A Story…in the beginning!

it may be that there are so many stories in my mind they have blocked the exits and will not come out. I struggle because they come to me in the night when my guard is down and then flee into the recesses of my mind when I open my eyes in the morning.

The characters are in place. My husband and I named the first as we sat over breakfast at a restaurant next to Home Depot. We decided to combine family names along with a name that sounded very Swedish to me. It seemed to work. Her name was Etta Elen Almquist.

Then Buzzard and Edith moved in across from Etta Elen’s mother and father. The group grew when Miss Apple, Edith’s sister appeared one day. Other characters included Frog, an early friend of Etta’s.

But they are hiding behind walls in my mind and it is going to take some prodding to flush them out. It will be done but not today. I am too busy to do any chasing today.

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Three Word Wednesday….Beacon Grieve Kindred…Etta

This is written in a style of note taking.  The reader should build the story in their own mind as they read the notes.  I have not drawn any conclusions because it seems to me this piece of fiction could go just about any direction.  The novel notes are written by my fictional character, Etta and the newspaper is a college paper published weekly on the campus of the school she attended.  She found this article in the archives from 1949.  Etta attended college from 1959-1962.  It is all just for fun.  Enjoy
Beacon

Grieve

Kindred
Reference:  The Beacon Newspaper

October 12, 1949
Eastern Oregon College (EOC)
La Grande, Oregon
The case against Professor Elijah Honor was dropped.  “Evidence that pointed to his guilt in the disappearance of his wife was not sufficient to warrant pursuit of the case,” District Attorney John Liston pointed out.  Mrs. Honor went missing in February of 1948 during the Religion in Life* conference and has not been seen since.  While Professor Honor denied knowing where she had gone, he could not prove that she had run away.  She did not take any personal effects.  Mrs. Honor was several years younger than Prof. Honor and had worked as a personal assistant to the governor of Oregon before marrying.  Her former husband was a professor at the Western Oregon State. She would have been 29 on her next birthday.  Her vehicle was never found.
The mother and father of Linda Honor said they were grieved by the decision but would try to go on with their lives.  The college reinstated Professor Honor and he will return to work on Monday.  His classes in Comparative Religions and Philosophy are some of the most popular on campus and students have stood behind their instructor.  Professor Honor also served as the lay minister for the Episcopal Church.
Memorial services for Mrs. Honor were held at the Episcopal church in August but donations to the scholarship fund at the college are still being accepted.  Call the registrars office for more information.

Note: *Religion in Life conference was held on campus every year and was the focus of Winter Term.  Ministers from various faiths visited the campus to explain their religious beliefs and student participation was almost 95%.

As many as 10 faiths were represented each year.  Professor Elijah Honor and his father Professor Jacob Honor had organized this function for 5 years.  The event was a gathering of mixed faiths and it was said that the participants found kinship in their interaction.  Mrs. Honor had been a key figure the social part of the event.  The Religion in Life Conference was canceled in 1950  and never reinstated.

title:  Geranium murder

Notes on background for

bio/novel by Etta Ellen Almquist

Course #356:  Fiction Based on Fact

Note: Article from Beacon, circa 1949

Assignment date:  October 1961

(the White Geranium is a possible symbol for beauty with a suspicious scent)

Opening sentence (?):  She found it hard to grieve over the disappearance of the professor’s wife.

Preview Assignment: 10 items from NOTES AND INTERVIEW REFERENCES

  • Rumors of infidelities had followed the professor from job to job. (interview #23).
  • Some thought that he and his wife were involved before her divorce.  This was her 2th marriage. (public record)
  • If he had quit his position it would have been an indictment of quilt. (personal letters from Honor.)  Fill out the story with “personal dialogue by student”.
  • Information from letters and personal interview point to the possibility that he was involved with a student at the time of Linda Honor’s death. Involve reader in deciding how each student pointed out in such rumors may have had a motive for being involved in the death/disappearance.
  • It should also be noted that Mrs. Honor was suffering from depression and had visited the state mental hospital in Pendleton not long before her death. (source: employment records and interview with anonymous hospital employee)

OUTCOMES

  1. Possible outcome #1:  National attention to the college and circumstances not revealed did finally push the professor to resign.  The students grieved his departure and kindred spirits on the faculty said they missed him a great deal. (interview # 39) Finding his missing wife would become his life.
  2. Possible outcome #2:  The story focuses on how the professor’s life changes after his wife’s disappearance.  After his retirement at the age of 50, the professor worked as a limousine driver in southern California.  Word from a source close to him said he had remarried.  His wife was the movie star Linda Olmsted.  She dies in a fall. (no interview…fiction only).
  3. Possible outcome #3:  The professor remains at the college for all of his career.  He dies in a tragic accident in his garage.  The professor was burned to death when a propane heater exploded. The book reflects back on his father and rumors of his hidden nature. This line could also lead to the possibility that the professors death was not an accident but murder #2.
  4. Possible outcome # 4:  Linda Honor returned unexpectedly with no memory of her time away.  The professor told personal friends that he had found evidence of her involvement with government agencies in Washington and that she may have been kidnapped.  This could be a jumping off point for bio/novel #2
  5. I think the novel might also start with the disappearance and go both forward and back in time.  The style of writing would need to be a narrative and personal voice combination.

Hope you find this interesting and amateurish.

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Weeker the Dog was gone….they Didn’t Want to Meddle

Ambush

Hideous

Meddle

I woke up this morning thinking about Weeker.  He is a character that I used in the stories about Etta and her family.   Weeker was the kind of dog that most people would not choose to own.  His pit bull nature and ugly disposition did not make him particularly lovable.

He ran free over the countryside, ate food from scrap bowls left for other dogs and had progeny on every farm in the area.  Thankfully most of the pups did not inherit his cantankerous nature but most did get the hideous gene.  Pups were born with rat tails, very small ears and eyes that seemed to look out the sides of their heads.  Weeker was a very busy dog.

One of the puppies turned up on the pig farm across the road from Weeker’s house.  He came to be know as Squeakie.  The pigs in the back of the house would run to the far corner of the pen when they saw Weeker and Squeakie coming.  The small swimming pool that the mining company had built for the children was not even safe from the dogs.  They would lay in ambush, jump in the pool and swim toward mother’s with small children herding them into the corner.  It seems the two were a formidable team.

Their bad habits increased with each passing week.  In the summer of Squeakie  first year he started chasing automobiles on the highway that ran near the mining company silos.  His papa loved the new idea and joined in. Passing cars swerved to avoid the dogs as they bit at tires and everyone knew it was only a matter of time before there would be one less dog to contend with.

The small grocery store that stood by the roadway was busy on the day that a beautiful car happened to knock Squeakie over and stun him for a few minutes.  They heard the squeal when the dog hit the bumper.  Each in their turn looked out the window as the car driver leapt from his car and lifted the dog in his arms.  They stood in silence when he asked if anyone owned the dog.  As the man drove away with the unconscious dog on the front seat they returned to their business.  Only a few were aware that Weeker had jumped into the backseat of the car when the man grabbed a blanket to cover the injured puppy.

I suppose we should have told him the dog belonged to BuzzardA small woman standing near the mailboxes shuffled her letters. Well, she said,  I would have said something but I didn’t want to meddle.

Everyone in the room nodded their heads. If they wondered where Weeker had gone, they never said so nor did they ever looked for him. They could finally swim in peace!

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