writer friday; from the dame’s point of view

Today’s Writer Friday, albeit a little late, is a special one. The writing prompt is the emotion/state nervous with the added bonus of written in the noir style. This is brought to you by Chuck M, an old buddy of mine who has exceptional writing chops (especially in this genre) and who I hope to have on this blog at some point. I’m not that great at this style, not without reading more Hammett and whatnot but here goes nothing.

Let’s dip the bill Chuck, next rounds on me.

Lauren Bacall and Humphrey Bogart

It was dark when she approached the opaque glass door but there was enough light to highlight the name broadly painted on the door; Dash Marlowe, Private Dick.

The name alone was enough to stop her in her tracks. But she was in an honest to goodness jam and despite the profession, or because of the profession if she was honest with herself, she needed Dash. He was an honest jobbie who played fair and square with his clients.

He wouldn’t involve the coppers and he wouldn’t endanger any dame even if she was guilty. She knew that. Knew it without a doubt.

It didn’t make any of this easier.

She swallowed against the dryness in her mouth.

She didn’t want to do it; didn’t want to knock on the door to face the man inside. They had too much…no, they had a lifetime of history and she didn’t have the gall to face the shamus inside.

“You can do it Nancy,” she murmured to herself as she smoothed sweaty palms over her pink wool skirt, she adjusted her matching  straw hat and took a deep breath. She could do this. She had to. It wasn’t a matter of wanting to. It was a matter of life or death. If Elizabeth wasn’t found by Friday…she bit her rouge stained lips and tried to block the mental image of her sister being tormented.

It would be the big sleep for her baby sister.

Despite the butterflies in her stomach and the bile rising in her throat with each passing minute; despite all that, she had a duty, an obligation, to make sure her sister was brought back in one piece.

Shivering in the dim hallway, she steeled her spine. Her parents were dead, her brother was trying to marry into money in London and the only person she could trust, she had kicked to the curb a year ago.

She had no one.

Except for Elizabeth.

Though she was the moll of Frankie Abruzzi, the leader of the local trouble boys,  Lizzie was still her baby sister and Nancy couldn’t just let her get caught up in shenanigans that could kill her.

No, she had to forget Dash’s kisses, his tenderness, his broad shoulders that could take on much more than hers ever could and just focus on the means to an end.

Dash was the best. She needed the best.

Opening her eyes, she licked her lips. Professional. Yeah, she had to keep this professional and distant.

She could be cold. Dash had accused her of that many times.

A bubble of laughter spilled out of her mouth as she reached for the door knob. Dash might be the best flatfoot in the business, but he wasn’t terribly observant when it came to his personal life.

Professional.

Cold.

Pushing back her errant thoughts and the feeling of wanting to be sick, she turned the cold steel knob.

She could absolutely do this.

She had to.

Advertisements

fear, panties, and wolfberry pop-tarts

DT as 10th Doctor

 

The other night I was up late, due to sleeping issues, and an idea came to me. Ok, not an idea so much as a revision of an idea and I couldn’t get it out of my head for the life of me. Every time I dozed off, the images and dialogue popped up in my head like an old drive-in movie and I couldn’t shake it away.  Usually this is a great thing. I crave these moments like dragon-chaser craves that ultimate vivid high. To me it means my muse has once again deigned to grace me with her presence (oh muse, you fickle fickle thing).

It also means that sleep will continue to elude me until I write this stuff down.

So, being the good little insomniac that I am, I arose from my bed with nary a clatter and stumbled half-sleeping into my living room, grabbing my white board and a marker before plopping down on the couch. Turning on the television, I turn the channel to the Food Network/Cooking Channel (which is another subject for another time) and write by the light of the Iron Chef.

I erased everything that was on my white board which had Story Idea A on it and started on Story Idea B, which in my opinion was better and more suited to my style and taste. The problem with SI A was that I was never sure if I needed to make it First Person or Third Person. I tend to write in the Third Person focusing on two characters at a time (meaning two POV switches only) and First Person when I am writing a short story or vignette.  The fact that I was vacillating between the two gave me pause and stopped me from writing more than three pages. I wasn’t sure where the hell it should go and how it should be voiced.

That’s an indicator that something is wrong.

Also, the story felt too contrived and it was hard for me to get to the points I wanted to get to. I don’t really have a logical plan when I start writing. I have bios and characteristics and I have a synopsis and points that I want to hit; it’s more like a blue print rather than an itemized list.

Anyway, back to the story.

So, erasing everything and writing down the SI B, I feel really good about this story and I can’t wait to write it. I mean I’ve already visualized the important parts and dialogue; all I really need to do is just write it down.

That’s when it happens.

Fear.

At first it feels a little like how you feel before going to a party by yourself and you don’t really know anyone. And they aren’t serving alcohol.

Then you take a few breaths and mentally mutter “I can do this” but it doesn’t sound as convincing as you thought it was going to sound so you pause and wonder how are you going to do this.

The nerves turn into anxiety.

What if I can’t do this? What if it is all going to turn to crap and then I’m going to end up never writing anything and it will end like crap and I’ll keep repeating myself until my fragile ego needs to be coddled and soothed like a mewling infant?

This is when the awesome numbness slips over you and you can’t do anything but stare at a group of people trying to make wolfberry poptarts FTW!

I suck.

That’s the only thought that I had at that moment. That I really and truly just suck.

I took to Facebook with my feelings of inadequacy and a few people responded that I should pretty much put on my big girl panties and push on.

On anything else I would completely and wholeheartedly agree.

But when it comes to something that is such a part of me and is such an expression of vulnerability, I can’t help but listen to the” I can’t do this, this will be awful no matter what”, portion of my brain (that treacherous bastard).

I think I need a new pair of big-girl panties.