Thursday morning and I slept really well last night. About time, right? But it’s amazing what a good night’s sleep makes, especially coming after two consecutive nights of insomnia. It’s lovely not to feel tired, you know? I was so tired when I got home from work yesterday that my eyes were almost crossing. I was too tired to think, too tired to write, too tired to do much of anything, so I just collapsed into my easy chair–Scooter actually slept in my lap all evening, and when I got up, he’d curl up in the chair again waiting for me to come back, which was very sweet–and then I watched the documentary God Forbid, which focuses on the Jerry Falwell Jr. pool boy scandal that ended Falwell’s career, from the pool boy’s point of view, which made it a lot more interesting.
It also explored how Falwell’s father led the evangelicals into politics and set us on the downward path that put our entire democracy into the peril it still faces today. The original Falwell was a monster–racist, homophobic, misogynist–and perverted Christianity for money and power. He isn’t the first to do this–look up “Father Coughlin” sometime–and maybe not event the worst (anything is possible), but the damage done to the fabric of the culture and society, predicated on the evangelical desire to make this a Christofascist nation (definitely not what the Founders wanted), by this man and his son may even prove irreparable in the long run. Who knows? Falwell Jr. was important to the election of Trump and the evangelical embrace of this thrice-married ungodly and unChristian wannabe dictator, too. And it got the evangelicals what they’ve wanted since Falwell Senior realized that open racism wasn’t a winning ticket–but abortion could be: the overturn of Roe v. Wade. Would Falwell have backed Trump if Michael Cohen hadn’t known about the sick sexual games the Falwells were playing with a young, naïve young man named Giancarlo Granda? It would make an epic crime novel, truly–I loved John D. Macdonald’s examination of a Midwestern megachurch, One More Sunday, which I really enjoyed.
I have had this idea for a crime novel built around a cult-like church for quite some time. When I was living in Kansas, there was a college in Emporia that was owned and operated by just such a cult-like church. The College of Emporia, a Presbyterian school, had gone bankrupt and closed in 1973. A few years later it was purchased by The Way International and transformed into The Way College of Emporia. The Way College was strange. Their campus was closed to outsiders and patrolled at night by armed guards. There was all kinds of gossip around the county about what went on there and the kinds of things they believed and did; the students always wore name-tags and travelled in pairs–and would often try to corner other young people and proselytize. When I was working at McDonalds, for example, I observed them do this to a girl who was cleaning tables in the lobby. They essentially waited until she was in a part of the place that had only one way out, and once she was back there cleaning tables, they blocked the way out to talk to her. They always had this weird look on their faces, too–their eyes always seemed either glazed or vacant or both, and they always had a zombie-like smile that didn’t reach their eyes. One of the many iterations of the Kansas book took place over two time-lines, one in the 1970’s and the other the present day; where the quarterback’s murder in a sex scandal in the 1970’s gave rise to a megachurch in the town. I have done some research in the Way International (they sold the Way College and its campus to Emporia State University sometime after we left Kansas) and even have a book written by someone who belonged and got out.,,so I would never say never.
Oh, and thank you, Brazil, for ousting your Fascist. Well done!
Unfortunately, my exhaustion last night means that I have fallen another day behind on the book, which isn’t good. But it was really out of my hands, to be honest. I was so tired I don’t even really remember driving home from work last night–which is NOT a good thing at all. But I am hoping that feeling rested and not being exhausted will make a difference tonight. I am halfway done–it’s planned to be twenty chapters, and I finished Chapter Ten on Tuesday–so tonight I am going to go back and reread and edit the first half of the book. It’ll take some serious work–the kind where I have to close the Internet browsers to avoid distraction–because some of the earlier chapters need to be moved around and rearranged; the order in which the story unfolds needs to be switched up a bit–and I need to outline the first half as well as make a character list and due a timeline. I also realized that my usual Scotty thing to do–parody the opening of a famous novel–doesn’t have to be a parody of a famous novel opening–and I’ve always wanted to write something that opened the way Dark Shadows did (“My name is Victoria Winters”), so why not do that? “My name is Scotty Bradley” or something along those lines. I wonder if Victoria’s opening monologue from episode one is on-line anywhere? Better add that to the list.
And on that note, Constant Reader, I am going to head into the spice mines. Have a great Thursday, and I will talk to you again tomorrow.