Writerly Concerns

This is the main page for Random NVDT’s Writerly Concerns. Nothing here should be construed as fact or an absolute or any more than observation and opinion. And we all know what God has to say about opinions…

God narrowed her eyes, dialed up the brimstone in her voice. “Abraham, you’re pushing your luck.”

“C’mon, God. It’s a better story with adverbs. Everybody likes adverbs. Romance novels are nothing but adverbs hung on sex.” He unrolled his scroll, cleared his throat. “Check this out. ‘God said, dumbfoundedly, ‘Okay, Abe. Find me 45 good men and I’ll spare the city.’ It works because you would be, you know, dumbfounded. By us arguing.”

“You and Noah and the two casks of wine turning into two casks of every varietal he could name. By the time you haggle me down to ten, what? Harshly, snarkily, snippily, heatedly, angrily, expansively? Wistfully, maybe, that there’s really ten worth it in that quagmire of sin and iniquity? I spare them how, magnanimously? I really hate that one.” God focused the stare, Abraham’s robe started to smolder. “So don’t.”

“I just think people will have a hard time seeing us together, hashing this out if I don’t paint them a picture.” He patted the small fire on his chest. “Like they’re supposed to buy right into God popping around to see what I think of the next affliction, we talk it through, work out the collateral damage aspects of ‘God’s pissed off. Again.'”

“Abraham my old friend, opinions are like assholes. Everybody has one.” She interlaced her fingers on the table. “The best thing about being God is that mine is the only one that counts.” She raised an eyebrow, waited.

“Good, we’re on the same page. Relax.” God lightened up, something that was refreshing, in a blinding sort of way. “People like a good story. And a God that’s listening. Drop us in it,” God shadowboxed in Abe’s direction. “We go after it. No gilded chariots or mystic fog. Your friends take off down the road, fat and happy, there we are. Bam, you and I. All you need is dialogue. Everybody knows your knees are shaking because it’s me. And they know I have to be running short on patience. Just tell it, don’t overthink it. This is supposed to be inspired literature, the last thing I need is for you to get all writerly and clutter it up with how you perceived God was acting that day. I’ll give you ‘said’ and ‘replied,’ even if they’re superfluous and redundant, so no one thinks I’m a committee or an alien tribunal. But no adverbs for my behavior. Got it?”

Abe searched his note scroll, found “God is above all.” added “adverbs” with an underscore.

“See, that wasn’t so bad. Drop us in it, let the story roll. Get out of the way, it’ll tell itself.”

“Right.” Abe stood, twisted his scroll, bowed.

“Bitch is not a nice word, Abraham. Even for an editor.”

“I didn’t say –”

“I heard it. And it’s not ‘bitch editor who thinks she’s God.’ Not in my case, at least.” She smiled, the sun started to rise, Abraham ambled out of the Celestial Bar trailing Miles Davis like stardust. He shook his head. God could be a real hard-ass sometimes. He heard her calling from over his shoulder

“Yes, I do know everything, Abe. Send me a proof in a week or so, tell Sarah age is a state of mind. And hey, have a ‘Prophet-Abe-L’ day!”

Abraham held up the scroll in acknowledgment, kept walking. The bent sense of humor, okay. But the crazy laugh? He looked heavenward. Rain. Always rain after thunder.

How Genesis 18:20-32 came about, without adverb dialogue tags.