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Something Light and Clumsy

5

March 6, 2012 by Renee

I’m getting ready to begin the query process one last time…or I keep telling myself it’s the last time. It may not seem like it, but I am one of those “if you keep on pushing, it will happen” kind of people.

Anyway, The Legend of Jackson Murphy is currently with beta readers for one last spit and polish round of shredding my ego to bits. Then it’s one final rewrite and to the query abyss with him. I’m excited, but I’m a bit concerned too. I tried not to get too attached to old Jack, because not once during the process of writing did I believe he’d ever be published. Is that nuts? I don’t know. I wrote this one because I wanted to write a story that was totally me, without worrying about whether anyone else would like it. Purely self-indulgence. It was fun, nothing more. As the story took shape, I fell so deeply in love with it, I was certain it had to be a giant pile of shit.

Strangely, this is the story that even in its roughest form, readers absolutely loved. So, are they as wrong as me? I have to believe I did something good with Jack. And I believe there’s an agent or a publisher out there who will think so too. The key is getting that dreaded query written properly. This, I am certain, is my kryptonite. It is what has kept me on the rejection side of the process for all of my novels. I am terrible at writing a query and possibly worse at writing a synopsis.

In other news, I’ve become fascinated by screenplays. I have never attempted to write a screenplay, thinking it would be absolutely no fun and I’d hate it. I’ve looked at a few articles and how-to’s on the process and I am hooked. Not only is it fun, but writing screenplays is anything but easy, and I love a good challenge.

I was going to rewrite False Prophet, which is in extremely rough draft form right now, into a screenplay as sort of a practice run. However, this is proving to be more of a challenge than I anticipated. I’m starting to think perhaps I need to just write something off the cuff for the first go round. Not unplanned, mind you, just something new that I haven’t had enough time to agonize over already. So…yeah, I’m jotting ideas down. So far I have many notes and not one solid plan to go with.

And finally, for your entertainment, let me tell you about this afternoon, when I was fixing the vacuum. You see, I’d sucked up something rather large-ish and the vacuum hates it when I do that. Perhaps if I’d just picked it up, we wouldn’t be where we are now, but this is what vacuums are for, no? Could be why we’ve been through four in about as many years…but anyway, I was lifting the vacuum to shake the item out, because neither the screwdriver nor the butter knife would fit far enough into the little hole thingie to force it out and I turned because the dog was peeing on the litter box. Well, as I turned, that rat-bastard stray cat we took in ran between my feet and I tripped, sort of. Then, because I didn’t want to fall on the little shit, I threw myself back and, oh it was such a mess. Long story short, I hurt my back, which is not a good thing because the second time I got hit by a car, my spine twisted and two vertebrae ended up fused together when all was said and done. So my back aches a little all the time anyway. Now I think I might have made things a tiny bit worse. And of course, there isn’t a single thing in this house I can take for the pain except Children’s Advil. Sigh.

You know, you’d think the weekly falls down the basement stairs would’ve done something like this long before now, but I walk away from those unscathed. Maybe my body is just used to that.

Okay, so that’s all for this week’s installment of Renee’s insanity. I will leave you with my pathetic query for Jack. I’m hoping someone more skilled than I can pick out where I’ve gone wrong…

Jackson Murphy has it all, but he can’t seem to hang onto it. His wife wants out, but she won’t leave without taking his money. Jack’s business partner wants out too, but plans to take his share when he goes. Add to that a vindictive, but oh-so-sexy mistress, and a greedy con-artist cousin, and Jack’s plate is nearly full.

Jack knows he needs to man up and take care of his responsibilities. Success doesn’t happen to pussies, after all. So he eliminates his problems–first the wife, then the partner.

Just as things start looking up, Michael Thorne, a new contractor in Pickleton, hops onto Jack’s list of trouble and his good luck train derails.

He finds a solution to the problem of Mr. Thorne. And then Jack accidentally sleeps with his mistress’s mother, and soon receives the unwanted attention of a massive homicide detective and the mob.


In every man’s life there comes a point where he has to decide if freedom is worth any price. Jack believes it is.

Help me, please!

Okay, gotta go drink a bottle of children’s Advil in a desperate attempt to rid myself of this back pain.
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5 thoughts on “Something Light and Clumsy

  1. I'm so sorry to hear about your back. If pills aren't available, there's always alcohol.I'm about to sign off for the night. I've got a headache that won't go away. But I'll email you my thoughts on the query.Take care.

  2. Mike Keyton says:

    I reckon you ought to write a book with Maria. You are two accident prone ladies! Take care and consign the vaccuum cleaner to the fire!

  3. Renee Miller says:

    Maria: I considered alcohol, but then there would be the inevitable puking and falling and whatnot. By the way, your email helped immensely. Thank you.Mike: I told Kurt the vacuum as dangerous and should only be used by a professional. He doesn't seem to understand the danger. The good news is, no cleaning today. I couldn't do it even if I wanted to…and I don't want to, so that's perfect.

  4. Mike Keyton says:

    Hi Renee,Here's my take on the query, or part of it. I've pruned the first part and think the last section is fine. The non italicised part I think is a bit messy but don't know what to do with it because I don't know the plot. But I just think it hangs a bit loose and messy. Hope it helpsMike.Jackson Murphy has it all, but he can’t seem to hang onto it. His wife wants out, but she won’t leave without money – all of it. Jack’s business partner also wants out and with him the business. Add to that a vindictive, but oh-so-sexy mistress, a greedy con-artist cousin, and Jack’s plate is nearly full.Jack knows he needs to man up, confront his problems – and then eliminate them starting with his wife.Things go well until Michael Thorne, a new contractor in Pickleton, gets in the way..He finds a solution to the problem of Mr. Thorne. And then Jack accidentally sleeps with his mistress’s mother, and soon receives the unwanted attention of a massive homicide detective and the mob.In every man’s life there comes a point where he has to decide if freedom is worth any price. Jack believes it is.

  5. Renee Miller says:

    Funny, that bit that's so messy is the bit I keep rewriting. Grr. You're right. Maybe I'll remove it completely and work from there. Between your suggestions and Maria's, I think I might just come out with something that doesn't suck. Thank you. 🙂

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Renee

Renee

I like to write stuff. Sometimes it's funny. I've published some novels and short fiction. I also battle an addiction to cake and potato chips, and I sometimes have inappropriate fantasies involving Kevin Spacey.

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