I am pleased to commemorate a political event today from 1973. At the height of the Watergate scandal Richard Nixon ordered attorney general Eliot Richardson to fire special prosecutor Archibald Cox. Richardson refused and resigned; so Nixon ordered Deputy Attorney General William Ruckelshaus to sack Cox, and he refused and resigned. Raymond Bork finally fired Cox, but the 20th of October endures as the date of the “Saturday Night Massacre.”
And yesterday I was near despair and praying for the muse to reveal the best conclusion to my futuristic story set in abandoned sprawl north of Reno, The Message. About mid-day I set it aside and with no small frustration decided to give it some time and began revision on another story. Adding to the pain of failure, I kept typing the protagonist’s name from The Message instead of the hero of the story I was revising. When I woke up this morning, I did not plan to touch The Message until, during my walk, the conclusion I knew could exist came to me. I hope to complete a version of the text today and record an audio version for further revision after repeateded listening. This story has been on and off the self for a couple years, and I am intent on finishing and publishing text and audio in the right literary magazine. The lessons: conflict is easy to establish and difficult to resolve, a fact that has long dogged me … and … ideas are more important than style.