The Great American Novel

Paula sat by the window hoping to pick up inspiration, as she has intentions of writing the great American novel.  She has ideas floating through her head and she wants to embrace the essence of American life, which she feels that she is qualified to express.  She doesn’t have a title yet and that can come later.  It may not turn out to be Huckleberry Finn, Gone with the Wind or The Grapes of Wrath, but she feels that she has a unique perspective on what it is to be American after raising her three daughters.  So many people have asked her if she was trying for a boy on her third child and she always responded by telling them that although she tracked her ovulation cycles, she never used any special positions or timed copulation to coincide with the full moon, or cared in the least if her child had any dangly bits or not.

Paula lost her husband to cancer after their last daughter was born, and she admits that most of the time she was winging it, and she thinks that it will be a miracle if they can all turned out to be successful.  Like all single parents, Paula struggled, but she realized that people come in two classes, those that have and the have nots and the only way to make it as a single parent was for her to swallow her pride and do whatever she could for her girls.  Paula read Hillary’s book It Takes A Village and she got her shit together knowing that she could no longer be a stay at home mom and that she needed to become a working mom working toward a constructive goal.  Paula sold her house and moved back in with her mom to help raise her children.  She majored in English in college and she got a job as an editor for a publishing company and after reading all of the garbage that everyone else was writing she decided that she could do much better with her own stories.

When Paula sat at this desk, her children knew that they shouldn’t be bothering their mother, as this was her quit time and it should remain free from interruptions.  Her eldest girl Phoebe was cooking dinner tonight making raviolis which should have been easy, but she was unsure of the instructions, as they just said boil water, add raviolis and cook for five minutes.  She barged into her mom’s space to ask if she needed to turn the flame down after the water had boiled.  Paula told Phoebe to pretend that she was Tina Turner and that she needed to keep the water rolling and then she broke into a chorus of Proud Mary “Rolling on the river.”  Paula said that somethings can be done nice and easy, but you never do Proud Mary nice and easy, as you have to keep that water rolling.

Written for Fandango’s Flash Fiction Challenge #151.

14 thoughts on “The Great American Novel

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