Geoffrey Long
Tip of the Quill: Archives
Spurts of storytelling.

I really need to start writing these down. Lately the old imagination has been bubbling up again with story ideas, but not when I'm near pen and paper.

A while ago I spun this whole story for Kate about a small family in a small town on a small island out in the middle of a very big ocean, and how the little daughter wanted a new dress more than anything, and the very old father set out to win the money needed by pitting his lazy, good-for-nothing son in a stone-skipping contest against the town's reigning (but aging) champion...

And then tonight, while we were on the phone, we were discussing ideas for stories and I came up with this whole scenario where a town's mayor brings his sick dog to the vet -- only when the vet goes to examine the dog, he discovers that the dog is stuffed. Not dead and preserved, I mean filled-with-sawdust, buttons-for-eyes stuffed. And the mayor, who is otherwise the best mayor the town has ever had and appears perfectly sane, completely believes the dog is real. The vet is trying to decide whether or not to call the looney bin, and eventually the mayor lets it slip that actually, yes, he does know that the dog is fake, but the mayor's dad did believe the dog was real, right up until the day he died and left his precious dog to his son. The trouble is, the strength of the mayor's (admittedly somewhat implausible) eternal belief in his father's infallibility outweighs his belief in reality, so to keep from admitting that his father was a nutcase, the mayor also buys into the delusion. Eventually the vet decides that the town needs its mayor, even if he is mildly crackers, and treats the dog and lets them go. Of course, that's when the dog starts to bark...

The stories are coming back. Thank God in heaven, after a too-long dry spell, my stories are coming back!


Great story ideas both.

Of course, after having seen Love Actually this past weekend, I'm struck with the notion of encouraging you to put them both into a single work. Something about the idea of the mayor of a town on an isolated island believing the dog was real (or his father was infallible) stikes me as more plausible. That, plus the prospects of finding a new (qualified) mayor on a small island would seem a bit bleaker.

Of course, it'd be hard to draw a strong parallel between the two stories, so either you'd need to flesh out a connection between the two or come up with a few more subplots to serve as a "slice of life" picture for your island community.

Of course, don't fall into the Love Actually problem of sticking too many stories in...

Hurray! The stories are back. That's fantastic.

I love the stuffed dog idea. I have also seen Love Actually and agree that tying the ideas together may be fun.

Another comparison for weaving them together could be a story like Chocolat—interesting characters all with quirks and unique story lines all tying together through one protagonist.

Just a thought. I'm so excited to read your upcoming brilliance!

Kori, you and your Chocolat... seems like everything comes back to that movie. ;-)

Hmmm. I've set a bunch of my stories in the same Ohio town before (you haven't read many of them, I'm sure, since they were mostly unfinished, but NeverJack, Under and Bones of the Angel were all set in the fictionalized town of Helencaste Downs), but for some of these, yeah, I'm going to need my own personal Macondo. You might be right, Bill.

1) who on earth would dispute that everything comes back to chocolate? NO ONE---OF COURSE THAT'S TRUE!

2) who on earth would dispute that if everything comes back to chocolate, isn't it even sexier and more fabulous if that chocolate is French? PERSONNE---C'EST VRAIS ENCORE!

3) who on earth would dispute that geoff writing, "you may be right, bill" is dangerous territory? HE KNOWS HE'S BRILLIANT ALREADY---DON'T GIVE HIM A BIG HEAD!

Hee, hee....

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