Aside – before I started writing this post, I had to do a search of this blog to make sure I had not written about it before. Am I getting senile or have I been blogging too long? You decide.
So I’ve been having a blast lately, spending some time as a young man. You see, that’s what a writer gets to do. If they want, they can be a young man for a while. Or an old man. Or an asshole. Or a small kid. Or an alien creature. A fairy. A god.
I’ve written from the point-of-view of all of these.
A friend of mine says writing is much like acting. I don’t know if I’d ever have the guts to get up in front of an audience and act. But I love the role-playing I get to do as a writer. I love really getting into character. Especially if it is something I don’t ever get to do in real life. Like being a complete jerk, or becoming a young man.
The young man in question is Ty, the main character from a short story I just uploaded to various online e-retailers. “Once Upon a Gas Tank” is the start of a series of short stories called Petroleum Sunset. Here’s a snippet. It starts with Ty’s kid brother Joel talking.
“What if we join the Chevelle Gang, Ty?”
“We cain’t join them, Joel. You’ve seen what they do to folk.”
“Yeah, but if one of us joins, maybe they’ll leave the rest of us alone.”
“That ain’t thinking right, Joel. Murderin’ and lootin’ folk just so your own folk stay safe. Do you really think you could do it?”
“I’d do it for Ma.”
I believed he would. “Ma wouldn’t like that none. If you ask me, that’s just a coward’s way out.”
That set off his temper, just like I knew it would. He jumped up. “I ain’t no coward, Ty.”
“Joinin’ the Chevelle gang just to get ’em off our backs ain’t exactly brave.”
“You’re the coward, Ty.”
My own anger ignited and revved up to about 6000 rpm. I jumped up too. “How do you figger?” Clyde raised his head and looked at us.
“You’re the oldest. It ought to fall to you.”
“What ought to fall to me?”
“Takin’ care of the famly.”
“Runnin’ off and joining a gang ain’t takin’ care of the famly. It’ll just make Ma sad and Pa want revenge.”
We argued about it, but I could tell nothin’ I said was sinking in. So I felt obliged to put a whuppin’ on him to make him see reason. However, I hardly struck the first blow when he lashed out, quick as a rattler, and bloodied my nose. We ended up on the floor, gougin’ and clawin’ at each other with all the pent up rage a couple of dumb teenage boys can muster up.
It was (and is!) so fun to become Ty. I realize it was risky. Writing in dialect always is. I realize that I’ll probably get a lot of one star reviews from people who hate the dialect. But I felt a strong urge to put this story out there, and to tell the rest of the stories about Ty and Joel that keep popping up in my head.
And I thought that if I like it, maybe some other people will like it too.
I won’t innundate you with posts about these stories. (Too late? Maybe!) I’ll just put up a post when I upload each story, and maybe an extra post if something exciting happens with it. I hope to put up the next story in just a few weeks.
So, here’s the linkage. It will be at more places next week as Smashwords gets it distributed.
If you buy it and like it, I’d really appreciate a review at the site where you purchased it. Gotta counter-balance all those expected one-star reviews, yanno. And if you are a blogger and are interested in hosting me, I’d love to be your guest.