I just wanted to have my official “the story has landed” post to let everyone out there (who isn’t on my Facebook or Google+ lists) know that you can now get “The Fight” from Amazon for 99 cents. That’s less than a dollar, folks.
Here’s a little background on the story that you won’t get anywhere else:
As I talked about in a previous post, “The Fight” is one of the “camp” or “Lisa” stories. As such, it falls into Dave Riggler’s teenage years. The way that I have the book configured in my head right now, that would be the middle of the book. It’s also the most stand-alone of all the stories. As I’ve said before, all of the stories can stand on their own without reading anything else (which is only proper for a short story), but “The Fight” has the least connectedness of any of the stories. The only character you’ll meet in “The Fight” that you’ll see in any other story is Dave. That becomes important towards the end of Long-Distance Dedications, but that’s all I’m going to say on that score.
Believe it or not, one of the challenging things about writing “The Fight” was all of the handicapped people in it. There are really two things that’re difficult about that:
1) I don’t particularly like writing about being handicapped. The more “handicapped” a story is, the more one-dimensional it feels to me. Dave is obviously in a wheelchair, but I try not to write about Dave being in a wheelchair. Trust me on this: Writing about what it’s really like to be in a wheelchair would make for some pretty boring writing, or it would be too much information, if you get my meaning. Nobody wants to hear that much personal detail about someone unless they’re dating or family. It’d just be weird.
2) It was important to me to get Tyrone’s speech patterns right (or at least, close to what I would hear them as). The last thing I would want is to come across as disrespectful or mocking of someone with a speech problem. That’s not who I am. Tyrone is a fairly unpleasant character, but I want to give him the respect he deserves.
I also want to say a word about a word:
That word has become very loaded in recent times, and is seen as a slur. That’s not the way Dave uses it, and it certainly isn’t meant to offend anyone who reads the story. Back before a certain time (and I can’t tell you exactly, but certainly in the 1980’s or before), “retarded” was a descriptor, not a slur. You would say someone was retarded the way you’d say they were a paraplegic or quadriplegic. In modern times, it’s become an insult, something to be ashamed of. I think that’s unfortunate. Anyway, I don’t use it to destigmatize it or to be shocking. I use it because it’s a word of its time, and because it’s the word Dave would’ve used. He wouldn’t use it with malice, and neither would I.
Anyway, I hope you’ll check out the story, and leave a review on Amazon, if you’d be so kind. 🙂