Thursday, August 10, 2006
Guess the Plot
1. Sick and tired of being the only stunt midget in the entire Hong Kong kung fu film industry, Small Luck decides to follow his dream of opening a pet-grooming franchise - only to stumble upon a ruthless gang of cat killers.
2. When the luxury liner Lucky Lady sank beneath the waves, only six survivors made it into her lifeboat, the Small Luck. By the seventh day adrift, obnoxious teenager Randy was really wishing he hadn't chosen to wear his "Eat Me" t-shirt the day the ship went down.
3. When Joe inherits a house from his Aunt Magnolia, he thinks it's his lucky day. But it turns out Aunt Magnolia was a mad serial killer, and the house burns down, so Joe is out of luck--until he's lucky enough to run into attorney Lancelot Fimby.
4. A mysterious vending machine dispenses good luck in two sizes: small or large, depending on how much of your soul you're willing to sacrifice. Timmy thinks he's playing it smart by selecting "small," but a series of mishaps has him returning to the machine again and again - until he's sacrificed all to the demonic Frito-Lay corporation.
5. Wilfred Nardo has never bought a losing lottery ticket, his winnings varying between one free play and five bucks. Now, Gwendolyn has told him that wouldn't marry him if he had a hundred million dollars--and the Powerball jackpot is up to $102 million. Wilfred's ready to make his small luck go big time.
6. Small Luck's parents spent their life savings sending her to school in the United States. Instead of getting her law degree, she cashed in her tuition check and opened an Asian cowgirl-themed brothel in Nevada.
Dear Mr. E. Editor
It is 1983, and Joe Morrissey is a bullshitter, a dreamer and a bowler in L.A. who knows, deep in his heart, that someday he will make it big - though he's not sure yet how that's going to work. [The first step, of course, is to start a blog. Oh wait, it's 1983. He should be a pro bowler for a few years, and then invent the blog.] When he learns that the Aunt Magnolia he never knew existed has plunged suicidally into the heart of High Point Lake, leaving him her sole heir, he sells what little he has to claim his inheritance in Lynchburg, Pennsylvania. [If he has to sell everything just to buy a bus ticket, he's bowling way too much.]
He intends a surgical strike: get in, get the money, get out. But getting in costs him everything he has, [Already stated.] getting the money turns problematic when his inheritance - a Victorian house - has burned down, [Uninsured?] and he has no way of getting out. [Actually there's no way in or out, as Lynchburg, PA doesn't exist. Perhaps he's in Virginia?] But his luck kicks back in when he meets Lancelot Fimby, a lawyer on the verge of a breakdown, and Delilah Humprhies, a sixteen year old girl who wants nothing more than to escape her small town life and her oppressive father, and will do what it takes to get free. [What is it about meeting them that signifies a change in his luck?] The three are connected, in difficult, terrible ways, by Joe's aunt, Magnolia Morrissey, a serial killer and madwoman who [killed Lancelot's son, Galahad, and Delilah's boyfriend, Samson.] loved Joe, [He didn't know she existed, but she loved him?] and loved Delilah, and who seems to be watching them all from the bottom of High Point Lake.
Small Luck is a literary novel, complete at 128,000 words. It is a multigenerational story, stretching back to the beginnings of Magnolia's madness, and moving forward through the voice Joe and Delilah's daughter, exploring themes of madness and sanity, fortune and fate, love and loss, the comedy of luck, and the possibility of salvation in the middle of destruction. [Choose two or three themes and let the other ones be a surprise bonus.]
I hold an MFA from the University of San Francisco, and am a columnist for Strange Horizons and a reviewer for Bookslut. I received second place in Nimrod International Journal'a 2005 Katherine Anne Porter Prize for Fiction, [Change the word "fiction" to "haiku," and the name of the contest would be longer than the winning entry.] and was nominated for inclusion in the 2004 Best New American Voices. My work has appeared in Nimrod, Clean Sheets, Strange Horizons and Flytrap. [You know, I'm sure these are all respectable venues for publication, but somehow Clean Sheets, Flytrap, Bookslut, etc. aren't names that sound impressive. Would it sound better to say, My work has appeared in several respected literary journals?] I've enclosed the first three pages and an SASE, and very much look forward to hearing from you.
Best regards, etc.
Dear Mr. E. Editor
Joe Morrissey knows, deep in his heart, that someday he will make it big - though he's not sure yet how that's going to work. When he learns that the Aunt Magnolia he never knew existed has plunged suicidally into the heart of High Point Lake, naming him her sole heir, he heads for Lynchburg, Pennsylvania to claim his inheritance.
He intends a surgical strike: get in, get the money, get out. But getting in costs him everything he has, getting the money proves problematic when his inheritance - a Victorian house - has burned down, and he has no means of getting out. His luck kicks back in when he meets Lancelot Fimby, a lawyer on the verge of a breakdown, and Delilah Humphries, a sixteen-year-old girl who wants nothing more than to escape her small town life. Lancelot and Delilah know that Aunt Magnolia, a serial killer, buried her fortune somewhere on her property, and are willing to help Joe find it--and to keep quiet about the many bodies also buried there--for a cut.
Small Luck is a literary novel, complete at 128,000 words. It is a multigenerational story, stretching back to the beginnings of Magnolia's madness, and forward beyond the birth of Joe's and Delilah's daughter, exploring themes of fate, loss and salvation amid destruction.
I hold an MFA from the University of San Francisco, and my work has appeared in several respected literary journals. I also placed second in Nimrod International Journal's 2005 Katherine Anne Porter Prize for Fiction. I've enclosed the first three pages and an SASE, and very much look forward to hearing from you. Best regards, etc.
The title isn't what I'd call catchy. Optional titles:
I Love You Too, Aunt Magnolia, but I Try to Limit the Amount of Time I Spend with Serial Killers.
Lancelot Fimby Saves the Day
Crazy Dead Lady in the Lake
Not Only Does This Dump Not Exist, It Doesn't Even Have a Bowling Alley
No doubt the minions will have offerings of their own.