Tracking Happiness: Chapter 22
This is CHAPTER 22 in our series offering gossip, novel backstory, and personal confessions about TRACKING HAPPINESS: A SOUTHERN CHICKEN ADVENTURE. We’re working our way through a novel here. If you’re just now discovering us, you can jump in now or go back to the first entry and catch up. If you jump in now, I can’t promise you it won’t be confusing, but it might be interesting too.
Ok. Last we left off: Lucinda and her entire family (plus Big Doodle) were hurtling on the train toward the Gminksy’s house in St. Paul where Lucinda will rejoin Erick in time for his big audition on national TV, hopefully.
There are several references in this chapter only because I wanted to put them in there. Here they are: El Camino. Tomato aspic. The crowd shouting “Wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald.” Sayings like “snatch a knot in her tail” or “Wouldn’t spit on her if her hair was on fire.” This is one of the greatest benefits of being a novelist. You can pepper your writing with things you love for no reason other than you love them. Who’s going to complain?
The other thing a novelist can do is let characters work out issues the author might have. Hence, Lucinda is wrestling with the death of her dad. We can also give our characters things we don’t have. So you’ll see lots of my characters being more “flatmouthed” than I am. “Flatmouthed” is my mother’s word for speaking plainly. Blap, just out with it. I, on the other hand, am a weasley Southern woman who values being polite. I love flatmouthed women, and I tend to write about them.
Let’s see. What else. If I had time I’d tell you about our St. Paddy’s Day float “Barbie vs Mr. Potato Head: A Po-ternity Suit.” Barbie sued Mr. Potato Head, but Mr. Potato Head claimed the tots weren’t his. His defense: he was anatomically insufficient. The float won a trophy. You won’t know why that’s relevant until you hear this chapter. Though the title of the chapter “Mr. Potato Heart” does give you a clue.
Okay. I think that’s enough preliminary information. Now go read Chapter 22 of TRACKING HAPPINESS: A SOUTHERN CHICKEN ADVENTURE.
Fun Chicken Fact: Chicken’s don’t run straight. They zig-zag. I don’t know if this is a learned survival technique or their equilibrium is off. Research seems to indicate the latter. Chickens are agile. Please, don’t go chase a chicken to see it zig-zag. Remember: everybody here is nice to their chickens.
NOTE: Because it’s the dead of summer and it’s simply too hot, we’re not doing Footnotes today—they’d melt in this heat.