Wherefore art thou, Gen?

Wondering if I’ve fallen off the face of the earth? No, not just yet. I started working full time this fall instead of part-time and the first thing that fell to the back-burner was PR and blogging. But I am still writing, never fear, my small but devoted fan base!

What’s new?

  • On Saturday, November 15th at 2pm I will be at the Kearney Public Library in Kearney, Nebraska to talk about my latest, The Good Life and the writing and publishing process. If you are in the area, I’d love to see you!
  • I am writing on two stories right now, one is a full length love story, and I say love story rather than romance because it is as much a novel about healing after a trauma, about family love and forgiveness, as it is romantic love. That one is in the early stages yet. The second project I’m working on may actually shape up into being a serial, or a short story, or screen play, I’m just really not sure yet. It centers around a quirky character and is a bit of a mystery/oddball tale of intrigue.

Here is a tiny glimpse into the main character of “Win”:

Mayor Winfield bought two coffees every morning without fail, even on holidays and Sundays. It was a universally agreed upon truth in the otherwise staunchly conservative town of Smokey Hill that God was okay with his people selling coffee on holy days. Everyone knew coffee and donuts were the social glue of churches and police stations, and Lord knew without these things the ruffians would run amok. Not that there were many ruffians to speak of in Smokey Hill but such was Mayor Winfield’s stump while campaigning for allowing daily commerce.

The actual truth was that Win lobbied for and practiced this coffee-buying habit partly because he was too lazy to make coffee and felt uncomfortable asking his live-in assistant to do it no matter how much she insisted she didn’t mind, and partly because Win had a compulsion to buy from all the local businesses on a daily basis. All thirty-eight of them. Every day. Except on Sunday, in which it was just ten open storefronts, only open on account of the coffee and donut axiom.

Some folks called him odd and ‘not quite right in the head’. Others said he was throwing his money around. But as long as he and his mother knew the truth, Win didn’t care which one they decided. And regardless of their opinions regarding his sanity or lack thereof, the townspeople kept electing him ever since he put his name in on a lark at the age of twenty-two. Of course, running unopposed for the better part of the twenty years since then had always helped.

If you were to ask Win, it wasn’t due to his very mild, hardly noticeable case of obsessive-compulsive disorder that spurred this habit. You see, ever since the manufacturing company that had employed better than half the town pulled up roots and left, Smokey Hill was flat broke. The city budget ran regularly in the red, and most citizens were spending only enough money to get by, and usually spending it a town away at the Mega-Mart. To make matters worse, nearly half of the under-forty demographic had moved away to find better employment and better funded schools.

So, to Win’s way of thinking, if he didn’t regularly buy overpriced, slightly burnt coffee from Gladys’ cafe, or excessively bright paintings from Luke’s gallery, or really horrible decorations from Mabel’s curio shop, then the town might just tip on its already precarious lean towards tits up. Especially since if one were to add up the combined income of the first three thousand of the three thousand-forty-nine souls left in Smokey Hill, it would barely reach the base of the Winfield family fortune.

Consequently, buying from everyone on a daily basis had nothing to do with Win’s personal quirks or flaunting his wealth, and everything to do with a modicum of guilt-induced duty coupled with a mound of Win not wanting to be the last mayor of Smokey Hill. After all, who would want that historical onus? He’d rather go down as the forgotten mayor, or even the ignominious title of He Who Brought the Sin of Commerce to Sunday and Christmas, than to be known as the mayor that failed to stop The End.

On this particular inauspicious Tuesday, Win had just bought his usual two-coffees-to-go and a homemade scone that looked like it might actually be edible when he heard the atypical sound of door chimes signal the arrival of another customer. Curious, he stopped pretending to listen to Doris complain about the meals at Trembling Palms Retirement Home and turned to see who might have joined the usual crowd, all of whom were already seated in the same spots they had occupied for the last twenty years. As soon as he had turned around, he was greeted with a question-laden shout.

“Mayor Winfield!”

A woman bustled toward him wearing a business suit that almost looked like a school uniform; slate grey, unbroken by feminine embellishment and complete with pleated skirt, Mary Jane shoes, and a grey beret covering all of her hair. Despite her drab get-up she appeared to be quite young, mid-thirties at the most. As to anything else about her, Win couldn’t say. There was nothing else remarkable to say about her that wasn’t overwhelmed by her rapid gait and fearsome countenance.

“Yes?” he replied with a cautious and welcoming smile. Strangers were rarer than virginity in this town. Especially strangers with all of their original teeth. He didn’t want to scare her away, no matter how much she currently scared him.

–  © 2014 by Genevieve Dewey, All Rights Reserved.

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