Fung-What? My favorite bus service is shut down.

fung wah, beware the hawk

By wonder_j  via Wikimedia Commons

As the author of a novella that features their services, I’d be remiss if I didn’t at least post briefly that the Fung-Wah has been ordered to take its fleet off the road. By the feds. Which might not be a bad plot element for a third novella.

According to my old employer The Boston Herald (actually, one of my former fellow editorial assistants penned the piece), the very last Fung-Wah bus left South Station last night.

Fung-Wah was told to take its buses off the roads Monday, but the company chartered other buses so that it could keep shuttling passengers between the Chinatowns of Boston and New York.

Which means that there were unmarked Fung-Wahs on the road, which made me wary of every bus I passed on my way to and from work yesterday. (Usually I’m all “Ooh, a charter bus! I bet there’s a touring rock star in there.” Last night I gave them all a wide berth.) But there was no need for worry. The MBTA shut the Fung-Wah party down last night.

(UPDATE: I’m told by someone who knows that it was actually MDOT that shut down the party.)

I’ve got mixed feelings about this. On one hand, I’m a little bummed. I used the Fung-Wah in Beware the Hawk because I felt that generations of readers from the Northeast would get the joke. On the other hand it’s nice not to worry when a Fung-Wah passes me a little too closely and a little too quickly on the highway.

Scavenger Hunt, Day 2: The Fung-Wah

UPDATE: I was sent a photo of a lady with colorful hair on Saturday and I missed it because I’m an eejit who clearly doesn’t understand how Facebook Timeline works.  I want to post her photo now. Behold! The aqua coif of Mary-Jo Bates, whose eloquent thoughts you can find here.

It's like she's a natural bluenette.

Now, on with the post for Sunday:

Oh, the stories we hear about the Fung-Wah. For those of you who do not live on the I-95 corridor between Boston and New York, the Fung-Wah is a bus line known for its cheap fares and the excitement of its rides, which is why my protagonist in Beware the Hawk likes it so much. It’s a literal cheap thrill.

For day two of the scavenger hunt, I want you to share a story about the Fung-Wah. Do do some Sunday Googlin’ and find the most amusing review/story you can about the Fung-Wah, or share your own harrowing experience.

Then share it on Twitter (#bewarethehawk) or on my Facebook author page. Or what the hell, share a story in the comments. Best story gets featured here tomorrow, which reminds me, I have a cherry-haired lady to share:

This is Michelle. Her photo was submitted by her friend, Ally.

No worries if you didn’t get a picture of a woman with colorful hair to me today. You can send one in at any time between now and March 20. So if you see a pink-haired lady, get out your phone, get up in her business and snap away!

Making time for work, or, This novella ain’t gonna revise itself.

Today, I’ve spent a lot of time dodging people, and trying to make the time to write and revise. It’s imperative that I make the time work today, because I have a half-revised novella on my hands, and I’m due to send it out next week. The prose ain’t gonna polish itself, amirite?

But for some reason today has not been a day of quiet, thoughtful work. It’s been an obstacle course. My phone is ringing. The dog is needy. My neighbor would like to talk to me, right now. Another neighbor has decided to start mowing his lawn with the loudest lawnmower ever invented. My husband, busy with his own job, needs me to run an errand. On that errand, I run into people who want to speak with me and ask me how my summer has been and what plans I have for fall. When I come back, my cat has decided to impress me by attempting to eat a Nintendo DS charger. Sweet lord.

I understand that none of these (except for the charger-eating cat) are unreasonable things. Running an errand while my husband is busy is no big deal, it’s good that my dog is affectionate, and most people actually like to make small talk. It’s polite. They’re being nice. I’m the unreasonable one.

None of the people I met this morning know that I’ve been revising in my head since I woke up. None of them know that while they are talking about their plans for the rest of August, I’m thinking Do I just cut out the first two pages? But then how can I make the opium den believable? And do I really have to lose the part about the chickens on the Fung-Wah bus? I mean, come on. Everyone likes chickens.

No. The people I met this morning just think I’m a rude, distracted-looking woman who hasn’t showered today, and was late for my errand thanks to two wrong turns and a near accident. It’s probable they think I have a decreased mental capacity, or that I’m insane and need to be confined.

Evidently I think I need to be confined as well. Right now I’m holed up in my office, hunched over my laptop. I’ve seen myself in the mirror. I look like a crazy person. Maybe we should pad the walls in here.

Why am I writing this instead of revising? Two reasons.

First, because I need to vent. I’m afraid that if I don’t vent, I’ll burst into tears and shriek Leave me alone, I’m thinking about chickens and whisper videos, dammit! at the next person who asks me how I’m doing today.

Second, because I think it’s important to write and think about making the time to work. So often, I put off the things I want or need to do because people are calling me, or because I forget that writing is my job, or because I enjoy writing so much that it can sometimes feel like play. But writing is work, and in this case, for me, it’s serious work because someone is waiting for it. This is a discussion writers need to have often, because I think many of us forget that writing isn’t just fiddling around with a pen and paper or a keyboard. It’s serious work, and requires a commitment.

And now that I’ve said all that, I’m hitting the “publish” button and logging out so that I can get to work.