“Hey, Missy! How’s your novel coming along?” Marica asked.
“Sweepingly, Marica. Just sweepingly!” replied Missy looking up from the pile of notebooks, books, and devises on her desk.
“Ruff?” Rocky questioned.
“Um, Missy… don’t you mean ‘swimmingly’?”
“Swimmingly!?!” Missy cried out. “What does swimming have to do with writing an epic novel? No, no. I mean sweepingly. I read the reviews, Marica. All epic novels are sweeping.”
“I see your point, Missy,” Marica agreed as she sat down.
“Ruff,” Rocky mumbled as he yawned and stretched out on the bed. Frankly, he was already tired of Missy’s so-called Epic Novel. “Ruff,” he mumbled again.
“So if you’re not too busy, Missy, tell us how it’s coming along.”
“Well, Marica, as you know I’ve been hard at work. And it is hard work, let me tell you!” Missy said most emphatically, as she took the reading glasses from her long snout. “I have now worked out the story arc. As you know, I begin in medias res and… “
“Very nice, Missy!”
“Thank you. I’ve been practicing,” Missy said proudly. “I begin in medias res and have developed the plot according to Aristotelian mythos regarding the subordination of character to the plot. I thought this particularly important, since– as you know– my tale is one of vices and virtues and how they manifest in not just the main, but also in the minor characters. I have thus far developed this plot to the point of denotation and somewhat more roughly… “
“Ruff?” Rocky asked Marica in a muffed tone.
“I think she might mean ‘dénouement,’ Rocky, but really I have no idea what she’s talking about,” Marica whispered back.
“… My chief difficulty will, naturally, given the number of characters, be ensuring tempro- and spacio- cohesion among them,” Missy finished.
“Well! That sounds fascinating, Missy. Just fascinating!” Marica was pretty impressed. If nothing else, Missy had clearly done some background reading on the subject of epic novel writing. “Here’s a question, though. Who is the target audience for your epic novel?”
“Children and young adults,” Missy answered firmly. “Children and young adults. I was ever so dismayed when, years ago, you confirmed to me that some children do not know how, or want to read. So very very sad. I firmly believe it is my calling to write for these poor dears, to offer up to them a world of sterling characters, exquisitely crafted dialogs, and soaring adventures.”
“Ruff,” Rocky rolled his eyes.
“My goodness! That’s wonderful!” Marica exclaimed. “But what I was wondering is if the intended audience is canine or human?”
“Ruffruffruff,” Rocky chuckled.
“Oh my! Silly me!” Missy giggled. “Why, of course I hope for my epic novel to be read by all, Marica! While I applaud my Dear Friend’s bullish specieism regarding cats versus dogs, I myself have a more inclusive attitude. I long for all creatures– great and small, to coin a phrase– to become more virtuous, and to know how to read.”
“Ruff?!? Ruff?!?” Rocky objected strenuously.
“Rocky’s right, Missy. That phrase has already been coined.”
“Are you quite certain?”
“Yep,” Marica got up and starting poking around the shelves. “Here,” she said as she handed Missy a
crappy old book.
“Well, I’ll be! I did not know,” Missy exclaimed. “I must be more careful. I certainly do not wish to become known as a playgrist!”
“I wouldn’t worry too much about that, girl,” Marica grinned and gave Missy a big old scratch behind the ears. “You’re such a sweet girl. Your novel’s going to be just epic, Missy. You keep up the good work!”
“Ruff,” said Rocky shaking his big bulbous head.
“I shall, Marica. I shall. And thank you for your support.”