Monday, June 14, 2010

I Think That I Shall Never Be, as Tiny-Handed as a Carny

A piece of advice often given to new writers is "write what you know". Some people take this seriously and end up writing 200,000 word-long novels about people waking up, showering, going to work, coming home, writing a book about what they know, going to sleep...repeat. Others tell extraordinary tales of heroics, survival, outrageous but true conspiracies or inexplicably hilarious events.

I'm considering writing about carnies. Traditionally defined as "people employed by the carnival", they are now known in popular culture as circus folk who smell like cabbage and have freakishly small hands. Urban Dictionary adds that they are generally not clean and will exchange alcohol for friendship. Austin Powers and UD are incorrect, my fine feathered friends. How do I know this, you ask? How could a seemingly educated, genteel personage *snicker* of only slightly-diminutive stature possibly know what lurks in the heart of a carny? Because I have seen what walks the candied apple-core strewn fairgrounds after the gates squeak closed and the clock tolls midnight, my dearies. I have been, and some small (not the hands, though) part of me always will be, a carny.

I will allow you a moment to administer your smelling salts and catch your breath.
All better?

So, I'm going to write what I know. I think I'll aim for a short story of the horror genre. Because, my goodness, the theme just throws itself in that direction, does it not? I, myself, did not witness or experience much horror, except in the meager accommodations, illegally low wages, and occasional sunstroke. Oh, and the food handling. My Gods, the food handling.

So dearies, what dank, dark secret knowledge or talent might you be hiding?


  1. Oh, sounds like a great idea. :) I have a horror story idea on the back burner... ;) I think it will be nightmare inducing, lovely and dark writing that I've never really attempted before.

    Hm, I'll have to think about the secrets I have hiding. :D

  2. I love it! Write it! Your post is hilarious. Hmmmm . . . secrets . . .

    1. In college, I delivered balloons dressed as a Playboy bunny.

    2. When I worked for an oil company and was on assignment in the Caribbean, I climbed up the side of an oil tanker on a rope ladder.

    3. I have been thrown out of a Jesus Jones concert.

    But, never a carny. Now that is cool!


    PS: I promise this is not spam! But, check out my blog post/pic today, I think it might appeal to your inner carny.

  3. Regan,
    Do it! Writing horror is strange to me, kind of like writing humor. Is it scary/funny? Will it make people cringe/laugh? Will they shout at the page: "Don't go in the closet, stupid!"

    First of all, that's an intimidating website address. I'm going to put on my Pants of Courage and venture over. Second of all, all three of those count as awesome secrets.