Wednesday, March 23, 2016

Not-so-free association - 3.23 #sol16 Story Challenge

As far as my story-challenge slices to date, this one feels the most like the song "Fingertips" by They Might Be Giants.

I recently finished reading I Crawl Through It by A.S. King. In the book, one of the main characters, Stanzi, quotes a favorite moment from the TV show M*A*S*H* when Hawkeye Pierce says, "Without love, what are we worth? Eighty-nine cents. Eighty-nine cents' of chemicals walking around lonely."

That quote and many other moments from King's book made me think of Kurt Vonnegut's writing. In particular, I started thinking about Breakfast of Champions and its pervasive chemicals. From there, I plunged down a research rabbit hole and came up with three more quotes from that book, thanks to Goodreads:
  • People took such awful chances with chemicals and their bodies because they wanted the quality of their lives to improve.
  • So it is a big temptation to me, when I create a character for a novel, to say that he is what he is because of faulty wiring, or because of microscopic amounts of chemicals which he ate or failed to eat on that particular day.
  • The whole city was dangerous—because of chemicals and the uneven distribution of wealth and so on.
How might all these quoted bits come together into a coherent slice? Well, I spent some time with an orthopedist yesterday poking at my knee. (No chemicals yet, but I am hoping for the quality of my life to improve.) Later in the day, I visited a mechanic who repaired faulty wiring in my car. And on that same day, Brussels stood out to me as an example of a particularly dangerous city.

So it goes.


  1. This slice has me thinking. I immediately went to my husband's chemo, our new way of shopping for groceries, all the ways that our world is governed by what we put in it. Thank you for inspiring my philosophical side this morning.

  2. Love how you used the written word to splice your slice to share with us!

  3. Such an interesting slice you wove based on literature and your real life experience and moments. Hoping your knee feels better soon and with all these crazy, sad things happening in our world...I'm just hoping in general. :)

  4. That Hawkeye quote ... brought me back to MASH in a fun way.