the Unending Journey of the Wandering Author

A chronicle of the unending journey of the Wandering Author through life, with notes and observations made along the way. My readers should be aware I will not censor comments that disagree with me, but I do refuse to display comment spam or pointless, obscene rants. Humans may contact me at thewanderingauthor at yahoo dot com - I'll reply as I am able.

Location: New England, United States

I have always known I was meant to write, even when I was too young to know the word 'author'. When I learned that books were printed, I developed an interest in that as well. And I have always been a wanderer, at least in my mind. It's not the worst trait in an author. For more, read my writing; every author illuminates their heart and soul on the pages they write upon.

Friday, March 28, 2008

Notes On Wake Up, Little Susie

I wanted to write a story for the This Post Blows My Dress Up Contest. I dreamed up a few ideas in my head, but for some reason I don't understand, the song Wake Up, Little Susie kept coming into my head. There is nothing scary in this song, so why I got the idea this couple would be scared silly I can't say. A writer's mind is an odd thing...

Once I gave into the idea, I knew the classic "killer with a hook" tale had to be a part of the scare. But that didn't seem enough. So, in giving into a silly story, letting themselves be spooked, Ralph and Susie ended up in a situation where they received a much more real scare. Still, they gained something as well, I think, besides hard-won wisdom.

Fitting in an incident that reflects the title of the contest was a whimsy of mine, one I'd considered even before I had the final idea for this story. It just fit naturally into the second incident. All in all, it makes for an odd story, especially with the final bit of humour at the end. I did try to stay true to the spirit of the song, although no doubt most readers will note the many liberties I took with the details.

Which raises another question. Once I wrote this, I was forced to ponder the issue of whether what I had was a "derivative work", one I could not legally post without permission from the Copyright owners of the original song. I concluded that this was an original work, for several reasons. First, I did take many liberties with the details. The song suggests they'd dated before: "we goofed again". The story makes it fairly clear (I hope) that, although Ralph is in love with Susie, this is their first date.

The song includes no such adventures, and the major plot device of the song, falling asleep during a boring movie, is a very minor plot point here, used just to set up the real plot. Finally, I could change the title, remove the last line, and cut the reference to four o'clock, make no other changes, and any relation to the song would be unclear, while I'd still have much the same story. I'd lose only the humourous line at the very end, and the resonance the song lends the story.

And, yes, it's a crazy story, hardly a contest winner. Still, it was fun, and I hope a few of you reading the contest entries found it fun. If so, that's enough.

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Blogger Suzan Abrams said...

Hello dear Ray,
Thanks for all the lovely faithful comments you've left over at my blog. It's always very kind of you.
And thanks so much for blogrolling Factory Site. You're my first fan. :-)
Ray, the thing is I woke up late this Saturday morning and have to go downtown so sometime later today, Saturday night or Sunday morning, I shall read Wake Up Little Susie - and I so love the title - with my hot tea and regale in it - because your stories have never been a disappointment - and let you know what I think.
So glad to have you about, Ray. All traces of spring appear to have gone today although Ireland celebrates Spring on February 1st which is St. Bridget's day as you would probably know.
Instead, it's downcast and sombre, a complete winter's day and very cold too.

March 29, 2008 9:23 AM  

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