Fair to middlin’. Cat skinner. Shenanigans. Fracus. Charivaree. Yoohoo girls. Blind pig. Crazy as a shit house rat.
I’ve been living in the ‘20’s and ‘30’s the past year. Words and phrases like these continue to crawl from the crevices of memory or leap out at me from historical novels. In my attempt to write the story of my father’s youth, the jargon of the time finds me. Is it because I’m steeped enough in Webster Warren Bateman’s brain? Am I recalling his memories or am I remembering the language of my childhood? Whichever it is – it’s an adventure and I’m lovin’ it.
There I did it again. Helpin’. Talkin’. Filterin’. Writing dialogue of farm guys shootin’ pool in Jim Bateman’s establishment during prohibition years will do that to a writer. At least it’s done it to me. Forget the “gs” and to hell with grammar. The fact that I used to teach English in the States and overseas no longer holds sway in this writing. I read aloud what I’ve written to see if the rhythm and tone sound right to me – perhaps not to someone else – but this is my invention, a historical fiction novel based on stories from my dad’s life.
Have I written a novel before? No, but there have been thank you notes, emails, operator manuals, technical reports, and – oh yes, my first blog of five years, Bonnie King Photography: As I See It. www.bonnie-king.blogspot.com. I also started my own memoir four years ago, From Australia with Love, stories of my wild and crazy youth, but instead of finishing it, I became enamored with the idea of teaching memoir writing to others. That old adage, “If you can’t do – teach.” But I’m a damn good teacher and people like the class so I continue to this day. My photography business also gave me a good excuse not to write seriously, so I didn’t, until now.
My passion for photography as a business waned and the desire to tell my dad’s story took hold. I closed the business. With the help of rain and wind urging me to hunker down with my computer, a cup of coffee, cat on my lap and dog at my feet – I’m finally on my way. Only another 100,000 words to go.