Wednesday, April 13, 2005

Pretty good writing day today. Nothing to ::ahem:: write home about, but I put butt in chair and fingers to keyboard, and that's a good day. Turned out usable stuff, too, so yay.

In the exploring roots portion of our session, I decided to reread Joyce Carol Oates's story, "Where Are You Going, Where Have You Been?" (adapted into the film Smooth Talk with Laura Dern and Treat Williams...though with a vastly different ending.) I don't remember when I first read the story (I know I read the story before I saw the movie, since I recall happening on the movie while channel-surfing, and thinking, hey, this is like that story") but certain things about it stuck with me. Notably, the dynamic between the main characters, Connie, and Arnold Friend. The air that tingled with seduction and creepiness. Connie behind the screen door, and Arnold Friend with his mysterious companion, Ellie (male) and his painted car (cryptic words and numbers all over it.)

Knock me over with a feather, but I had either totally missed or totally forgotten that it was about a







serial killer. More than that, shown from the victim's point of view. I had retained that creepy-seductive feeling and that Arnold Friend was a symbol for loss of innocence and possibly death. I did know that if Connie got in that car with him, she would never be the same...s is stated in the story. But the serial killer thing? Totally spaced on or missed it, though it totally fits.

Read a few articles on the real killer Ms Oates based the story on, and creeeeeepy doesn't begin to explain the guy; man in his 30s who impersonated a teenager to coerce his victims. Why couldn't I have been reading this when I was in the forensic psychology class? May have to pick the instructor's mind on this anyway.

Also kind of scary is that I recognized a microscopic element of TWR in that story. No, my hero is not a serial killer, and has only good in mind for the heroine, but the family that doesn't "get" her, the part about being on the cusp between one existence and another, yeah, there may be an influence there. Did I mention my hero is NOT a psychopathic serial killer? He's a good guy, really he is.

Why did this come to mind all of a sudden? Maybe the discussion I had with a friend about V.C. Andrews last week? The fact that my heroine in TWR is going to leave with a stranger for parts unknown? Dunno. But that's where my brain went, so I thought I'd drag you all along.

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