June 6, 2024 Post

What every smartphone user should know

…has nothing to do with this post, but…

I do have a couple of stories for you.

I’m serving up the Story of the Week, as well as the original story that inspired it. Since the new tale is a sequel, I’ll put the original one here, followed by the new sequel. If you prefer reading the sequel first, feel free to jump down the page. Go ahead—we’ll wait for you.

   Honesty Should Count For Something

Kenneth sat at his assigned table in the middle of the gym. He readjusted his name tag again and waited as the next speed-date candidate strode up to him. She’s done this before. Way too cocky.

She sat across from him. Locked in on his name tag.

She thrust out her hand. “Maggie May. What do you do for fun, Kenneth?”

He leaned in close. Whispered, “I break into houses and steal ladies’ underwear.”

Maggie laughed loud enough to turn heads.

“Nice,” she said. “Finally, an original opening line.”

Kenneth just nodded.

Can’t say I didn’t warn her, he thought.

Prompt: A hobby

And here’s the Story of the week

      Taking it to the next level

Kenneth rarely got second dates, yet tonight was number three.

So far, they’d both revealed little—like boxers, feeling each other out.

Afterward, he returned Maggie to her car back at the mall.

He drove off. Since meeting her, Kenneth had behaved himself—no midnight prowling, but tonight, he slipped into a stranger’s house and rifled her underwear drawer.

Breathless, he jumped into his car. Maggie popped over the backseat.

“Shit!” Kenneth flung a silk thong at her.

“You actually do this? Maggie said. “I thought you were joking. You need—”


“An accomplice.” Maggie lit up.”Let’s sneak inside together!”

Based on: Honesty Should Count for Something (From FAST FICTION, Vol. 1, p. 37)

UPDATE on Questionable Characters (my work-in-progress first novel). I was thrilled to get notes this week from my developmental editor. The wait has been excruciating because I knew I had a lot of work to do, and while I had my suspicions regarding major problem areas, I needed to hear from a pro regarding what’s working and what isn’t.

After reading her notes, I’m very excited to dive back in. I will absolutely have to do some major restructuring, but it’s all going to be worth it. I had a definite WTF ending that I will leave on the cutting room floor. It was one of the things I had concerns about, and she let me know why going in that direction would be ill-advised. I’m sure she’s right. It would shock people, and right after they recovered from the shock, they’d probably be very mad at me for leading them down the path I did. I’ll leave it at that for now. After taking that away, she gave me one really great idea that I think I’ll use.

My next step will be to put together a list of questions and discussion points for her, and then we’ll have a Zoom call to go over it all. I feel like I’ve taken a major leap just getting the kind of overarching guidance a baby novelist such as myself truly needs. This next step in the outlining process will be challenging—and lots of fun.

OK. That’s gonna do it for this week. As always, thanks for listening.

Scotty out

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