Tuesday, June 19, 2007
Guess the Plot
1. Six foot, 300 pound Wilma Spittle has finally found the job of her dreams. Outside Herman Wooster Middle School, she rules supreme with her whistle and stop sign as . . . the Crossing Broad.
2. Mickey Spillane meets Danielle Steele meets Lon Chaney meets Mitt Romney meets Paris Hilton in this crime-romance-thriller based on the famous Sharon Stone scene in Basic Instinct.
3. Concerned for the darling kindergartners, Elsa Sykes becomes Maple Hill Elementary's first crossing guard, but she can't fit her ample bosom in the vest. No one slows down. After little Fanny Turtle is driven over like a speed bump, Elsa strips down to her birthday suit. This not only stops traffic, it earns Elsa the name that will follow her to her grave: "Crossing Broad."
4. Dirk takes his job seriously, as do all the traffic management specialists. They all agree: Busy school intersections are no place for a woman. Then along comes Priscilla Cody, fresh from Australia, with orange hair and spandex biker shorts. But Dirk’s not willing to let any broad weaken “the guard.” He has a plan, one that may permanently stop the flow of her traffic!
5. Broad Street is more than the border between Middletown and Portland. It's a socioeconomic and cultural barrier dividing the upscale WASPs on the north side from the adult book shops, massage parlors, and liquor stores on the south side. When Portland's working girls start showing up murdered, though, homicide detective Zack Martinez learns that a lot of people have something to hide, on both sides of the street.
6. You don't mess with the law when you're passing through the town of Broad. One day you're a comic strip character, the next day you've been thrown in jail for baby snatching. Cora Mae wishes she'd just stayed in the Sunday funnies, instead of . . . Crossing Broad.
Bedlam, broken laws, and romance ensue in small-town Broad when an abandoned infant is rescued by a skateboarder, pursued by a cartoon character and stolen by a disco-diva nurse. At 57,000 words, Crossing Broad is a completed adult novel. With fantastic elements, it occupies a tidy, yet cozy, space near Christopher Moore and Darby Conley (Get Fuzzy). [Trying to get authors to quit comparing themselves to other authors is clearly a lost cause. But Get Fuzzy? The comic strip? My book should appeal to fans of Charles Dickens and Charles M. Schulz. Think of it as a cross between Catch 22 and Garfield.]
Ruby Jenkins, seductive Head Nurse of E.R. doesn’t know why she finds this particular infant so bewitching, but when cartoon character Cora Mae slips out of the comics and onto the pavement with adoption in mind, [Does she want to adopt or be adopted?] Ruby finishes her shift, conceals the infant in her tote-bag and struts headlong out of the hospital. [This makes it sound like she takes the baby because Cora Mae has slipped out of the comics. If there's any connection between the events, establish it. If there isn't, put them in different sentences.] It is not Ruby, however, who is in line as prime suspect, it is the even more flagrant in presentation, Cora Mae, [Even more flagrant in presentation? That's a lot of words to say . . . what? She's dressed more ostentatiously than a nurse?] who steps into her first dose of reality, when based on appearance, she is arrested, booked, and sent to the slammer for baby snatching. [Even though she has no baby?] With the ingenuous Cora Mae behind bars and the town befuddled into inaction, Ruby is able to fly far enough under the radar to dodge local law enforcement and a host of Broad’s most vocal citizenry. But, as her options become limited, [You can only walk around so long before someone says, "Excuse me, ma'am, but your tote bag is bawling."] Ruby is finally forced to make a decision, which ultimately proves that rules are sometimes better broken than followed, especially in a town called Broad. [What decision? What rules? Why "especially"?]
I assume Ruby was able to get access to the baby because she was a nurse. What is it about Cora Mae's appearance that makes her a suspect? Is she dressed like a nurse? Does she look like a comic strip character in reality? Olive Oyl? Broom Hilda? Mammy Yokum?
More plot would be helpful. All we have is that a nurse takes a baby from the hospital, and another woman, who used to be a comic strip character, is accused. The rest is vague. Both women seem to want a baby. Do they want the same baby?
You mentioned bedlam and romance in the opening sentence. Yet the town is befuddled into inaction--hardly bedlam--and there's not even a hint of any romance.
Maybe Cora Mae can hire Lionel Hutz* as her attorney.
*Lionel Hutz: Cartoon lawyer on The Simpsons, who once said:
He's had it in for me ever since I kinda ran over his dog . . . Well, replace the word "kinda" with the word "repeatedly," and the word "dog" with "son."