Not too long ago, the BF and I were discussing the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse. You know, Death, Famine, Pestilence, and War? Yeah. We could survive all of those. Commerce? Not so much. Commerce will be the death of us yet.
I added another one this week. Technology.
Remember that scene from Office Space, where they’re in the field with the printer and the baseball bats? That was my office this week. Network outages, updates to programs that didn’t work, and people fucking with my merge documents resulted in my need for bad movie popcorn and hot chocolate.
Then I spent three of those days scrambling around at the last minute, trying to get two contest entries ready, only to panic when I didn’t receive a confirmation my entry had been accepted after I’d submitted. I’ve since had a response from the FF & P (the coordinator was out of town, apparently) and I’m still waiting on a response from the ECO contest.
The one bright side to the ECO contest was I decided to submit the opening from Iron Jewel, my monster under the bed, and I feel like I could actually make the story work. There were a few minor changes I made to the first 1700 words that will impact the way the rest of the story turns out, and I think it’ll be a good thing.
Another thing that I found surprisingly helpful? The violence from this week.
A few days ago, some crazy-ass mofo decided to shoot up a cafe in Seattle’s University District before killing a woman downtown and then himself in West Seattle. The site of his suicide was blocks from where the BF teaches on Mondays and Tuesdays, and the cafe is south of where he teaches Wednesday through Friday. Bottom line? There was no getting around this incident for the BF. Lucky for him, it happened on a Wednesday, and by the time he left for work, the man had already left the University District and was, sadly, dead.
After watching the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina on television and feeling nothing but a mounting, helpless rage, I ignore media coverage for major incidents such as these. Then I turn them into a work of fiction.
The opening of Iron Jewel starts with a body in the street, having landed there after it dived out of a top floor window of a hotel. This actually happened.
A few years ago, someone staying at the Fairmount Olympic Hotel committed suicide by jumping out a window from one of the upper stories. From the 38th floor of the Rainier Tower, where I work, my coworkers and I could see the white sheeted figure lying in the street. It was like a car wreck: as gruesome and disturbing as it was, we kept crowding around the windows, craning our necks for a better look. My way of dealing with it was to put it in a story.
I imagine at some point, after my subconscious has processed the incidents of this week, I’ll end up putting the shooting at the cafe in a story, probably starring Remy St. Cyr, half-fae FBI agent extraordinaire. Or maybe I’ll use this, which a friend of mine posted as her status update on Google+ not too long ago:
There are shattered fluorescent light bulbs and used condoms scattered all over the parking lot at work (like, ALL over, and it’s a huge lot) along with 3 cop cars (which have been sitting there since 6am) and loads of hieroglyphic-esque graffiti. There’s a (possibly very disturbing) story here somewhere…
I could totally see Remy walking around that scene, shaking her head and wondering about kids these days.
And because everyone needs a little Office Space in their lives, here’s the penultimate scene. Damn it’s good to be a gangster.