Once in a while, a writer creates a character so delightful the author wonders how, and from where, this creation emerged. In my newest manuscript, Without Strings, Alice Nash springs onto the page in all of her spirited glory, seemingly without any effort from me. Every detail of her spinster life was instantly there. Yet, what amazes me the most is her wit.
No one has ever called me witty. Once in a lifetime, a great line will come to mind, usually around midnight when it does little good, and then it’s gone. So, where on earth did this witty character come from? I have no idea.
Regardless, I am enjoying writing this character more than any others to date, and I am curious to see what she will say next.
Since this is an auspicious Friday the 13th, with a full moon no less, I thought I’d liven up the day with a few of Alice’s quips. Enjoy!
Alice gave him her special glare, the one that could melt asphalt.
Alice in regard to Mary's generosity: “She practically gives the flower shop away every day. In fact our mice are so poor they’re standing out on the corner with a please-feed-me sign.”
Mary: “Who would want to kill Lloyd?”
Alice: “Honey, they’re standing line.”
Alice: “Yeah, and the only one who will attend the funeral is Mary. Anyone else who might show up will only be waiting for them to fill in the hole so they can set up the dance band.”
Alice is a delight to write, and I hate to think of letting her go at the end of the book. Maybe I won't have to. I am toying with the idea of a sequel.
This is the short synopsis of the current manuscript, Without Strings:
“Give and it shall be given to you: good measure and pressed down and shaken together and running over shall they give into your bosom. For with the same measure that you shall mete withal, it shall be measured to you again.” Luke 6:38
Mary nodded. “What do you want on the card?”
Paul shrugged. “Something mushy.”
“You don’t have any idea?”
“I don’t really care.”
“I see. Then why bother with the flowers?”
“She expects it. Besides, it doesn’t really matter what the card says. She just wants something big and impressive to show off to her friends.”
“A real gift isn’t like that.”
“And what is a real gift, Mary?”
“One wealth can’t buy, something given from the heart, without strings.”
Mary’s abusive ex-husband, Lloyd Patterson blames Mary for his rotten life, and wants her to pay up what he believes she owes him – in any way possible. His threats and actions affect everyone around Mary, even Paul. When bodies appear, Mary understands how deep Lloyd has drawn her into his dark world.
Paul has a few of his own challenges to face. While their survival depends on independent choices, those choices will determine who will be the survivor, and who will be the hero. Can they be both?