Today I started a story that I will have to finish tomorrow. I browsed my writing ideas notebook for an idea and saw a title I had written down a few years ago, “Email From Austin.” I wasn’t sure if Austin was a person or a city, and I’m still not sure. I only did 732 words, but I was very time crunched. Goal for Tuesday is to finish this story, looks like 1k will be a closer estimate (there is only so much I can do with this idea without it being overkill… although I could flesh it out some), and then do another story. I’m hoping combined the two are 4k, thus completely making up for today. After all, that will be the idea for next month.
Anyway, “Email From Austin” turns out to be a story that is a series of email messages (duh) from a dead-beat dad to his teenage daughter. He always promises he’s going to see her soon, and always has to write with excuses and apologies when it doesn’t happen. We never get to see her responses, and he doesn’t respond to her, so we don’t even know if she’s been writing him too or not. Finally, the last one I wrote today has him noting that he hasn’t gotten a response from the last couple he sent, and he hopes she didn’t change her email address without telling him. The end will not be happy – by definition a dead-beat dad doesn’t get a chance til it’s too late. I don’t think this guy can redeem himself tomorrow, he never even tells her he loves her.
It’s easier sometimes to write bad stuff happening. Happy stuff isn’t too interesting. Maybe I’ll post it via Google Docs when I’m done? Here’s a little teaser. It’s the first two emails. [bonus feature – author commentary: The daughter’s birthday is my own… but my dad isn’t like this at all.]
Date: December 25 2:33pm
Subject: Merry Christmas
I missed Christmas again, I know. It’s terrible of me. What’s this, the third year? Last year I promised I’d be there today and I let you down. Things should be more stable by spring time, and I will definitely be there for your birthday. Merry Christmas, baby, and I will see you in a few months.
Date: April 10 10:02am
Subject: Happy Birthday
I know I told you I’d be there but I can’t get away from work this week. If I can just land this one huge account I’ll be set for life, and I’ll have all the time in the world for you. You know I wouldn’t miss your birthday if there was any way to avoid it, but it’s a big meeting for me. Hope you forgive me.
Emails from Austin sounds like a very sad story but it could also be engrossing to travel that road with him.