My Brief Affair ... by Mark Edgemon


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Post August 13, 2009, 10:47:42 AM

My Brief Affair ... by Mark Edgemon

Is the narrator delusional, or was Marilyn's life and death even stranger than the gossip columnists knew? You decide...

If it helps to hear the fellow so you can judge the sincerity in his voice, Mr. Edgemon has kindly provided a link to an audio recording of his testimony. Checkitout.
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Post August 13, 2009, 04:41:30 PM

My Brief Affair

It sounds as if Mr. Edgemon had a brief affair with sanity then and decided to return to the ward. Medication anyone? - medication everyone? - it'll be our little secret.
There are so many parts of this story that I enjoyed: The names of the fictious movies; the crawlspace years; the fluidity of time period; My Favorite Alien - ahhhh Martian.
Enjoyed it very much. Thanks.
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Post August 13, 2009, 05:23:19 PM

Re: My Brief Affair

bottomdweller wrote:It sounds as if Mr. Edgemon had a brief affair with sanity then and decided to return to the ward. Medication anyone? - medication everyone? - it'll be our little secret.
There are so many parts of this story that I enjoyed: The names of the fictious movies; the crawlspace years; the fluidity of time period; My Favorite Alien - ahhhh Martian.
Enjoyed it very much. Thanks.


Sanity? That vicious castrating -- er, sorry. Time wounds all heels. Ask Achilles.
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Post August 13, 2009, 05:26:55 PM

Good natured ribbing?

Bottomdweller wrote:
It sounds as if Mr. Edgemon had a brief affair with sanity then and decided to return to the ward. Medication anyone? - medication everyone? - it'll be our little secret.


Well, I'm not sure if I have been complimented, or spanked. I'll have to ask the nurse before she gives me my evening sponge bath. :shock:

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Post August 14, 2009, 08:08:13 AM

My Brief Affair...

I should have known that I couldn't write 3 paragraphs without you guys bringing up spanking. A big slap on the backsides for each of you.
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Post August 14, 2009, 10:03:23 AM

Re: My Brief Affair...

bottomdweller wrote:I should have known that I couldn't write 3 paragraphs without you guys bringing up spanking. A big slap on the backsides for each of you.


Hey, I didn't bring up spanking. I brought up castration, which is not at ALL similar. (I mean, even extreme masochists wouldn't request THAT.)
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Post August 14, 2009, 12:16:27 PM

Good Critique versus Bad Critique

I would like to reference a couple of posts by R. H. Fay under the topic, "Thoughts on Writing #12: Good Critique, Bad Critique" in August's forum which goes as follows:

RHFay wrote:
Oh, and I think I agree with the idea of "good critique" versus "bad critique" as postulated in this feature. I think it can be a matter of the difference between critiquing the written work and critiquing the writer of that work.

By the way, some individuals out there refuse to believe they are ever wrong. Telling them their critique is "bad", or even less-than-constructive, can just fan the flames. I know, I've been burned by that conflagration more than once. Like I already said, it can be crazy out there.


He wrote a lot more that can be read in that topic.

So far, in this topic of comments on my story, my sanity has been questioned and the topic of castration has been brought up with very few comments, advice or criticism of the story itself.

I can take good natured ribbing as well as the next guy, but I also know the difference of intentional insults in the guise of someone "saying" they're just kidding.

And we wonder why there are so few participants in the forum.

Mark
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Post August 14, 2009, 12:47:21 PM

NORMA JEAN

A confession of manslaughter by an idiot lover. Almost Forrest Gump style.

I like it.

It's like life, not clean, goofy ideas played out, mistakes, miscalculated preconceived hopes and wishes and a doggy affection for unobtanium. (usually found ONLY in factory race machines).

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Post August 14, 2009, 01:25:22 PM

Story Comments

Finally, comments about my story...Hooray!!!

Thank you Rick for them and for not taking a cheap shot!

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Post August 14, 2009, 05:18:23 PM

Is this "good" critique or "bad" critiqu

Good critique, bad critique. Wow! The critic under the microscope. I guess it helps to think of writing as a commodity, which means that criticism of writing is sort of like stock market analysis. Who is the criticism intended to serve? The author (Here is how you can make it better.), the reader (Should you read this or not? Here is something to increase you appreciation of the story.), the critics (Look at me!).

This is a fun story with a nice, solid first person delusional narrator. I like stories with a strong narrative voice. The best way to get to know someone is to listen to him talk. The most intriguing, complicated, "How on earth did he ever think that up?!" plot is nothing more than a movie pitch if the characters are not developed.

Here is an easy litmus test for a story of this sort. Would you like to hear more? If so, the story works.

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Post August 15, 2009, 08:39:27 AM

Movie plot or story

McCamy_Taylor wrote:The most intriguing, complicated, "How on earth did he ever think that up?!" plot is nothing more than a movie pitch if the characters are not developed.


This is very profound, especially for me where I'm at in my writing! Very insightful! Also, thanks for commenting on my story and I'm glad you liked it.

The question whether Jack was delusional or actually did the fool hearted things he did was intentially left open ended, so the reader could decide for themselves.

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Post August 15, 2009, 12:37:02 PM

A disjointed. schizophrenic ramble. But sure, I'd like to read more, just to see what this lunatic will dream up next.

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Post August 15, 2009, 01:01:01 PM

Defining Moment

gino_ss wrote:A disjointed. schizophrenic ramble. But sure, I'd like to read more, just to see what this lunatic will dream up next.

gino


By lunatic do you mean Jack Hartley, the main character in the story or me, the author of the story?

And, oh, by the way, I'm honored...I hope.

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Post August 15, 2009, 02:36:45 PM

Re: Good Critique versus Bad Critique

Mark Edgemon wrote:.........
I can take good natured ribbing as well as the next guy, but I also know the difference of intentional insults in the guise of someone "saying" they're just kidding.

And we wonder why there are so few participants in the forum........


Seriously? I've reread every post and honestly see no insults, intentional or otherwise.

Mark, this is one of the best stories I've read. It reminds me of your flash entry in the Steampunk contest about the flying bordello. It's a steady stream of increasingly more outrageous incidents that is absolutely absorbing.

I've never quite seen this structural approach before, and I like it. I'd really enjoy reading any more you have stashed away in musty corners.

Bill Wolfe

p.s.

The Dick Tracy movie. . .
Hilarious!
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Post August 16, 2009, 11:50:13 AM

A Trilogy of Hapless Fools Stories

Bill,

I would have gotten back with you sooner, but I installed a new roof on my house over eleven hours yesterday and was completely spent along with spranging my ankle in the process. Man, I will never do that again. That's why God made the yellow pages!

Well, there is no greater compliment than someone wanting more of your work and I'm touched and appreciative of your comments.

I'm still searching for my style and identity in writing fiction and so I am constantly trying new ideas and directions to see what works best for me and what I like the most. I've written a trilogy of stories where the main character speaking (in first person) was a hapless fool, who caused others around him major troubles, often fatal, while he himself gets away with little to no complications from his actions.

The first in the series was "My Brief Affair With Marilyn Monroe" based on a news story of a man claiming to have had wild exploits with Marilyn Monroe including marrying her in Mexico (he lost the marriage license...how convenient) and actually only had a single photo with her shot on a movie location. When I saw the photo, it was obvious that gorgeous Marilyn was only being nice to this obsessive fan, who looked like the last guy in the world she would spend time with.

After her death, he even showed up to claim her body, which may just cross the line in proper celebrity/fan etiquette. I couldn't resist expounding on that concept.

The third story in the series was the flash story, "...But That's Another Story" which was entirely original, but based inspirationally on the extravagant life stories from The Adventures of Baron Munchausen, but placed in the late eighteen hundreds to fit into the steampunk time period.

The remaining story, the second in the series is about a travel guide/explorer, who travels to little known, exotic cultures for artifacts and material for his television cable travel show, wiping out entire cultures through hapless incidents along the way. That story titled, “Eat Me: The Day I Was Invited To a Celebrity Roast By the Korowai Cannibals” is on my site in both literary and audio story versions. Just go to www.creatorandthecatalyst.com and click on audio stories at the top of the home page and scroll down a bit.

Writing stories about hapless fools, gee…I hope that doesn’t say anything underlying about me!

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Post August 16, 2009, 11:53:32 PM

I liked it! This story was built on narration, yet it held my attention. Clark Gable’s death? Well now we know.

Who is Jack Hartley? Is he the little guy running around work causing havoc? You know who I mean. When thing get screwed up for now reason, then it’s the little guy that no one ever sees that does it!! They are everywhere! Yet in this story Jack is possibly seen and known, but all the references to him are passive. And when the Latin dance instructor and Marilyn jump in bed together, Jack is there. I don’t think the Latin dance instructor would want someone watching, so I’m not sure if Jack really is seen.

I’m not sure about the ‘local convenience stores’ during the time Marilyn died. Here in Johnstown, they first appeared around 1976. Of course, we are behind times in Johnstown.

Another slight error: paramedics were not around when Marilyn died. Ambulance attendants took the patients to the hospitals. And most of the ambulances at that time where Cadillac station-wagons retrofitted.

All in all a very good read, and like I said, I enjoyed it!!! That’s what counts!
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Post August 17, 2009, 12:46:20 PM

Re: Hapless

Mark Edgemon wrote:....

I would have gotten back with you sooner, but I installed a new roof on my house over eleven hours yesterday and was completely spent along with spranging my ankle in the process. ....

Writing stories about hapless fools, gee…I hope that doesn’t say anything underlying about me!

Mark


I sprained a wrist once. Spranging is worse - it's the SOUND of a bone popping out "with a sprang!"

Meanwhile, you have plenty of hap so you're safe from being hapless.

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Post August 18, 2009, 11:06:04 AM

The Story

Bill wrote
I'd really enjoy reading any more you have stashed away in musty corners.

Bill Wolfe


Let me know if you find the story that I mentioned above.

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Post August 18, 2009, 11:15:53 AM

Response to Megawatts

Megawatts wrote:I liked it! This story was built on narration, yet it held my attention. Clark Gable’s death? Well now we know.

Who is Jack Hartley? Is he the little guy running around work causing havoc? You know who I mean. When thing get screwed up for now reason, then it’s the little guy that no one ever sees that does it!! They are everywhere! Yet in this story Jack is possibly seen and known, but all the references to him are passive. And when the Latin dance instructor and Marilyn jump in bed together, Jack is there. I don’t think the Latin dance instructor would want someone watching, so I’m not sure if Jack really is seen.

I’m not sure about the ‘local convenience stores’ during the time Marilyn died. Here in Johnstown, they first appeared around 1976. Of course, we are behind times in Johnstown.

Another slight error: paramedics were not around when Marilyn died. Ambulance attendants took the patients to the hospitals. And most of the ambulances at that time where Cadillac station-wagons retrofitted.

All in all a very good read, and like I said, I enjoyed it!!! That’s what counts!


Well I'm really glad you liked the story! Most of the time writing is like grinding metal, but in this case, I really had fun doing it!

Yeah, I've known a lot of people like Jack Hartley, who causes lots of problems for everyone but himself and usually gets off free of trouble.

You maybe right about the paramedics and the convenience stores, I didn't check it out. I didn't think about checking McDonalds start up time either, but fortunately they were around by a few years although they had not had one million served I'm sure at that time.

Thanks for responding, Megawatts.

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Post August 18, 2009, 01:10:04 PM

Hap

Tao Phoenix wrote
Meanwhile, you have plenty of hap so you're safe from being hapless.


I don't know what hap is, but if it is good, I'll take it!

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Post August 23, 2009, 10:50:22 AM

Voice Talent

The voice talent who performed the voice of Jack Hartley was Los Angeles voice artist D. C. Goode who also did the voice of Rod Serling in "The Remembrance" (a new Twilight Zone episode: audio only) and the russian scientist in "The Deiform Sovereign Mind of Meaglia Vox" all which are published with links on Aphelion in the audio story archive in the fun and games folder.

Could you tell that the voice of Jack Hartley was patterned after Bill Clinton? Often a voice artist will start with a celebrity voice and alter some of the characteristics to modify it in some way, while still retaining the essence of the original voice they started out with.

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Post August 26, 2009, 09:57:26 AM

Seems like a fun one for Mark. I don't know much about Monroe's death, so I missed any details Mark may have incorporated from the historical record.

Just a couple of remarks:

There were moments where the punch lines were a bit heavy handed for my taste. For example, I felt the ending suffered some with Jack's pondering of just what was in the spray bottle. I dunno, I guess it seemed obvious to me (and most likely to other readers) that he'd committed a faux pas, and so his raising of the question at all—Kool Aid or cleaner?—diluted the impact.

Also, and this is purely a question of my preference and not a criticism, the piece ventured too far into the absurd. I prefer the creepy, unrelenting, and uncomfortable, where we're exposed to the writhing darkness of an essentially guileless, if obsessive, lunatic's mind as he expresses his undying love for an untouchable.
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Post August 26, 2009, 10:40:15 AM

the absurd ?

Venture too far in the absurd? Have you looked at the news papers and the web? This is calm compared to reality.

Just a comment.


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Post August 26, 2009, 11:30:47 AM

Re: the absurd ?

rick tornello wrote:Venture too far in the absurd? Have you looked at the news papers and the web? This is calm compared to reality.

Just a comment.

RT


For example, Michael's doctor didn't give him dangerous drugs in a bizarre combination -- he just gave him some Jesus Juice he found in the refrigerator.
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Post August 26, 2009, 12:10:56 PM

Re: the absurd ?

Robert_Moriyama wrote:For example, Michael's doctor didn't give him dangerous drugs in a bizarre combination -- he just gave him some Jesus Juice he found in the refrigerator.


That is very funny! The truth of it unfortunately does make it funny, sad but true.

I understand that he had been given a dozen or more sedatives that night by his insistance before he was given the drug he called "milk" that put his lights out permanently.

But no one is to blame for Michael's death but him. According to reports on CNN, he was a drug addict and likely pestered the heart doctor for the magic candy that helped him sleep!

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Post August 26, 2009, 12:28:00 PM

Response to Unforgibbon

unforgibbon wrote:Seems like a fun one for Mark. I don't know much about Monroe's death, so I missed any details Mark may have incorporated from the historical record.

Just a couple of remarks:

There were moments where the punch lines were a bit heavy handed for my taste. For example, I felt the ending suffered some with Jack's pondering of just what was in the spray bottle. I dunno, I guess it seemed obvious to me (and most likely to other readers) that he'd committed a faux pas, and so his raising of the question at all—Kool Aid or cleaner?—diluted the impact.

Also, and this is purely a question of my preference and not a criticism, the piece ventured too far into the absurd. I prefer the creepy, unrelenting, and uncomfortable, where we're exposed to the writhing darkness of an essentially guileless, if obsessive, lunatic's mind as he expresses his undying love for an untouchable.


First, I'm always glad to get an insightful review or thought provoking comments from you, so thanks for stopping by.

The reason I had him ponder his actions at the end of the story, that in his mind, might have brought about the death of Marilyn was because...he was an idiot! He did not have good sense, or common sense and I'm sure the next day he targeted someone else with his affections. There are people like that who always bring others down merely by their associations.

Absurdity was the goal of the story. I delighted in writing this story, one of the few I have enjoyed writing (most story writing for me is like grinding metal).

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Post August 26, 2009, 12:32:12 PM

Re: the absurd ?

rick tornello wrote:Venture too far in the absurd? Have you looked at the news papers and the web? This is calm compared to reality.

Just a comment.


RT


Reading your comment makes me want to go back and add a lot more absurb incidents, bringing it up to today's level of strange death occurances!

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Post August 26, 2009, 12:33:29 PM

absurdus ad extrrmus

"How can you have your cell phone if you don't eat your sandwich?"
An actual quote of a father speaking to his daughter at Starbucks the other day, repeated with increasing strident seriousness.

"How can you have your pudding if you don't eat your meat?" from Another Brick In The Wall.

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Post August 26, 2009, 01:53:47 PM

Re: absurdus ad extrrmus

rick tornello wrote:"How can you have your cell phone if you don't eat your sandwich?"
An actual quote of a father speaking to his daughter at Starbucks the other day, repeated with increasing strident seriousness.

"How can you have your pudding if you don't eat your meat?" from Another Brick In The Wall.

Life imitates art


:D
That's awesome.
Roger Waters: far-seeing rock genius

Clearly Michael Jackson represents a lot of what is absurd in the contemporary world. But his brand of absurdity is dark and deeply disturbing (at least to me) whereas Jack Hartley was, as Mark indicates, a kind of doofus. There was a bufoonery about him that undercut what I find compelling in such stories.

For me (post)modern absurdity is embodied in footage of the Columbine students running out of the school with their hands on their heads cuz the cops didn't know who the bad guys were; the Y2K hype; footage of the planes flying into the WTC and the latter's consequent collapase; so-called reality TV; that any of us know who Paris Hilton is; subprime loans; etc. None of which is as amusing as Mark's story. For such a story to have poignancy for me, I would rather find myself saying, "Yikes, what a f#%ked up dude," than "Wow, what a clown." But again, that's just my preference and not a criticism.
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Post August 26, 2009, 02:03:26 PM

Re: absurdus ad extrrmus

rick tornello wrote:
. . . . Life imitates art


In this case, I suspect the dad was a Pink Floyd fan, and knew exactly what he was saying.

Just a suspicion, of course.

One thing I've been meaning to mention about the story is that you could drink a whole bottle of 1950's household Windex and it wouldn't kill you. You might puke your guts up, but you might not. There just isn't enough ammonia in there to do any real harm (0.014%).

And adding it to booze would actually help, oddly enough. Windex had (and still does) isopropanol--rubbing alcohol--in it. It was about 4%, in those days. Mixing it with the drinkable kind makes it much less toxic.

So it's doubtful that our stalwart hero actually killed Marylin.

It was probably still the mafia, on JFK's behalf.

Bill Wolfe
Last edited by Bill_Wolfe on August 26, 2009, 03:03:20 PM, edited 1 time in total.
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