A Good and Happy Life

Occasionally I'll rant in my head1. Something touched me off yesterday. I think it was a webcomic or a response to a webcomic. I don't know. The jist of it was that an author uses his medium as a pulpit for his own opinions.

At face value, this can be true. The context of the statement was saying that an author always uses his medium as a pulpit for his own opinions and this is just crap. It's an opinion that comes up more frequently than I think it should. In short, it says an author is incapable of envisioning or writing a world or action that deviates from his own perceptions of said world. What? If that's the case, Jennifer Hiller is a serial killer2. Of course authors can create characters that have opinions, desires, and motives different from their own.

That was a short rant because I've had it before and with real people. I then began to examine my own work and realized I've never actually written a work (to date) where the characters or events are representative of my opinions or beliefs. Some might fall in line, but none of them are a megaphone. None of them are a purposeful allegory.

So I pondered about writing a story that represents my biases and opinions and frustrations and proclivities. And as I pondered the happenings of this treatise, A Prairie Home Companion uttered the phrase "A Good and Happy Life" and I found my title.


Summation: The disparity in wealth widens and leads to its inevitable conclusion. The have nots rise up, the economy collapses, and in the anarchy before a new regime brings order, we set our stage. A wealthy teen away from home returns to find her parents murdered, her sister taken, and her house being ransacked. She pairs up with a street urchin who was looting the house at the time. After yelling and haggling and an offer of payment, the urchin says she knows where the sister is being held and will take the girl there. They brave the mean streets of [New York/Boston/St. Louis/not sure] in an effort to get the girl back. They voice their opinions on what's happening, extol the virtues of the young girl taken to be sold into who knows what kind of depraved service, and what they dislike about the other group.

In the end, the older sister makes a mistake, continuing to act from her station. With her life threatened, she begs the urchin to save her. To which she does not, as the mistake was a sign of her selfishness and disregard for others. If she truly had loved her sister, she would have endured. The girl is killed. The urchin then goes and rescues the little girl [maybe] as she was worth saving.

Not sure when I'll write it, but I like it enough that I've added the title to my queue.

1 This is not surprising.

2 She's made a similar such comment on her blog or on Killer Chicks. I can't remember which.