Thursday, April 7, 2016

The Locust

Example of a faired tricycle via kmxtornado.blogspot
Hunger comes in many sizes. At Camp NaNo, we know this. That yearning to hit your daily word goal is akin to being "a mite peckish," as Monty Python's Cheese Shop Sketch had it. Next, the aching gulf waiting to be filled by the exact right word: poets know this hunger, acute and burning, like a street urchin peering through the bakery window.

Then there is the diet-buster. This hunger is not sated by thousands of words "down on the paper." Not even 10K words makes a dent in it. It's like grazing at an unsatisfactory buffet, searching through bite after bite for the exact flavor that will please your palate. In writing, this hunger can only be appeased by sharing: publishing what you have written.

Today's snippet from Meant To Be Here comes from the tale of Kenneth Cummings' 1983 trip by fully-faired tricycle from Denver to California. It seems Ken's wife had packed too many salty snacks for him, and he didn't have enough water, so he just didn't eat much for several days of hard pedaling through the Nevada and California desert

At last he reached Orange County, where he was scheduled to crash with a friend:

Tustin was followed by a few miles of twists and turns in Irvine, and then a last half-mile of pushing the tricycle up the hill from the beach in Laguna Beach to David’s house. Once there, I could finally rest. 

David welcomed me with, “Make yourself at home, help yourself to whatever you want,” then he left for work. After two days of heavy exercise with very little to eat, I was happy to take him at his word. Before he got back that afternoon, I had emptied his refrigerator and pantry cupboard. 

For years afterward, he would introduce me as “Ken, the locust” who had descended on his kitchen with a clicking whir and ate everything edible before moving on.


So far, I've managed my "mite peckish" hunger, and been content to leave my urchin-staring for my Inner Editor to appease. (Later, dear, later!) I hope my incremental sharing satisfies my hunger to publish, at the same time it whets your appetite to read more of Kenneth's memoirs once they are published! 

Word Count: Day 5 Session 1: 1554; Session 2: 1279
Word Count Total: 25,238 words