Writing and podcasting a novel 8 Nov 2020


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Todays Topic

Welcome friend to Create Art Podcast where we create more than we consume. I am Timothy Kimo Brien your thankful head instigator with over 20 years in arts and education helping you tame your inner critic and provide you with commentary, interviews, discussions, and projects that will inspire you to create art. This month I will be podcasting daily and writing a novel in 30 days. I am participating in NaPodPoMo and NaNoWriMo. You will be able to listen to what I wrote for the day and read it at the same time. I like to practice what I preach when it comes to art so I am challenging myself to write and having you come along for the ride. I hope this inspires you to accomplish your goals with your art and if you would like to share what you are doing email me at timothy@createartpodcast.com

The Story So Far

8 Nov 2020   2664         daily count 14471 cumulative count

                Nate checked the map app on his phone for his trip home. He saw the yellow and red starting to form as people were hitting the roads and going back home from work. He finished his tea and looked over at Carl.

                “I think I am going to head out and go home, the traffic is picking up and I’m sure I have missed a few emails while out here. I’ll drop you off and head back home,” said Nate.

                “Yeah, I am sure I missed some important emails from work myself. Its great to see you as always. I’ll just drop off our dishes at the station,” replied Carl. He collected their cups and dishes and bussed the table as they both walked toward the front of the coffee shop.

                “I think I’ll take a nap once I get home, for some reason I’m feeling tired from all the excitement. Doctors appointments are the worst on your day off,” said Carl as he got into Nates car.

                “You should take tomorrow off and do absolutely nothing. Work hard all the time, even here you do work by busing tables and tutoring the waitstaff. Take the day off and go for a walk in a park or just sleep in till noon,” said Nate as he put the car in reverse to get out of the parking lot.

                It took a few more minutes to get back to Carl’s apartment and Nate stopped next to Carl’s car so he could move it to his reserved spot. Neither brother said anything as Carl got out of the car and into his, they just nodded to each other and Nate took off for home as Carl parked his car.

                Carl entered his apartment and began to wash out the cup that Nate had been drinking tea from. The day was turning to evening slowly and he turned on his kitchen light to see better. Soon it would be time to make one of his signature dinners, Oh My God Mac and Cheese. Before Nate and his family went vegan and while he was still married, he would make this for family gatherings. The kids loved it because it was so cheesy, the adults loved it because they didn’t have to cook or clean up the dishes, Carl loved it because everyone had a smile while eating it. These days he still cooked great meals, he usually made them too big for one person to eat. Even when he was married he usually cooked for four people and kept the left overs in the fridge to be eaten the next day. Because he would be the only one eating it, he could experiment more and put the ingredients he liked in the dish. Lately he had been experimenting with goat and feta cheese with his recipe. He made the cheese sauce first while boiling up the noodles. Because he was using goat and feta to melt with the alfredo and cheddar the sauce was a few shades lighter than yellow. The smell was buttery and slightly pungent. It gave a nice kick when eating it with the bland macaroni elbows. The pasta of choice tonight was a mixture of elbows and shells because he only had about a quarter box of elbows. After Carl got the pasta started and the sauce was melting nicely, he went over to his grocery list and wrote pasta – elbows. He hadn’t learned yet how to make his own. He saw on the calendar next to the fridge that the pasta making class he was going to take was in a few weeks and he knew he couldn’t wait that long for pasta as many of his home made dishes used pasta in their recipe.

                When the pasta was all cooked he drained it in the sink and put it back into the pot. He added chopped up sun dried tomatoes, fried onions and the cheese sauce into the pot and mixed all the ingredients together. He wanted to plop down in front of the television and put on a movie and just eat the whole pot right there, but he decided to set out one table setting as he had done since his divorce and eat the meal at the table. Turning on the television and putting it on a music channel that featured jazz, he began to eat one bowl of the mac and cheese. It was not a classy meal like he used to make, but it was all he had strength for that day. Once he finished the bowl, he put I tin the sink and divided up the remaining mac and cheese into four Tupperware containers. He planned to drop one off for Cheryl and keep the rest for himself for lunches for the rest of the week. The cheese sauce would marinate into the pasta and taste even better days later.

                With all the food put away and the dishes in the sink, he went to the couch and called his boss. He would take Nate and Cheryl’s pleasing for him to take a day off to heart.

                “Hey Fred, how are you doing,” said Carl into the phone as his boss answered?

                “Doing great, how was the doctors appointment today,” replied Fred on the other end of the call?

                “Not bad, but I think I am going to take tomorrow off and be back on Thursday if that is okay. Just had a lot of running around today and tests and feeling worn out. I don’t think we have any meetings scheduled do we,” asked Carl?

                “No problem at all. You have more than enough time on the books. Go for a walk or just sleep in, we can hold the fort down for you while you are out. Just checking my calendar here, no meetings until Friday and your project is going smoothly so yeah, take the day off,” said Fred.

                “Alright see you on Thursday then and thanks,” Carl clicked off the phone and just laid on the couch after the call. The channel playing the music displayed various bits of trivia about the musicians that it was playing. Carl had already read most of them but was always surprised by one or two of blurbs of biographies of a musician he hadn’t heard of. Carl looked around for his Paris Review copy and started to read the rest of the book. As he listened to the music, he could feel himself slowly giving over to sleep. It was getting darker quicker as it usually did in the fall. When his living room was bathed in the light of the television, he turned on the light above the kitchen table to continue to read. He really wanted to finish this book before he went bed and became very engrossed in the interview he was reading as it was the last section of the book. At the time he read the last words, the clock in the kitchen displayed 11 PM. This was longer than he intended to stay up but at least he had finished this book and he could begin another one at the coffee shop tomorrow. An audible sigh of relief came from his mouth as he put the book away next to the other issues in numerical order. He wanted something different to read and pulled out a book by Robert Anton Wilson. He was ready for something that would bend his mind and keep him entertained for a few days. Once he pulled that book down from the shelf and put it in his backpack he went to the bedroom and got ready for bed. He looked at the pills his primary doctor wanted him to take and just brushed his teeth mechanically. Once done he turned out all the lights and the television, turned off his alarm clock. He wasn’t sure why he kept the clock as he usually beat the alarm, but he felt somewhere in his brain that he needed an alarm clock to make sure he would be on time for whatever the next day held for him. As he was contemplating this he fell into a deep sleep.

                                Carl got up startled the next day. The alarm clocks numbers glowed red at him, 8:30. He slept in longer than even on the weekend. He didn’t feel refreshed, rather he felt he had to hurry somewhere. He reminded himself that he took the day off and that relieved him as he almost never had been late to work. Getting out of bed he went to the shower and the steam fogged up his mirror as it usually did every morning. When he stepped in after undressing, the sting of the heat shook him to full awareness of his surroundings. Now he felt invigorated and ready to take on a day that had no deadlines and no tasks. It was mornings like this he hated, he wished he could wake up every day with this much motivation. When the shower was done he toweled off and got dressed in jeans and a t-shirt. Looking a the dishes, he decided they could wait until he got back from the coffee shop. He wouldn’t stay there all day, but he did want to get a good start on the new book he was reading. It promised on the back cover to be more philosophical than entertaining and his mind was ready to tackle it.

                Looking into the fridge he pulled out one of the Tupperware containers for Cheryl. He liked to help her out and make extra to hand out to the few friends he had. With his bag packed he wen to his car for the short drive to the coffee shop. It was mid-morning, almost nine thirty when he pulled up to the shop. With his bag hanging from his shoulders he stood at the counter and waited patiently for Cheryl to complete the drink she was working on.   

                “I know, red eye and everything bagel with cream cheese, just need to finish this one up and will get working on yours Carl. You look good today, taking the da off like your brother and I recommended,” Cheryl asked?

                “I was hoping for some green tea and a vegan wrap actually,” joked Carl.

                “You can’t be serious Carl, I’ve known you for how many years and all of the sudden you are going green on me, “asked Cheryl?

                “Nope, never! Red eye and everything bagel with cream cheese. You got time for the dialogue assignment today,” asked Carl?

                “Yeah, I brought my notepad and digital recorder, we can do it in about an hour, got some stuff to clean up in the back room,” replied Cheryl.

                Carl paid for his breakfast and found his couch was occupied by a man and a girl so he went over to the couches by the window. These were not his favorite, but he got comfortable and opened his new book. Looking at the man and the girl, Carl noticed she was school aged, probably eight or ten. He wondered why she was not in school as it was Wednesday. The man was non-descript, probably mid-thirties with a button-down shirt. He kept looking around as if he were waiting for someone, probably a drop off with an ex-wife or something like that. The girl had a milk and cookie in front of her, untouched, and was reading book. Carl could not make out the title but was sure it was something for young readers. The man caught Carl’s eye by waving gat him.

                “Hey where is the bathroom here,” asked the man?

                “The girl’s bathroom is right next to the counter up front,” Carl assumed the man meant to ask for the girl.

                “No, no the men’s bathroom,” replied the man.

                “Oh, that is on the other side toward the patio,” Carl pointed.

                “Thanks, can you watch my girl while I handle my business,” asked the father?

                “Yeah sure, she’s fine here, I am a regular, name’s Carl,” he replied. The man walked to the bathroom and still looked around as if he were looking for someone. As Carl waited for the man to come back he moved to the table next to the girl. He smiled and waved at her. She looked up with vacant eyes at Carl.

                “Your dad needed to use the restroom, he will be back quickly. How are you doing today,” Carl asked?

                The girl looked back down at her book and took a drink of milk. Cheryl motioned at Carl from behind the counter. He put down his book and walked over to Cheryl.

                “That guy has been here with his daughter every day this week. He goes to the bathroom and stays there for about twenty minutes or so while she just sits there quietly and reads her book and drinks her milk. I don’t have a good feeling about it, can you just go into the bathroom and see what he is doing. Sometimes we get some people in here that use the bathroom to shoot up, he doesn’t look the type, but can you just take a peek for me,” asked Cheryl?

                “No worries, oh by the way, I brought you some Oh My God mac and cheese, do you have a fridge where you can store it until lunch or dinner,” asked Carl?

                “Yeah, you are too kind, but can you get to the bathroom quick,” said Cheryl.

                Carl went into the mens bathroom. He was sure Cheryl would keep her eyes trained on the little girl while he checked on the father. Carl heard the usual sounds of someone sitting in a stall and sing it for it’s intended purposes. He left the bathroom and grabbed the container for Cheryl. He gave her a thumbs up as he dropped off the container at the counter.

                “All good, the guy is taking a dump, kinda like me after too many red eyes,” joked Carl.

                “I appreciate you checking. It’s just I have seen them for three days in a row now, and the guy takes longer in the bathroom each day, that girl should be in school,” said Cheryl.

                “Maybe he is a single dad or something and he is just trying to juggle to many things at the same time,” replied Carl.

                “You are probably right, we just don’t get kids in here this early in the day or if we do their parents just come in really quick and grab and go, they have been sitting there for like an hour,” Cheryl said with worry in her voice.

                “If they come in tomorrow I am sure you can pull him aside and ask him what the deal is, do you want me to stop by before work tomorrow and check in just to make sure,” aske Carl?

                “I’d feel better if you did,” said Cheryl.

                “Too easy, I gotta get back to my book and my new silent reading partner,” said Carl.

                He went back to his table next to the girls table and opened his book and started to drink his red eye. The father came back after about forty minutes and was still looking around. He looked frustrated and spoke to the girl in a low whisper.

                “Okay, it’s time to go to the doctor. Lets get our stuff together and go,” said the father. The girl silently closed her book and put it in her backpack and finished her last bite of cookie and drank the last of her milk.      

                “Thanks for looking after her, ahh I didn’t catch your name,” said the father.

                “Carl, I am a regular here, anytime. She was no trouble at all, just read her book and was very quiet, almost forgot she was there. You two take care,” Carl said as he waved to the girl. The father and girl left as Carl went back to reading his book. 

Reaching Out

To reach out to me, email timothy@createartpodcast.com I would love to hear about your journey and what you are working on. If you would like to be on the show or have me discuss a topic that is giving you trouble write in and lets start that conversation.

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