Mr. Ornery’s Novel Idea

by on Mar.01, 2011, under History Facts

In Mr. Ornery’s absence from the site, he has been at work upon a novel. Actually, he has been at work upon more than one novel and has been working on these same story ideas off and on for, oh, twenty-eight years, give or take a little. God willing and the creeks don’t rise, as the old adage says, these novels should see the light of publication by the year 2900, barring any distractions.

This is to say distractions such as eating, showering, getting dressed, life in general …

The reason Mr. Ornery cannot seem to complete a novel or get much past the first twenty pages is that he has the attention span of a hyper-active mosquito in a nudist colony. Ideas tumble around in his head as though his brain is a commercial dryer. What he often winds up with though is whatever landed in the lint trap – lint, an odd coin, a door key, that sort of thing. About the only story idea that arises from this hodge-podge is one about lint that suddenly takes on life and begins attacking people in pay toilets, then moves up to home invasions.

It is marginally better using a computer instead of a typewriter because Mr. Ornery has always been among the world’s slowest typists, with the added bonus of terrible handwriting. So, whenever he started a novel, he would be struggling to highlight a kid’s experience with a grade-school bully while the kid was growing up, going to college, getting married, having kids of his own … Several of the characters are grandparents and Mr. Ornery has them stuck in kindergarten.

The characters simply refuse to hold still or wait up. In fact, Mr. Ornery cannot even get dead people to cooperate. One couple started out with the wife murdering her husband and then taking her own life. Of late, he has learned that it was actually a double murder rigged to look like murder-suicide.

The living characters are worse. One woman went from a stern-faced battle axe sort to one who made men’s heads turn whenever she appeared. A kid went from a short, sallow-faced, dark-haired, scrawny bastard raised by the battle axe to a tall, fair-skinned redhead being raised by his beautiful godmother. The original kid’s kindly mentor became a sociopath. The town cop went from bumbler to bloodhound who would not be satisfied.

Other characters have changed color and occupation, education and experience. Still more have crowded in to replace several who moved away and left no forwarding addresses. About the only thing that has not changed is the town itself, so lately Mr. Ornery has contented himself with letting the folks of this town step forward and introduce themselves. He hopes to separate out those rare bits of ‘pocket treasure’ from the stuff that is so much lint and present it as ‘The Littleton Chronicles.’

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