Sunday, January 27, 2008

Fake Query 10

When her beloved great-aunt Beulah dies, Holly Hollingsworth goes to the will reading with high expectations. But while her cousin Jarred gets the house, her sister gets the jewelry and her brother gets cash, Holly finds she's been given custody of Beulah's cremains. Now she's trying to discover what she did to deserve . . . A Legacy of Ashes. (A Legacy of Ashes)


Dear EE,

Grieving in the split-level ranch she shares with husband Bart and a six-month supply of pregancy tests (always negative), Holly could really use a dose of Great-aunt Beulah—the stories of her funny escapades, her latest colorful friends in distant places, and the bargains she always brings home that clash hilariously with Bart's idea of appropriate d├ęcor.

But Beulah is never coming back.

Actually, that's not entirely true. Beulah is back. Holly just never imagined her beloved aunt would return from Peru in a pale yellow ceramic pot that matches Holly and Bart's family room curtains perfectly.

Receiving Beulah's cremains is only the tip of the ice berg. Beulah left Holly six sealed envelopes, each full of instructions detailing the distribution of her ashes. And envelope number one clearly states that Holly be the one to follow the prescribed path, and that she do it alone. From a ballet dancing glacier guide's cabin in Alaska, to a medicine man's compound in Bali, to an ostrich farm in South Africa, Holly follows her aunt's instructions to the letter. Along the way, she discovers more sides of her aunt—and herself—than she'd dreamed possible. But Holly finds the instructions in the sixth envelope most formidable of all—to return to Bart and the split-level ranch and bury the last bits of Aunt Beulah in her own back yard.

A Legacy of Ashes is complete at 90,000 words. Two modified chapters have been published in "Amazing Words" magazine, including The Fourth Envelope, which was nominated for the Very Austere Award in Short Fiction.

Ali

12 comments:

Dave F. said...

I like this. It's already heartwarming and sappy and tear-jerking fun. Go write it.

Sarah said...

Wow! I really like this one. Sounds like quite the adventure. And to have to come home after all that? What a conflict.

Phoenix said...

I love the voice here, Ali. I'd ask for pages! But first I'd want to read what's in the Fourth Envelope...

Robin S. said...

I absolutely agree. What a voice you have here.

You turned something
that could have and should have been so-so into a really interesting piece.

Sam said...

Sounds intriguing, and like dave said, heart-warming and sappy - just what I love!!

pjd said...

What Robin said. You took a fake plot that was going nowhere and made it an around-the-world trek that would show off Beulah and Holly. This could be a grand adventure, and I hope you consider writing it.

Khazar-khum said...

This is a good one. A real adventure, and a good one. What happens when she's planted in the yard, anyway?

Church Lady said...

This is a very creative take on the GTP. One of my favorites.
Go write it!!

mb said...

Ooh, sounds like "13 Little Red Envelopes" (if I'm remembering the title correctly). Good idea.

Ali said...

Could you tell I finished reading "Eat, Pray, Love" the day I wrote that? (The ballet dancing glacier guide and the ostrich farmer were all mine, though).

This story should definitely be written, but it won't be me to write it. Plot up for grabs. I'll take 20% of the royalaties and a quick mention in the revised query letter as payment.

who cares what my fake name is said...

It's not my genre, and yet I like it anyway.

mb said...

That was 13 BLUE envelopes. Knew that sounded wrong.