Warning: Plot Complication! Warning: Plot Complication!

Well it was bound to happen eventually. I like the blogs I follow, go figure.  I enjoy reading others’ comments or responses to my comments.  That’s natural, right?  But I suppose I shouldn’t have gotten so comfortable doing it on my phone while sitting next to JD.

Yesterday I shared a post from the blog dearlilyjune which I follow and I was reviewing and clearing the likes when JD asked what I was doing.  Well I fibbed slightly, and said I was reading comments on a blog post.  I say “fibbed” mainly because I didn’t say it was my blog post, and if you want to get technical I guess it wasn’t a fib at all.  All I did was share it, I didn’t write it.  Way to justify a fib Janey!

Anyway, it isn’t the first time I’ve used that response when in actuality I’ve been reading comments on my own posts.  This time however, JD trumped my fib and said that since I liked reading other people’s blogs so much why didn’t I write one of my own?

Falling back on an old excuse, I claimed I just didn’t have the time to write a blog.  JD pointed out I could spare five or ten minutes on the train in the morning (WTF? Is he spying on me?) or after work before dinner.  Then, because I had a feeling this wasn’t going to be the last I heard of it, I admitted I had started a blog some time ago, but that it was now gathering cobwebs due to the aforementioned lack of time.  I remarked that perhaps I could dig up the log in information and check out where I’d left it and possibly fire it up again.

I’m not sure whether I will revisit my old stomping grounds but if I do I’ll have to sanitize the existing posts so there’s nothing offensive or too revealing of family.  Because you know if he realizes I’m blogging he’s going to take credit for it and want to read it.

It would be an interesting challenge to see whether I can keep two blogs afloat.

And if you don’t “get” today’s title, check this out – the applicable reference is about 2:11 into the video.  You’re welcome.

 

 

Maxwell’s – final excerpt … for 2014

I didn’t want to rule out further excerpts completely but I think I’ve about wrapped up Charlie’s story.  I spent some time this past weekend working through a hard copy with a red pen.  I didn’t make it all the way through but managed what I considered some decent progress.  Once I finish that initial read-through and revision I’m going to be trolling for beta readers.  (That’s the term, right?  Beta?  Someone who will read and provide feedback?)

Until that time, here’s a little more of Charlie’s story for those of you who have been following along.  Thanks for reading.

Jeff put the phone down and groaned.  He had hoped he could close up and head home for the night, pick up the Minnelli investigation in the morning.  But a quiet evening at home wasn’t meant to be.  Standing up, he put a fresh notebook in the pocket of his jacket, grabbed his hat on the way out of his office and locked up. 

Hazel’s was close enough he didn’t have to drive but since it was after dark the temperature had dropped some so he took the Jeep anyway.  He’d be headed home from there and it would save him a walk back.  Parking in the first available space, he went inside. 

“Hey Maggie,” he greeted the waitress, touching the brim of his hat in her direction.  He crossed to the booth where Luke and another, older man sat.  “Tyler.”

“Hello Jeff,” Luke said.  He nodded toward the other man.  “This is my client, Leo Delaney.”

Jeff held out his hand and the other man took it, shaking firmly.  “Sheriff,” Leo said.

“Call me Jeff,” the Sheriff said.  “We’re on the informal side around here.”

“Then I’m Leo,” the older man replied.  “Please, have a seat.”

Jeff slid into the booth opposite Luke, removing his hat and setting it aside.  He pulled the notebook from his pocket along with a pen. 

“So Luke tells me you have information I should hear.”

“I think you might find it of interest,” Leo said.  He put the last piece of steak in his mouth and chewed it slowly.  Then he drank the last of his beer and set the glass on his empty plate.  “Your ‘Blockhead’ as you call him, is probably Carlo Dante.”

“Car…, wait, isn’t that one of the shooters Jack testified against?”

“It is,” Leo nodded.  “The reluctant partner of Tony Minnelli.”

“And you think he’s here in Manning and shot Joey Minnelli?” Jeff was confused.  “Why would he shoot his partner’s brother?”

“Because he lost everything while he was in prison Jeff.”

“But wouldn’t that make him want to kill Jack?”  Jeff was scribbling notes as fast as he could.

“You would think so, wouldn’t you?”  Leo took a drink of water.  “However, when Jack ditched me a few months back I started looking into the old case to see if I could figure out what Jack was trying to protect me from.  What I found out surprised me.”

“Are you planning to share it with us old man, or just tease us?” Luke asked, straight faced. 

“Well not if you keep that shit up,” Leo replied, hiding a smile.

“Could you tell just me then?” Jeff asked politely. 

“Of course,” Leo answered, just as politely.  “Don’t let us worry you Jeff; Luke and I mix it up all the time.  He forgets I can beat the hell out of him any time I want to.”

“In your dreams Leo,” Luke said, but he was grinning and Jeff relaxed. 

“So, please go on,” the Sheriff invited.

“Back when Tony persuaded Carlo to go along with him on the DeFranco hit, Vinnie Minnelli, the Godfather was in peace talks with Gino DeFranco.”  Leo could see that Jeff was lost.

“The Minnellis and the DeFrancos were enemies, much like the Capulets and Montagues from Romeo and Juliet,” he explained.  When Jeff nodded, Leo went on.  “Vinnie was tired of the bloodshed and afraid for his daughters.  He reached out to Gino DeFranco with a peace proposal and Gino bit.

“They were negotiating the terms, dividing up territories, et cetera when Tony, who hated the idea of peace between the families, decided to throw a wrench in the plan.  He persuaded Carlo Dante to go with him to take out several of the DeFrancos.”

“You said Dante was reluctant?” Jeff asked.

“Dante has a reputation for being slow,” Leo explained.  “Could be he was mentally impaired, could be he had an undiagnosed learning disability, could be he got hit in the head once too many times.  I don’t suppose we’ll ever know for sure.  But as a result he was easily manipulated, and Tony had always been there for him so he would follow Tony almost without question.”

“Almost?”  Jeff looked up from his notebook.

“Yeah, almost.  Apparently when Tony told him what they were going to do, Carlo balked.  He liked the idea of peace.  He was newly married with one kid and another on the way.  The prospect of peace between the families was like a dream to him.”

“Then why did he go with Tony?” Jeff asked.

“Tony convinced him that Vinnie planned to install DeFrancos in the family business,” Leo said.  “And that he – Carlo – would have no way to support his family.  Dante wasn’t a member of the Minnelli Family, he was what might be called a ‘hanger on’.  The Family owed him no loyalty and Tony persuaded him that with a peace there’d be no place for him.”

“That would mess with a guy’s head,” Luke said. 

“Which was what Tony wanted,” Leo replied.  “Carlo never would have been in that park otherwise.

“And you think the guy who shot Joey Minnelli is Carlo Dante?”  Jeff stopped scrawling notes and looked at Leo.

“Almost certainly from the description you have.”

“But I still don’t understand why he would be after Joey?”

“As I said, while he was in prison Dante lost everything.  His wife died in childbirth.  His children want nothing to do with him.  He has terminal cancer now, which is why he was released late last year.

“And he holds his partner responsible,” Jeff muttered, connecting the dots, “So he went after Joey because Tony’s still in prison and he couldn’t get to him.”

“That’s my theory,” Leo agreed, nodding.  “And I think my theory’s accurate except for one thing.”

“Here’s where I get to catch up,” Luke said, leaning forward.  He glanced at Jeff who was looking up curious.  “He wouldn’t tell me this next part till you came.”

“Except for what one thing?” Jeff asked, meeting Leo’s gaze.

“Except that Tony Minnelli was released from prison last week.”

And the winner is…

Not Janey.  As of 10:30 pm, Pacific Standard Time I have a total of 37,530 words. In 90 minutes I would have to write 12,470 words to meet the goal.  Unfortunately, I have to get up at the butt-crack of dawn to go to work.  But that’s okay.  I may not be a winner of the official NaNoWriMo, but Charlie?  She definitely is a winner!  And her story is almost complete!!

Wahoo!

And now I need to get my happy little behind into bed.

🙂

Winding down

I’ve come to accept that it’s unlikely I’ll make 50K this year in NaNoWriMo.  I’m currently at around 27,000 words give or take a hundred or so.  There are five days (not counting today) left.  I have to sleep at least six hours a night plus I work full time today and tomorrow.  You do the math.  While it would be more fun, it would be rude to write at the table during Thanksgiving dinner dontcha think?  Then Friday we go up to meet my husband’s biological father for the first time.  I don’t think I can count on being able to write while we’re there.  Besides, I’d rather go wine tasting.

But you know what?  I’m okay with not making it all the way.  Charlie’s story is further along than it ever was before and I am determined to finish it.  She deserves to finally see the light.  I’m not sure what I’ll do with it when the story is complete.  I may self-publish; I may not.  We’ll cross that bridge when we get there.

Below is the final excerpt of what I’ve written so far.  Thanks for sharing the ride with me peeps.  🙂

                From inside his parked rental car, Carlo Dante watched the people leaving the Rhodes’ house.  The broad who had seen him standing over Joey’s body got in the driver’s side of the sweet Malibu convertible while the blond man sat in the passenger seat.  As they drove off the older couple watched the car’s taillights disappear.  The man put his arm around the woman and they walked to a late model Buick.  Another couple left the house and followed the walk to the street talking, heads close together.  At the street though they split apart and got into separate cars. 

                Drumming his fingers on the steering wheel, Carlo watched the house for awhile longer.  No one else exited and he figured the Sheriff was in for the night.  It didn’t appear that they’d identified him.  Maybe he was worried about nothing, he thought.  He couldn’t help wondering if he’d left behind some clue in his rush to get away once the Maxwell woman had stumbled in.  And what on earth had possessed him to speak to her?  Had he gone soft in prison? 

                Shaking his head, he started the engine, put the car in gear and headed back to the Seaside Inn.  As Dante pulled into the motel’s parking lot he was running through a list of things he needed to do before he could leave for the airport.  Being distracted he almost missed the man slipping into the side door of the motel.  If the outside light hadn’t been in just the right place he probably would have missed him entirely in any case.  But the exterior spotlight was focused on the door, presumably to make it easier for returning guests.  And standing directly in the beam of light was Anthony Minnelli, tapping his cardkey on the security panel to open the door.  Carlo kept his head and told himself it couldn’t be.  Tony’s still inside, he thought.  But was he? 

                “Goddammit,” he groaned.  “Now I’m going to have to change my flight again!”

                Carlo backtracked to the front of the motel and found a parking space near the main entrance.  No sense in tempting fate by using the same door Tony did.  Once he’d locked himself in his own room he pulled out his cell and dialed a number.

                After several rings someone growled, “This better be very important.”

“About” Inspiration

Yesterday I visited a bunch of blogs I’d never read before and while I wanted to post about that, including links and remarks my work day got a bit … um, shall we say challenging.  Yes, that sounds so much better than fucked up, which is what it really was.  With a secretary out I counted myself fortunate to have the time to do any browsing at all.  They do pay me to work after all damn it.  (I listed the blogs below along with links to their home pages in case you want to check them out.)

In any case, I managed to comment on four or five and I plan to go back and visit them again.  Inspiring today’s post is Gelatinous.  I don’t even remember which post I originally read but I was curious about the blogger so I went to the About page where I found this:

Bio: I have been a poet since fourth grade, a mother since 1990, and I love words more than just about anything. I’d put them first in front of coffee and chocolate, but the last two items help me write the words so it’s truly a symbiotic relationship. If I was stranded on a desert island I’d hope to have my Bible and my copy of A Tale of Two Cities. I will always stand by the Chicago Cubs in good times and bad. The bad seasons require more coffee and chocolate to cope. See above.

I loved her description of coffee, chocolate and writing being a symbiotic relationship.  In my case it’s more coffee and writing, but then I’m not a big fan of chocolate (don’t stone me!).

The inspiration though was her inclusion of what she wanted to have if she was on a desert island.  I included a response to that in my comment but I wanted to explore that further.

Finding myself on a desert island would be wonderful – no, that doesn’t quite say it.  Marvelous!  Not there yet.  Welcome – yeah, that’s it.  Think about it – if my basic needs were met (food, shelter, private potty) and I was all alone?  How awesome would that be?!  For awhile anyway.

I’d want music; lots and lots of music.  I’m not overly picky but I’d want multiple types so I could mix it up, and it would have to be all older stuff.  Next I’d need notebooks and pens – tons of both.  Not literally tons – there’d be no beach left!  My time would be spent rising when I felt like it; eating a leisurely breakfast to the Rolling Stones; walking the beach with the Beach Boys; scribbling for hours and hours and then delving into older notebooks to review what was written.  A stack of books from my To Read list wouldn’t be out of order either.  Biographies, suspense novels, humor, chick lit, classics, unknown authors – you name it, I’ll give it a try!

No alarm clock!  No commute!  No family responsibilities!  No cleaning up cat hurl (ack)!  I could so handle that.  For about a week maybe, then I’d probably start pulling my hair out.  Of course we all know the solution to that don’t we?  I just need to add the Internet to my desert island wish list!

Two of Gelatinous’ posts that I visited today were excellent reads; check them out if you have a moment.  Autumn Dance and He said, She said.

* * *

These are the other three blogs where I remember commenting yesterday.  I enjoyed them all and even made a point of saving some of the information I gleaned while there.

All I Breathe

Cooking with a Wallflower

Madamsabi’s Blog – Apparently I wrote this one down incorrectly and I couldn’t figure out how to find it again :(.

Dream Reader – Say What?

Post disclaimer:  This post is written with tongue firmly jammed into cheek; please do NOT take anything you read here seriously or personally.  That is all.

Dream Reader huh?  I think I was clear yesterday when I said that I’m not here to accumulate a following, but I’m going to let this assignment percolate a bit and I’ll get back to you.

Tick tock … tick tock … tick tock

Much, much later…

After reading through a bunch of other responses to this assignment I’ve come to the conclusion that I have absofreakinglutely no idea who my dream reader might be.  And thankfully, I’m not alone! (Waves to others in the same boat, or um other boats I guess. Why would you wave to someone in the same boat?)  But before I wander too far into digression let us move on.

Since I haven’t a clue who I’m writing for besides myself, I think I’ll describe who I am not writing for, how does that sound?  Rhetorical question folks; I can’t hear your answers anyway.  And if you’re nodding or shaking your heads – what’s wrong with you?!

My dream reader will not be devastatingly good looking.  Average all the way you guys.  If you’re not average looking, get outta here.  I don’t know about you but I remember hanging with the misfits in high school.  We got together almost by default as we didn’t fit in anywhere else.  One of our group was extremely cute though, and if she hadn’t been so darned nice I think we might have strangled her and left her in a shallow grave.  (See disclaimer above.)

Dear Reader, you will also be the complete opposite of a fitness freak.  If your exercise habits extend beyond reaching for the remote or another cookie, please turn in your Secret Decoder Ring.  (So says the grandmother of nine who lost 45 pounds in the last year. 😉 And the crowd goes wild!)

My readers will NOT be perfect parents, or grandparents for that matter.  Please do not email to tell me what I’m doing wrong.  None of my six kids is in jail; all of them survived childhood, and four of them still talk to me.  So there.  Feel free to scram.

Grammar Nazis and nitpickers can hit the road.  I’m my own worst critic and if I missed something pre-publication I either left it in on purpose or I had more than a few beers while editing.  Or possibly both.  However, I reserve the right to offer constructive criticism where and when I see fit.  Deal with it. (Again, please see disclaimer above.)

Book publishers, editors, agents, authors – all y’all make tracks far, far away.  Oh sure, I’ve imagined being a published author once or twice, but how in the heck could I pull that off and remain anonymous?

Finally, if you’re here for a laugh, maybe the occasional topic to make you think, or to voyeuristically witness the ongoing meltdown of a middle-aged woman – stick around.  I make no promises, but you sound like my kind of people.

Somebody pass me a cookie, will you?  

 

This is Me

Leave it to me to screw up which challenge I’m a part of on the very first day no less.  I just spent 20 minutes free-writing for the Writing 101 challenge, went to click on the Commons so I could post it over there and was told it was a private site.  That reminded me I wasn’t doing the Writing 101 challenge this time but the Blogging 101 challenge.  Well if that doesn’t just start my week off with a bang I don’t know what would!

I’m supposed to introduce myself and tell everyone why I’m here.  [Standing up and shifting uncomfortably from one foot to the other] Hi, I’m JaneyDoe.  Please feel free to call me Janey, or just about anything so long as it’s not “late for dinner”!  That’s what my grandfather used to say when I was growing up.  Now I’M a grandmother!  I am (mostly) happily married and we have six children who have blessed us with nine grandchildren…

[crickets]

…uh, sorry, sorry.  [Fans self with magazine.]  Just thinking “grandchildren” is strange enough but NINE of them can take your breath away.  Plus?  Menopause is a bitch.  Just sayin’.

I’m here blogging as therapy because I can’t afford a really real therapist, or the time it would take to GO to therapy.  And I don’t follow direction well, so when the therapist told me I need to tell whomever it is I’m having issues with that I have issues with them, well let’s just say I wouldn’t.  Why pay someone to tell me to do something I won’t do anyway?

Writing has always been sort of cathartic for me and I set this blog up as anonymously as possible so I would be free to unload anything I wanted here without hurting family or friends.  That will definitely happen at some point – the unloading, not the hurting (if I can help it).  For now I’m content to review the daily prompts and write when inspiration nudges me.  I signed up for Blogging 101 because I’m interested not only in writing, but also in how to update my blog’s appearance and I’m looking forward to learning more about WordPress in general.

Welcome to my world.