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My parents were newspaper people. My father had, in my young childhood, been the managing editor of a medium sized city paper. To read, they took in three papers a day. I remember them passing them back and forth over the eggs and toast, then reading at lunch what they missed on on the first pass. And talking until it all made sense...Politics and the motivations of people was to my family what sports are to some others. Pick an event apart, who are the players? Why did they do that? What should they do next? What do you think they will actually do? Even kids could play at that, and if I played with them, I was allowed to speak at the table.

They did not know or care much about sports or celebs, but local politics-- and national-- that I absorbed from them. Motivations, always useful to think about.

So: Buddy Cianci. He never made the national scene like Gerry Studds, or Michael Dukakis. (Or the Kennedy family,) but he was a local guy. (Rhode Island is local enough to Cape Cod.) He was very old school Rhode Island, He was not polished, he was practical as a shovel. But his voters loved him. And he loved Providence.

I had it in my head that he was actually elected from prison-- not true. That was James Michael Curley, felon and bamf. Curley was before my time of course. He was the origin of 'early and often.' (Refers to voting, get your brain out of the gutter.)

Cianci was a link with my past. And the hearing of his name today, when I have come away so far, was like catching your hand on a familiar nail, a strange little pain, because you forgot to remember.

And he is gone. How strange.

http://nymag.com/daily/intelligencer/2016/01/vincent-buddy-cianci-dead-at-74.html?mid=google&google_editors_picks=true

Comments

( 3 comments — Leave a comment )
anteros_lmc
Jan. 30th, 2016 08:34 pm (UTC)
Pick an event apart, who are the players? Why did they do that? What should they do next? What do you think they will actually do? Even kids could play at that, and if I played with them, I was allowed to speak at the table.

Perhaps this explains why you are able to get under the skins of your characters so effectively with so few words? When ever I read your writing is feels like I know the characters, because of course you make their motivations, what makes them tick, so clear.
eglantine_br
Jan. 30th, 2016 08:52 pm (UTC)
Oh what a compliment! Thank you so much. It is hard to know what is clear and what is not.

And it came at a good time too. I am having one of those crap days when the practical underpinnings have to be dealt with. Everyone says to write every day, and I do try, but sometimes it is like trying to get an anvil up a tree.

There, above is the best BAMF Kennedy. Much handsomer than JFK, and a better person too.
anteros_lmc
Feb. 1st, 2016 11:36 pm (UTC)
It's true! Your characters always seem so effortlessly believable. It's so easy to get close to them and I think that's because you understand their motivations, even though you don't have to explicitly spell it out for the reader.

Heh, I know what you mean about trying to get an anvil up a tree! The stuff I write for work often feels like that. I have an extremely boring book chapter stuck half way up a tree at the moment that I really need to do something about. I must admit I'm a bit skeptical about the whole "write every day thing". Sometimes I find it's better just to walk away and go back to it fresh a couple of days later. Perhaps that's just me though.

Have some more BAMF Archie.
( 3 comments — Leave a comment )