All Stories, Literally Reruns, Writing

Literally Reruns – The Dumb by Doug Hawley

Leila tells us this rerun was just waiting to be chosen – this is what she said:

I usually have to go into the woods and capture a rerun and bring it (sometimes kicking and biting) to Sunday. This time, however, the rerun was sitting on my back porch and was amenable to selection. That’s a fancy way of saying that Hawley had made mention of this piece in a comment, which caused me to slip a leash around its neck (the story’s, not Hawley’s) and trot the thing into the spotlight.

The Dumb, among other good things, parodies Stephen King’s Under the Dome. Mr. King constantly violates Strunk’s rule 17: Omit needless words. Here, Mr. Hawley is in compliance. I wouldn’t change two words in The Dumb, whereas Under the Dome could use a five-hundred-page-ectomy and still be clinically overweight.

Q: This is your first LS story. Please describe your experience –were edits necessary, or was it accepted as is?

Q: Who are your favorite authors? Although you possess your own distinctive voice, I am willing to bet a farm (not my farm, mind you, just any farm) that Douglas Adams is in the mix.

Leila Allison


Doug Hawley’s responses.

Editing – Close to 100% of the responses to my submissions, including all of LS, have been simple up or down.  Exceptions

– The place with which I no longer have a relationship.  They would not look at a submission because of an “issue” with commas.  Neither Microsoft editor or I could find the problem and I objected to the use of “issue”.  An “issue” of mine is how it has illegitimately replaced problem, error, death and about 10,000 other things.  I believe that has happened in part because writers want to be indirect and avoid clear language.  ‘Problem’ sounds bad, but issue?  The same place objected to bad grammar in what was a diary.  I behaved badly by withdrawing something which had been scheduled for publication.  So we sing Fleetwood Mac “Go Your Own Way”.

– The place that has published many pieces of mine and Sharon Frame Gay tells me the edits they will make and has called me by the wrong name a couple of times.  A bit of irony, but OK as long as they publish me.  It is one of the few places that has everything online and in printed form.

– Neutral stuff.  Wilderness House suggested changing the order in a story, but would run it my way if I wanted.  I did it their way, prolly better.

– Good stuff.  I wrote a mildly risque piece for Bull & Cross (1st Spanish publisher).  They liked it but could not publish it.  After a little back and forth, I found that it was rejected over “damn”.  I was happy to change it to get published.

Favorite writers.  I had my book signed by Douglas Adams in Corte Madera CA.  I was a bit surprised to see he more closely resembled a football hooligan than an intellectual.  We can’t find the book anymore, dammit.  Sorry to learn of his early death.  I read his final pieces.  Another writer I admire is Richard Dawkins, who was an Adams buddy.  Generally, biological, anthropological and archaeological writing intrigues me.  How did humans become what we are, and how little different we are from other animals.  I’ve got Ancient History on my twitter feed and wish that I could read more of it, but ‘information overload’.  I have dabbled in religion-related things with attempted humo(u)r.

My fiction fave among current writers is Stephen King.  I would parody more of his stories if I could find an angle, but they are usually too good to mess with.  Probably the largest amount of my fiction reading is mystery stories.  The top two are PD. James (who also signed a book for me) and Ross MacDonald.  They were superior in that the solutions were not the major point to the story, it was the relationships involved and the effect of the crime.  Can’t forget Jim Thompson, Raymond Chandler (two twisted misters) and Dash Hammett, one of the few who knew what he was writing about.

Writing tidbit – Ross MacDonald used Santa Teresa as his non de city for his home town of Santa Barbara.  The last Sue Grafton did the same thing as an homage to her predecessor.


The Dumb

6 thoughts on “Literally Reruns – The Dumb by Doug Hawley”

  1. Hi Leila,
    Your questions are as good as you’re introduction.

    Doug- Excellent response that gives an insight of you and an idea of your inspirations.

    Excellent post folks!!

    Liked by 1 person

      1. We read all of the “colo(u)r” series back in the day. All the while that I enjoyed them, I thought that the invincible good guy approach was not too deep. If I had an infinite life, I’d go back to them.

        Periodically, I go back to the masters. More writing info, which you might know. John D. objected to Ross’s name, suggesting he was trading on John’s name. He didn’t like Ross’s use of “Blue Hammer” (if I remember) in one of his titles, thinking that it ripped off his color series.

        Infinite life – read all of the classics, visit everywhere. Finite life – go a couple of blocks to the Mexican joint and finish the newspaper.

        Crime / mystery ranges from Spillane to PD James, which is in part why it is so popular.

        Liked by 1 person

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