Thursday, March 29

Carney Girl


Years ago, I came up with a story about a girl, Esme, who wants to be ‘normal’ and runs away from her father’s carnival. I really liked the idea of a girl running away from a carnival and not to the carnival. I wrote a couple of chapters. I knew how it began but didn’t know the catalyst or what she was going to find once she left.

I explored options—had her father kidnapped Esme from her mother, saying her mother was dead, when in fact, she was very much alive?

Option b—were her grandparents looking for her because her father had absconded with her after her mother’s death. Does she reunite with them and go to a ‘normal’ high school and discover that ‘normal’ isn’t all it’s cracked up to be?

Option c—her father was a kidnapper and not related. Is she the kid on the milk carton? And what happens when she’s reunited with her family? Does she miss her father?

Option d—Okay, I ran out of options. And I didn’t like all the kidnapping angles. So, I shelved it.

Next week is Spring Break in Vancouver, WA. And today the carnival is setting up as it does for each extended school break. The set up is right outside the Barnes and Noble window that I gaze out as I write.

I never go to it—my kids well beyond the age of needing or wanting to go on rides. But I like the bright lights and the hypnotic spell the Ferris Wheel weaves as it rises into the sky and dips back down to earth.

And I think of Esme. For one week every five months or so—I remember this story and wonder if I’ll ever think of a way to write her story. Or if it’s forever locked away from me.

Do you have a story that haunts you?

10 comments:

  1. My first published story was "I fell in Love with a Carney" for one of the Trues. LOL

    I do have several 'started' stories that I've been asked about - both by characters and beta readers.

    I hope Esme finds her path!
    Lynn

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  2. Too funny, Lynn. There's something about the Carney life that is kind of intriguing, I think. Maybe it's just the gypsy romance of it all--or the care-free vagabond life we imagine they should have.

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  3. Hey, Margie. I couldn't help but think of the book 'Water for Elephants' when I saw your post. It's a wonderful story with beautiful writing and descriptions of carnival life. If you can get your hands a copy (or even see the movie with Robert Pattinson and Reese Witherspoon) you might just find the inspiration to finish your story. Failing that, I've just finished an on-line course with Susan Meier called 'Can this manuscript be saved?'. I can honestly say it's one of the best courses I've done (and I've done a few) for getting to the heart of the problem. Anyway, good luck and happy writing :) Amanda - Justwriteit group.

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    1. Amanda,
      I have a copy of that but have never sat to read it. I'll have to make the effort. And I'll have to look Susan Meier up and see if she's going to be teaching that class again. Sounds like a winner.

      thanks for stopping by and sharing.

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  4. Kathleen Gilles Seidel, my favorite author, wrote a circus book that never sold--I'd still like to read it! Our county seat, Peru, IN, is the "Amateur Circus Capital of the World!, which gives me even more wondering that way. I'd like to read Esme's story.

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    1. Well, Liz, maybe when I finish Bix--again---I'll pull Esme out and see what I can do with her. I had no idea there was an Amateur Circus capital of the world. LOL. And you're so close!

      For intramural activities my daughter took juggling and got pretty good at it. I always said if nothing else, she could stand on a street corner and get tips ;)

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  5. I would love to read this. My story that won't go away is Mississippi Blues. I'm actually considering self-pubbing it cause I love it so much...!

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    1. The difference being--you've actually finished Mississippi Blues. Maybe someday I'll be able to say thing about my Carney Girl.

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  6. My story doesn't haunt me anymore because it's been pubbed. Dreamers was the story I wanted to tell. I look forward to being haunted again.

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  7. I love carnivals. My parents never let me ride the rides when I was a kid - even the tamest ones! - because (they said) the carnie rides were too dangerous. Rides have fascinated me ever since...and I'm a roller-coaster-aholic now. But on to the story that haunts me - it's the one set in North Carolina, the one that is finished but so bad I cringe. I need to set things right for those characters. And that means starting over...so, on with the show!

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