Wednesday, May 30, 2007

A day in Bordeaux, à la James Patterson

This is a bit of a lengthy (sigh, as always) rant, but I had fun with it so I'm putting it up.

I've been inspired once again! Not by large pieces of steel this time (you had to be there, alright?), but by a book that I was reading. "The Big Bad Wolf" by James Patterson is the book, a former New York Times bestseller.

You might think this is a strange book to be inspired by, but hear me out. You see, until I started reading this book (I found it abandonned on a train, by the way), I had never entertained the notion of being a fiction writer, much less a bestselling one. I'd always assumed that to do that took some writing ability or a knack for creating interesting characters and plot lines, neither of which I'm capable.

Now I know better! The Big Bad Wolf has neither of those. I'm not going to quote from the book to prove my point, because who knows what the hounds of copyright infringement can sniff out. Instead, I will present for your consideration an account of yesterday morning in the style of the book.

I woke up from a noise below me. The girl in the bunk below. Her alarm. I checked the time: 20 minutes before seven. Too early for breakfast yet, so I dozed a bit longer.

I went down to breakfast at 7:30am - half a baguette, cornflakes.

I walked to the train station to get a timetable. I walked to the centre of town. From there I walked to the tourist office.

It started to rain. Wet drops of water falling from the sky. The drops were damp, and also wet and moist. My hair became slightly wet, probably on account of the rain. I was wearing a green corduroy jacket.

I needed to contact a girl I know who lives in the area. I had her phone number, just needed a phone. Found a public phone - it only accepted calling cards. No coins. Another phone, same deal. And another.

It didn't seem possible. It wasn't possible. And yet, that's how it was. No money accepted. Welcome to France.

What was I to do? How could I contact her? Why was France against coins? And where in the world was Carmen Sandiego?

An internet cafe, email and reply. The girl was busy, unfortunately. Too bad, I would have liked to see her. Another time, another place.

I spent several hours walking around the city. Old buildings, new shops. Clothes, bakeries, chocolate. A girl like me could easily spend a lot of money in this city. I only need the money to spend...

Hopefully that gives you the drift of it.

Just for the record, I'm not literary snob. I'm usually easily entertained, even by weak characterization and storylines. I can let myself get carried away by a story. I've enjoyed many a bestseller. The last novel that I read was by Catherine Cookson, I will admit, and I enjoyed it well enough. For those in Canada, Catherine Cookson writes dramatic novels set amongst the lower classes in early 19th century Northumbria (northern England). The novel I read, The Dwelling, was summarized as follows: "Cissie Brodie - a girl of determination, a woman of passion".

Apparently, I have found my lower limit for writing in Mr. Patterson's works.

Oh, Mr. Patterson, if you somehow ever read this, I'm sorry for being mean (my mom always warned me to say nothing if I didn't have anything nice to say), but sir, someone paid 11 bucks (8 US) for your book. A lot of people did. I'm just glad that I wasn't one of them.

Now, as for my own "writing", I'll just sit back and wait for the publishers' offers to roll in.

No comments: