A Dilemma

One of Horse’n’Buggy’s comments mentioned NaNoWriMo, which stands for National Novel Writing Month. It’s a great idea, and I almost did it once, but didn’t. Anyway, most of the stories I’m working on at the moment have a definitive plot, definitive characters, and a definitive raison d’etre. Except for one. A family who goes by the name of Williams.

You see, most of the things I either have written or am in the process of writing are sometimes, and often by my biggest critics, characterized as extremely negative or downheartening, whereas I see them as realistic (but that’s just me). I have clearly in mind what’s going to happen to this 15 year old kid whose nickname is Saturday, what’s going to happen to a girl who finds herself in a church, what happens to a lady who just got a divorce in Arizona, and what happens to a retired man living in Boston (or somesuch) as he makes use of his newfound free time. No problem there.

But back to the negative thing: I began writing this in an attempt to create something positive, upbeat, and happy. I have failed as of yet. That’s not to say that I’m an unhappy person, but I have NOT been able to think of anything lately to do with a family of four that is upbeat and happy and NOTHING negative that merits literary acknowledgement. I know, some people CAN make those go hand in hand, but think about Ernest Hemingway, or J.D. Salinger. They weren’t the biggest social butterflies by a long shot… Anyway, what I’m getting at is that I’m going to (probably) post their story so far in installments, and see if I can get any ideas from y’all (meaning all three of you). So let me go censor the first installment, and I’ll throw it right up here for you.


Chuck Williams got up from the leather chair in his office, took a tired stretch, and walked down the hall. He had slept with a new pillow the night before, and it had made his neck and back somewhat stiff. He didn’t usually have back problems; he wasn’t old enough for that yet, but his younger days were getting away from him. He and his wife were out last night, too late for him, because he did not wake up on time.

He ambled into the bathroom and put on his robe, took his cell phone off the charger and put it and the headset in his right-hand pocket. He stood in front of his wall-to-wall mirror and rubbed his head. He looked for his comb and brushed his hair. Chuck Williams was not an incredibly tall man, less than six feet, and had “filled out,” but was not too heavy for his height. His hair was thinning, or at least was not as thick as it used to be. It was a very dark blonde, almost copper in some places. He had green eyes. He looked over at the framed picture of his wife beside the sink and said hello to it. He sang as he walked out of his bedroom and into the family room with a slight dancing waltz in his step, his pose holding an imaginary woman. He turned on the TV.

Chuck, who went by his full name, Charles, in professional dealings, walked around the house some more, pleased with his freedom to work from home today. He didn’t have to answer to anyone about not being in the office, but he took the advantage of being at home by himself all day to relax and work. He had only recently gotten up, it being a little after nine o’clock, but found himself at his desk anyway, getting a few minor things done as he was waking. To a certain degree, he had to set the mood, tone, and pace of the office. He was the one to come early, be busy, and stay late. Everyone in the office knew that he hauled his own load and was working far more than they were, but it was a matter of visual confirmation to see Mr. Williams at the office shuffling his stuff.

Williams was a man of junk. Everyone else’s trash had made his treasure. He was involved in a recycling business blended with trash removal and a little bit of garage sale instinct. The company was called Trashaway, and involved the service of removing peoples’ junk, for reasons such as moving, deaths, spring cleanings, and the finesse in the job was to recycle, reuse, or resell the things that were retrievable and make money off that as well. The primary source of income, however, was the fees for services given to remove the junk in the first place, the on-the-side sales as a side business. From humble beginnings as an unorthodox garbage man as a young teen to a savvy, inventive twenty-two year old with his own business hauling junk, he had created a regional corporation covering most of the southeast, and was now in charge of the franchises and the people that ran them. He had divided his realm into territories, and hired experienced businessmen essentially to work for themselves. They had a good setup, and if their business plan didn’t work, they were fired and someone else was given the franchise. Instead of thousands of individual accounts and people to worry about, he delegated the worry and anxiety and only had five or six people that answered to him directly. It had become a great worthwhile enterprise, a true corporate business.

So, that’s REALLY just the beginning, but we’ll see how it goes.

P.S. This is also an exercise in letting people read my stuff… so don’t be too critical, because I never did do a hard edit or revision, so this is all pretty rough, ergo: “Warning: above text may contain plot holes, spelling errors, atrocious grammar (probably not), and really bad wording. Do not be concerned.


Jack said...

I was just whiling away some time using the "next blog" button and ended up on your blog. It's easy to read, pretty funny and original.

p.s. - I like the line "Williams was a man of junk."

Horse N. Buggy said...

So here are the things I'm curious about...

Where is his wife?

Is he a little disoriented from sleeping in so late? If so, why is he waltzing? If not, why is he waltzing? The waltzing is whimsical but nothing so far reveals a whimsical side to this character - perhaps that is still coming. We do see that he's a bit of a romantic by the way he interacted with his wife's photo...so maybe that's the connection - and maybe they were out late last night dancing and he's reliving it.

If he is really a "connected" businessman, it seems like he'd keep his phone charging next to his bed instead of in the bathroom - unless his wife won't allow him to...that's something to explore.

Please don't take those as criticisms, they just struck me as things to be resolved/answered/explored. Good start.