The experience of writing a story online over the last week or so (see last few posts for each draft of “Starkville”) has been exhilarating and I’m not finished with it yet. I only now have a complete rough draft. Some fun stuff has come out of this too. You have until midnight PDT June 9. That’s the Tuesday my Women-on-Writing interview.
The idea of a genre of diner movies is one of them so I’m having a contest.
In the comment section here, enter the name of your favorite diner movie and the first three who respond will receive a copy of the Little Sisters Mystery Anthology and the rest of those who comment will have their names put into a coffee cup and I will draw a fourth winner. Books and shipping costs on me!
But please first…a little conversation about diners and deserts.
“Much grass” is new to me, Gay. I shall add it my list!Definitely you have cornered the market in diner-fic. For Brit readers (and watchers of TV and film) the diner is a strange alien setting because we don’t have them over here. Some of my favourite scenes in films have taken place in diners, en route to somewhere else. Spooky places, they seem to me. Anything could happen sort of places. I forgot to say how much I love the title – Starkville – is it an actual place or did you make it up?
Gay Degani said…
“Much Grass” comes out whenever I want to type muchas gracias. My typing is slowly deteriorating so if I can make it easier for me, I do.
Thanks for the diner info. Funny but I’d forgotten about all the great movies that feature diners: Diner, of course, Five Easy Pieces… Oh there is that Pretenders music video in what LOOKED like a Brit diner…What a great topic for a poll post!!! LOL. You continue to amaze me.
“Starkville” I got from the dictionary while doing my daily prompts
thing. Flip over the Oxford, run my finger down a column. Always looking for provocative, evocative.
And there it was: Starkville, Mississippi. I looked it up online and it doesn’t look stark at all. The page I saw was about the town made it seem a little too nice a place to live to be in my story. There IS another one in Nevada, but this story is NOT about that town either. I’ve never been there.
So I slapped my FICTITIOUS Starkville down in a fictitious desert. Deserts are great symbols the stripped down to the essentials kind of life. A place of survival. A place to experience renewal. The Jews wandering in the desert for 40 years, Jesus wandering there too for 40 days, the pregnant Sarah Conner in her jeep heading into the desert… heavy stuff.
A desert is a place that can seem stark but is teeming with life and a moving beauty. So it works for this story.
I am always and will always be influenced by Ethan Frome by Edith Wharton. The book is a master class on symbolism and motif. Wharton’s New England fictitious village was called Starkfield so I think that’s why when I decided to do this, something was working on a subconscious level.
I did the prompts that day, including Starkville, then I decided I needed to supplement my post about process with a real example, so I grabbed the string of 10 that day and began the writing of this story on line. I do think now that it was running across the name STARKVILLE that gave birth to this whole project. Now I have to be sure and use it in a way that matters to the story.
Oh yeah. The prompts
. The other word I used from that string was “luncheonette.” That’s how this story ended up in a diner! I love the way that works.
So here’s a contest. Post your favorite diner movies or diner scenes in the comment section below. I will ship “Little Sisters” to the first three who do so and put the rest of those who do so into a coffee cup and send a fourth to one of them. It’s an anthology of short mystery stories and one of mine “Oh, Hell” featuring Nikki Hyland is included. Midnight PDT June 9th is the deadline.