Monday, December 27, 2010

I dissect my story from Smokelong Weekly! Everyday There is So Much About Elephants.

 
art by Sue Miller

I'm very excited to be in this journal. The story will later should be in a future editon of Smokelong Quarterly as well. READ IT HERE:  Everyday There is So Much about Elephants.


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Now to the promised dissection: The story is titled, Everyday There is So Much About Elephants because the week I wrote it conversations and references to elephants were occurring at an abnormal rate.


Here's some specific lines and why they got placed in the story:

I'd been told that elephants could change your life. I also had been told that I could change the life of an elephant by protesting the circus.

I have many friends whom champion causes. This was the week Jess Barnett and Laura Kiesel both happened to mention this fact.


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How did I know an elephant had been in the refrigerator? He left his footprint in the cheesecake

The paragraph this appears in is a set up and perhaps totally written for that cheesy punch line. Art imitates life. If I'd used all the jokes from that link I think the story would have turned out different.


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I never heard, "You look great today" or, "Why don't you take a drive to the Cape?" The voices never said, "Have another donut." or, "Your professor loves your work." They only told me to kill my parents or someone important like John Hinkley Jr. The voices never said, "It's a sunny day, you should wear shorts."


These line were spun off an old poem of mine. "Hearing Voices"  appeared in We Needed a Night Out and in the  63 Channels Fall-Winter Print Issue. The anniversary of John Lennon's murder reminded me of this poem.
 
 
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The job paid well but when the company had a Team Building Exercise at Ringling Brothers and Barnum & Bailey Circus my boss introduced me to Billy Barnum, a friend of hers and a poet.
 
Billy Barnum exists in this capacity. He has ties to the circus He's also friend of mine.
 
 
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 I recited the only poem I knew about a gay horse pulling a carriage
 
Perfect opportunity to note the ignorance of this character.
 
 
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On Monday night I watched "Fatal Attractions," the show on Animal Planet where people raised exotic animals that grew up and killed them. That night it was about someone that held a baby elephant named Sophie
 
I'm a little obsessed with this show. There is NOT an episode about an elephant named Sophie. Sophie is the name of the pet rabbit owned by my children.
 
 
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It was interesting timing because usually people were fired on Fridays. That's why suicide hotlines were their busiest before the weekends. If you're fired during the week there was a better chance you'd come back to the office with a gun.



I learned the fact about suicide hotlines from Ned Vizzini when I read with him in November. Ned wrote that in his fantastic book, It's Kind of a Funny Story when the protagonist is being screened for a psychiatric hospitalization on a Friday.

 
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"I'm buying this gun so that people won't forget me," I said. In life, people aren't good enough. They'll light candles. The elephants won't forget anything.


It's good when the last line wraps it all up. I'll wrap this up by saying, "Thanks for reading!"



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