fickle back to original 3rd p pov

…switching back to 3rd person pov. And narrator’s name, Ariel…300 pages to edit but I like the distance, tone…better for this work. Here’s a snippet of changes below…

It was a good life for a female. She was protected, back then, owned her own mind, let it wander, free of the dark worries men had to endure. She earned money watching Aunt Jenny’s pets and keeping the house clean, and at night, she could do the other pleasurables, act liberated and desirable, walk the few blocks to The Carousel and serve drinks to fawning middle aged men with big stomachs, red noses and foul breath. Tuesday night special, she got the college kids, after hours, behind the bar by the dumpster, and they slipped her a dollar or two extra, and  Ariel didn’t mind because they were soft and mild mannered and she liked the fresh feel of their unmarred hands, firm, trained, elitist hands on the top of her head, tangled in her hair, moving her head up and down, guiding, instructing, and she was older, enjoyed their boyish ways, the power she had over them, knowing, precisely at that moment, she could pull away, and they needed her  no matter what, in that poise, just then, just before, with the smell of stale garbage wafting and the sounds of a jacket scraping against the metal dumpster. Ariel felt, somehow, a part of them, their lives. 



Alice Beckett asked me if I ever saw Jesus Christ. I told her I did not. She said she saw him recently at the foot of her bed. I want to believe it is Jesus, she said. But then I wonder. I asked her what he looked like and she said he had magnificent height and very light features, delicate like snow,  chiseled features, and aquamarine eyes like the Caspian Sea, she said.That sounds too perfect, I told her. Jesus was dark skinned with dark features and he was short. She looked away from me then and was quiet. I said I was not sure about these things. She then went on about the size of the Caspian Sea and how they determined that the hummocks are to blame for the scratch marks on the floor. I wonder if he’s sending me a message. That was last week. Now she sleeps, probably sedated. She is too young to be disregarded. But I keep silent. I know they are tricky and could use it against me like ammunition.

Stuck in a quagmire with novel

Now, I’m researching plausibility theory. A part of me feels like I need to move forward,  but I am stalled, tweaking, endlessly, to the introduction, back to the middle, then to the end, then back and forth, and now the introduction, tweaking the opening lines more, because I decided to go for a slightly different tone that has become more the flavor. Simone De Beauvoir. She intrudes because she has integrated into the character’s mind, into the essence of the novel. I wasn’t going for this extreme of feminism, but sometimes the work draws a breath, takes a hold and informs the author in ways that are mysteriously profound.  The problem is I’ve got too many obstacles, impediments I’m trying to circumvent. But maybe I shouldn’t be. De Beauvoir is in my head, at each step. And in these moments I feel like I want to think logically rather than ambiguously or mysteriously. I want a plan, but I don’t exactly have one. De Beauvoir suggests men plan accordingly, set goals and reach them in purposeful ways. Men transcend, so that even if they should at one point get stuck in the quagmire, they are more likely to free themselves and continue on. As for the female, “Her desire, as we have seen, is much more ambiguous:  she wishes, in a contradictory fashion, to have this transcendence, which is to suppose that she at once respects it and denies it, that she intends at once to throw herself into it and keep it within herself.”  If I could attain transcending, maybe I have and don’t know it,  I could ignore the minor details, unmoor my mind of the messy, the plausibility theory. Maybe not.  I am not a pure feminist myself insomuch as I am a female and aware of my gender and the idiosyncrasies and frailties associated with it.

‘Nightmare’ and ‘The Fall’ by Eleanor Hooker




A cobalt night in blue relief
and the hunt begins.
The green grass black
and the talking baby frightens me.
Bug eyed horrors hover in
our shadows, lingering, carnivorous.
Wailing now to let him stay,
He stumbles after, the talking baby.
Drop under the yickety yackety
picket fence. A treacherous fork
in the road. I know well the dangers.
Where I go the baby follows. I urge him
back to the black green grass, behind the
 yickety yackety picket fence.
“You’ll be safer there” I promise.
He crawls back under with pleas
to follow. We neither saw the pit
that he fell in, in velvet silence. A
small hand held the edge but
slipped away beneath my grip.
A cobalt night in blue relief and
And the hunt begins.

Nightmare is © Eleanor Hooker

First published in The Stinging Fly and subsequently The Shadow Owner’s Companion


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