away in 1939, Ida May found herself completely alone. Ida May began taking in stray cats to keep her company. It was just one or two at first, but soon the number grew to around twenty. When Ida May went to town (which she rarely did) she would talk to everyone she could about her adorable little babies. It wasn’t long before the local kids nicknamed her the Cat Lady.

Sometimes on a full-moon night, when there wasn’t much else to do, the children would sneak out to the Cat Lady’s house to watch her walk down the path leading to her husband Tom’s grave. She would be dressed all in white, carrying a single rose, with the largest pack of stray cats anyone had seen tagging along behind her.

One night two drifters came by and, thinking no one was home, decided to sneak in to see what they could find. They broke a window and climbed in. The sound of breaking glass woke Ida May, and she went downstairs thinking that her babies must have knocked over a vase.