Archive for October, 2009

Reminder From Long Ago + Vote!


October 31st, 2009 Posted 8:31 am

From April 3, 2009:

We were outside this cave, or abandoned mine or whatever it was, somewhere in Death Valley. “There are no supports. Don’t go in there.” But I had to. I smelled a rat, one of those big desert rats. I don’t like them, not one little bit, don’t like their smell, either, which is kind of like mice except more sour, like they’re always eating something rotten.

The next thing I knew, I was deep in the shaft, smelling the rat, and hearing him, too, scurrying on ahead of me. “Chet! Chet!” Bernie shone the light inside. I saw my own shadow, stretched out way ahead. And what was that? Uh-oh. A skull.

Also: These cool German media students have made a book trailer for the German version of Dog On It and it’s a finalist for the fourth annual Bertelsmann Book Trailer Award. You can go to the German website and watch it – and vote for it! Yes, it’s in German which no one at chetthedog understands, but it’s pretty entertaining even without the words.


Blue Collar Work


October 30th, 2009 Posted 9:03 am

Back in Death Valley: me, Bernie, Addie, a big truck we’d rented and a bulldozer we towed on a trailer. Bernie loves Death Valley. He’s read lots about it – he likes a book called Death Valley and the Amargosa by Richard Lingenfelter, also likes to explore old mines.

“Here we are,” said Bernie. We stopped and got out by a pile of rubble at the bottom of a bare hillside. “Smell that air!” Bernie said. I looked at his nose, not small for a human nose, but still …

“I don’t smell anything,” Addie said.

“That’s the point,” said Bernie. “The air’s so clean.”

Whoa. They didn’t smell anything? Not one single thing? I took a quick sniff, didn’t know where to begin.

Soon Bernie was in the dozer. “You know how to operate that?” Addie said.

“Learned at taxpayer expense,” Bernie said. “In the service.”

Bernie didn’t talk much about those days. I waited for  more, but no more came.

“Where’s your hard hat?” Addie said.

“Oops,” said Bernie. “We’ll have to go home and get it.” Addie looked at him in surprise. Bernie laughed too and cranked up the dozer. It was fun being with Bernie.


Posted in Chet The Dog

Story Structure 2


October 29th, 2009 Posted 7:52 am

Admin’s belief when it comes to story structure and story-telling in general is this: keep the writer out of the limelight. The problem for Admin with metafiction is that the subtext is often the cleverness of the writer. Admin’s old fashioned that way, was brought up differently. On the other hand, he knows a bit about open, ambiguous endings. Some examples? Oblivion and End of Story, by Peter Abrahams. (Some meta stuff even gets snuck into End of Story, also into Their Wildest Dreams.)

But enough of this! Tomorrow – back to fun!


Story Structure


October 28th, 2009 Posted 7:43 am

“Yes,” said Addie, great granddaughter of Addie Kline, twin sister of Betty, script girl who disappeared. “She went for a hike and never came back. Search teams looked, but they didn’t find her.”

“Where was this?” Bernie said.

“Death Valley. She was working on the Greed shoot. My great grandmother Addie was never the same, my mom told me. Apparently she felt that part of her soul was missing. I just wanted to know if you found out anything. I don’t like stories without endings.”

“Stories without endings is the modern way,” Bernie said.

“I know,” Addie said, “but that seems perverse to me. Our lives have a beginning, middle and end, so why shouldn’t the stories about them have the same structure?”

“I don’t know,” Bernie said. “This is above my pay grade. Are you a professor or something?”

Addie smiled. “In training.”

“Got any money?”

“Some. Why?”

“We’re going to need some heavy equipment, a backhoe maybe, for a day or so.”

“What for?”

Bernie turned to me. “I think Chet knows.”

Oops. Hadn’t really been following this, mostly on account of some interesting scraps I was finding under the table.


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