Department of Shitty First Drafts

I signed up for NaNoWriMo this year, with the intention of continuing to work on a story/novel/thingie that I started several months ago. I opened an old Word doc and found the early pre-dawn ramblings on a story that I eventually abandonded to work on what I’m writing now. I thought this was pretty funny in it’s own meta way. Here’s an excerpt:


At breakfast the next morning, Trina threw up all over this horrible story. Why am I stuck in this? Because it’s a shitty first draft you stupid bitch, you don’t get to criticize. You just do what I say.

Don’t I get a vote?

It’s not a democracy, last time I checked. This is my world, and you’ll stand where I put you and say what I tell you to say. Then I’ll change my mind and have you say something else. I might even change your name or what you look like.

But I like the way I look!
Well so do I for now, so I wouldn’t worry about it. But you don’t like the story?

No, I mean, where are you going with this?

I don’t know, I haven’t gotten there yet. I just have to barf here for an hour and see what happens.

Oh. It feels like it needs action, some kind of drama. I want to run around, run from someone. Or meet someone exciting. Someone who makes Chris feel insecure.

He’s pretty insecure already, I think.

Yeah, he’s boring. Maybe that’s why I’m gambling all the time. Just for some excitement.

Why are you engaged to him then?

I don’t know, that was your idea. Remember? I don’t get to choose anything here.

And I have too many choices.

Trina took out a pack of cigarettes and lit one.

Since when do you smoke?

She looked at the cigarette with curiosity, surprised to find it there. Since now, I guess. Chris will hate this. Where is he, anyway?

I don’t know, suddenly I find you much more interesting and I don’t know where to go with this.

Maybe I’m dying and I haven’t told him yet. That’s why I want to gamble, because I don’t care about the future and being practical.

That’s an interesting possibility. Maybe you cashed out your entire life’s savings and took a trip to Vegas to blow the whole thing, one last blast before you go.

Wasn’t there a movie like that, with Queen Latifah?

Oh really? Yeah, I think you’re right. Well maybe we can make it different.

We? Oh, do I get a vote now?

Maybe. Ultimately, you’re just a creation of mine anyway, so you have no independent consciousness. Your vote is only another vote of mine.

Whatever, you’re making my head hurt. But I guess that’s just your head, right? She stubbed out her cigarette. Do you mind if I get more bacon?

No, go ahead. I’ll wait.

Okay, I’m back.

What if the entire story takes place in the airport? Or in the hotel room? In a really compressed period of time? Internal monologues of both characters?


Yeah, you’re right. We’re not really getting anywhere are we? If you were a Tom Robbins character you’d be having a lot more fun.

I should be a goddess. A lost goddess.

The goddess of Las Vegas? The goddess of luck? Lady Luck? Bestowing your gifts on some, ruining others? Feeling capricious and hedonistic?

I like that. Lying on a velvet couch, eating grapes, going shopping all the time. Blessing and cursing those around me as I see fit.

Sounds fun. But again, what’s the purpose, the point? The result? Do you appear to those who summon you? At your whim? Do petitioners come to you, seeking an audience with you? Those who know to only go so far are blessed. Others who are too greedy are cursed and must pay the price? Must be ruined? Are there magic tricks involved, with gold coins? Fortunata. Is that your name?

I like it. It has possibilities.

Are you on this plane, or do you live in a parallel/alternate universe? Do you travel back and forth? Is it easy? Are you like the Godfather, bestowing favors, but exacting a cost later on? How do seekers find you? Do they have to come to Vegas, or should we even discard that idea? Are you a type of guardian angel/trickster combo who can grant wishes but also wreak havoc on people’s lives? You’re being awfully quiet.

I’m thinking. It’s a lot to process. I went from being a boring, borderline compulsive gambler to a crazy goddess in about five minutes. And I’m still finishing my bacon.

Crazy goddess? That’s interesting. Perhaps you’ve lost your mind and all sense of proportion and order in what you do. If everyone in the world got everything they wished for, what would happen?


Exactly. Why would a goddess go mad? The constant badgering of requests? It never ends. Just grant them all, I’m going to take a nap.

Oh, you know what? That’s Bruce Almighty.

Dammit, I have no ideas.

Department of Shitty First Drafts