I Actually Wrote Something Last Night

When you're not a born writer, it's sometimes tough to make yourself write.  Remember, I belong to the P.J. O'Rourke School of Writing (so that makes it even tougher):
"Writing is agony. I hate it. Let's put it this way. When I'm writing, I spend a lot of time thinking, 'My, doesn't the top of the fridge look dirty'. It takes for ever.... I like thinking about writing. I like having written. But actually sitting down and doing it…"
P. J. O'Rourke
to Christopher Bray
The Telegraph, 2005
I have several projects started, but I've decided to concentrate on fnishing something, not starting... I've decided to work on Little Sister and Dumb Jock -- The Alex Austin Story.            
Nevertheless, I got a scene written for Little Sister.  It's rough-draft stuff right now, but hopefully, it's polish-able and can actually be used in the novel:

At eight-thirty, Harry Talton skidded into the computer lab in the Morrisette Building and skimmed the room. Between eight and nine in the morning, the cubicles began to fill up and remained occupied until about four p.m.  Only about half were unoccupied.and breathed a sigh of relief.

"Hey, Harry!" A fellow who'd entered a step or two behind him called a greeting.  Harry turned and gave him an absent nod. The kid looked familiar, but his name didn't come readily to mind.

"Hey, what's up? How was break?"

The kid grinned. "'Bout killed me to have to come back. Say, how're you making out with that little blond Baptist?"

Harry shook his head in pretended perplexity.

"You know," the kid said. "Town girl.  Ann something."

Harry allowed recognition to dawn on his face.  "Oh, you mean Ainsley." He shrugged. "She's just somebody I tutored briefly."

Another grin, this one knowing.  "Yeah, right. Tutored her in the arts of love? Or tutored yourself in the art of getting put off?"

Harry didn't dignify that with a reply, and strode to a cubicle in the last row. He liked his privacy online, even if his surfing was usually benign.  He logged on and following established routine, typed the URL to his favorite anti-racism usenet group and skimmed the entries.

The kid's description of his nonexistent relationship with Ainsley Kincaid was closer to reality than he wanted to admit. It was extremely frustrating. She was not his type -- a straightlaced Southern Baptist churchgoer, daughter of missionaries in Central America, political and cultural conservative, a perfect fit for this cultural backwater.

Harry was from Ohio.  He had enrolled in Verona State specifically for the purpose of learning first hand about rightwingers, especially the Southern contingent, in order to circumvent their ideology. His first few months in south Georgia had been an eye-opener in more ways that one. Political conservatism, he'd learned, was directly related to the pervasiveness of religion, which brought home to him what he'd heard from other progressives, but had not witnessed until now -- that socialism's primary barrier was religion, with the traditional family a close second.

But the other eye-opener -- actually a jaw-dropping revelation -- was that these people were happy.  Oh, there were a few dissident and misfits, but not enough to change the tenor of the general population. These Southerners found fulfillment for their lives in beliefs and activities Harry sneered at, and eschewed those things Harry considered essential.

It was also a problem that he hadn't expected to be so attracted to a little Southern Baptist girl. It had taken great effort for all of last semester to make a dent in her distinterest -- partly because he had to appear as if he weren't making such an effort at all. Most of their dates had been casual --  going for sodas at McDonalds or the student center after a tutoring session. Just before break, she'd finally accepted a couple of actual dates for pizza and a movie.

Since returning to school three weeks earlier, they had dated once, and he was playing not-really-interested. In truth, he was growing mildly obsessed with her, and it was never far from his mind how he might break through her defenses.

His thoughts of Ainsley were interrupted by a usenet discussion of -- Unbelievable! A cross burning over the weekend? In this day and age?  He speed-read the thread. In Pensacola, not four hours to the south west from where he sat. Unbelievable.

That was the only item of real interest until he reached a discussion about a notice from the Southern Social Justice Group in Biloxi, Mississippi.  They would begin taking applications in March for a very limited number of summer internships as well as for several volunteers to help upgrade their files and filing system.

Harry was lost in thought for a minute.  He'd passed through the Mississippi Coast a couple of times, on trips to New Orleans.  The beach and ocean, the old houses shaded with gnarled oak trees that overlooked the Gulf, the casinos -- the mental visuals filled him with a surprising wanderlust.

He set an internal calendar for March, but he would start immediately to see about securing a couple of those intenrships for himself and Ainsley. It wouldn't do to drop the suggestion on her all at once. He'd have to build up to it gradually. But the idea of spending summer on the Mississippi seacoast with her -- the possibilities -- was too great to resist.

He started to go find her. She would be in Hobie's class in the Crenshaw Complex and would get out about the time it would take him to get there. But he thought better of it immediately. Couldn't look like he purposely tracked her down to tell her about the possibility of a summer in Mississippi together. It would be better to casually run into her in the student center at lunch, and mention it offhand.