Tonight, I managed to get Dave Larson and Neil Craftsman in for an interview. Sadly, Dave is in a little bit of denial tonight…
Dave: I’ve been thinking over where you went wrong in this story. What Isaac needed to have was an epiphany, a moment where it dawns on him that Eva Connealy is the right one for him. I think we need to back up to the scene where she comes over for supper. Instead of having her go back home and Isaac heading home, here’s what we’re going to do. We’re going to have him take Eva back alone. That way Rachel and Adam won’t be in his way. Then we’re going to have him accept her father’s invitation to go inside the house where they can talk. From there–
Ruth: Dave, hold on. What are you doing?
Dave: Rewriting your story. I’ll deal with the beginning where Isaac’s misled into thinking he’s attracted to that Craftsman girl. But the plot is going to change so that he realizes that Eva is a much better match for him.
Dave: I don’t believe this concerns you.
Neil: Oh, it concerns me a lot since your son is eloping with my daughter.
Dave: No such thing is going to happen. I have a copy of what Ruth wrote so far and have deleted everything up to the time when Isaac is about to take Eva back home. I’m going to write the rest of the story as it’s meant to be. Don’t worry, Ruth. You can still claim the story as yours. I don’t want any credit for it.
Neil: *rolls eyes* How noble of you.
Dave: Stay out of this, Craftsman. This has nothing to do with you.
Ruth: I’m not rewriting the story, Dave.
Dave: Oh, I know. You have that policy where your first draft is pretty much how the story is going to go because you hate going back and rewriting anything. Lucky for you, I don’t mind rewriting anything, so I’ll do all the work. There’s no need to worry about anything. I got it all under control.
Ruth: Dave, I know this is hard for you to accept, but Isaac and Emily are going to end up together. I decided that back when I was writing Eye of the Beholder.
Dave: But you’ve said yourself that stories change as you write them. This is one of those stories. Isaac needs a good girl from a good family who will bless him. He’s only seventeen, so he doesn’t know the right one to pick. As his father, I have his best interest at heart.
Neil: Sounds to me like you’re trying to control a situation that can’t be controlled.
Dave: Why is he still here?
Neil: Because I’m a part of the story. A much more sane part from the looks of it.
Dave: What is that supposed to mean?
Neil: It means that you need to get over the past so you can see clearly. No one can change the past so why dwell on it? What we need to do is move on and do what it takes for the kids to be happy.
Dave: I don’t care what you do to make your daughter happy, but I know what I’m going to do to make my son happy. He’ll be happiest with Eva. She’s got a good heart and was brought up with fine, upstanding morals.
Neil: You just can’t resist an attempt to put me and my family down, can you?
Dave: I didn’t mention you. I was talking about Eva and her family.
Neil: And in so doing, you found a clever way of looking your nose down on me and my family, once again.
Dave: You read too much into things.
Neil: No, I’m not. I don’t know what kind of fool you take me for, but I’m not stupid.
Dave: I have deleted you from every part of this story, so your input is irrelevant here.
Neil: *laughs* Unbelievable. I really can’t believe it. Ruth, he’s not in a little bit of denial; he’s completely immersed in it. Life won’t be looking so good to him when he realizes all of his rewriting will be for nothing. If I’m right, today Isaac and Emily got married.
Ruth: Yes. It took until chapter 19, but they finally tied the knot. I swear, the whole book is about them eloping, and it took over half the thing to get them to elope.
Dave: That’s because they didn’t want to do it. You’re forcing them to do something against their will because you had this whole Romeo and Juliet thing planned. But you’re not Shakespeare, Ruth, and this isn’t Romeo and Juliet.
Ruth: Oh, I know. If Shakespeare was writing this, both Isaac and Emily would die at the end because you would make life so impossible for them that one would fake a suicide and the other would believe it and commit suicide for real. Then the other would wake up and commit suicide for real as well. Then where would the happy ending be? You should be glad I’m not Shakespeare because if I was, I might also have you commit suicide when you realize it was your stubborn pride that led them to kill themselves.
Neil: *snickers* That’s telling him, Ruth.
Dave: That’s ridiculous. If you refuse to haul Neil off to jail when he abducted Mary, then you wouldn’t kill characters off like that. You have a surprising tolerance for unsavory characters.
Neil: Funny, Dave. One might think you’re talking about me.
Dave: Well, in that case I was.
Neil: You know, if you hadn’t been there when Mary got off the train when she first arrived in Omaha, everything would be different today.
Dave: All I did was marry the most wonderful girl in the world. You were the one who had to keep up with the snide remarks before you realized Cassie wasn’t worth it. You think I’ve forgotten all of that? Or do you think I’ve forgotten the kind of example you and Cassie were to Emily? Just what did Emily learn from you two? That marital vows aren’t sacred? That’s it’s okay to commit adultery?
Neil: I wasn’t unfaithful to Cassie.
Dave: And that time you went to see a prostitute while you were married–
Neil: I almost did but didn’t, and it was because of Emily that I decided not to.
Dave: The fact that you even thought about it is deplorable to me. I’d never consider doing that to Mary.
Neil: There you go again. You’re just so perfect, aren’t you? You’ve never done a single thing wrong in your entire life, so you can sit around and point your finger at those of us who screwed up and needed to be redeemed from our sins.
Ruth: Alright, guys. Let’s not get into another punching match. Dave, you’ll have to learn to forgive Neil and see him for who he is today. He’s not the same person he was in Eye of the Beholder. You’d actually like him if you gave him half a chance.
Dave: As I said earlier, I’ll be rewriting this story and sending it to you when I’m done. I figure it’ll take about a week or two to get everything right.
Ruth: Okay. Dave is currently in a very big case of denial.