One of the problems with being a fiction writer (am I a fiction writer??) is that you have to write fiction. The particular problem can be unpacked into its various components: you need opposable thumbs to do the job well, need writing implements (charcoal, cave wall, etc), need a muse (Hemingway used alcohol and various women, I use Japanese rice crackers), need story ideas…
Coming up with story ideas is the hardest part, in my estimation. For one thing, all the stories have already been told. And, boy oh boy, have they. However, I’m starting to finally clue in that our news headlines are a fertile ground for finding young story seedlings. Case in point: the short life and swift death of Giggles the Fawn. Giggles, a a fawn of apparently grave criminality, was recently executed by agents of the Wisconsin government. I can only assume that Giggles was a depraved member of the underworld due to the fact, I kid you not, that the government of Wisconsin sent twelve heavily armed law enforcement agents to the animal rescue shelter to apprehend and slay Giggles. Twelve heavily armed agents of the law (which law?) versus one highly dangerous fawn.
This is the crazed stuff that stories are born from.
One can only imagine the sort of tactical unit sent to confront Letty, my criminal cat. I suppose the government would send in an entire Marine Expeditionary Force to tackle her. The confrontation, I am sure, would make Mogadishu look like a picnic in the park with a little Muslim Lord Fauntleroy. Letty is a known and avowed murderer, slashing gopher throats and sparrow heads with psychotic abandon. She is also a thief and will steal any food that is not safely locked behind refrigerator doors. What’s more, Letty is adept at breaking and entering, having developed a cunning skill in inserting her paw into the bottom of our screen door, exerting pressure and then wrenching the door open so that she can enter and snooze for hours on the couch or on unattended beds.
A more depraved cat I have never met. At least, not in the last couple of days.
In need of story ideas? Turn to the wild and absurd world of the news. And now let us observe a moment of reverent silence for the brave men and women who work in Wisconsin law enforcement. Their’s is a dangerous and noble job they do, battling malevolent fawns and whatever other cute wildlife they blow away with their high caliber weapons.