I am thinking of home.
I'd like to go for it. The Broad Ripple themed story set. I don't know why, exactly. I feel both obliged and challenged, creatively. I also feel like it's just the sort of thing a lonely writer might do, whether the work is ever recognized or forgotten (or, in my case, never read). So, I'd like to give the Broad Ripple-inspired story "set" a try. I think it is disingenuous to refer to such a set as a collection, since I *might* be the only source of the stories. This approach is odd, and my previous posts on the subject are confessionals to that. However, if I openly admit upfront this set of stories is less than an ethnographic and anthropological approach and pretty much all a creative, historical fiction work of art, then...would that give me the literary license to create it?
Whatever becomes of the project -- and yes, it is now officially a project -- I will need to rework and re-rework my own stories; many of which I have posted here on FFI. Some drafts will fail. I'll need verification of actual dialect and regional facts - but that is par the course of any historical fiction. Thus, to give it a go, I have reworked one of my favorite stories (below) with added dialect and voice. Will it be my last rework of this story? Of course not! Never!
But, it did take several liters of ice coffee and several hours of beach strolling to finish. As always, opinions and sharp criticism welcomed.
We Irish? Well, we unearth them burdens of the woodlands before them burdens can bury us. Sand and mud we shovel into buckets; boulders we carry one by one or two by two, and trees and them roots that anchor to the very center of the Earth we chop and toss in piles while a channel we carve for this pitifully thin, stony river. Stumps from the grandest stock of trees I have ever seen we sweat the entire day to clear, tho them stumps are grand and we use them as tables and makeshift places of worship. From morn till the fall of night, we grub for half dollar per a day’s work. Now, most of them older men get more pay, we hear, and that is fine with me. The more is the money, the more is the trouble, Brian oft declares, and it’s an agreeable argument to me. Them richer diggers get their pay, you see, but this ditch; it drinks them their whiskey… It plays them their gaming and it loves them their women, to be sure. Brian and me have nothing to do with the ditch and we take to unearthing them boulders and bundle them limbs and haul them brush piles. We do our own work, is all, and that ditch over there; it warns us to keep to our own troubles. Unfortunate for them diggers, that sin loving canal drains them dry.
When I tell of the Wabash, Brian oft presents his ear. Truth is witness, me Brian fears the Fever, too, an when I tell of it, Brian takes to me words. So to Boston, I tell, we should return a visit, or return to the mill in ‘Delphia where we departed three months past. A return to Ireland, we might do just the same; back to Waterford...to Mrs. Hannity’s Grocer, or share the room with Katie and her husband Edwin like we had done. If there be a sign, then Brian might witness the morn where I might go it alone.