True crime podcasts are wildly popular as of late. I mainly listen to True Crime Garage and Sword and Scale.
Sometimes I wonder if there is something morally questionable about being entertained by the activities of criminals, and the suffering of their victims. Is true crime socially acceptable porn? But even porn is socially acceptable these days.
I might have been a detective in a past life—I’ll post about my belief in reincarnation another time.
I’m intrigued by the process of investigating a crime. The detectives examine the crime scene and collect evidence. They look into the background of the victim to figure out who they associated with and who might have had reason to harm them. Sometimes the victim happens to be at the right place at the right time for the perpetrator. In these cases, investigators hope to find someone who witnessed the crime or saw something before or after the crime occurred.
This post is not meant to be a primer on how to be a criminal investigator. I am not qualified to write such a primer. However, my consumption of true crime entertainment and detective fiction is filling me with fodder for writing my own crime fiction. I could refer you to previous posts about me not writing enough, but blah, blah, blah.
This entry (if I can call it that) sort of went off the rails. I need a blogging plan. I need all sorts of plans. Here’s a list.
- Fiction writing
- Plans for plans
Get the picture? Now watch as very little comes of any of it. I guess a Little is better than nothing.
Detective novelist, Sue Grafton, died on Dec. 28, 2017. She wrote the “alphabet series” of books featuring a private detective named Kinsey Millhone. I have listened to every book on audio read by Judy Kaye from A is for Alibi to Y is for Yesterday. I love Kinsey Millhone. She’s the type of gutsy, independent woman I wish I could be.
Sue Grafton’s death reported on CNN
I read that Grafton’s last book in the alphabet series was to be Z is for Zero, and because her family said she would not have wanted a ghostwriter, Y is the end of the line. I have never liked the idea of a ghost writer continuing where a novelist left off, so I’m okay with no Z.
The thing is, I have this feeling that Kinsey is out there in the fictional Santa Teresa, California waiting for something to happen. She’s waiting for Sue to write a new adventure. Maybe she goes over to her landlord Henry’s apartment and talks to him about their next steps as he busies himself in the kitchen baking bread. I know she and Henry are not real, but they are kind of real. Aren’t they? I want them to be okay.
Yep, I might be slightly crazy.
I almost want to write some Sue Grafton fan fiction. I won’t do that. This world belongs to Grafton, not to me. I am considering developing a fantasy for myself that puts me in Kinsey’s world. I don’t really relish the idea of going back to the 80s in this fantasy. Would I go back as an awkward teenager or as me of today? Who would I be in this world?
Maybe I need to write my own female detective who happens to be a Kinsey Millhone fan. She might have a bit of a Stephanie Plum vibe too. Janet Evanovich had better stay healthy!
The prompt is confess.
I often see myself as an outsider.
At work, I am one of the writers, but I don’t have a degree in English, so I feel that I am not one of them. A writer writes. I write.
I don’t know what writing most of the others do outside of work. One of them writes fiction and is working on a novel. Another attended the recent IU Writers’ Conference, so I know she must be legit.
I stumbled into my current job. If I had applied, I wouldn’t have been considered, because I majored in Dance. Someone in human resources would have discarded my resume because it shows no English or Journalism degree. I wonder if my grammar skills would be better if I had majored in English.
I’m reading Stories from the Twilight Zone by Rod Serling. I found a preposition at the end of a sentence in the first story in the anthology, The Mighty Casey. I wonder if editors were less persnickety about the preposition rule at the time of this writing. Today you’ll find articles explaining why the rule should be abolished, but I continue to follow it when writing something for work. I wouldn’t want people to think I wasn’t an English major.
I’ve always felt like an outsider in the dance world despite my Master’s degree in the field. My dance technique was never great, but I made up for that with my choreography skills.
I make art and jewelry, but I have no formal training. I could go on about this, but I imagine you get the idea.
In the end, none of this matters. I do what I enjoy doing, and I give it my all. I’m willing to try and fail. Being an outsider sets me apart from the crowd. I like feeling special.
I never claimed to be an athlete, but I did play softball in my youth.
I’m going to call these pieces writing sketches. They’re short and meant to go nowhere. I might do something with them one day.
Edmund wore a hat on most days because he thought it made him look friendly. Theresa thought he wore the hat to hide his receding hairline. He was one of those balding guys with long hair. He played guitar in a local band that was destined to remain that way. But he refused to give up his rock star aspirations. Theresa had been his on and off girlfriend since their freshman year of college. She believed she could find someone better than Edmund, but didn’t have the will to leave. They were both unhappy, but comfortable with the lives they were living. Making the smallest change seemed too risky a proposition, so the couple kept any hopes and dreams in check. Then Sam came to town.
Sam was what you’d call a go-getter. Edmund and Theresa met him at the university. He was a business major who was always thinking of new ways to make money. His schemes worked about 40% of the time, but he looked at each failure as a stepping stone to success. You would expect someone like Sam would achieve a moderate amount of success in life. Don’t be too quick to make assumptions.
What would happen if these characters met a woman and her imaginary polar bear?
I knew I wanted to write today, so I thought about it and then got nervous. I got myself a little worked up about what to write. Now I seem to be writing about the process of thinking and worrying about writing. Is it supposed to work this way?
Dreams are the New Reality
In one of my dreams last night, I was in some unknown location when a guy (I think he was Asian) asked me to meditate with him. I agreed to do so, and we sat down on the floor holding hands with eyes closed. The session was successful. The guy acquired lots of good energy from me, and I felt as if I helped him. The dream tells me that I'm on the right track in my spiritual pursuits. I am sure now that when I dream, I go to real places. I visit other planes of existence. I may have thousands of lives.
I bought some baby spinach the other day. I think I'll do a salad with strawberries. I need some almond slivers and red onion to add to it. I can either make my own vinaigrette or buy some.
Another food thought is to prep an onion or two and freeze them for later use. I think you can do that. What about garlic? I'll have to look it up.
I have sweet potatoes to cook as well as frozen salmon.
I've been doing yoga fairly regularly. I think it has improved my gait, but it could be that I'm just at a good walking time of my nutty hormonal cycle. It seems to work for me to do a session at 9 pm most weeknights.
I've been spending a lot of time practicing wrapped loops. I'm getting better at it. I made a necklace for Linda, one of the residents at my dad's assisted living facility. It's not perfect, but I'm happy with it. I thought the pendant was an angel, but I realized it must be a fairy after looking more closely at it.
Jake sat in the grass at the foot of the great statue. He didn’t know what the statue signified, but he was drawn to it for some reason. Every day at lunchtime he would leave his office on the 15th floor of the shiny blue building, walk across the courtyard, and take a seat beneath the stone giant. Jake would lay out a hand towel on the grass and then place his sandwich, chips, and soda on top of it. Some days, today included, Julia, from the 12th floor, would sit with him and eat her bagel and cream cheese. They would discuss the doings on the 15th and 12th floors. Jake managed the A-L accounts, and Julia handled M-Z. The conversations were not at all interesting.
They sat and ate until Julia abruptly stood up and pulled Jake to his feet. His sandwich dropped to the ground, and he looked at it forlornly. Julia swiftly kicked the sandwich away and looked pleadingly into Jake’s eyes. He understood her request and answered with a nod. The pair then ducked under the statue’s parted legs and strode away in the opposite direction of the office building. They did not look back.
A response to Flash Fiction for the Purposeful Practitioner, Week 3. 199 words~
The woman found she was on her feet and walking along a winding highway. She could see mountains in the hazy distance. She looked down at her feet to see shoes that she didn’t recognize. The shirt and jeans she wore did not seem familiar either. She thought she must be dreaming, because when a person finds oneself in an unfamiliar place wearing strange shoes and clothes, that person must be in a dream.
The dream was boring, so she decided to make something happen.
She moved to the shoulder as a light blue sedan rolled to a stop beside her. The front passenger-side door opened. She looked and saw that there was no driver. She considered getting in and going for a ride. That didn’t seem safe, so she decided to do the driving herself. She walked around to the driver’s side and opened the door. To her surprise, she saw herself sitting behind the wheel. With a feeling of relief, she went back to the passenger side and got in the car. The car began moving forward. The driver and passenger glanced at each other and smiled knowingly. They would soon reach their destination.
Response to challenge from Flash Fiction for the Purposeful Practitioner (196 words)