I'm thinking a good bit about conflict today. This is one of those rare days when I find myself able to work uninterrupted until late in the afternoon. I've been determined to make great progress on all of the many things I must finish. I am a protagonist with a want...I want to get some work done. But, as in all great fiction, there is something getting in my way. Namely, the guys on the other side of the canal who are apparently cutting down a palm tree.
Now, it must be a very large palm tree, gigantic even, given the amount of time the chain saw has been running. I'll pause here to point out that the buzz of a chain saw apparently carries well across water because it sounds as if the saw is slicing through my kitchen pantry. All morning and well into the afternoon, two gentlemen have vacillated between running their saw and yelling at one another. I have closed every window, a terrible shame on such a lovely day, and turned on the drier. All of it, to no avail.
But no great fiction is great with only one conflict. Toss in a white heron who insists on landing on a piling just off the seawall. It perches there, lovely to look at for you or me, but an affront to my Jack Russell. Every time the bird lands on the piling, BEN (Jack Russell) races down the stairs and begins to bark. He can't hear me yell at him to stop because the chain saw is running. My only course of action--throw a piece of ice at the bird. I will pause again to tell you I have poor aim and not much of a throwing arm anymore. But this has happened so many times today, I believe the bird can hear me (even over the chain saw) push the ice dispenser. Before the ice leaves my hand, the bird takes flight. Then, I entice BEN with a cookie (dog treat) which he hears despite the chain saw, and he comes inside.
This episode has repeated itself about a half dozen times today, and at 2:26 in the afternoon, I have yet to cross anything off my to-do list. But I still have a few hours and I am a protagonist intent on success. Now BEN must bark at the heron from inside and I believe I have become numb to the buzzing saw. Not a very active protagonist, but perhaps it will be enough.
On a brighter note - some very nice reviews for BENT ROAD have come in.
KANSAS CITY STAR -
"A cruel calculus drives Lori Roy’s impressive debut novel, “Bent Road.”...Like Michael Chabon’s work, which sometimes crosses genres, Roy’s novel could be called literary fiction or mystery. Whatever the label, “Bent Road” is written with the care and craft of stand-out storytelling."
Read entire review here
SEATTLE POST INTELLIGENCER
"Bent Road, Lori Roy's debut novel is a winner. A suspenseful example of American Gothic, its shocking twists and turns will keep you turning page after page to conclusions both surprising and inevitable."
Read entire review here