Okay, here we go, starting 175 days of progress reports.
I spent much of the day, and yesterday, trying to figure out what change I needed to make in the blog. Should I shut it down? Should I stay the course? Those of you who read the previous post know the answer: I decided to return the blog to its origins for a while, and make it a writer's journal.
Today's Progress: Most of a flash story called "No Regrets." It's about 1250 words long, but some of the words were already sketched in. I hope to finish it tomorrow.
Eating, Watching, Reading: I also made bread, and watched 1/3 of Mrs. Miniver while eating a splendid dinner of leftover pot roast.
Classic movies are very important to the main work in progress (The Man Who Ran Away). Karla lives in a world of movies, and is a natural lateral thinker -- so throughout the story she will draw connections between life and movies. (But never quite in the way people expect.) I don't really do this all that consciously. I just have to watch things and see what crops up when Karla sees the situation.
Nothing in particular clicked with Miniver, but I'm thinking that the subplot with the rose might actually match up later on. Also the air raid warden and his salesmanship. There are elements of rivalries and sneaky sidekicks involved here.
Which is why I think Dashiell Hammett may be the most important influence. I'm reading The Glass Key, but I don't know that it will fit as well as Red Harvest. (Note to self, get a copy of Yojimbo and A Fistful of Dollars, which were both inspired by Red Harvest. I was led astray by critics who apparently can't tell the difference between Red Harvest and Glass Key. Oh, also, add Miller's Crossing to the list.)
In the meantime, I already have a North by Northwest reference. Karla decides that George's money was mistaken for a spy.
See you in the funny papers.