Monday, January 02, 2006

My Neon Haystack

After I'd yesterday written about James Michael Ullman's The Neon Haystack, I took some time off and decided to read one of my old crime stories I mentioned some weeks back digging out of boxes at my mom's place. This one was without a title, starring Charlie Waits, your typical cynical private eye, pretty bored at his life and near 40. He listens to garage punk, rhythm'n'blues and similar stuff, like The Cramps. It gets pretty boring as the story goes, but for a 13-year old guy it was probably important to mention all those bands.

It's just funny that the plot of the story was taken straight out of The Neon Haystack! Waits gets a client, who is on a search for his lost kid brother and wants to use Waits's services to find about people who he thinks are involved in the case. Waits agrees, but the client is soon hijacked (in the middle of the day in his hotel, which felt pretty stupid). There's a good plot twist, which I might use someday if I ever decide to write about private eyes again (other than Joe Novak, my series hero), but the dialogue is stilted and naive and everything happens too fast.

As for Ullman's novel, I acknowledge the debt by having Waits mention it!

The story was left unfinished, because it took a turn which now seems wrong and probably did at the time. I should've gone back and rewritten it, but at the time I was too lazy to do a thing like that. (I still am, I'm sorry to say.) I'd reread it some time before and written on the notebook: "Rewrite! Good stuff! One of the best of JN!"

Accidentally, the story was written almost exactly 20 years ago, from 30.12.1985 to 1.2.1986.

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