|I got this from an image Google search. If it is yours, I apologize.|
My excuse was I was channeling Ernest Hemingway.
We both adore him, and so I think you and I should be
BFFs, whoever you are.
I think the biggest thing about it may be the time switching--there's a bit of back and forth, and it could be an issue for some editors. I tried to address this, but at some point I think I just have to close my eyes, take a big breath, and leap.
It's based--loosely--on my maternal grandmother's relationship with her stepfather, Frank. My grandmother ("MomMom," if you must know) wanted to be a nurse. She had a mean stepfather who told her girls didn't need to get jobs; they needed to get married. I wish I could go back in time and punch Frank in the nose and kick him in the nuts. He also stole my grandmother's (and her sisters') inheritance. My great-grandmother ("Grammy," if you must know) first married a successful banker; MomMom grew up fairly wealthy. Their family had the only car in town, for example. My great-grandfather had some issues (I think most people did, back in turn of the century America. You know: before self-help books and navel-gazing was A Thing) and he died of cirrhosis of the liver. One of my bittersweet memories of my grandmother is this: stroke-ridden MomMom sitting at her kitchen table, slowly mumbling through a story about her beloved Daddy, how deeply she'd adored him, how difficult it had been to say good-bye. And how hard life had been with Frank--they'd lived on a coal miner's salary, while he'd given all her Daddy's wealth to his daughters from his first marriage. But mostly she talked about her Daddy, how much he'd made her laugh, and what a huge hole his death had left in her heart.
I remember MomMom as a stern, unloving sort of matriarch. My mother tells some incredible, sad stories about what it was like to be raised by someone struggling with anger and severe depression. But when I heard the Frank stories, I sort of clicked some puzzle pieces together and understood the Why of MomMom. I'd be enraged and depressed, too, if my stepfather had been an evil sonofabitch. (MomMom once had a pet chicken--I forget her name, but she loved her, as one would love a puppy or a kitten. One day, the family had chicken for dinner. Everyone ate, including MomMom, and at the end of dinner, Frank sent her out to look for the pet chicken, who was of course gone. He announced triumphantly the pet chicken had been the family dinner that night. MomMom never ate poultry again. Seriously--even on Thanksgiving. We'd all eat turkey, and MomMom would eat everything but that. Again: life sucks when your drunk and happy, rich daddy is replaced by your evil, unscrupulous sonofabitch stepdad.)
So I wrote the story based on Frank, and on MomMom. MomMom, like Alice in the story, cuts off her nose to spite her face by doing exactly what Frank wants. Like walking right into a spider's lair. Abuse is insidious. But unlike MomMom, Alice is a little vengeful and kind of macabre. And there's no real happy ending. (Sometimes there just isn't, World. Sometimes, there is no happy ending. I'm sorry. This is Life.)
So I posted a snippet of it in my snippets section, because I haven't updated that in months and I should. And please go there if you can, and if you'd like to leave feedback, you can. Or you can just wait for me to find someone willing to publish it and then you can read it there. Or maybe no one will want to publish it, and I'll just sigh and do it myself, just like the Little Red Hen.
I've had kind of a bad evening and 3 glasses of Apothic Dark Wine in me, and so I apologize if this is coming across all What the hell is wrong tonight, Amy?! It's the wine, friends. It's usually the w(h)ine. Plus, Ernest Hemingway said: Write drunk; edit sober. And so I'm going to try that tonight and see if it works. I'll let you know if it does or not. (Once I've recuperated.)
(P.S.~I have a 50% less weird blog post for tomorrow.)