Call Me Harry

Maybe it was luck, or perhaps, Providence, the good Lord’s hand pushing me in the direction of the book section.

There I was, minding my own business, trying to stay out of the way in Target, while my wife shopped. We needed shampoo, toothpaste, mouthwash—the usual stuff—for our trip east to visit my mother who was in her nineties and recovering from a fall.

As for the book section, let’s just say Target is no Barnes & Noble, Powell’s in Oregon or the Strand Bookstore in NYC—it is much, much smaller, almost an afterthought by comparison. As I stood with my back turned at the end of an aisle—laundry detergent to my left, chips and salsa to my right—I backed up to let a young mother with a stroller pass by.

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They Picked Me

Lots of people are coming to Hope’s house to see the cute puppies who are to be rescued. I didn’t know I needed to be rescued. Besides me, there are five other puppies all cuddling and playing in the penned in area. Hope and Gina, the pet adoption agency ladies, want to find us all good homes.

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Bats flying out of a champagne bottle

Horrors – There’s Humor in There!

I take full blame. In the throes of uncontrollable laughter, my friend hiccupped, “My mascara must be down to my knees!” It was. All because I’d told a funny story. The problem? We were at a funeral—a solemn, unsettling place where death tickles us under the chin and reminds us our turn is coming. Eye makeup often flows here—from tears. But from jokes? Consider this: when the horrifying becomes too intense, humor offers a release.

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Four Character Drivers Aquisitiveness, rivalry, vanity, love of power

Let Your Characters Do What Characters Need to Do

So your leading character, Valerie, insults her best friend, Leah, leading to her husband getting angry and shooting Valerie’s champion poodle. What? Why did he do that?
Our characters do what they are expected to do (that sometimes works) and they also do what’s not expected (that also works sometimes). Readers expect our characters to behave like real people: unpredictable, crazed, and impulsive. Or predictable, sane, and calculating. Or all of the above.

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The Bank Robbery

Leaving the Ambassador’s suite, Alex admired the gorgeous sixteenth-century paintings hanging on the corridor’s marble walls. Ceilings were eighteen feet high, covered with more beautiful frescoes. All this priceless art was inherited by the Embassy when buying the building after the Second World War. He glanced at everything but was deep in thought.
Taking the elevator to the ground floor, he walked down the hallway to his new office. Upon opening the door, he saw the familiar and smiling face of Nancy Williams, his secretary who had been stationed with him in Islamabad during the terrorist attacks.

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