Posted by on Oct 23, 2009 in Conway Sax, Writing | 1 comment

I’ll never know for sure whether I had a bona fide case of H1N1, as I didn’t go to the doc for confirmation, but this much is certain: Been sick as a damn dog since Saturday.

So’s half the country, of course; schools are ghost towns, the Cleveland Browns are so decimated they’re seeking a roster-rules exemption just to field a team, and vaccine shots are running way behind demand.

I’m just about healthy again. The details I’ll spare you, but trust me – you wouldn’t wish this sickness, whatever it is, on your worst enemy.

And yet! As an optimist, I insist on silver linings, and the scores of hours I spent staring vacantly at the TV produced a few. For starters, the final scene of my Conway Sax work-in-progress came to me while I watched, of all things, “The Biggest Loser.” Hey, you takes your inspiration where you finds it. The epiphany is a true comfort to me. In the past, I’ve always known my novels’ final scenes before I started writing (which, by the way, is extremely common among writers I know). Such was not the case this time around. I waded into the book anyway, because that’s what you do, but I admit I felt somewhat adrift without a final scene in my head.

The other tidbit I picked up comes from a multi-part documentary IFC is running on Monty Python. There’s a gag in Monty Python and the Holy Grail that I’d forgotten. King Arthur canters past a couple of serfs. Serf One prostrates himself and says (quoting from memory), “Bless you, good King!” Serf Two says, “How do you know he’s a king?” Serf One says, “He doesn’t have shit all over him.”

I love that bit – it reminds me of the “A young bull and an old bull” joke from Colors. In Conway Sax’ world, anybody not covered with shit is indeed a king. I guarantee you I’ll work it into a story sometime.