Friday, March 19, 2010

Sara Doesn't Like My Story

With me thinking more about Sara’s next book, I stopped by Ellen’s café. She wasn’t there. I found her by the river, watching a barge make its way downstream. She was sitting on the ground. I sat beside her. We sat like that for several minutes, neither of us saying a word, while the barge went past.

Sara broke the silence. “I read your blog the other day—that post about what you’re going to do with the next book.”

“I haven’t decided anything for sure,” I said.

“I don’t like it.”

“I didn’t expect you would,” I said. “If I had a better story, I would use it instead.”

“It doesn’t fit with the other stories, you know.” She stared off at the distance bank on the Illinois side of the river.

“How do you mean?”

“You know,” she said. “All of the others were about someone trying to do something. My story was about me trying to get a mother. Then Neal was trying to become a Bible character. Then Mr. Mywell wanted to get Heather back. And all Martin wanted was for his family to be saved. Now you come up with this story where I’m supposed to be finding out whose been sabotaging a movie production. That’s more like a mystery.”

“You have a point there,” I said, “but what else am I going to do? What else would your brother getting hurt do if it doesn’t convince you to find out who was responsible?”

“Does he have to get hurt? Couldn’t I try to do something else?”

“Like what?”

“I don’t know, but wouldn’t it fit better with the other books if I were trying to accomplish something? Maybe I could look for a boyfriend. That would be sort of like the first book.”

“Yeah, sure, but that would also make it more like a romance and that wouldn’t fit very well either. Besides, it just isn’t very interesting for someone to be searching for a boyfriend through an online dating service. That kind of thing happens every day.”

“What if I tried to find Kelly’s Dad?”

“Oh, I know where he is.”

“You do, but no one else does.”

“David does. All you would have to do is ask him. That wouldn’t be very interesting.”

“What makes you think he would tell me?”

“Knowing you, I’m not sure he could keep from it.”

“I try,” she said. “What about that story you’ve got hidden away? Couldn’t you use it?”

“It doesn’t really fit either. Besides, it takes place in Fort Worth.”

“I don’t mean use it word for word.” She reached down, picked up a small stone lying on the concrete and turned it over in her hand. I thought she was about to try skipping it across the water, but she just held it and looked at it. “Couldn’t you sort of change it up and have it take place around here? And can you get rid of Fox? I just didn’t get him.”

“Let me think about this,” I said. “You might have something there. Let’s say you’re working in the café.”

“Where else would I be?”

I ignored her question and went on. “A woman and young girl come in. You can tell that they don’t have much money and can’t afford to be eating there of all places, but the woman tells you that Bro. Hiller told them that you would give them something to eat. Maybe I’ll have Bro. Hiller or Neal show up with them. Anyway, they aren’t very forthcoming about why they showed up in the area, but you talk to them enough that you discover that the girl’s father is involved in the movie that is being filmed on Main Street.”

“I bet it’s David.”

“Exactly,” I said. “We’ve got to get David involved in this, but unlike Grayson, David wasn’t married to the girl’s mother.”

“So, he had an affair. He denies the whole thing and I try to help the woman convince him that he should do what's right,” Sara said. “I bet David’s mother isn’t going to like me very much.”

“Probably not, but in the meantime, David is going to be busy doing something similar. Kelly is going to be spending a lot of time on the movie set as Ada’s assistant and David is going to get to know her a little better. David knows Kelly’s father and is trying to get him to patch things up.”

“That’s a little two faced, don’t you think?”

“Not everyone can be as perfect as you, Sara.”

“What’s that supposed to mean?”

“Forget it,” I said. “Anyway, Kelly’s mother is not going to be a happy camper, even though it's Ada and not Kelly who has a role in the movie. She’s going to have her part in messing with what David is trying to accomplish and this thing about David having a child is going to cause trouble between him and the girl he is interested in.”

“Who? Is it me?”

“Where would be the fun if I told you that?”

“There’s got to be someone for me; you promised.”

“What about Kyle?”

Sara frowned.

“I’ll think about it,” I said. “But moving on, I want to bring Neal back and there’s that girl he talked about being interested in in the last novel.”

“So am I going to meet her?” Sara asked.

“I don’t see why not, but I think Neal’s main focus is going to be on getting Rosalyn to accept Christ. I could have someone else do it, but that seems to be his thing. I might have him help you a little too. If he’s the one that brings the woman and the girl down to the café, that would make sense.”

“But I do get to be the protagonist this time and not him, right?”

“I already said that.”

“I just wanted to make sure.”

“Okay, so that ought to do for now. The story seems to fit in the series a little better than the one I thought of before.”

“And my brother doesn’t die in this version, right?”

“Right now, I don’t see any reason he should.”