Wednesday, February 03, 2016

Sally Kilpatrick: Bittersweet Creek & Shakespeare

O Romeo, Romeo! Wherefore art thou* Romeo? –Juliet, Romeo and Juliet
Julian McElroy, wherefore art thou* such an a$$hole? –Romy, Bittersweet Creek

Okay, I gave in. I melded my English major’s love of literature with my country girl’s desire to write a story about the rural area where I grew up. One of the things that’s always struck me about Shakespeare is how we view his works as highbrow now, but they were written for the common people. Shakespeare’s plays are full of wit and puns and carefully crafted dirty jokes, and there are very few things in this world that I love more than wit and puns and carefully crafted dirty jokes.

In Bittersweet Creek I give you Shakespeare. . . . with cows. I had a lot of fun with this one by translating feuding families to the south. The Satterfields drive Fords and like cats. The McElroys drive Chevorlets and prefer dogs. The Satterfields are by the book folk, but the McElroys like to bend the law. The Hatfields and the McCoys set off their feud with a stolen hog, but the Satterfields and the McElroys are going to finish their feud over an illegitimate calf. Romy and Julian have been drawn to each other since they were kids, but can they overcome the animosity of their families?

What’s your favorite version of Romeo and Juliet? Is there a Shakespearean play that you think deserves more love? Or can you share your favorite Shakespearean dirty joke? Answer any one of these questions in the comments below and consider yourself in the running for a copy of Bittersweet Creek. I’ll have one of those random number generators pick a name.

*A lot of folks think Juliet was asking where Romeo was. Really, “Wherefore art thou Romeo?” is closer to asking “Why do you have to be Romeo?” That should help you understand Romy, my heroine. She conducted her balcony scene, it should be noted, from the barn loft.

Sally Kilpatrick


traveler said...

I enjoyed your wonderful post today which was captivating and fascinating. Shakespeare was and is my favorite playwright. Ever since I attended the Stratford Shakespearean Festival in Stratford, Ont. when I was 14 years old I was enthralled. My favorite version of Romeo and Juliet is with baz Luhrmann. A Shakespeare play that I adored was A Midsummer Night's Dream since it is playful and fun.

dstoutholcomb said...

going on a tangent... I loved the movie: Letters to Juliet

Funny story, in high school, when we read Othello, there was a boy in class who had a crush on me, and he decided to nickname me "Dizzy D"--I'm not a ditz. It was because of Desdemona. Not that I'm like her at all.


Susan Lang said...

Taming of the Shrew. Petruchio and Katharina and their whole dialogue about the wasp and his sting. Shakespeare liked to throw in his fair share of double entendres!

Laney4 said...

Twelfth Night:
Malvolio says (Act 2, Scene 5), "By my life, this is my lady's hand these be her very C's, her U's, and ('N') her T's and thus makes she her great P's." ("And" was pronounced as 'n' back then, so an audience would spell the letters out).

Mary Preston said...

I must admit to loving Baz Luhrmann's production of ROMEO AND JULIET. It is just superb.

Sally Kilpatrick said...

Thanks for chiming in, y'all! Confession Thursday: I haven't seen the Baz Luhrmann version of R&J. I know, I know! That Malvolio, and I remember the sting from Taming of the Shrew, too. Othello is my favorite of the tragedies, but none of you mentioned my favorite of the comedies: Much Ado About Nothing. And, since nothing meant something COMPLETELY different back in the day, the title doubles as a dirty joke, too. Thank you so much to everyone for dropping by. After consulting with the Random Number Generator, the lucky winner is....*drum roll*.....traveler. I'm rather fond of Puck and A Midsummer Night's Dream, BTW. Send me an email to with your snail mail, and I'll get you a copy of Bittersweet Creek in the mail. Let me know if you would like for me to personalize it.

Susan L said...

Much Ado About Nothing. (Face palm) I loved Joss Whedon's movie so much that I have a poster of the movie in my game room. I still remember Romeo's soliloquy as Juliet stand on the balcony. Thanks 10th grade Lit!

Linda Herold said...

I liked the movie Shakespeare in Love!

Sally Kilpatrick said...

Shakespeare in Love was quite good, and I did love Whedon's version of Much Ado.