Wednesday, December 11, 2013

                                       Le Dernier Grand Roman Américain

I’m writing my first and last great American novel. So far, I have penned about fifty pages. About three paragraphs are brilliant, and the rest is crap. The plot is great, the characters are fascinating, my prurient prose is captivating, and my dialogue is arresting. Somehow, however, it reads like a very bad soap. Maybe I should have majored in creative writing instead of choral ed. There were no cute guys in the practice rooms, so I switched to French. That was definitely une bonne idée! Little did I know that years later, I’d be sitting at the Moulin Rouge watching French tatas with M. Moulin.  

My writing instructor told me there was a disconnect between my conjunctions, and she can’t get past my writing “said Ellen” instead of “Ellen said.” (In French, it’s “dit Hélène”)How many other senior divas like moi wake up in the middle of the night screaming, "EllensaidEllensaidEllensaid?” 

I spend hours perseverating at the keyboard, all alone, wracking my pea brain for just the right adjective, the perfect retort or the most scintillating detail. What comes out is a step above “Look Spot, see Puff.” 

Mr. Wonderful keeps asking, “Why are you doing this? What drives you? You have so many other talents.” Yeah, right--talents like French-cornering the sheets and lining up other authors’ books on our bookshelves. 

Discouraged? Nope. Not me. Never. Nada. Jamais. I will persevere. I will read every writer’s handbook from Steven King to Nathalie whatsername. I will not give up. I will finish this novel, pay some fool to publish it, and navigate my own book tour. No matter if it’s through the one-block villages of northwestern France where people will be so impressed by my fluent French that they’ll overlook my pathetic prose and spend a couple of euros on my book to get me out of town. 

I know what I’ll do. I will translate my Blog into French slang, and before I can “bouffe” my baguette, the headlines will read:

          LAUGHTERWARDS (2013) Livre à Succès - Fifi, la Folle
               (Disponible - 7 euros)

*livre à succès = bestseller
Title:  The Last Great American Novel