Still can’t get Sarah Striker out of my head. I wrote her up and now she’s about to go out into the world, but me, I’m left behind trying to figure out new characters. How to make them real. Round. Full. Digestible. Indigestible. How to get a character to appear out of thin air and obey the rules. To say inside of the lines on the page.

Writing for a woman was wonderful. Sarah Striker was young. 20. In San Francisco in the early 90s. She’s still with me though, and I need to let her go in oder to allow the next to come in. I don’t even have a name of the next yet. I know it’s going to be in Los Angeles, in Hollywood, but away from the movie industry. Perhaps taking away the “I” might help and do it 3rd person for this pass until them come bursting through and try to can control of the story. I’ll let them watch me write it and keep it from them.

Yes. Could be the way to go. Just walk around with these characters all around me watching me write them.

But finding what they want here is something. Let’s try and set a scene.

It’s the heat in Los Angeles that might really drive people crazy. Vida Pension sweat more than most people and that was a problem when he went on interviews. He’d arrive 30 minutes early and spend his time in the bathroom cooling himself down with cold water and damp towels.

See there, I don’t want to make it hot all the time. How about something else. It’s a novel, so I can play with the weather.

Nobody knew what to make of the cold weather. Rain in Hollywood for the past week during September. Temperature under 40 degrees. Newscasters were loosing their minds. The newspapers, where there were still newspapers, couldn’t understand of explain. Meteorologists tried to find answers. Traffic was too much.

One of the only pieces of pure enjoyment came from that Office building on Hollywood Boulevard and Cahuenga. That’s where Vida Pension sat watching the water. Vida had lived in Los Angeles his entire life. Grew up eating In and Out Hamburgers and feasting on Tito’s Tacos when he could make it back to Venice and relax. For Vida, that time came often because he had, after years of sitting in the chair for others trying to find a place for himself in someone else’s work, discovered that he was happiest working for himself. Well, you never really work for yourself, but you work for others who pay you.

The direct method of payment was the enjoyable part to him. Vida had managed to break away from the corporate world. The world of half-year reviews and management. It does something to you – to be in that environment for too long. You can see it on the faces of people coming home from those jobs. Now on the way to work, there is always that hope – that flicker that this days is going to be different, but you can also tell from the look on the faces of others when they come home that it just wasn’t. The day is the same because the system is the same.

There was a huge business in Los Angeles for cheaters, especially among the younger folks. The college kids. Yes. Vida had realized that most of them just wanted to party until their time was up and find a good desk with a comfortable chair to sit in and collect paychecks twice a month. To do that, you needed to go through the proper progressions. What Vida did was to write the papers of the kids in colleges there. He wrote so many that he seemed to have gone to school and earned all the degrees that everyone else was paying for.

He enjoyed writing, but didn’t much like fiction or movies or any of the other ways that writing took you off the ground. He was into experience and knowledge. Enjoyed textbooks (which he got for free from the people that were paying him to do their work for him). His hours were his, and went it was time for school vacations, he too took off. He remained a student for his entire life, but did so in somewhat solitude. He had a speech impediment that caused some kind of social awkwardness. No, it wasn’t a speech impediment – it was something though. Well, perhaps he didn’t have the money to go to school.

Perhaps he was a college student that, while at school working two jobs, he started to find that people needed not only help doing their work, but actually having the work done for them. He realized that the structure of the school – the reviews, the grades, everything about it was holding him back. We’re going to have to show that a little bit, but I think it can be done. For now, it seems like he is someone who cannot exist in the system of working for others. He has the vision to create his own off of others faults.

Writing papers seems to be the way. Okay. Whew. Minor breakthrough after banging head again wall for a week or two. Still, if you keep banging, the bricks are going to move. Either that or your head is going to explode. Either way is a result.




One thought on “Directions

  1. It was hot, horrible LA kinda hot where the heat hung heavy over the city. A thick grey layer of accumulated dirt and grime rose up from the filthy streets and freeways holding the valley captive.

    Vida sweated excessively. That would keep him a social outcast.

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