[image description: A white sign with thin red and blue lines around its edges and held to a rusting wall with small silver nails. It shows an iconic soft-serve Ice-Cream cone character in a running position, giving a thumbs-up. His pupils are shiny dark hearts, but what is most unusual is that he himself is a work in progress, appearing in notional pencil to the left, and becoming a fully realized… ice cream cone at right. Text reads, “Yippee for Mister W.i.p.py! ~ small god of Works in Progress, #259”]
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Golly gee, friend-o, it looks like you’re struggling with structure and motivation! With foreshadowing and intent! Need to get that gun on the mantle in act one so you can fire it off in act three, or else you’re going to be short a corpse! Gosh, is this all too much to keep track of? Do you need an outline? Do you need a rubber ducky? Do you need a nap?
You’re walking with Mister Wippy now.
Mister Wippy is a transitional god, between Anna Spiration, Small God of New Ideas, and Long Hal, Small God of Finished Projects. He knows he won’t be with you for long, but that while he is, he’ll be all-consuming, swallowing your waking hours, dominating your days. He can live with that. He’s not a god of Once Upon a Times, but the god of what comes after, the long inhale between story’s start and “happily ever after.”
He isn’t a cruel god. He’s not a kind one, either; Mister Wippy is neutral, devoted only to the stories he’s here to see told, and when they’re finished, so is he, melting like the memory of summer sweetness, off to his next worshipper, the next hand he needs to hold. Mister Wippy is grateful that you spend the time with him, that you support the network of literary gods to whom he is bound.
He loves this project, for there are so many gods to be documented that we will always be among his congregation, however many others we may also be a part of.
We try not to let that worry us. Some gods wonder and some gods wander and Mister Wippy…
Mister Wippy watches us sleep.
Mr. Wippy has been a constant presence in my head for many years, for a novel that I’ve started 4 times but can’t quite seem to get the handle on. I know where it ends. I know the basic ideas of the middle. I know many of the characters. But I can’t quite find the piece to tie it all together.
We know how that goes. In Lee’s experience, reading aloud and asking pals for suggestions can go far. Bon courage!