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Showing posts with label fiction. Show all posts
Showing posts with label fiction. Show all posts

Sunday, February 5, 2012

#GBE2: Upset

Today's GBE2 topic is "upset," which if not done correctly could be a downer. Not feeling like posting a blah-blah-life-sucks piece, I present you with excerpts from three of my unpublished novels.

No real people have been harmed in the writing of these stories.

Hope you have a laugh!

From: Don't Eat the Chipmunks by Joyce P. Lansky
 
      Last night, me and the guys tiptoed to Adam’s bunk where his chlorine-bleached hair spread across his pillow in a do like a dead chia pet's. We played dot to dot with his freckles--just in case he wasn't dorky enough already. When he got up, the kid scrubbed his face pink but still looked like a road map.
 
Was Adam upset? Of course not because I didn't write him that way.
 
From: Being Bompsy Carleffa by Joyce P. Lansky

            Gil placed tomato-based soup in front of each of us. When I blew and sipped it off my spoon, I was shocked. Cold soup? All this money, and these people can't heat the soup?
            Do you like the gazpacho?” Fiso asked. 
             I dropped my spoon on the table. Why would he mention the Gestapo? What was he, a modern day Nazi? Sure, doesn't everyone like murderers? Sick. This guy's really sick! 
 
Yes! Ben was upset, but he stays upset throughout the novel. What do you expect? His dead dad turned out to be an alive mobster who has kidnapped him.
 
And finally, in case you haven't read enough, here's a little something from my WIP (Work in Progress).
 
From: Mrs. Zimmerman's Donuts by Joyce P. Lansky
 
Slater’s mom pulled a chisel-shaped knife out of the top drawer and leaned her head back. With the precision of a surgeon, she gently slid the blade downward until it disappeared into her throat. Next she thrust it out with one gigantic swing. Blood covered the blade while red liquid filled her mouth. Her eyes rounded as her lips curved into a smug smile. She winked at me! Blood gushed out of her mouth, and she winked! While the room spun in oval circles, I couldn’t decide if she was crazy or if I needed the loony bin.
When a thick, red droplet dribbled down her chin, I squeezed the back of a chair and stepped backwards. My pulse pounded in my ears, and I worried that I might hurl at any moment.
“You’re b-bleeding.” I gripped the chair with my other hand too until my knuckles went as white as Mom’s had when she drove me home after I’d gotten in trouble the other day. “Hospital. We need to t-take you to the h-hospital!”
Slater, Calfie, and Mrs. Slatker laughed so hard tears filled their eyes.
“What are you laughing at? I think she’s really hurt!” I plopped into a chair, put my elbow on the table, and leaned my head into my palm. “I don’t feel so good.”
“It’s fake, Knob,” Slater said in between chuckles. “She squirted fake blood in her mouth!”
“The blade’s fake too.” Mrs. Slatker placed the knife on the table then wiped her mouth with a paper towel. The knife had a squeezable handle and juice filled holes on the blade. “Sorry to scare you, but we like our little jokes around here.

If you are an interested agent or editor, feel free to contact me.

Saturday, December 3, 2011

Toilet Bowl Operation

No this story is not about Delta Airlines, even though they too are a "toilet bowl operation." I'm participating in Shelly's Crazy Alternative Reality over at The Life of a Novice Writer. She's presented four pictures and asked us to write a one hundred word story about one or all of them. I originally thought the assignment was 300 words and have been whittling my writing down but fail. I'm at 140 and have removed most of the detail to give you a bare bones story. I'm going to leave it as is, sorry Shelly.





The truck’s three wheels skirted around a cactus while sheep carrying the corner with the missing wheel kept it from scraping sand. Aries is rising covered the back window.

The truck halted. Bolts and cogs shot into the sand.

A cowboy carrying a rotary phone stepped out of his truck. “Don’t pull my truck apart!”

The sheep’s eyebrows narrowed as they glared at the cowboy.

“The brochure says, “Sheep is mild.” You buckin’ requests?”
The sheep raced away, so the cowboy dialed the phone.

“What kinda toilet bowl operation you runnin’? My sheep took off.” The cowboy nodded. “Fine. Send me twins.”

He tossed the phone into his truck.

Two identical women wearing bikinis approached the cowboy.

“You gonna run my truck, Sweet-cheeks?”

“We’re gonna drive while you run.” The girl’s smacked a sticker over the other one: Gemini Rules. 

Friday, June 17, 2011

Meet Knob

Jeannie Campbell is hosting a blog hop and contest about getting to know our characters. So please meet the main character of my Work in Progress. Then you may buzz over to her site and meet other fictional people. How To Connect With Your MC


Knob's formal name is William Donald Donellson, but he received the nick name of Knob after Slater announced that his shaved hair made his head look like a door knob. Knob is a respectable name for an amazing, tough soldier. Unfortunately as the butt of the fifth grade, Wimpy Will has never felt like a tough anything.

Thanks for the interview. I'll answer the questions as best I can because I always do.

Question 1: What is your greatest fear? 

Gee, that's a tough one because I'm scared of everything. My brother died from falling off a bicycle and bleeding to death. I know, it sounds weird, but he had a disease called hemophilia and the doctors couldn't save him. Although I don't have the disease, you'd think I did by the way my mom hovers over me. I guess I'm scared of getting it. They say it's hereditary, so what happens if one day I catch hemophilia, start bleeding, and can't stop it?

Question 2: What is your biggest accomplishment?
I'm smart. Two years ago I won my age group in The Under the Arch Chess Tournament. I almost won again last year but a girl named Haley beat me. She's the only one who can beat me at chess, and I'm a little knock kneed at the thought of going up against her this year in the ten-year-old's category. Okay, I confess, I kinda like her, so scratch out my answer to question one. I'm most afraid of Haley--which is probably why I lost the tournament.
 
Question 3: What is your biggest regret?

I regret letting Randy bug me all the time in class. He always bullies me, but I've never stopped him because I'm kinda chicken. If I tell him to leave me alone, he might punch me, make me bleed, and do it in front of Haley. So on second thought, I guess I'm most afraid of Randy Butcher.

You didn't ask me what's been bugging me, but I'm going to tell you anyway. No one has gotten to meet me because my author has not gotten my story into query shape. It needs a lot of revisions. Here's the start of my story, MRS. ZIMMERMAN'S DONUTS by Joyce Paull Lansky. If you like it, tell your agent or editor friend about her because I want to be famous. Err, maybe not. It might be scary.



Mrs. Zimmerman's Donuts


            Every Friday after school, Harrison Zimmerman invited popular boys—not me, over for a stupid end-of-the-week celebration. His mom, the best chef in St. Louis County and co-founder of Zimmerman’s bakery, would fry up homemade donuts dipped in thick chocolate sauce. My mouth watered as we drove down Aberdeen Avenue and I breathed in the scent of those gooey pieces on a bed of powdered sugar.            
By the age of ten most guys had wolfed down seven-dozen pastries or more, but I’d never even tasted Mrs. Zimmerman’s donuts. I convinced myself that it was because my mom would’ve fallen into a tantrum at the thought of me swallowing anything slightly junky. She usually made a fuss over eating healthy as if my gut would explode if the tiniest bit of sugar or grease tickled my insides. But the real reason I’d never eaten the donuts—the fact that bothered me even more than Mom’s obsession over food, cleanliness, and safety—was that Harrison had never asked me to come to his stupid party. Actually, no one had ever invited me to go anywhere; but things were about to change.
  

That's what's been bugging me, but it's okay. Slater moved to town,
and he's going to help me be cool. See ya later.   ❧ Knob
                                                                


Thursday, May 12, 2011

Quagmire - Move over Moonglompers!

Quagmire
Kurt Vonnegut introduced us to Diana Moon Glampers—the ugliest, stupidest, and meanest women on Earth—who often made cameo appearances in several of his novels. My favorite role of Diana’s was as the button pushing general who would scramble the thoughts of intelligent people by causing plane wreck noises in their ears. If you’ve never read Vonnegut’s short story, “Harrison Bergeron,” check it out.

Although Diana is mean, stupid and ugly, Quagmire beats her at being the most disgusting person known to fiction (giggity giggity goo). This Family Guy neighbor has a mind geared totally to sex and abusing woman.  I'd like to slap him then throw him in jail. Even his name means an awkward, complex, or hazardous situation. That's the man. He's the sort of moron that makes one thank the lord he's fiction and hope a real life creep like Quagmire stays out of one's neighborhood. Every thought he has is about sex. He will take the most benign situation and relate it to, you guessed it, sex. Gross. If you haven't met this fictional character, consider yourself blessed. If you haven't met a real life Quagmire, that's even better!

Sunday, May 1, 2011

Cetus the Whale (Six Sentence Sunday)

Here's another six sentences from Being Bompsy Carleffa, my unpublished YA manuscript for the Six Sentence Sunday at http://www.sixsunday.blogspot.com. After Ben's kidnapping by the mob, Sarah and Austin are searching for him by studying clues from the internet.

            “During study hall, I conducted further research on the Carleffas.” Austin looked like he’d discovered a cure for Cancer or better yet, found Ben. “They’re worth sixteen billion dollars—claimed money anyway; they probably have more hidden in overseas accounts since their accountant’s a crook with a criminal record as long as Cetus the Whale.”
            “Long as who?”
            “Huge constellation with a M77 that has an active galactic nucleus,” Austin said.
            Since I didn’t speak nerd, I had no clue what he was babbling about, but that didn’t stop Austin from continuing in his excitement.

Monday, March 14, 2011

Organizing Your Writing

I have a friend who has literally walked around for two years with an idea percolating in her head without writing a single word until the entire novel is structured and ready to go. Then there is moi. The ultimate pantser. I've tried some pre-planning for my novels but find it cumbersome, and I rarely stick to my plans anyway.

Currently, I'm enrolled in my second course at the Institute of Children's Literature with an instructor who pressures me to plan. This has been difficult at best. True, I've mapped out my work in progress (WIP), but I find myself veering away from those plans as my fingers tap the keyboard.

It's interesting to have readers sometimes comment on how they love my characters yet wonder if they are ADD. I hadn't planned them that way. :o



Recently I attended Mark Diamond's workshop on teaching writing to kids and found myself walking away with tips that are even helpful to someone like me. http://www.anyonecanwrite.com

I especially found his WOW line useful. Here's what you do:

(1) Draw a horizontal (hamburger) line across a sheet of paper.
(2) Divide said line into three equal parts. These parts represent the beginning, middle, and ending of your story.
(3) Place a star between the middle and ending of the story. This is your WOW moment. That's right! The one place where the most exciting thing happens.
(4) After jotting down your idea for the WOW moment, return to the beginning. What happened a little before the WOW moment?
(5) Next write an ending that sums up the WOW moment. You could even work out some sort of connection between the beginning and the ending because you now know what you are going to do.
(6) Finally, fill in the missing pieces of your story.

Voila!

Mr. Diamond has several books available on his site, and I was pleased to have had my school purchase all four of them for me. I especially like the one about Narrative Writing.

Being a certified pantser, I had to try this technique on a recent Monster Challenge. The competition called for a five-hundred word story about a human slaying a monster. I don't know if I'll win, but I've gotten a lot of positive reviews on my piece.

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Chain Letters


Tonight my sister sent me another one of those messed up chain letters. It was about July having five Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays and that's supposed to have something to do with money. Send it off, and you'll get money, don't and you'll lose it. Who writes these things? Do they not have enough to do?

Fine. If someone can make up horse poop about July, I'm going to write lies about March. Let's see, hmmm. March has four Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays. That must have something to do with monkeys. If you send this little known fact off to five friends by Friday, no monkeys will swing through your house, but if you don't . . . Gilbert the 900 pound Gorilla will escape from the nearest zoo, break into your house, and eat all of your bananas. Chain breakers beware.

Sunday, February 27, 2011

Funny Scenes in Every Day Life

After I ventured into the restroom at Cosco, I headed out with a great new idea for a comedy scene that I've since added to my work in progress (WIP). It all began when I stuck my hands into the automatic hand dryer, and I thought what would that goofy kid Slater do with this device? Next I knew, I was laughing out loud at my keyboard.

The $1,000,000 question: Do you think my scene is funny?

“Cool, Knob! Look at this.” He pointed to an automatic hand dryer with two silver slabs that faced each other. The top part had a section that curved outward to allow room for a guy to stick his hands inside. A bright yellow line did a crappy job at trying to make the machine pretty.

Slater lowered his hands into the drying machine and caused a deep swooshing sound to fill the bathroom. The motor yelled so loud, I could barely hear him speak.

“What if a guy’s hands don’t fit in this thing? I mean if he weigh six-hundred pounds or something, his fat hands ain’t fitting in here!”

“Not many people weigh six-hundred pounds.”

“But what if he some sumo wrestler or a super hero? Some guy with big old hands that wrestle alligators; he gots to dry his hands too!”

“Maybe there’s a way to push these panels out.” I patted the bottom of the machine for some sort of lever but didn’t find anything. That wasn’t good enough for Slater. He lifted his hands out, leaped onto the floor, and nosed up under the dryer. I couldn’t help but think of all the dirt on a bathroom floor.

“The floors filthy. Get up.”

Slater ignored me. “Here it is.” He flipped some kind of switch and the panels spread outward.

“I need it to dry my hands. Hope it still works.” I lowered my fingers into the dryer. Even though the panels were further apart, my hands got dry. I just had to move them around more. After I pulled them out, I rubbed the back of my dry hands.

“Hey, Knob. Watch this.” Slater lifted himself to his knees and put his head into the machine. The engine roared and noisy air shot out of the panels. The skin on Slater’s cheeks wiggled back and forth like a bulldog shaking loose jowls. As Slater giggled, he must have hit something because the panels moved inward and snapped. Slater tried to move his head out of the machine.

“It stuck, Knob. I is stuck!” As Slater opened his mouth, the dryer caught his spit and sent droplets catapulting across the bathroom floor. The inside of his cheeks ballooned out wide enough to use his face as a parachute and his eyes squinted to keep the air out. A smoky smell filtered from the machine. “Find a knob, Knob. Get me out of here!”

“Let me get help.”

“No-o-o! Some manager dude come in here and he yell!” Slater must have shouted so he could be heard over the roaring motor. “Look below! There a lever down there. Pop it!”

As much as I hated being on that dirty floor, I got on my knees and looked around for the lever. Finally I found it and freed Slater. When he stood up, his cheeks glowed red and his once centered Mohawk had shifted to the left side so that it shot out of his head like a one horned elk. Singed hair lined the tip of his Mohawk.

I hope someone will find this scene funny; but if not, I had a blast writing it!

Friday, January 21, 2011

Between Shades of Gray

I know I haven't posted in a while, and my last blog discussed the colonoscopy, but something new and wonderful is upon us come March 1. Ruta Sepetys will be releasing her first book, "Between Shades of Gray," and it's already proving to be a winner. Check out Kirkus' review: http://www.kirkusreviews.com/book-reviews/childrens-books/sepetys-ruta/between-shades-gray/

I'm talking about a beautiful and heart-wrenching story about Lina, a Lithuanian teen, thrust into a brutal environment by the henchmen of Joseph Stalin in the 1940s. Between Shades of Gray is a story of survival and love found in overly harsh conditions. This book reminded me of a classic like Anne Frank and is destined to go far!

Stalking the Bookshelves is giving away an ARC of this book at http://stalkingthebookshelves.blogspot.com/2011/01/arc-tour-between-shades-of-gray.html

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Character Suffers After Crash

My computer crashed and wiped out my precious writing. I’d used an external hard drive, but it had given error messages and I procrastinated fixing it. Although I'd saved the most important items, I lost a partially written first draft of my third book of a series. I'd quit working on it when I read about not writing sequels to unpublished books. This would have been the second sequel. It was rough and poorly written but the start of something that could’ve been big.

The manuscript began with Ben swimming with his latest squeeze Lucy. Next, his crime family had done their usual No-No maneuvers so he was forbidden to leave the house; but, he'd promised to take his girl to a Leaf Jet 8 concert. My boy disobeyed and snuck out. Right before the computer crashed, Lucy had ditched him for the lead singer of her favorite band and Ben was lost in a deserted neighborhood with someone shooting at him.

Although in the original, he escaped bullet wounds, I’m in the mood to up his angst. Having to rewrite from scratch makes one ready to throw the wrath of God (or the author) at the helpless victims (the characters).

I don’t know what will happen to Ben, but after the crash, I guarantee it won’t be pretty. Maybe this is God’s way of getting authors to abuse characters.

6/26/11

Turns out, I found a copy of the original manuscript and Ben was saved from a severe shaking up! Whew for him.