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Monday, March 22, 2010

In the weird but true category . . .

I love it when I run across a story idea that is stranger than fiction. Today, I read the following on an honest-to-gosh real newspaper website:

"A crime novelist who shot her father with a 20-gauge shotgun and tried to flee with a trunk full of books to read while on the lam reached a plea deal with the Washtenaw County Prosecutor's Office that will put her in prison for at least four years."

There are so many improbable things in that sentence, but a trunk full of books?! Her father lived, but I wonder how she managed to negotiate a deal that traded a possible life sentence for attempted murder to one that sends her to prison for only four years. Gives her a platform and time enough to write a true crime novel, I guess.

Don't tell Mahala, but I sent out two chapters to our mutual critique group recently with a promise not to change anything before they looked at the pages. I am such a liar. I've already torn up, as in deleted, most of one of the chapters. I think when I re-read my work as it's leaving the computer, I see how it can be made "so much better." I always read my work out loud so that I can hear the rhythm of the dialogue, but I miss objective assessment of content until I know someone else will evaluate the story. Makes me remember that the buyer/library patron will have a more discerning eye than I do. Sigh.

Tis the challenge of telling a good story that keeps me going.

So, keep on keeping on, folks. I'll do the same.

c j

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