Sunday, October 13, 2013

Excerpt from Reportage - Chad's Party

There really are times in our lives when we know the only solution is to have a great, messy out of control party where really bad but exciting things happen. Like the ones we had 10/20 years ago...fill in the blanks.

There's not to much point for me as the house usually looks like the aftermath of a party, anyhow. Defeats the object, really. Still there are a million party triggers and they do tend to go off with an alarming regularity.


Those were the days - reporters get a bit excited about the surrender of Japan - National Archives and Records Administration

My second novel Reportage has proved to be slow going, but I have been reassured by the fact that when I get down to writing I can churn out large chucks of maybe 2,000 words at a time. I have no idea really where I am going. That makes it more fun but at times leads to mental road blocks I fear. Ones patrolled by big hairy border guards who yell: "You shall not pass." I usually do but it can take a few weeks.

I am still thankful to have completed my first novel Red Savannah. Indeed if I can find out the makers of that cheap brandy I may write to them to thank them. My search for an agent has so far been unsuccessful and lackluster. If I continue to drag my feet any longer, agents may be abolished and I can hit on the new thing. There was a nice lady in New York who looked terribly well-to-do in her twinset and pearls who led me on - in a literary way only do dismiss me, but at least it was a polite dismissal. Wannabe writers will clutch at any straw.

This is a small snippet from Reportage.


Chad Schmultz tried not to get into arguments with his ex-wife on most days. This was not one of those days.

Usually in his dealings with Amanda,  Schmultz aimed to maintain an air of professional indifference. It was not always easy. On this particular Wednesday he hadn’t eaten much and had been disaffected by his daughter’s general indifference and her constant wittering about the softball team.

He was late picking her up which meant he was late dropping her off with her mother. Later that day he was to recall the scene as if in slow motion. He watched his hands turn the steering into West Thomas Street. He was in control of his car. He was perfectly in control of his neat reversing action into a space. But as soon as Amanda came out of the house and stood with her arms folded he knew he would no longer be in control of the scene because the gesture infuriated him.

There was no precursor before her onslaught. “Where have you been?”

“I would have thought that was obvious. Usual place.”

“But not usual time Chad.”

“I’m a bit late. Granted.”

Gary’s coming round to take use to the movies. I haven’t even washed my hair.

“Oh you’ll be fine. He works in a fast food place. He’s used to grease.”

Chad found the constant Gary name dropping was a surefire recipe for him to revert to sarcasm.

“Fuck Chad. I suppose you think you are funny. You play with words at your stupid newspaper and use them against people.”

“At least I use them Amanda.” It was clearly another dig at the monosyllabic Gary.

“You think so much of yourself don’t you Chad? Gary may only work at a restaurant but he’s made management now and he earns more than you ever did at your dumb paper. Look at you. You bum around doing God-knows-what, pick up Jessica and hang out at your paper all night. The same useless thing every day. At least Gary’s going places.”

“To the wholesaler to pick up more cancer burgers I suspect?”

A vein was bulging in Amanda’s forehead. Chad noticed with some satisfaction that her hair did look greasy but couldn’t find a way of weaving the observation back into the conversation.

“Just go back to your sad life and leave me along,” snapped Amanda, shooing Jessica back into the house.

Chad caught a tiny sad wave and a sheepish expression from the girl as he drove away. A small feeling of triumph rose inside him but it had subsided by the time he had driven two blocks.

As he joined the interstate to make his way to the newspaper the sense of having made this drive too many times hit him. He resolved to do something different to prove he wasn’t half dead. He resolved to have a party.

6 comments:

  1. Take heart - at least you finished the novel and you've gotten a look-see (even though it ended in polite dismissal). keep shopping it around - I have faith that it will find a home one day. :-)

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    1. Thanks Li - I do hope so. I'm glad it was finished..

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  2. Wow, you finished a novel?! Congratulations, David! That's awesome. Your writing has a flow and suspense to it, a classic feel that goes well with the photo above. If nobody's smart enough to pick it up, there are other options. Just don't go iUniverse, even though I'm staring at a How to Self Publish ad below, which I assume you had nothing to do with.

    xoRobyn

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    1. for real Robyn - thanks - am starting to consider the self publishing route xo

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  3. Congrats on finishing your first novel! I hope to read it in print some day!

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