Wednesday, April 2, 2014

#atozchallenge: B is for Bachelors

The singles of the 2014 A Year in Stories project. They're as varied as they're complex. 

Mars. Don't you love that name?
Take the three bachelors of Gay Degani's Old Road stories: Gus German, his son Mars, and Ian Shane.

Gus finds solace--from his disillusionment, from the loneliness his long-dead wife left behind--in his dog, Gracie (come back on D day for more on her and the other Dogs of The 2014 Project).

Mars is a mystery; divorced or never married, we don't know yet, but he's as lonely as his dad--and that there is a relationship worth a Tolstoy-sized novel. Same as Ian's relationship with his mother: she rules his life totally, tells him where and how to live, even what to do for a living. (We'll get into those relationships next Monday, for Family First & Foremost).

(Want to know more about Gay's 2014 stories?)

Then there's Claire Worthington, who lost the fire under her ass either somewhere after college or right before it ended (Isa by Rachel Ambrose, January Vol. 1), and has no ambition beyond paying her bills and, sometimes, eating. But then her new roommate introduces her to a guy, and you just know Claire's orderly non-life is about to boil over. Or Nadia, a talented seamstress somewhere in Australia, who not only gets to watch the guy she loves marry someone else, but gets as well to make the wedding dress for that someone else. For free. (Well, actually by Mandy Nicol, February Vol. 2)

Isa, by Rachel Ambrose.
2014 January Vol. 1
How about Gill Hoffs' call girl, whose name might or might not be Jennifer, and who brings a unique mix of grittiness, common sense, and wit to the project. In Carpet Muncher (January, Vol. 1), Maybe-Jennifer introduces us to
"Robin, whose wife understands him well enough but doesn't have the figure or temperament to stand beside him at a business do and impress the other suits with Robin's good taste, or the stamina to help him blow off steam with a half-hour blowjob afterwards. Apparently it makes her jaw ache and her cheeks sore, and he has a tendency to get some in her eye. Now I've known him a while, I'm sure his aim was deliberate."

And then there's Adam Zajak, nicknamed Wingy by some wit in a newspaper, who opens his story in the simplest way he can:
"I fly.
That is the blunt truth with which it all begins." 

(Wingy by Andrew Stancek, January Vol. 1.) 
We're tempted to dismiss him as delusional, but the voice is so real, the narrative so persuasive--precisely, perhaps, because it doesn't seek to persuade--that we begin to doubt. And that right there is the key to masterful storytelling: suspension of disbelief.

I wanted to tell you also about Father Edward McKenzie, the transvestite--or transgender, according to his creator--priest. And about Pedersen the pedophile, that creepiest of the 2014 characters. And about Charles and the accident he witnessed and how he ends up in India in March. And about Aaron and the suicide club he starts. And about Morgana Malone, and Stevie, and Max and his beautiful boat, and Luis Villalobos the hotshot tax lawyer that moves to Curaçao and regrets it within three weeks, and Slim Jim, and Anne Donaldson, and The Bird Mahony, and Samford and his clone, and Rachel, and....

This post is already double the length I was aiming for.

Hope you enjoyed meeting these bachelors (and bachelorettes). Come back tomorrow and meet the Couples. Marriages are falling apart all over 2014, love's got its head on the chopping block... But you know what they say. Hope dies last, if it dies at all.

~ * ~

April is the month of blog discovery. Your next favorite blog is waiting somewhere in


  1. That's a many and varied collection of singles :) Adam, the man who (thinks he?) can fly, is an interesting one.

    Good luck with the rest of the A to Z,

    Sophie's Thoughts & Fumbles - A to Z Ghosts
    Fantasy Boys XXX - A to Z Drabblerotic

  2. I'm sure his aim was deliberate. - lol :)
    These are fascinating looks at the characters, so many of them and so different.
    Tasha's Thinkings

  3. My fiance' was a confirmed bachelor - swore that he'd never marry again, all women are sneaky cheaters, etc. So his kids have had to wrap their brains around the fact that he is not only happy for the first time in their lives, but getting married again.

  4. Interesting character studies and who doesn't take solace in their dog? :) Love the line about "tried" and "tired".
    The Doglady's Den

  5. I want to read about the Transvestite! Where's that story?
    Loved the intro to the characters, thanks!

    Pavarti K Tyler

  6. Interesting characters, Guilie. Hard to pick one. They all read like great characters to explore.

  7. What an exciting post. You make me want to meet all of these characters!

  8. Quite a selection of bachelor choices and character list for the letter B.

  9. What a fun project!
    I see below that you write like Stephen King, good for you :) I'm now going to check out what they say about me. If it's anyone good, I'll be back to let you know!

  10. Relationships - tough fictionally ans non!
    Sounds like your writing is bringing much joy.
    Enjoy the A to Z Challenge
    Bridging Sorrow

  11. Hi, Guilie! These are really interesting characters and worth developing into more.

    Happy A to Z-ing! from Laura Marcella @ Wavy Lines

  12. I do not believe HOPE dies -- it can get beaten down but springs eternal. I certainly did enjoy meeting these characters. I thought your A to Z theme was going to be dogs. Did you change your mind?

  13. Love the quote from Rachel Ambrose.
    You really can get tired from trying too hard :)

    anna @ Deeply Shallow

  14. Great blog and intriguing theme.
    I love the way your website/blog looks. Awesome!
    Trisha Faye

  15. Ah! Great write-up! I like the way you've gone about discussing these characters. Couples -- oh boy... things are gonna get complicated...

  16. Well, that was a barrel full of characters! Certainly one of them I would have no interest in reading about, but that's a personal issue. The rest sound like an interesting bunch. :)


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