Q1: You are writing a novel. The "Great American Novel." What is your novel about? Q2: You still watch that show? Good *gawd*! What show is it and why? Q3: You are facing down a bear. Your only weapon is a rubber band. What do you do? What do you do?!?
Q1: “Great American Novel” by Ralph Helm
- I love a good road story. I also think there needs to be a strong female protagonist. So, I guess maybe I’d write a novel about this idea that’s been rolling around in my brain for a few years now. Five graduate anthropology students in a Belief Systems in America summer class, all from varying religious and socio-economic backgrounds, are given a group assignment by their professor. They can choose to do whatever they want, but the assignment must cover themes that most sacred texts were written as a response to: journey, discovery, enlightenment, doubt, faith, and compromise. With the campus practically empty and little else to do, the decide to embark on a summer-long road trip. From the Mormon Tabernacle in Salt Lake City, to “Touchdown Jesus” in Cincinnati; from a seance in Salem, to a sweat lodge in the Arizona desert, together they will discover what not only divides them, but what brings them together. The atheist; the Muslim; the daughter of a Baptist preacher; the lapsed Jew; and our indifferent protagonist, raised in just about every spiritual movement there has ever been.
- I guess I chose the theme of religion because it seems to be something right now in today’s America that in many people’s eyes defines others even more than where they live, what they do for a living, or who they vote for.
- I’d want it to be lighthearted and funny. Well…until the zombie apocalypse takes place in the second act, and we find out that the daughter of the Baptist preacher is actually an expertly trained assassin.
- This is an actual project I’ve been working on since about 2010 as a screenplay, so obviously it’s all ©®2012 Me. :-)
Q2: That show I still watch
- Oh dear. Too many guilty pleasures. Some of them are genuinely good. Some are so formulaic it’s almost embarrassing. Eureka, Leverage, andWarehouse 13 on the genuinely good side. Bones, In Plain Sight on the formulaic side. I’ve never been into reality TV, except for cooking shows and Ace of Cakes, so I don’t have any of those to be ashamed of.
Q3: The Bear
- Some of this will depend on the size of the rubber band. If it’s large enough, I would quickly wrap it around 2 trees and slingshot myself, Angry Birds style, over the bear if I’m feeling afraid or into the bear if I’m feeling brave. Or if I’m drunk. If I were Section9, I’d use my…um…rope skills…to tie the bear up with the rubber band.
Feel free to ask more!