Thursday, October 02, 2008

Lots of Nothing

by Joyce

I know this is hard to believe for a writer, but I have no topic for today. I thought of doing a rant on the ridiculously long election process and how I haven't heard one commercial yet that says anything even close to the truth about any candidate, but I vowed a long time ago that I'd stay away from anything political. I won't even read blogs that get political. As soon as I see anything about politics or the election, I click away. The way I figure it, no matter which candidate a writer supports, as soon as they make that public, they've essentially lost half their potential readership. And since I don't have even have a readership yet, I'm keeping my mouth shut.

Instead, lets have some fun. I want everyone here who is a writer to speak up and tell everyone a little bit about what they've been working on. If you're just a reader, tell us about what you're reading right now.

I'm working on a funny mystery. My two previous manuscripts were more serious and a bit on the dark side, so this is a really different venture for me. My protagonist is a five foot ten inch tall redhead with big hair. She works as a police secretary/dispatcher in a small southern town. I'm only about 50 pages into it, but I'm having a blast.

Okay, who's next?


Gina said...

OK, you've heard me mention that favorite actor. Being a middle aged woman with a professional job, I found it quite bizarre to suddenly have a "crush" on someone, so of course I had to write about it. I've been reworking a one-act play I wrote a few months ago in which a middle-aged woman kidnaps an actor she has a crush on. Nobody gets hurt -- at least, not physically, and I think it's pretty funny in places. It gives me a chance to explore something I've been thinking about for awhile, the way a famous person is seen in some ways almost like a fictional character rather than a real live human being. Edgar (the actor) finds himself constantly reminding Jane (the woman) that the things she thinks she knows about him are scenes from films and snippets from interviews, and that she really doesn't know him at all.
I don't know what I'll do with this piece, but it's lots of fun to work on.

Joyce said...

Gina, that sounds great!

If you can't find a market for the play, it would make a good short story, especially with all the celebrity worship that goes on now.

Btw, did you ever reveal just who the actor is? If you did I missed it.

Wilfred Bereswill said...

Well, let's see. I continue to make headway on A Reason For Terror, the second Laura Daniels novel. Here's the hook I'm using for submissions:

A series of vicious attacks are unleashed on military gatherings on American soil. Demands to stop the war in Iraq are posted on an Islamic Extremist website and more attacks are threatened until troops are withdrawn. Three men are behind it; none of them Islamic. One for a cause, one for revenge and the last just because he enjoys the killing. One woman, FBI Agent Laura Daniels is dispatched to find the truth before the U.S. escalates the war. After ten vials of a genetically altered and deadly Bird Flu virus are stolen, she receives a mysterious phone call from someone claiming to be with the suspected terrorist group, professing their innocence. Laura must decide whether to trust the evidence or her instincts in order to find the truth before the President gives the order.

I'm also outlining a suspense novel with an Asian female detective. The killer is using the Chinese calendar to kill young Asian women.

I'm also dusting off and rewriting an inspirational short story about a homeless man for a short story contest. You can read the current version here .

That's about it.

Gina said...

Joyce -
I don't know that I have revealed the identity of that actor. Tory knows, but I don't think she's telling. Oh, all right. It's Alan Rickman. There.

Jennie Bentley said...

Great post, Joyce. And congratulations on getting around to doing something with that police secretary character. It sounds like great fun. I'd love to read it.

Alan Rickman, Gina? Snape? Ooooh! And your play/whatever-it's-turning-into sounds fun, too. I tried to do something similar once, for a romance novel idea I had. That whole idea of thinking you know someone because you've seen them on TV - or met them on the internet - has lots of scope for fun, as well as trouble.

Will, 'A Reason for Terror' sounds wonderful! And I like the idea for the Chinese calendar murders, too. I enjoy reading that sort of thing - as long as it's not too gory - although I can't write it.

I should be working on DIY#3, which is due in February. Unfortunately, I've gotten sidetracked by a Young Adult mystery I started sometime in August, after a blogger over on the Good Girls mentioned the dearth of good YA mysteries these days. It's set in Virginia, in a small town called Abingdon - the oldest town west of the Blue Ridge Mountains - and deals with 16-yr-old Jo, who has to prove that her 17-yr-old brother Jared didn't kill his pregnant girlfriend. I'm at about 40,000 words right now, so I'm making tracks, but still, it's time I shouldn't be spending when I have a contract to fulfill. Jo keeps nattering in my head, though, and I can't shut her up, so I'll just have to keep going until she either quiets down, or I get to the end. One good thing, I'm so obsessed I'm writing really fast, so it shouldn't take that much longer to do.

If anyone has a 14/15/16-year-old child who likes to read sitting around, I'd appreciate a referral... It's been a while since I was 16, and I wasn't a normal 16 yr old even then, so I'm looking for someone who'll take a look at what I've got and tell me whether I'm hitting the mark.

Anonymous said...

Joyce, I'm so excited that you are using your experience as a dispatcher as the basis of a book! We talked about at TLC, so I have a vested interest in how this works out. I wish you the very best of luck with both the process and the eventual success of it.

Gina, I love your idea, too. The story sounds like a lot of fun.

I just finished reading one of Charlaine Harris's books, I think it's the second in her Roe Teagarden series, and our bookclub just read The Dirty Girls' Social Club, by Alisa Valdes-Rodriguez. It was a pretty good read about six Latina college friends ten years after college.

No writing. Lots of plans.
Karen in Ohio

Wilfred Bereswill said...

Jennie, I have a 16 year old daughter. She has a pretty full social calendar, but she likes to read and loves Agatha Christy and some of the YA stuff like the A-List and Sisterhood.

send me an e-mail.

Joyce said...

Wow, everyone has such good ideas!

I wish I could help you Jennie. My boys are way too old (24 and 20), and even when my youngest was in high school, he read Russian literature and other weird things. Now he reads mostly neuroscience stuff that would hurt my brain.

Gina said...

Jennie -
Right. Snape. And hordes of others characters, including Hans Gruber, Alexander Dane, Judge Turpin, Steven Spurrier, Metatron, Rasputin, Obadiah Slope, Colonel Brandon, the Sheriff of Nottingham, and Joe, a singing fish who wants to rule the world.

Jennie Bentley said...

I see. You're talking about the guy who was chosen as one of the 100 sexiest stars in film history by Empire Magazine in 1995.

I've seen some of his other roles too - when did he play the Sheriff of Nottingham, btw? - but to me he'll always be Snape, I'm afraid.

Joyce said...

Jennie (Gina will correct me if I'm wrong about this), I think he was Sheriff of Nottingham in the Kevin Costner version of Robin Hood.

Personally, I like the movie Robin Hood: Men in Tights much better though.

Jennie Bentley said...

A woman after my own heart! Men in Tights rocks. Cary Elwes... swoon! (The Princess Bride, I ask you?) Kevin Costner... bleargh. I boycotted that movie, actually, since I thought the casting was so abysmal. (From Errol Flynn to Kevin Costner? Who came up with that idea?) I love Robin Hood - the concept, the character, the story - but I still haven't seen the Costner version. That explains why I didn't know about Rickman as the Sheriff of Nottingham, anyway. Thanks for clearing it up!

Annette said...

Sorry I'm late jumping in here today. I've been multitasking and my brain is fried.

I LOVE Alan Rickman. And, yes, he was the Sheriff of Nottingham in Kevin Costners Robin Hood. Which I have on DVD, by the way. I also have Quigley Down Under where he played Elliot Marstan, another wonderfully evil villain. He's the best!

As for me, I'm plugging along slowly on my WIP. Here's my blurb:

Vance Township, Pennsylvania is the kind of rural community where residents have a long history and everyone knows everything about everybody. Or do they? When a power-hungry overgrown bully takes local political office and starts throwing his considerable weight around, bodies and secrets start turning up.

Paramedic/deputy coroner, Zoe Chambers, finds herself face-to-face with murder victims who are a bit too familiar. One is someone she considers a close friend. The other one definitely is not.

Zoe partners with the handsome big-city-cop-turned-rural-police-chief Pete Adams who has his own connections to the victims. Together they dig to unearth motives to the killings. In the process, they hit a rock wall of ugly, sordid secrets. From scandalous affairs to computer hacking and identity theft, evidence points to any number of suspects, including Zoe’s surrogate family. Even Chief Adams’ innocence is thrown into doubt by the county homicide detective who has seized the case from local jurisdiction.

With no one to trust but each other, Zoe and Pete are forced to take the investigation off the grid to solve the case before their questions get them both killed.

(Writing a blurb was one of my homework assignments for a writing course I'm taking online!)

Joyce said...

Maybe if we could get more men on this blog, they could do the Men in Tights song!

Joyce said...

Annette, that's GOOD!!!

Annette said...

Thanks, Joyce. I hope my agent can find an editor who thinks so, too.

Jennie Bentley said...

I second Joyce, Annette. That IS good. Very, very good.

(And I love the idea of the guys doing the Men in Tights song. After the cruiseship performance, Will would probably be up for it. If you get him liquored up enough at Bouchercon, see if you can convince him, and get it on tape, would you?)

Gina said...

Jennie -
Robin Hood, Prince of Thieves, the Kevin Costner version of Robin Hood, is nothing like the story you're used to. In fact, a friend and I have been referring to it as Robin Hood, Worst of Movies. Alan Rickman is great in it, though, and he has some incredibly good scenes with Geraldine McEwen as an old witch. It also has a fantastic sword fight, in which Rickman & Costner look as if they are actually trying to kill each other, and the funniest rape scene I've ever scene. [I know, that sounds like a contradiction in terms but trust me, it's hilarious.]

Wilfred Bereswill said...

Ahh, Jennie, Wilfred the Author will be attending Bouchercon. Will the fun crusie ship guy will not be there.

By the way, the cruise ship episode was done while completely sober.

Wilfred Bereswill said...

Oh, and there is a video of the Cruise ship incident, taken by the cruise line videographers. It just won't seem to upload to Youtube though.

Jennie Bentley said...

Oh, you mean, mean... meanie!