Happy February 1st (or whatever day you happen to be seeing this). Let me start by fulfilling last week’s promise. I said I’d update you on a bit of a writing victory. I haven’t submitted my stories to very many publications, but a year ago or so I did send a few of them to Scheherazade, Monterey Peninsula College’s literary magazine. In what must be the scraping the bottom of the barrel category, I was informed that my entry Not Everybody’s a Baseball Fan will be appearing in the magazine this month. Always great to hear that your work resonates with folks, and getting more stories out into the world is what it’s all about—at least for me.
And now for a quick update on my in-progress novel Questionable Characters… I had committed to letting the first draft marinate for the month of January before I would dive back in and begin the rewrite process. I lied—but just a bit. When my trigger finger was overcome with an itch I just had to scratch, I pulled the trigger on Monday (Jan 29th) and cracked open the draft for the first time since the end of December. I started building an outline of whatever it was that I wrote during my November/December writing frenzy. I’ve already discovered some amazing/amusing things. For one thing, Blake (my protagonist) began the story by driving a crappy Toyota Camry but somehow, the car mysteriously transformed into a Camaro by the middle of the story. That’s hilarious. The only thing I can think of is that since my actual undercover car back in the day was a Firebird, somehow that bled onto the page and I just changed the name from Firebird to Camaro—you know—to protect the innocent. I’ve also discovered out-of-order scenes where characters talk about things that haven’t happened yet or places that get introduced twice. When I get into the editing stage, it’ll be fun to see which intro was better—or maybe I’ll take pieces from each of them and make one actually well-written scene. Who knows? The adventure continues…
Now let’s get to the Story of the Week. Prompt by Meyer Barrister. Story based on a real character I met on the job.
Skills You Don’t Brag About
His eyes adjusted to the dark of the smoky bar. Not a lot of likely candidates, but as he reminded himself, he only needed one.
At times like this, he wished he had Brad Pitt’s good looks. Instead, he relied on something the cops would later refer to as “mommy radar,” his uncanny ability to zero in on single mothers not interested in one-night stands.
He’d strike up a conversation, get them talking about their kids (they all loved that). Moving slowly, he’d become a friend. Soon the kids would call him uncle. Everyone would trust him.
He was almost there.
Prompt: sonar ping
And that will do it for another week from my storytelling world. Apologies goes out to readers who love my puppy tales with happy endings, but sometimes ya just gotta go dark. Or not.
As always, thanks for listening.