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Fishing for Eloise

by David C. Kopaska-Merkel

Spent all day working on a story. The high point was a fierce 20-minute tussle that netted me this:

"...came up from the south, boiling the dawn away and filling the sea with stars. Stephen ran up the street, fighting the urge to look over his shoulder. The weather minders had slipped up again, or this was a sending from..."

Fiction, a good start, but aside from that I got prepositions and pronouns, and "brinklayermanship." WTF? Pardon my telegraphese. Maybe I am using the wrong bait.

No closer to springing Eloise, but I'll eat well tonight. A balanced haul containing most of the word groups.

I've started dreaming about fishing. Last night I dreamed I was here, right here, but I lived in a white gazebo. A climbing rose covered one side, a Lady Banks, I think. Thornless, anyway. The gazebo stood by the pond, and I had the following hanging from a stout chain:

"The title's a bit misleading, but the fragment is not without interest. On it, hand-written in 21st century English, is the following."

I was casting my hook again and again, trying to catch the next part of the story, though Eloise was there, tugging on my arm, and begging me to come away with her.

Then I woke up. Today I caught nothing above one syllable. I could not wait to get to sleep, so of course I laid awake counting the croaks of the frogs, the calls of the whippoorwills, the gleams shining through the clouds, for what seemed like many hours.

When I finally slept I was again in the gazebo. This time, I'd caught a bunch of single words, in different fonts, even, but they pieced together into a narrative:

"Angela hated southern summers. She also hated living [missing] onion. Wished she could afford [missing] nice, even a radish. A few [missing] later, as she put away the last of the folded towels, she heard a loud [missing]."

OK, that looked better in my dream. These dream words don't count anyway. Maybe I should use a net.

I'm going to miss my deadline. I have nothing like a fresh-caught story. No telling what the literaturists are doing to Eloise, or what she will do to me, when I finally get her out.

I'm going to try night fishing, even though I won't be able to read my catch till morning.

The End


Night fishing is a wonderful thing. If I write before I'm truly awake, the dream worlds slip over the edge onto the page like the fogs rolling off the hills in the morning. Listen to Eloise. Maybe she doesn't want to escape. Maybe she wants you to follow. :-)

Posted by: jo | August 28, 2009 12:51 PM

I fully empathize with this tale. I seem to do my most clever writing in bed while falling asleep. Then I try to reconstruct the snippets when I get up for the midnite pee trip. Aaaaaargh.

Posted by: DavidEMartin | August 28, 2009 1:38 PM

Keep a minirecorder by the bed. Might help. Never helps me, but....

Posted by: David | August 28, 2009 9:50 PM

so informative, thanks to tell us.

Posted by: rorUnsado | September 30, 2010 2:28 AM

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