What are we talking about today?

Some days have themes. I don't necessarily post something in each of these topic areas every week.

Sunday: Church-related or spiritual things.
Monday: Running.
Tuesday: Books.
Wednesday: Transportation.
Friday: Green living.

17 October 2011

Ways to Feel Like Dirt, #84

On Thursday evening, I rented a car2go to go home, missed my exit off the freeway, and took much longer than necessary getting home.

On Friday afternoon, our writing prompt in class was "Describe the life history of a thing." I decided to write about a car2go and came up with a cutesy, somewhat funny tale of a little car in Austin, who misunderstands swear words (e.g., 'duck', 'shell', 'cod', 'slick'... you get the picture) and therefore thinks that Austinites have a thing for aquatic life.

On Saturday, I did a massive amount of editing and more or less rewrote the whole thing. I threw in a few IndyCar references because I'm from Indianapolis and that's what I think of when I think of fast driving. And then I gave it a sad ending (think Hamlet) with a dash of dark humour.

I'm sure dozens of cartoonists will
draw a checkered flag welcoming
Mr. Wheldon at the Pearly Gates.
So I thought I'd avoid the rush.
You'll dominate Heaven's go-cart
circuit, Dan. Source.
On Sunday I logged on to Twitter when I got home from church to read that there had been an accident at the IndyCar race in Las Vegas. I watched the video of the worst crash I've seen in 33 years of watching auto racing. And I sat on my couch in tears as drivers filed out of their meeting, all of them in tears, and the head of IndyCar announced that Dan Wheldon had just crossed his finish line.

And then I still had to do edits on my story. It's too late to rewrite; it's due today. I'm sticking with the storyline, dark humour, IndyCar references, and all, but I feel like an insensitive jerk. It happens from time to time, that writers write things that are within the realm of possibility, and then those things happen. (How much did it suck to be the writer on The West Wing who wrote the episode with Leo's (John Spencer) heart attack, when 18 months later John Spencer died of a heart attack?) It still feels wrong, though, and I'm torn between hoping that I someday can write without having this feeling, and hoping that I retain enough sensitivity to always have this feeling. Either way, I need to be able to work through it.

And that's why I'm still doing edits on the same story.

Anyone ever have a similar experience? Want to share thoughts race yesterday? Just looking for a good place to be sad?


Carole Anne Carr said...

Used to think like that, but no longer, listen to N.L.P.tapes each night and it has made a great difference to my life in so many ways. Wonderful, I'm sorted! :0)

Su said...

I've never heard of N.L.P. tapes, but if they are working for you, on you go! :)

Danette said...

It's tragic that circumstances happened that way-- I thought right away of the people who made movies with the Twin Towers in them who pulled their movies right around 9-11. I don't know that pulling them was necessary even now. You can't know that something is going to happen and you can't write as though nothing like that ever happens.
BTW: I didn't see the wreck... and so sorry for your heartbreak. But it's not helpful to hold onto guilt. Your story isn't related in any way.

Su said...

Right... hadn't thought about that. That's a good example. I'm more or less over it now-- just had a few minutes of "I can't write this" panic settle over me. And it made my class giggle that I was so... I don't even know what the word is. But you are so right. Thanks for the encouragement!

Anonymous said...

there is no way to foretell disaster...

Carolyn Counterman said...

Su, it was truly horrid to see that crash. We watched replays before the announcement that Dan was gone. Then to think we had been watching somebody die... I don't know... thinking of his wife and little ones... Being a tiny bit of a rush junky myself (I like jumping out of perfectly good airplanes), I understand what drives people to take such huge risks, but any time we lose someone like that, I begin to think none of those risks are worth it. Maybe they are - maybe they are not. I have no idea what God thinks about us taking these risks. I doubt He will tell me this side of the grave. We turned on the evening news and heard about murders right here in Austin, including a woman they had not been able to identify at first. It made for quite a sad evening. I wasn't sure if I wanted to demand that God explain it all to me right this minute or if I just wanted to hug my loved ones closer. Sad, sad. Glad you stuck with the story.

Su said...

@Delores: Which is just as well, on so many levels. Think how many disasters we would cause trying to avert disaster.

@Carolyn: Hugging the loved ones is always a good idea! I grew up with IndyCar, and I'm not likely to stop watching. Of course, there's also the fair point that one death in five years points more to the safety precautions working rather than not, since racing really has a potential for all kinds of disasters.

Tracy Krauss said...

Its almost uncanny that you went with the Indy references even before the accident. Certainly adds something relative, though ...

Su said...

Yeah, it's wild. It's only because I'm from Indianapolis, but still...

erica and christy said...

That crash was horrific and tragic, but of course your story had nothing to do with it.

I'm SOOO playing catch up lately. We'll be back soon, we hope!

Su said...

Sigh... me, too. I'm totally waiting for Christmas break to go blog visiting. :(