clues at the scene

clues at the scene

Friday, November 16, 2012

The Bones of It

Time for the bones review. Yes - that's a check in the photo. "Services" and not a publisher's check.

What am I working on and why is it important ?

Chicken Boom Boom - the story of a murder performed by an exploding chicken coop. How ? The chickens inside turned to steam. Rather a lot of energy in flash boiling a chicken. Put for or five in a coop and it's quite a blast. It produced an unfortunate demise due to blunt force trauma. The story on the surface is a procedural performed by an oddbits castoff from agency-without-a-name working on behalf of the F.B.I. The heart of the story has more to do with being an outsider and getting on with locals.

Nothing special - just a fun story.

Despot Island - making the world a better place by providing an easy out for those who otherwise "have a job for life." It's my answer to a comment on the Falklands Islands and the Palestinians I once heard made by the late George Carlin. There's a little bit of _Glenngary Glen Ross_ thrown in as well. Hard to resist.

I heard a man say "What else am I to do" once and it stuck. There we have it.

Kate - the story of a high school sophomore with the maturity of a forty-year old man (enough of that !) whose concerns revolve around "being normal" in a family that is anything but normal. She lives thirty-four stories below the Empire State Building with her mad scientist father, eleven year old genius brother (goes to Columbia), super-spy mother, and cyborg beagle Atlas. Alas, Kate does go to St. George's Prep (not to be confused with St. George's Academy) with a number of other special students in an atmosphere that tries to keep things under wraps. She has some trouble with that premise but tries to get on well enough. The main theme is however that Kate is the person most prepared with reason and understanding to confront these most unusual circumstances partly because of her exposure to the unusual and partly just because of her personality. She's aces in crisis but has yet to understand her place is providing order in what can become pretty scary chaos.

Kate is the alter ego of an associate of mine from school years. He was the sort of fellow who just reached over calmly and turned the Bunsen burner off when things went badly and everyone else is wondering what to do  [ It's gonna blow ! ]. I'm excited to get back to Kate.

Outside Paradise - the story of a fellow who may or may not be Christ in Western Kansas. Even he isn't sure. He's withdrawn and has to learn to embrace humanity. Events force his hand. [ Hemingway - make them desire something. Place them outside their comfort zone. Have them struggle for resolution even if the outcome isn't perfect. Show the struggle.]

This one is important because it has so much of what Andy taught me in it.

Denis Ivanovich - Denis sees the truth. Unfortunately, the police do not. Denis is suspected in his wife's unfortunate demise set-up to appear as a suicide but that has unsettling aspects of a murder crudely concealed.

This one is important because I started it as a novel after _Rateater_ was on ice. I never could find its legs as a novel without being bitter and shallow. As a short story - it works.

I'm happy about all of these short stories - some of which have a draft on ice and a pair which have drafts in progress.

There is another floating around that I'm not so happy about. I don't think it will stand. Instead, I suspect I'll write a story about some friends who go on a fly-in fishing trip late season September. The plane doesn't come to pick them up. They had supplies for a week. They can make most of the next week on what they have remaining and fish. However, they're ill prepared to try and make it 125 miles out of rough country nor are they at all prepared for the weather they know is coming. It's the lifeboat story on dry land where salvation looks like a boat (instead of land). Of course, it only looks like salvation.

I'd love to hear about other WIP. It helps.

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