The writing of A. F. Waddell has been characterized by culinary bikers,
literary ghosts, women on the road, New Orleans detectives, Marilyn & JFK,
California screenwriters, nineteen-fifties culture parody and more.
Anthology Excerpts & Links Semi-Deep Thoughts: On Writing New Orleans: Bodies of Water
Bell-Bottom Blues The Blancshire Witch Projects Running with Pencils
Film at Tumblr: Epiphanies in the Dark
Random Acts of Bloggery Twitter
Bodies of Water
spark for my story Bodies of Water was a place: New Orleans. The
characters later swam in my head and played on paper, changing over time.
Protagonist Erica morphed from a private investigator into a homicide
detective. Over time I was writing in my head, before I became so bold as to
put my words on paper and hope that people would read them.
It felt surreal when
I ran into Tennessee Williams on Dumaine St, boasting his stylishness in
a lightly-colored cotton suit, Panama hat, and brown wingtips. The extreme
humidity could truly induce Williams-esque ‘spells’ - for which I imagined his
dialog: “I’m feeling a bit faintish, could you please fetch me chilled
refreshment?” (Mr. Williams, whatever you say!)
Cooking in a cast
iron skillet could be exciting, as cast iron gets very hot. How does one time
the cooking process? Meat could be black on the outside and pink in the middle.
Can you say ‘trichinosis’? The Fried Breaded Stuffed Pork Chop Incident lingers
in my mind. The huge pork chop stuffed, egg-washed, dredged in flour and bread
crumbs, I managed to lift it, and ease it into sizzling skillet. The result was
blackened on the outside and devoured by the kitchen lizards.
There were bathrooms down the cavernous hall. The bathroom near my room had a huge claw-foot tub; it paid to bring Comet or Ajax. Its large, bare window faced a small, neglected courtyard. I met lots of people here: not only at the bathroom or in the kitchen, but throughout the establishment. Appearing spaced-out, many milled about near the check-in desk and sat on the stairs.
I made a few friendships; some were cemented by impromptu cross-country road trips. From New Orleans to Montana to Oregon to California to New York I went, growing and shedding new friends, like snakeskin. But the Quarter was special.
It happened to be May 2005 when I wrote the story Bodies of Water. As I wrote the story sinking cities played in my head, subsiding and eroding, moisture permeating and destroying. Nature can no doubt be brutal; however the human horror and the neglect of a people - the Katrina debacle - is beyond comprehension.