I have written the 7th draft of a short story that I will submit to the California Writers Club, Redwood Branch for their Fan Fiction contest. A story I have always wanted to write: Super Holly is zapped into the DC Universe and meets her first big crush: Batman. I had to write tight to stuff it into 1500 words. Printing it a few times and crossing out and editing with pencil/pen helped me cut it down to size. Tomorrow I send it in, after I read it aloud to find last edits.
P.S. I had not expected the Joker to take over the villain role. He did. He can be pushy.
Maybe I could have been clearer about my Batman guy, Cal Critbert, becoming lots more human after I made him a Roger Ebert type movie critic. I forgot Sarah Kuhn’s name (she wrote Heroine Complex). I insulted Atlas Shrugged’s John Galt, I never get tired of that! I read The Intellecta Rhapsody (01:19:03) and the end of The Malevolent Mystery Meat (01:31:40) (scroll to a little before the Lone Ranger tag in the text).
Saturday February 2, at noon, I will be on a podcast: JMSpodcast.com by Jorge M. Sanchez. He interviews local writers and artists of all kinds, so I guess that includes me. I think I’ll talk about my writing, Super Holly, and open mics. And I’d like to do a reading or two. I’ll see where Jorge leads, or where I go, or both.
I met Jorge at a recent Red Rock Coffee open mic. He came up to me after my reading and was all fanboy smiles. I guess I did a good job (I wish I could remember what story I read!). We exchanged cards, and he invited me to do a podcast with him. It’s my first. I hope to entertain. And to learn, since I need to start a podcast of my own sometime.
P.S. I just did the podcast with Jorge. When he sends me the links, I will post them. We talked about writing, Holly’s origins, point of view, and other stuff. And I did a couple of readings. We had fun. Stay tuned for tomorrow!
At one open mic, I performed “The Malevolent Mystery Meat” starring The Puppy Brothers: two grade-school brothers with super puppy powers who save Super Holly from the evil school lunch ladies. I’d read what I’d written: “Tucker bit the door handle and yanked off the door: KA-RUNCH! Near the barrel, Holly was still passed out.” On an impulse, I ad-libbed, “And still pretty.” A young lady in the audience smiled and said, “Aww!” That ad-lib went into the final draft.
At another open mic, I read an upcoming short story where Super Holly had performed her comic book in the children’s ward in a hospital, ending it on a cliffhanger. A little girl in a wheelchair asked Holly to tell her the ending now. Holly said she’d read it next time. The girl said, “I’m not gonna be here next time.” “Aww,” said a young lady in the audience. I knew what Mario Puzo knew when he wrote, “I’ll make him an offer he cannot refuse.”
Kid-sitting one evening for my cousin, his kids asked me to read a Super Holly story. They liked her fighting Billington Stumpfinger. When Holly’s boyfriend Cal kissed her and said, “I love you,” and Holly kissed him back and said, “I love you more,” the kids said, “Ew!” I told this to their mom. She said they just started doing that. I’ll keep that kissing.
Listen to your audience. Small words can mean big reactions.
My money-eating, Trump-inspired supervillain, Billington Stumpfinger, has given my novel storylines a much-needed kick in the butt. I was gonna go easy on the not-always-nice Amurricans. But they elected a bully. So how about those sexists/racists/other-rotten-ists are conned into electing Stumpfinger president and he fills the White House with supervillains! This is likely to be in the story I’ve wanted to write for a long time: civil war with a cowboy theme! Except this time, the rebels will be the good guys. I think. Sort of. I got outlining to do! (It’ll be fun! The main con man, Flim Flam Shrub, will be a combination of Davros and J.R. Ewing. But I got so much more writing to lead up to that, and real life moves faster. Sigh.)
I was gonna do a vampire/werewolf/Frankenstein’s monster novel. Now, I think more of a novella. Who needs monsters in books when we got them in the White House?
My Donald-Trump-based villain, Billingtons Stumpfinger, needs an evil laugh. The problem is that Trump does not laugh. Google “trump laughing” if you don’t believe me. It’s creepy. (What a surprise.)
I write laughs for my supervillains that fit their characters. Harry Headbutt, the dumb, bullying hulk based on the DaVinci Code cop, has an in-your-face bellow: “BUH-WAH HAW HAW! HARRY ROB BANK, BUY STEAK DINNER, AND NOT LEAVE TIP!” Ice Cream Guy, who has the goofiest superpower of all time, has a chilly, shivering laugh: “HEH HEH HEH HEH HEH! My p-p-p-power is that over all things ice cream!” Bunni Bubblez, the short, super-sexy, mind-controlling bimbo and Super Holly Hansson’s archenemy: “Tee hee! *Giggle!* Tee hee! Now, my boobytized super soldier slaves, smoosh Super Holly with your big strong super muscles, just like you did to those battleships! *Giggle!*”
So what would be the sound of a Stumpfinger laugh? I’ll put my onomatopoeia to work on it. Something rude, loud, interrupting, kinda dumb, maybe cash related.
The Bechdel test (from Alison Bechdel‘s comic strip, “Dykes to Watch Out For”) asks whether a work of fiction (1) features at least two women (2) who talk to each other (3) about something other than a man.
Who does Super Holly Hansson talk to for more than a page in my upcoming novel? Dan Mann: Stan Lee mentor. Cal Critbert: Batman / Roger Ebert love interest. Uncle Pops: Patton father figure. My writing FAILS?!?!
I’m thinking about turning Dan Mann into a her. Keep a lot of Stan Lee, but stir in, oh, Trina Robbins for comic book cred. What women have spice? Eartha Kitt? Julie Newmar? Madonna? Whoopi Goldberg?
Hey, my women blog followers! Any advice for a writer who needs good female personality templates?
(Added on Dec. 20: A name like Fran Lee, or Anne Lee? I like the sound of that. The idea is taking root!)