The order of those things should probably be a little different. Write, work…beer?…work. Something like that. Sometimes “write” and “beer” can join forces.
While I am completely aware that my parents are proud of my accomplishments thus far – proud enough to post my next handful of missions in life on Facebook – any talk of my plan terrifies me. I feel it’s going to jinx me in some way; if everyone keeps quiet, ten years from now I could be be nursing a cramping hand after signing the 100th copy of my latest novel, chai tea by my side, posted by a hardback display of my head shot in a Barnes & Noble. Oh, and I’d be wearing glasses and a scarf. The accessories of an intelligent novelist, of course.
If friends and family continue to receive a play-by-play of the career I don’t even have yet….I’m doomed. I’m hopeless. I’ll still be waiting tables and paying to put my own shitty book on the shelves. Now I realize how stupid this sounds, but I am superstitious about these things. Hmph.
For a writer with serious A.D.D., short stories have always been my preference. However, after taking a course called Writing the Novel in my last semester, I tested the waters of writing something a tad more lengthy. Seven chapters and about 40 pages later, I’m pretty damn proud of how far I’ve come. Of course since graduating and not having a professor and five of my peers breathing down my neck to get the latest chapter completed, my progress has slowed a bit. I’m hoping to take a writing workshop this summer that will keep my level of motivation high.
I have not yet come up with any sort of title, something that was always one of my favorite parts of writing a new piece. But somehow, I feel that makes me more serious about this one. Hm. It’s sort of a horror-crime-murder-mystery (horror is my strong point), taking place in 1985. I thought writing in the 80s would be a good challenge for me, and I love the clothing and music of the era, of course. Who doesn’t enjoy big hair and acid-wash jeans? Anyway….
The time is 1985. Summer. Queens. Angel Vasco lives in the usually quiet neighborhood of Southside with her sister, Sarah Vasco. Angel dances at Half Moon Nightclub, located in the noisier Northside. Angel is strong, fairly intelligent, and uses her sexuality to get what she wants. Sarah is the weaker of the two sisters: quiet, very much a push-over, goes through a string of abusive relationships that worries Angel. After Angel is raped by a man that confronts her in her dressing room after a show, she gives in to anger and revenge that gives birth to a rather bloody series of events.
Publish-worthy? I sure hope so.
There is a bit more to the story that I hope to execute well: the relationship Angel had with her late mother, the strains on the relationship between Angel and Sarah, how their father abandoned them after their mother passed away. Aside from a story about murder, it is a story about self-discovery and family.
Before the ground had settled around a small headstone that read “Mary Ann Vasco 1930 – 1965”, our father was already miles away from us, drowning in vodka and reruns of The Dick Van Dyke Show. Over the next thirteen years, our conversations were scattered, as he sank into the dip in his armchair and I was forced to teach Sarah (and myself) how to do homework and tie shoelaces, our father only providing us with the necessities of food and shelter. We were suffocated with small mumbles and goodbyes until on my 18th birthday, he left. That’s the day my skin hardened and I shoved the card and whatever bullshit explanation he had left into the trash without ever opening it.
Now, as I stood before my broken sister, I blamed myself for shielding her during those years instead of throwing her straight into the storm. I had developed a protective shell – she lay exposed and constantly defenseless.
I let out a long breath and went back to my room, once again digging through the pile of delicates in the corner, finally pulling out a thin elastic band covered in a mesh of black lace. I pulled on a pair of Levis and a blue sweater that hung off one shoulder, Sarah silent now in the next room. I stuffed the garters into a leather u-shaped pocketbook embellished with stringy fringe and grabbed another bag filled with makeup and perfumes; I mumbled a goodbye as I made my way down the hall, grabbing a bottle of Evian before loudly making my way out the front door and down three flights of hot stairs to the street.
I knew Sarah would never tell me who gave her the bruise; she would wear sunglasses in the market and call out of work, tell people she slipped climbing out of the tub. After our father left Sarah and I were forced out of our small home in a somewhat clean suburb of New York. We moved into a smaller apartment in Queens and she crumbled.
Comments? Anything? Is this thing on?
If you’re stuck in New Jersey as I am, be careful in the heat. You know it’s bad when the weather application on your phone shows a little cactus next to Wednesday and Thursday. Ugh.
Angel Vasco’s theme song.