Posts Tagged ‘Tucker’

i can haz contests!

Busy, busy, busy: that’s me. As of 5pm yesterday, my second contest entry is now in the hands of the USPS.

I spent most of yesterday morning revamping Tucker. AGAIN. I know, I know. But it’s better this time. Honest to dog. Check it out. Not bad for a morning’s rewrite, am I right? I actually meant to have dealt with it long before this but I totally slipped on a puddle of ennui and when I finally regained my feet, I realized the deadline for the Heart & Scroll Magic Moments Contest was a little over 24 hours away.


Feels good to have accomplished just that small thing (actually, it was quite a bit more than small. Note to self: next time, don’t wait until the last friggin’ minute). Of course it would feel best to win, but I’m not holding my breath. Most of my contest frenzy this past week comes more from taking steps that clearly show to myself (and possibly the IRS next tax season) that my writing is focused on career rather than hobby. If any of this harvesting yields actual fruit, shiny.

Ok. Off to fold laundry. Then I get to reward my hard work with… more hard work. Writing. Note to self: career, career, career…

ps – I ended up posting a second entry on the GotYA contest (the rules didn’t specifically say one entry per person – I double checked). I mentioned frenzy, right? It’s an excerpt from Tucker, one of my favorite bits.

“You gonna ask her out or what?”

Startled Josh blinked at Emma. “Sorry?”

She rolled her eyes and pointed her fork at him. “You haven’t taken your eyes off my mom for more than a few minutes since you got here. So either you like her or you’re stalking her.” She frowned. “Stalking’s not cool. She’s got enough to worry about.”

“Does she now,” he murmured. He cleared his throat. “So let me get this straight: you’re asking my intentions toward your mother?”

She chewed thoughtfully. “Yeah, I like that. What are your intentions toward my mother? You gonna ask her out or what?”

He laughed and shook his head. “Afraid not; I go back to Los Angeles on Monday.”


Josh stopped laughing. “What do you mean ‘so’? Your mom doesn’t strike me as the one night stand type. And am I really having this conversation with a mathematically challenged eighth grader?”

“Hmpf,” she said. “Technically, if you’re leaving Monday it would be a two night stand, Mr. Wizard. Looks like you’ve wasted all this time checking out her ass and not paying attention. Typical.” She turned back to the magazine she’d been engrossed in, dismissing him. “Have a nice flight.”



I’m back! Miss me? Admit it, you know you did. Ok, be that way. ((very mature raspberry))


So here I am today, blogging from the EZ Lube on my sparkly new iPad. Ain’t technology grand? I wasn’t actually going to give into the sparkle of the iPad but I came into some extra cash and had just finished an amazing book on my iPhone that I wanted to read bigger, so…


What book inspired my spendy spree, pray tell? Columbine by Dave Cullen. I picked it up on the recommendation of Janet Reid and could not put it down. Absolutely riveting. Anyway once I finished it, I went right back to the beginning and started over. The book, much like the event itself, is too much to absorb in one pass. I don’t know that I’ll ever truly comprehend it.


I entered my very first ever contest – yay! Over on GotYA they were offering a 30 page critique by an agent – just post up to 200 words of your ms that best illustrates your “voice”. Easy peasy. So I put up 207 words from Roxy. After I posted I found a glaring typo and a lot of the other entries are incredibly strong, so my chances are slim. But hey it’s a first step.

“Hold the phone!” you cry. “Roxy? WTH?” Yeah. I started another one. It’s disgusting, I know. Roxy is my attempt at YA, kind of Nancy Drew with a hint of Veronica Mars – without all of the attendant rape and incest. Or maybe Nancy Drew with a hint of Buffy – without all of the attendant monsters and supernatural. Not exactly original, but I’m having fun with it.

So what about Tucker? Yeah. What about Tucker, anyway. I’ve made no progress since last reported here. Ugh. But, there is a contest I have my eye on and I think the first scene will do very nicely for it. All I have to do is trim it from 11 1/2 pages to 10. Easy peasy…? Not exactly… see I’ve decided to swap the inciting events around. AGAIN.

Maybe there is some kind of counseling or pharmaceutical aid I can partake of?

Anyhoo. That’s me for now.


ps – Want to see what I posted for the contest? Of course you do.

Roxy turned just in time to reach out and catch the keys sailing through the hot morning air at her head. She grinned and scrambled into the Jeep behind the wheel. Eddie hopped in beside her as Brenda rushed to the door.

“Gun it, kid.”

Obediently Roxy turned the key in the ignition and the Jeep roared to life. She found first gear – with only minimal grinding – and eased out onto the street.

Eddie stretched like a cat. “You’re getting better at that, kiddo.” A tinny rendition of “Rehab” exploded from his phone, which he ignored.

Roxy, eyes diligently on the road, asked, “You aren’t going to pick that up?”

“Nah. I’ve heard enough lectures from your mom to last three marriages. Besides, what’s the point of having a driver’s permit if you’re never permitted to drive?”

“I’m pretty sure that’s her point.”

Brenda was an ER nurse who’d seen one too many examples of the hazards of teenage drivers. As far as she was concerned, Roxy was S.O.L. until she turned eighteen.

She’d nearly stroked out when Eddie’d picked up Roxy to go surfing and brought her home with a freshly minted learner’s.

Father and daughter found themselves grounded for two weeks.

wip: making progress

Mostly. Ugh. According to my “Sent Items” folder I emailed the last scene I worked on to JB on 3/8/10. 12 days ago. But who’s counting? And I haven’t gotten anything written since. (ack!) But, that scene was the end of the first act which currently weighs in at 9 scenes, 11,258 words. And that ain’t too shabby. The first act really needs to be closer to 15k… but I’m hoping to correct that in revision. The Powers That Be keep telling that I can’t write the beginning until I’ve written the end and since this is basically a whole new story, I’m hiding behind that wisdom until I absolutely have to come out.

So act two. I’m stalling. There, I said it. Do I get a cookie now? I’ve mapped out the basics that will get me to the Midpoint, all I need to do is start writing, but… you know. What if I can’t get past the midpoint? Very frightening. Deep breaths. Ok, time to get back into it.

Wish me luck.

Tucker: Opening Scene (2.0)

The names have been changed to protect the innocent.

Well… not exactly. In fact, the names and basic set up are the only things you’re likely to recognize in this new and (I dare hope) much improved version of Tucker’s opening scene. It’s rough – really rough – but overall I’m very excited about its potential. And the fact that it opens a big can of whoop-ass onto an unsuspecting Tucker, something Professor Lani insists is necessary. “Torture your protagonist,” she says. This is her call to arms. Who am I to disobey? So suit up! We’re going in.

“This year, your brother Jack will be two years from being twice as old as your sister Jen. The sum of Jack’s age and three times Jen’s age is sixty-six. How old is Jen?”

Tucker Smith spared a glance for her daughter as she pulled another pitcher of Coors for the trio of suits at table three. “You’re an only child, the question is moot.”

“Nice,” Emma said flatly. “I’m sure Mrs. Garcia-Shapiro will be totally impressed by that logic. When should I have her schedule your parent-teacher conference for?”

Tucker sighed. “Duckie, you know that I would do just about anything for you, but I draw the line at eighth grade math word problems.” On autopilot, she switched out the nearly empty salsa crock in front of Emma with a fresh one and a new basket of tortilla strips. “I did my time. You’re on your own.”

“Thirteen point six.” Continue reading

Tucker: Opening Scene (version 3-ish)

So, sometime last fall I decided to dust Tucker off and take another whack at it. 5 whacks, actually. The results are… not going to be shown here. 3 are incomplete and the 4th is an experiment I was attempting – a hybrid of prose and screenplay formatting. Not pretty. Though I’m not convinced it couldn’t work in a different setting… but I digress.

So, Tucker. Thing wasn’t working so I whined to JB who came back with something to the effect of, “Change your setting for the opening scene. Just because you want it set in the bar doesn’t mean that’s actually where it has to start.” In other words: kill your darlings. Oi.

New setting and POV (and the 5th whack), enter stage left:

Tucker Smith snapped rubber duck yellow latex gloves onto her hands and prepared to do battle. Hands fisted on hips, she surveyed her enemy – a precarious pile of crusted dishes and pots to the left, sink-full of hot soapy water in front of her, gravity defying stack of empty chinese take out containers and pizza boxes to the right above an overflowing trash can. Doable, she decided. With a hazmat suit and a flame thrower.

Continue reading

Tucker: Opening Scene (version 2)

Headline: September 2008 the DLD* draft of Tucker is DONE. (insert rain of confetti here!)

I was deliriously happy, but under no illusions as to the worthiness of my newly finished product. Almost immediately I began the beta draft for Tucker. Now any chef worth his santoku knows when you pull a steak off the grill, you set it aside for a few minutes to “rest”; it needs that chance for all the juices to get back to where they belong so that the steak doesn’t become a dried out lump of cow.

I should have followed this same path for Tucker. I got stuck, right off the bat, confused about how I wanted to fix the mess up front. As a result I wandered away to chase around the first shiny new story idea that caught my attention.

Here is the opening scene on that abandoned beta draft:

It wasn’t everyday a man found out he was cursed with a devastating weakness for a woman who smelled like beer and cinnamon.

Up to now he’d kept her at a necessary distance, a professional distance. For three months he’d been her shadow and she hadn’t made his tail. He was very good at what he did; it wasn’t by accident he could demand ludicrously high compensation for what boiled down to borderline illegally detailed back ground checks and discreet photo editorial surveillance.

But that had changed when he’d decided to play the hero, wandered into her gin joint and bellied up to the bar where he was now nursing an iced tea and trying to find the right moment to approach her.

Continue reading

Tucker: Opening Scene (version 1)

Here is the opening scene of the finished draft. I counted 8 other partial drafts, false starts on the road to revising this turkey Tucker.

So without further ado:

“Well, aren’t you just all shiny and new?”

Josh looked up from his iced tea and over his left shoulder, the direction the low smoke scarred voice had come from. It belonged to a heavily made up blonde who wiggled on to the stool next to him. Bottle platinum hair and too tight clothes didn’t effectively disguise the hard edges and tired eyes. Josh thought someone should send a snapshot of this woman to Brittany Spears with the inscription, “Stop now! You still have time!”

Continue reading