Friday, May 13, 2005
A Town Called Alice
There’s a town somewhere in Northeastern Georgia, tucked away at the end of a winding summer two-lane. It's overgrown with kudzu, overrun with smalltown corruption. And it’s not called Alice (with all apologies to Nevil Shute.) It’s my town. It lives in my imagination, and in a novel—as yet unwritten—of my creation. There’s industry and dusty Georgia backgrounds and subterfuge. There’s even one very atmospheric title that I’ve been toting around in my brainspace, for nobody but me right now. And, there is this town, a town of epic proportions and a name so evocative, that I tucked into a very important place until I was ready to use it: my mind.
Only, my mind has a mind of its own. And today I no longer know the name of my dusty-backroaded-industry-driven-something-right-outta-Faulkner-town. Kaput. Out of my head.
I’m heartsick. Not because I can’t produce another equally fabulous town name, but because somehow with this small slip, the fabric of my created worlds unraveled a little. The illusion fractured ever-so-slightly. Beyond that, I also realize that in not writing down the copious ideas that were in my mind a year ago (I swear there’s a notebook somewhere! There is!) on my laptop, I made a big mistake. Chalk that up to lesson number 509 that this agent didn’t follow for herself.
It was a symbolic name. A powerful name. A name worthy of a moody, atmospheric southern novel.
I’m thinking that perhaps if I tell myself at bedtime tonight that I must remember this name, that I will wake with it in my mental grasp. What do you fellow dreaming writers think?