A Short Story in the Making
January 9, 2011
This is dedicated to my children, who are incredulous that I don’t swear (and are teaching me how) and yet appalled that I would write a sex scene. The joys of the human temperament!
I have found that I am succeeding in using the more common Anglo-Saxon expletives in my mind, at least, but I wish we had something that was equal to the growling ‘Perkele’ or the lengthy satisfaction of ‘Jumalauta!”
The story will be updated occasionally. And I apologize for the formatting – am not having any success playing with options. Will keep trying.
The Wood Nymph (working title)
Elinor looked up from the monitor. “Do you always put hot springs into your stories?”
“I like hot springs,” replied Meggie serenely.
“But every story of yours I’ve read has a scene in one. And I can never be sure if they’re, uh, you know.”
“In their all-togethers? Sans attire? Jay-bird nekkid?”
“Knock it off. Are they?”
“Hot springs culture encourages a lack of formality, yes.”
“But what if someone else wants to use the springs. I mean, they’d see them.”
“Everyone would see plenty of everyone, certainly.”
“But – ew. They’d all be naked. In public.”
“What they’d see is entirely beside the point,” said Meggie with a broad grin.
Elinor was perplexed by this comment. “Beside the point?”
“What they’d see.” As Elinor still looked puzzled, Meggie explained. “In Elizabethan times, men attached their hose to their doublets with points. A little clip. On their thighs.” Elinor blushed as she caught the innuendo. Meggie laughed. “You really are too much.”
“See, this is why no one will ever read your stories. You’re too off the wall. I mean, how many people would get a pun about points?”
“Well, maybe you’re right, Elinor. But it’s so much fun putting those little jokes in.” Meggie sighed. “At least give me credit for some sex.”
“Obscure references don’t count. People want rip-roaring hot-blooded sex.”
“Do they? All of them? And yet most all of the novels I truly enjoy have discreet sex, if any at all. It’s the people, who they are, what they think and feel that I read for. And who I write for. Not for sensationalists.” Meggie glanced back at Elinor, mischief alight in her eyes. “You’re rather inconsistent, you know. You berate me for nakedness in hot springs, yet you want hot-blooded sex.”
“Consistency,” began Elinor pompously, “is the hobgoblin -”
“Of small minds. I know. But why should I take your criticisms seriously if you can’t be clear even about your own preferences?”
“All right. I’ll let it go. But you really need to loosen up. I mean, come on, who writes ‘drat’ instead of ‘damn’?”
Elinor sighed. Trying to edit Meggie’s writing was a struggle. It wasn’t bad writing, but Elinor, obviously, liked stories that hit her over the head with intense scenes and emotions. Meggie liked thoughtful, introspective characters. Reading a few more paragraphs, Elinor exclaimed, “I knew it! Now you’ve gone and thrown fantasy in, too. Why why why can’t you learn, Meggie? If you want to write, you have to stick to a genre. You can’t have a Women’s Fiction story and then throw in a fantasy character. I’ll bet there’s cats, too.”
“There will be cats. And chocolate. As for the wood nymph: I like her. She stays.” Meggie avoided Elinor’s critical gaze. The wood nymph had to stay. However fantastic it seemed, this story wasn’t fiction.