missing: one neglected protagonist

You deserve a longer letter than this; but it is my unhappy fate seldom to treat people so well as they deserve. -- Jane Austen, to her sister Cassandra

This is embarrassing. Really, really embarrassing.

I've misplaced someone. And not just anyone--one of the most important people in my life. We've known each other for three years, we spend at least thirty hours together each week, we finish each other's sentences. (Actually, I finish hers and she interrupts mine. Fair enough.)

It's been a rocky week and a half though, and we haven't been able to hang out like we used to. Life has been hectic, for very good and exciting reasons. And when it wasn't hectic... well, I just felt like doing other things.

So I came back this afternoon from a wonderful morning in Saint Louis, hanging out with my brilliant and fabulous sisters. I had a fantastic time, and wanted to shelve my writing work for the rest of the day--maybe I'd knit instead, you know? Finish a project, start another--maybe start two. Or seven.

And I found this note tacked to my computer:

To my wandering author: You're supposedly writing a novel. You're halfway through a major rewrite, and now that you're about to tackle the next section, you're running scared. Do you really think I can't tell? (Two days ago, you talked about skipping the novel and opening an Italian restaurant instead. Not a good sign.)

Well, I have a deal for you. You haven't been showing up for work lately, so I think that today, I'm not showing up either. That's right. You'll have to go searching for me. (Oh, and I have your wallet. I thought a world cruise might be nice, or possibly a train tour through Canada? Or a four-week stay in Maine? A hike in Australia? Good luck catching up.)

Maybe if you decide to get with it and start sketching out some scenes (interesting ones, honey, and don't pretend I can't tell the difference), or scare up a decent antagonist for me (NOT the miserable cardboard stand-in I had to deal with last fall, thanks very much), and possibly deliver two pounds of truffles (dark chocolate and raspberry) to my trailer, I'll reconsider. Possibly.

We'll only know if you get back to work.

(This is called tough love, by the way.)

-- E., your protagonist, though I imagine you've forgotten that.

Truffles? Tough love? Ha. Who does she think she's dealing with?

... Nevertheless. I'll go stare at my computer and try to come up with something better for her--or something at all. (Any ideas for a brilliant antagonist? Hmm.)

In the meantime, please keep an eye open for my sulky, globe-trotting protagonist. (She can't have gotten far: I know what was in my wallet.)

She has a wickedly wry sense of humor, a penchant for getting into trouble, and a fondness for apple tarts. If you see her, tell her: I'm working on the interesting scenes... and the truffles are waiting.

No comments:

Post a Comment