Wednesday, May 12, 2010
Guess the Plot
1. Jed Martenson has always denied being a problem drinker, but when his pile of empty Jack Daniels bottles gets included on a map of Tennessee as a geographical feature, his family have to stage an intervention.
2. Spirit Hill's father told her she was named for the area where he proposed to her mother. He failed to tell her he promised the spirits his first born child if her mother said yes.
3. After her first child dies, Rebecca faces an uphill spiritual battle. And so does her husband Gus after Rebecca decides she'll have no more children, and ensures it by cutting Gus off for good.
4. For all of Billie's eighteen years, her mum has been trading "spiritual consolation" to Reverend Willie for gallon jugs of communion wine. Now Reverend Willie has his eye on Billie. Can she string him along long enough to get her Spirit Hill Wine business on its feet?
5. In the town of Spirit Hill, a teenage girl is unwittingly involved in a series of bank robberies and a dog grooming scam. When her parents discover she’s not been to school for three months, they file a lawsuit . . . against the school! Hilarity ensues.
6. Spirit Hill got her name from her granola-munching parents, and her necromantic ability from a two-timing gypsy. When zombies come looking for organic brains, can she save her beloved commune?
In the spring of 1938 a baby boy dies on a remote farm in the drought-stricken province of Saskatchewan. His father, Gus, immerses himself in his daily chores, avoiding thoughts of his son's death and the part he played in it. [Namely, he caused it.] [But then, in 1938 Saskatchewan, what are you supposed to do for entertainment besides juggling babies and chainsaws.] The mother, Rebecca, loses the will to leave her bed. [I, too, have lost the will to leave my bed. That's why I've completely surrounded it with vending machines.] She wonders how Gus could walk away from the grave and back into a life that continues as usual. She can't bear to be touched, not emotionally, not physically. [If his wife never leaves her bed and can't stand to be touched, it doesn't sound like Gus has walked back into a life that continues as usual.] She swears an unspoken vow: no more babies. .As their marriage begins to crumble, and it seems the farm will fail, Gus devises a plan that might be their salvation if his wife and Fate will cooperate. [Apparently we're supposed to guess what the plan is. Let's see, it must be one of the following:
1. Drive the tractor to Saskatoon, sell it for $1000, and spend the money stocking up on Molson Golden.
2. Win the Canadian lottery (That's the part where this Fate character needs to cooperate.) and join a co-ed curling league.
3. Switch from wheat, barley and canola to poppies, coca, and hockey pucks.]
My literary novel, SPIRIT HILL, is complete at 65,000 words. I've published three short stories. Recently, I earned a post-graduate certificate in Creative Writing from the Humber School for the Creative Arts in Toronto, Canada.
Thank you for your time and consideration.
I once told a writing class, "If your story is unbearably depressing, one way to lighten it up is to set it in Moose Jaw, Saskatchewan." Is this set in Moose Jaw?
Crumbling marriages, gut-wrenching deaths, unendurable depression, and farming in deserts are standard fare in litfic. It's Gus's wacky plan to escape it all that sets this apart, at least until the plan fails miserably, the barn burns down and Becky commits suicide. What's the plan?