Tuesday, January 15, 2008

New Day #19

Warning: This story has no end. But that's the point. Still, as a writer and control freak, the lack of resolution bugs me. Normally, if I'm telling a story and I realize my charming anecdote has no finish, I wrap it up by giving one of the following conclusions:

A)"And then we had sex."
B) "And Jesus wept."
C) "And that's how I saved Christmas."

I discovered today's New Thing by falling down a Google rabbit hole. You know how it happens: you're researching one thing on-line and suddenly something else catches your eye, and, before you know it, an hour's gone by and you know everything there is to know about Kevin O'Connell, the biggest loser in Oscar history.

Today's hole led me to the Wonderland of BookCrossing.com, where people release books into the wild by leaving them in public places for other people to take. By registering the book on-line first, it's possible to track the book's progress as it makes its way from reader to reader.

Is that fun, or what?

Okay, maybe it's just what, but it was new, so I offered up my copy of The Secret Life of Bees, reasoning that, because it sold a gazillion copies, someone else might like it even if I didn't. (All of the suspense hinges on the characters saying, "We really need to talk...but not now," which is just as annoying in fiction as it is in real life.)

I decided it'd be more fun to spy after I left the book, so I took it with me to New Seasons Market, where I like to pretend I live in France by buying fresh produce, meat and bread in the Gallic manner, which is to say, last minute. I bought myself lunch, surreptitiously dropped my book on a table, then took a seat where I could watch, giddily anticipating the magic moment when someone would discover this unexpected treasure.

What I hadn't anticipated was that customers will avoid a table with a book because it looks like someone else is sitting there. I managed to research thirty years in the life of Fred Astaire while I waited for something to happen. Finally, an employee came along, bussed the table, and, without even glancing at the cover (or the note inside), took the book away, presumably to the Lost and Found.

That's it. This story has no end. But that's the point. I'll have to wait and see what happens.

Oh, and then we had sex.


therese said...

I think it's best to leave the book in a mall sitting area where people just drop to sit.

I had a similiar impression of "bees" but it was an interesting journey into 'suspending disbelief'. :)

writermama said...

Thank you. I now know I am not the only one who did not like The Secret Life of Bees.

Way too device-y in the lead.

I was offended and refused to continue reading.

It was a small rebellion, but I think it speaks to the truth that readers are getting pickier.

Especially readers with masters degrees in fiction. And there are more and more of us all the time.

The Princess Of Forks said...

I know I'm like eleventy billion days late on responding to this post but I think it's extremely critical that I share with you these other possible story endings:

1. "And then I found five dollars."
2. "And then I saved the baby."

The baby one comes in quite handy as an excuse for injuries that have no good back-story. For instance: Last summer I got terribly drunk while we were camping, tripped over a tree root and scraped my FACE on a rock. Of course I didn't want to go back to work with a tale of being too drunk to walk so used some creative license and centered the injury around "saving the baby".