What a fun challenge from Jane Dougherty: “I’m posting a painting that I’ve used before to illustrate a poem, Odilon Redon’s Flower-Clouds, and I’m throwing it open to anyone who wants to have a go at writing a one or two sentence story to go with it.”
I thought of my character BUCK CRENSHAW when I saw this so here’s my story:
None of the comfortable cousins with secure fortunes Buck Crenshaw worked with at the quiet bank off Wall Street knew that Buck dreaded being on the water. Life was rudderless enough, but money needed to be made and so Buck sailed with the fortune hunters while keeping a wary eye on the changeable clouds.
A farmer once told me that sheep farmers were elitist pastoralists interested in landscape and art, cow farmers were salt of the earth types and goat farmers were fun-loving and crazy. But what about writers? Today I want to generalize.
Poets are the ones who say they do it for the art and don’t care about publication. They LOVE words and like sharing them at small critique circles. They dress funny.
Short story writers take themselves very seriously. They’re impulsive. They’re blunt and they cut to the chase. They wear sneakers.
Novelists do things no one knows about for a very long time. They have other lives, lots of secrets and have the feeling that they’re in the world but not of it. They forget to shower and dress up only if they get discovered and they WANT to get discovered.
Okay so I just made this stuff up. My best friend in high school was a poet and dragged a shoe around with him. He died young and had no time to stop being pretentious. So what do you imagine are the differences between poets, short story writers and novelists?