“Hand me that bub.”
“Hand me that bub. Imma thow it away.”
“That light bub. Right there.”
“Oh! That light bulb!”
“Yeh. Whaja think I said, ya dummy?”
Popular advice is not to write accent and brutalizing of the English language. Supposed to make editors pull hair and toss submissions. For my money, not attempting to portray accent and abuse leaves sometimes too much to the reader’s imagination. For example, above, “right thar,” or “rat thar’ would suggest deep, deep south and maybe hint a masculine speaker; like for “right here” instead, “ri heah” Appalachian, “ri cheah” ‘redneck,’ or “ri cheunh” Cajun. Something seems to get lost writing it straight-up. Maybe I should learn IPA phonetic symbols?
Nah. Probably less than half the reading audience would be familiar with IPA. (Yeh, I heerd thet, Lenny, but IPA ain’t some kinda beer.)
Now you could argue, U.S. readers, told the speaker was from Bayou country in Louisiana could handily read correct English, and translate mentally to include appropriate twang. Someone from Wales or (the real) Birmingham would have less success and miss subtle humor, certainly a bit of flavor.
Consider, unless constantly reminded a character had a speech impediment, the audience will forget. I would, do. That’s like a movie without a score.
Take a dare
You up to it?
Most of the fine folks who pop by here won’t be interested. Accounta they are male. Awrighty. Most of the ladies who pass through seem to be genteel sorts, but I have no way of knowing for certain.
Point is, I appear to take shots at the stronger, smarter gender [can’t write “sex” accounta that would make this post NSFW] so I get back at myself with a short I poked out early this summer. In that short, I let my protagonist belittle menfolk. Reading it doesn’t take nerves of steel, a strong stomach, or a well-defined sense of raunch. But you must understand it’s not for Sunday School.
The story was an exercise. Rather like stretching your legs and torso before starting a morning run.
At the time, I was new to “flash” format. I’d challenged myself to explore as many genres as possible, as many formats, as many “story” types. It had its rewards. Confirmed I don’t like and am therefore no good at all at horror, as bad at sci fi, and a real stinker at poemetry. Figured trying to work in different forms and styles (even subjects) I could rule-out a lot of possibilities.
Boy, did I ever.
“Calamity Jane” is flash fiction, tipping the scales at a mere 990 words plus change. It’s not a “romance” story by any stretch. Well, maybe, but it’s doubtful. It is set in a romantic novel publishing house. That’s probably as close as it comes to “romance.” What is more out-of-ordinary for my “stuff” is that it is from a female POV. I’ve done that once or twice before but in rather innocuous circumstances. In “Calamity,” I’ve attempted a snarky man-eater tone. Which again suggests something NSFW.
There have been a few minor changes since I first put it out there to be trampled. So why is it here? Other than I’m an absolute glutton for punishment? Because I think the tiny plot is interesting, the twist modestly unique, and its humor passable. Hate to let it go to waste. If you’re curious, read “Calamity Jane.” Let me know what you think.
Buttoning-up for the night
I’ve seen a few WPers lately going after six-word stories. That’s tough. I’ve done 50, even 25, 10. Six? Not yet.
Now, I must study for an exam.