Uncategorized

5 years! and still have a face for radio!!!!

This month marks my five year anniversary of being a radio host! 5 years and i have hosted a lot of people, many of them repeats but all together I have met some awesome authors that I like to call friends.

Where it began!

May 2013 Dellani invited me to join her and Christina Giguere on DELLANIS TEA TIME for a chat. The conversation turned to the fact that I, in their esteemed opinion needed my own show.  Naturally I gobsmacked, but in a good way.  This was something I had never considered myself doing but I jumped at it with hubbys encouragement.

Why?

Dellani explained it was because I asked so many good questions in the chat room during her shows that i would be great at interviewing others.

What’s Next?

We set about finding me a person to steer the ship. to set up the chatroom and get the switchboard going. My first co-host was a nice Scottish lad by the name of Jon Magee. He was a wonderful co host but after 2 1/2 years he had to drop out due to work and family considerations and Christina Giguere became my go-to-girl.

I have had a blast on this show WRITERS ROUND TABLE  and I plan on many more years talking about all things books.

Fave Questions I have asked

What would you do for a Klondike bar? Once such guest replied but then demanded his ice cream. I stopped asking that one because clearly I couldn’t deliver.

If your character had a theme song what would it be?  Wil Van Lipsig-Let the bodies hit the floor!

If you could drop one of your characters into another book what would it be? Dellani would drop Wil from Lone wolf into Lord of the Rings. Wil would decimate the ring, kill the bad asses and turn an epic novel into a piece of flash fiction.

That’s just the few of the questions I have asked and I am looking for more.

So the questions I ask involve the books they write and character driven questions. I also ask the guests about their writing styles and when and why they started writing. I end the show sometimes asking them to give a piece of advice to give new writers.

I thank my mentor Dellani for introducing me to the wonderful world of radio hosting. It’s been a blast.

 

 

 

Advertisements
Karen Vaughan, Sassy Sarcasm, Uncategorized

SASSY SARCASM PRESENTS STELLA SARCASM

SASSY-SARCASM.jpgFROM THE TIME I INTRODUCED STELLA STADYLMEYER IN DEAD MEN DON’T SWING SHE AND LAURA HAVE BEEN TRADING SARCASTIC QUIPS. SHE SPENT A FEW (TOO SHORT MONTHS IN THE SLAMMER FOR KNIFING HER EX IN A FIT OF RAGE BUT SHE IS BACK IN MY WORK IN PROGRESS DEAD AIR DOING BATTLE WITH  LAURA ONCE AGAIN AND MYRNA (INTRODUCED IN DEAD TO WRITES). STELLA MAY JUST HAVE TO UP HER GAME AS MYRNA GIVES AS WELL AS SHE GETS. STELLA MAY JUST HAVE TO WATCH HER BACK AS MYRNA MAY HAVE TO BREAK A FEW WICCAN RULES AND TURN HER INTO FROGS LEGS!

dead_mean_dont_swing_2 (2).jpg

“Well if it isn’t Mrs. Fitz? Who’s your little friend dear?

If Elaine had been in any shape, Stella would have been on her back on the floor. Luckily for both of them, the cab pulled up and honked. Elaine shot Stella a filthy look and stumbled out to the taxi.

“Not much of a conversationalist. You really need to pick politer friends dear.”

I was sorely aching to tell her off but I suppressed the urge to tear her a superfluous opening. I waved and walked back to the apartment while counting to ten and praying for strength.

 

STELLA QUOTE.jpg

I was sleeping on the way home in the car. Gerry had to practically carry me into the apartment. Of course in my semi comatose condition, we just had to run into Stella who uttered a few quick quips about me having too much to drink to which Gerry answered with a ‘bite me Stella’. If I had had any energy left I would have offered up a middle finger salute.

STELLA GOES TOE TO TOE WITH LAURA’S MOTHER. WATCH THE FUR FLY!

The evening went well and we were able to dine al fresco. Toronto was experiencing a warmer than usual month of April. We had set our new patio table and chairs on our patio. Things were going smoothly until Stella happened along and started to nose her way into our gathering.

“How’s your arm Mrs. Fitz?”

Mom looked at me. “What about your arm Laura?”

I had a mishap playing darts last night some yahoo has worse aim than me.”

Stella chimed in “That’s not what I heard. It would seem your daughter has attracted an enemy or two.  With that attitude it comes as no surprise.”

“How dare you say my daughter has an attitude?”

“Plain to see –she is a thorn in my side and I have no clue why the owner hired such an uppity individual. Does a fine management job but she has a caustic tongue.

My daughter is far from perfect; I raised her to be independent and opinionated but you have no right to criticise her for that.

Yes I see where she’d get that attitude ; you should have instilled manners and respect for her elders.

Why you bitch!”

“Mom don’t! Your blood pressure she’s not worth it.

With that Stella stormed off.

“Where did you get that one.”

“Unfortunately  she came with the building.”

DEAD MEN DON’T SWING IS AVAILABLE AT AMAZON

 

Karen Vaughan

THE WHITE ENVELOPE: FOR THE MAN WHO HATED CHRISTMAS!!!!! BY NANCY GAVIN 1982

karens kwm logo (1).pngI wasn’t going to post a Christmas story of mine because I didn’t have one. I was going to post my Gus story written from the POV of a dog. I was surfing the net and found this gem.  So settle in with some hot cocoa and some Christmas cookies and enjoy this heartwarming story.

It’s just a small, white envelope stuck among the branches of our Christmas tree. No name, no identification, no inscription. It has peeked through the branches of our tree for the past ten years or so. It all began because my husband Mike hated Christmas — oh, not the true meaning of Christmas, but the commercial aspects of it — overspending…Knowing he felt this way, I decided one year to bypass the usual shirts, sweaters, ties and so forth. I reached for something special just for Mike. The inspiration came in an unusual way.

Christmas card with bow on a brown background.

Our son Kevin, who was 12 that year, was wrestling at the junior level at the school he attended; and shortly before Christmas, there was a non-league match against a team sponsored by an inner-city church. These youngsters, dressed in sneakers so ragged that shoestrings seemed to be the only thing holding them together, presented a sharp contrast to our boys in their spiffy blue and gold uniforms and sparkling new wrestling shoes. As the match began, I was alarmed to see that the other team was wrestling without headgear, a kind of light helmet designed to protect a wrestler’s ears.

It was a luxury the ragtag team obviously could not afford. Well, we ended up walloping them. We took every weight class. And as each of their boys got up from the mat, he swaggered around in his tatters with false bravado, a kind of street pride that couldn’t acknowledge defeat.

Mike, seated beside me, shook his head sadly, “I wish just one of them could have won,” he said. “They have a lot of potential, but losing like this could take the heart right out of them.” Mike loved kids — all kids — and he knew them, having coached little league football, baseball and lacrosse. That’s when the idea for his present came. That afternoon, I went to a local sporting goods store and bought an assortment of wrestling headgear and shoes and sent them anonymously to the inner-city church. On Christmas Eve, I placed the envelope on the tree, the note inside telling Mike what I had done and that this was his gift from me. His smile was the brightest thing about Christmas that year and in succeeding years. For each Christmas, I followed the tradition — one year sending a group of mentally handicapped youngsters to a hockey game, another year a check to a pair of elderly brothers whose home had burned to the ground the week before Christmas, and on and on.

The envelope became the highlight of our Christmas. It was always the last thing opened on Christmas morning and our children, ignoring their new toys, would stand with wide-eyed anticipation as their dad lifted the envelope from the tree to reveal its contents.

As the children grew, the toys gave way to more practical presents, but the envelope never lost its allure. The story doesn’t end there.

You see, we lost Mike last year due to dreaded cancer. When Christmas rolled around, I was still so wrapped in grief that I barely got the tree up. But Christmas Eve found me placing an envelope on the tree, and in the morning, it was joined by three more.

Each of our children, unbeknownst to the others, had placed an envelope on the tree for their dad. The tradition has grown and someday will expand even further with our grandchildren standing to take down the envelope.

Mike’s spirit, like the Christmas spirit will always be with us.

credit goes to huff post for this story

Karen Vaughan, Uncategorized

WOOHOO, JAMAICA DEAD IS NOW IN PAPER BACK MON!

Grab a bottle of Red Stripe, some jerk chicken and settle in for the vacation of a life time for Laura and Gerry. Laura has done the work required to become a Crime scene investigator  (even while being abducted ) This only means one thing. Laura will now get paid to snoop!

JDBLURBLAURAPOV2.jpg

As per what usually happens when Laura is in the vicinity, there is a murder! Donovan Mitchell is a royal pain in her assets but did he deserve to get taken out? No, It was grisly the way this guy met his maker. Laura is trying her hardest just to avoid getting dragged into the murder investigation but wants to help the widow figure out why her husband was dispatched and what killed him.  

Jamaica dead was one of my favorite books to write. I used my previous experience in Jamaica years ago as  part of the story and gave it to Laura to use.  I also had fun writing the characters of Gaylord and Mary.  The ugly jokes got a lot of laughs from people who read the story.UGLYJOKEQUOTE.jpg

Some kind words for the e-book!

download (3)

If you haven’t read a book by this author, grab this and if you have, you will already know you have to have another mystery, suspense from this author. Laura and Gerry are back and headed to Jamaica. Of course, with Laura you have to have murder, mystery and a lot of fun. Donovan and Becky Mitchell are also headed to the same resort and although not Laura and Gerry’s first choice for friends they do get to know each other and then Donovan ends up dead and readers are in for a great ride involving voodoo, murder, drugs and a well told tale.

JAMAICA DEAD PAPERBACK

 

Karen Vaughan, Musings, Writing Process

THE 2018 NANOWRIMO EXPERIENCE–KAREN VAUGHAN

I had a plan, or so I thought. I finally decided that Nigel Holmes was going to get a story. It would be a sequel to HOLMES IN AMERICA; HOLMES SWEET HOME-Where he goes back to the UK to solve the mystery of his cousins disappearance. It was great! I had set up my dashboard on the NanoWriMo site. I had the plot, the excerpt set up and ready to go.

working cover holmes sweet Home.jpg   Becomes  NEVER ALONE COVER.jpg

Then my muse informed me, yes informed me, why?  because shes a snarky sarcastic bitch who could give Sassy Sarcasm a run for her money. I digress so this muse had another idea. I listened but was ready to shut her down with the reasoning that poor Nigel has been waiting oh so patiently for the last two years for another story. (picture poor sad Nigel )

Image result for bitchy muse

 BITCHY MUSE SAYS JUST DO AS I SAY. IT WILL ALL WORK OUT

I made my argument but little miss Sassy pants would not be swayed. So it was back to the Nano site for my novel and changed everything. (Are you happy now?) It’s a great story this new one. It’s about a woman who lost her husband to murder the year before and goes to California to visit her brother. A friend of his is visiting as well. Ted his a hunky middle-aged actor from Australia who is also morning the loss of his wife. You see where this is going right? The two people commiserate, make friends and eventually love blooms with an HEA to rival Cinderella.

Scratch that! Enter Scott Masterson. Caseys neighbor back home in Canada. Scott is in love with Casey and admits the fact before she leaves on vacation. He urges her to think about it while she’s soaking up the sun. She says she will but clearly she feels awkward about it stating she isn’t ready for love.

Scott lets her go hoping she’ll change her mind about him. He’s not a patient man so he starts to harass her through texts and calls. Whats a girl to do?  Changing her number only enrages him and he goes into full stalker mode.  And Boom my simple romance has turned into a romantic suspense! Thank you Scott! Not. I decided I was gonna make him pay for this.  My two main characters fall into lust and love with each other while trying to evade the jealous maniac making their lives hell.

I am only demonstrating that the muse and the characters of a particular story are in charge. You are just the typist and the vehicle for the storytelling. Picture yourself in the drivers seat of a car going full speed ahead. The car has no breaks and your hands are tied behind your back. The characters are steering the story and the muse has put the peddle to the metal. You would be wise to embrace this because if you even try to exert your will in a story it will not end well. Let the characters tell it. It’s their job. Telling the story their way makes them more three dimensional.

My story is moving along nicely. I am more than 80% finished. The other night Ted the hunky Aussie said he had more to say through out the story.  We were only hearing Casey’s thoughts so I have let him express himself. See I do listen to my characters.  I am happy because the enemy was dealt with and the happy couple will get their happy ending!

comedy writing, humor, Karen Vaughan, Uncategorized

WHAT’S SO FUNNY ABOUT COMEDY WRITING

Life is easy Comedy is hard!

Finding a funny concept that can be relate-able to the audience can be a challenge. You have to strike a balance between laugh out loud hilarious  and not offend anyone. Some comedians don’t care.

So here are some tips for writing comedy.

according to:

http://webcache.googleusercontent.com/search?q=cache:http://www.goldcomedy.com/resources/write-stand-up-comedy/

Step 1: Establish a funny concept

To start, come up with a funny concept based around your own personal experiences or observations. This could be something as simple as your insecurities at the gym, or getting licked by a passenger on the subway, or how your boyfriend’s obsession with fidget spinners is causing you to rethink… everything. If the thought genuinely makes you laugh, then it’s worth trying out.

For me a funny concept involved getting hearing aids this year.  I marvelled how i could hear grass grow one blade at a time.  The first time I put them in my husband asked “Can you hear me now?  He assumed i couldn’t but I really just wasn’t listening.

I also pick on my ex.  Yeah he’s a good target and a good sport. At the end of our marriage he declared I was dysfunctional. Yeah that was a head-scratcher. How come it took him nine years to figure that out.

I have also been known known to talk about the various meds I take and the side effects. They make me feel like the four horsemen of the apocalypse and some of the 7 dwarves -Sleepy, Grumpy, Dopey and their menopausal cousin Bitchy. I want a side effect that causes extreme sexiness.

I always try the jokes out on friends and family before I perform.  Don’t over think the jokes.  If you thought it was funny go with it.  The audience will tell you soon enough if they are good.

THE ANATOMY OF A JOKE

According to: http://hermes.webster.edu/mercukat/threeparts.html

THERE ARE 3 PARTS TO A JOKE.

Setup, Reinforcement, and Payoff.

A future event, normally insignificant, suddenly has meaning.

  • It must not be recognizable as a set-up.
  • It must be part of the story.
  • It cannot be an entirely negative event. If it involves a defeat for the hero, it must have at its core some positive quality.

    Reinforcement

    In longer jokes, a series of events create a humorous situation extending from the premise. Jokes are extended through escalation and exaggeration. In the Wile E. Coyote cartoons, the joke is entirely about the reinforcement.
    Escalation: something that starts out simple gets more complicated, and the clown gets tangled up or carried away in the situation. Rather than simple solutions to catching the Roadrunner, Wile E. Coyote comes up with more and more ridiculous contraptions to capture the Roadrunner, always failing.

Payoff

The resolution, incorporates the “twist.”

  • It must be an emotionally rewarding and meaningful experience for the public, ideally providing a euphoric rush.
  • It makes sense because of the setup.

 

Okay let’s break down one of my jokes. Let’s take the one about side effects.

Set up: I hate my meds. The side effects are horrible.

Reinforcement: They make me feel like the four horsemen of the apocalypse and some of the 7 dwarves -Sleepy, Grumpy, Dopey and their menopausal cousin Bitchy.

Payoff: I am waiting for one that causes extreme sexiness.

 

Timing & Delivery

 

How a joke is delivered is critical. Many a good joke can be ruined by telling it too fast, too slowly, or bumbling the pacing of the joke. Why is timing and delivery important?

  • The pace and rhythm of the joke being told, creates a momentum.
  • Skipping a beat before and after the punchline allows the audience to anticipate the punchline, and then to laugh without missing part of the next joke.
  • Comics should practice putting the emphasis on different syllables to find the right delivery.

I hate my meds. The side effects are horrible. Emphase  the word horrible even exaggerate it  horrrrrible

Pause

They make me feel like the four horsemen of the apocalypse and some of the 7 dwarves -Sleepy, Grumpy, Dopey and their menopausal cousin Bitchy.

Pause

I am waiting for one that causes extreme sexiness.

Ok so some tips from my personal experience

Don’t be hurt if the joke doesn’t fly the first time. take it home and tweak it.

Practice so the delivery is second nature. I watched hours of stand up comedy to get it right.  It was entertaining homework.

Next time we’ll talk about putting humor into novels.

Cereal Authors, Karen Vaughan, Short Stories, Uncategorized

IT’S MY PARTY AND I’LL KILL IF I WANT TO! A SHORT STORY

Today i was listening to the oldies station and an old Leslie Gore song came on. It’s my party.   my imagination went into overdrive and I thought of a whole new scenario. What if?…

ITS MY PARTY.jpg

 

It’s 9 AM Saturday, October 13. Is my 17th birthday and tonight I am throwing a huge party for myself to celebrate.

My boyfriend John called me last night and told me he had a huge surprise for me. I wonder what. A promise ring? Maybe.

I got up and showered then I must’ve spent an hour picking out a killer outfit for later on. Johnny’s not gonna know what hit him!

Downstairs, mom was waiting for me. “Happy birthday!”

“Thanks, mom!” I looked around “where’s dad?”

“I sent him on an errand. He’ll be back soon. So, what are your birthday plans?”

“Judy and I are heading to the mall. I need new runners for gym class then she needs help looking for an outfit to wear tonight God knows why she’s got a closet full of clothes.”

Mom smiled “sounds like fun but don’t take too long. Were heading out the chance for dinner at 6 PM.”

“It’s okay. I’ll be home around four to get ready for dinner.” I hugged my mom and then left.

I met Judy at the food court and we sat there while discussing our plan of action. “First we had spore checks so I can get my running shoes, then we will find you a heart outfit for my party.”

“Sounds like a plan.” Judy replied, “hey, Johnny ever say what he wanted to tell you tonight?”

I shook my head “no, he said it was a big surprise.”

“You mean he didn’t give you any hints at all?”

“Not one. He drives me crazy sometimes!”

“At that will be something nice,” Judy replied

“it better be killer for keeping me in suspense like this.” I got my new runners with no trouble so we were on the hunt for Judy’s knock him dead dress. It was a barely-there dress that covered her but well maybe if she bent over she’d be showing everyone what she had to offer. Okay so my friend was a slutty dresser but who am I to judge. I’ve been known to dress for effect too.

“Whoa, baby! That will get someone’s attention.”

“That’s my plan.” Judy smiled mischievously.

Now she had me “who?”

“Nope, not telling!”

“Bitch!” I said laughing

“love you too Leslie.” She laughed, blowing me a kiss. “I gotta get motoring. Mom and dad are taking me out for dinner.”

“Okay well, I’ll see you at eight then.” Judy hugged me and then walked away.

Dinner with my parents was cool. Dad handed me the keys to them as they usually drove. I was incredulous I looked at him and said: “you mean it’s mine?”

“Yep. I just took possession I knew SUV that far as yours for you to use your senior Leslie and you need your own wheels. The only deal is no speeding, texting or any accidents. New baby for the gas and we will cover the insurance.”

I jumped up and hugged him. “Thanks, daddy you’re the best!” I was stoked I had my own car no more asking for the keys when I wanted to go out. Wait until I tell Johnny!

When we got home at 730 John was sitting in his car on our driveway. He got out and kissed me demurely in front of my parents. They said hello and return and reminded me I had to change for the party. We went inside and John waited in the living room while I went upstairs. When I was ready I came down and sat beside him. “Okay, I’m dying here. What’s the big secret?”

He shook his head and chuckled “not yet wait till the party.”

In mock fury, I punched his arm “meanie!”

“Ouch, that hurts you have a mean left hook!”

That’s what you get for keeping me waiting. This better be good!”

My guest trickled in starting at 8 o’clock Judy showed up last and had every male guest staring at her including my guy.

“Get your eyes back in your head John!” I said with a sneer.

“What? Oh yeah sorry, Leslie.”

“You better be!” I was not impressed with my man ogling my bestie.

“Well yeah she looks great but you look better!”

“That’s more like it Dexter!” I smiled at him.

Around 9 o’clock we gathered so I could open presents. I got some cool stuff when it came time for opening John’s present he was nowhere to be found in Judy was missing too.

Hmm, maybe she’s helping him with the surprise. I thought to myself.

I made boldly and things people for their gifts while I waited I danced with a few of the guys but still no Johnny or Judy. I excused myself and went upstairs. My parents were in the family room off the kitchen watching TV. Neither Johnny or Judy were in the living room so I chose to go outside and see if they were near his car. Nothing. Where were they? Just as I was asking myself that I heard some giggling from the backyard. It sounded an awful lot like Judy. She wasn’t alone! I heard some guy reply back to her and much to my surprise it was my guy!

I took a deep breath approached the gate and barged into their private soirée.

What the hell! I couldn’t believe what I was seeing. 

Both of them just looked at me laughed and yelled “surprise!”

I was surprised alright and very angry. I couldn’t find my voice at that moment so I just turned on my heel and went back out front. I leaned up against the garage trying to catch my breath so I wouldn’t hyperventilate. You’re not gonna cry Leslie you’re stronger than this!  I got my bearings and went into the house I knew exactly what I needed to do. I looked around to make sure I was alone and then headed upstairs. I knew where my father kept his gun. It was in a safe I knew the combination to as it was mom’s birthday. Don’t ask me how I know that, I just do.

I worked the combination on the safe in his closet. I saw the gun sitting there and hesitated. The angel on my right shoulder was saying no doubt this is not the way this all things. The debt one my left shoulder was saying go for it you know you want to. The devil won. The angel said nothing knowing I was making the hugest mistake of my life. At that moment I didn’t care I just wanted sweet revenge. I tucked the gun into my jeans under my sweater.

I was coming down the stairs when mom met me at the base. “Where were you Leslie people are asking?”

“Sorry I just need a breather and to check out something upstairs. I’m fine I’m going back down now.” She said okay and return to the den.

I returned to the rec room where the party was in progress. People asked where I had been I just sell I just needed some air. Just then, I spotted my prey in the corner. Both John and Judy were standing in the corner blatantly holding hands. I spied a shiny rock on her finger. I was supposed to be my promise ring. If you’re asking me if I saw a red, yes damn Skippy I did and I was ready to take action.

I sauntered over to where they were standing grinning from ear to ear. “Well, I have to hand it to you that was some surprise! And I have to tell you, that was really low why choose my birthday party to let me know what was going on? Never mind I really don’t want to know it is what it is you two are cheating scumbags and I’m done with you both!”

I was loud enough so that people around me could hear. “Gather around folks about to tell you a little story about deception and betrayal.  These two here were caught red-handed in the backyard doing what they do others Discovery Channel.  Imagine my surprise when I saw my boyfriend of two years and my best friend since kindergarten doing the horizontal mambo on my parents swing.

John spoke up “geez Leslie did you have to tell the whole room?” Can we go outside and talk about this like civilized human beings.

“That’s too funny John you’re calling yourself civilized when I caught you doing my BFF. How long is this been going on? No nevermind I really don’t want to know but here’s what I think. I’m pretty sure now that I recall you to work conveniently busy when I asked you to join me at my parent’s cottage this summer. Yeah, you are you busy alright. Just then I could take no more neither one of them said anything to me they just stared.  It was time.

I pulled my gun and aimed it at them. people scattered.

John pleaded with me. “No Leslie don’t do this. I get that you’re pissed at me and Judy this is no way to solve anything.”

“Shut it, John! I want to hear any of your excuses.  okay, whose idea was it? That I can tell you had your eyes all over Judy when she stepped into my hallway with that almost dress. I swear that thing is a wardrobe malfunction waiting for a place to happen.” I was having a good time with this make them squirm I thought.

“It was Judy’s idea!” John blurted out.

“Classy move Dexter. Go ahead throw your new girlfriend under the bus.”

Judy just looked at the backstabbing ass hat. “Don’t listen to him. He said he was waiting for you to you know put-out. Said he wanted a real woman! I was only too happy to oblige.”

The people on the X files were right the truth is out there and I was staring at right in the face. I boyfriend and my backstabbing best were about to get what was coming to them.

With two shots that penetrated both their hearts, they fell on each other.

I parents came down to investigate the noise and saw me holding the gun. Dad grabbed it.

Mom spun me around. “Why Leslie, why?”

“It’s my party and I’ll kill if I want to!

THE END

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Flash Fiction, humor, Karen Vaughan, Uncategorized

BURIED WITH ATTITUDE –FLASH FICTION BY KAREN VAUGHAN.

I WAS PERUSING MY FRIENDS PINTEREST BOARD FULL OF WRITING PROMPTS.  i FOUND ONE THAT SPOKE TO MY SNARK AND SARCASTIC STREAK. FULL OF BALLS AND BLUSTER.

43130981_2193615660907631_988609679498149888_nBURIED WITH ATTITUDE

I MADE A WEIRD REQUEST IN MY LIVING WILL TO BE BURIED WITH BOTH MIDDLE FINGERS EXTENDED. The lawyer thought I was nuts to ask for such a thing. He said he would do it as I was the one forking out all that cash to put toward his billable hours. 

“Ms. Burris, why do you want to be remembered as the woman who flipped the double bird at her loved ones?”

Loved ones? Ha, that’s a joke. Sit back Mr. Chips let me tell you a story.

Okay. I’m not gonna lie. This request has me intrigued.”

The so-called loved ones have been a pain in my ass for the last 40 years. I feel its appropriate to leave this world showing all of them how I really feel.”

Surely things can’t be that bad.”

I assure you they can be. First of all, I was given up for adoption as a baby. I spent the first 10 years of my life in foster care.  I was a paycheck to those losers who were more interested in getting drunk and getting lucky than taking care of a child who needed love.  Finally, I found what I thought was a real family when I was almost 11.  They didn’t want a child of the house, they wanted a maid.  I was scrubbing floors and cooking meals.  Despite all that I managed all A’s and tried to make them proud of me.

“Did it work?”

“Hell no. They didn’t care. They just wondered where the next meal was coming from and who would do the laundry.  Mommy dearest was a stinking drunk and daddy was never around because he was too busy working to pay for her habit.”  Neither of them ever thanked me for anything. It was expected.

So what did you do? “

At sixteen I graduated from high school as I had worked my ass off taking A.P. courses. I went off to the university on a full scholarship to Stanford. Yes, Stanford! It was as far away as I could have gotten from those thankless leeches!  I was alone, yes but I was no longer any one’s fool. I graduated from Stanford med at the age of 22 the youngest doctor ever. 

Surely somewhere you would have found happiness?

For a while, I did. I met a nice boy in college. He seemed perfect…

But what…? The lawyer inquired.

“Mr. Perfect turned out to be a cheating sod.”

He cheated on you? How awful!

Damn straight. He cheated on me, his exams and his taxes. Don’t worry sir I got even. “

What did you do?”

First of all, I reported him to the university, the IRS and then I left his sorry ass at the altar.”

“Good for you!”

“I got some satisfaction from that but once again I was alone and very bitter. I didn’t trust any man for a very long time afterward.”

“But something changed…”

“Yes, I found a new man who I thought would cherish me forever.”

“Did he?”

For some time we were very happy. We got married and had 2 beautiful children. My medical career was doing well and I was a sought out oncologist with a vast save rate. I was happier than I ever was before. That was until…”

Until what Ms. Burris?”

I started losing patients. I was sued for malpractice and I found out my partner in my practice was stealing money and patients by telling them I was a hack. He sabotaged my career Mr. Chips!!! I was thrown out of the hospital and denied privileges anywhere else. I lost everything I worked so damn hard for.”

I sympathize  Ms. Burris but what does that have to do with wanting to be posed like that in your coffin?”

“Hang on Mr. Chips I am getting to that!”

“Sorry, carry on.”

After my humiliation at the hands of the medical community, my devoted husband and my two beautiful children turned their backs on dear old Cynthia.  He only cherished my money and the children are spoiled entitled brats.”

“I see.”

“That’s not all Mr. Chips. The final straw was delivered to me by my oncologist this morning. I have stage four Lymphoma and was told to get my affairs in order post-haste. I only have 3 months at the most. “

“I am so very sorry Ms. Burris. My condolences in advance but I still don’t see…”

Right ok, here it is in a nutshell. This is just one way I am saying screw you to all who have mistreated me in the past.  Let them see for themselves how I really feel.”

“what’s the other?”

“My will Mr. Chips. I am leaving my estate such as it is to charity. The ingrate and the spoiled brats are getting squat!”

The lawyer smiled and replied “Well played, Ms. Burris, well played!”

 

 

 

    

Article, Writing Process

SO YOU WANT TO WRITE A BOOK! ELEMENTS OF GREAT WRITING

So one day you decide you’re going to sit down and write a book

First you decide whether its going to be

  • Fiction–what kind of fiction-romance, mystery, fantasy, sci-fi or even horror.
  • Non-fiction- how-to manuals, biography, autobiographies
  • poetry-collection of your works

Ok so you’ve decided to tackle the great american novel, now what

you must decide on the following

  1. characters
  2. plot
  3. timeline –time period
  4.  setting.
  5. descriptions

Don’t write to get rich. Write a story that you as a reader would love to read! 

A personal story–When I decided I was going to write a story based on a dream I had I had no idea where it was going to go but i knew it was a mystery and that it would be something I would buy and read.  The plot was a simple whodunit and why?

My characters were a woman in her midthirties, adrift in life after a divorce and does temp work until a real job comes along.  She finds a dead guy on her livingroom floor and she knows him from the place she is temping at.  How did he get there? who killed him and put him there, and why her apartment.

Enter the hunky building manager, Gerry.  Laura our heroine knew him from high school as he played football with her exhusband.  Gerry wonders why Laura is entertaining a dead dude–Laura thinks he’s pranking her.

The police are called and time to meet Jeff Gibbons, the lead detective on the case. He is by the book and follows procedure.   Det. Gibbons doesn’t believe she is guilty but has to follow protocol.

Lauras mom and dad. Mom is nagging her to move out of her seedy apartment, closer to home. she is the quintessential catholic mom. Laying on guilt to get her way, also trying to fix Laura up with any Tom Dick or Harry with a medical or Law degree.

Lauras dad-sits and reads the paper and tells his wife to lay off the nagging and guilt trips and is there to support his daughter no matter what.

Time-line- this is a modern day story. I started the story in 2005  so thats when it was set.

Setting-Toronto and area to include Scarborough, Etobicoke and the area.

Description–It’s a subjective choice. You need to paint a picture for the reader. what the characters were wearing, hair, eye colour etc. describe the setting of the room or scene outside.  I am a minimalist in this area and I don’t believe in fancy 15 dollar words when a straight forward 5 dollar one will suffice.  I prefer dialogue to tell the story in each scene.   

A scene from Dead on Arrival involving dialogue

15310178_10208548829506458_2046650359_n

“What in hell’s name is that horrible stench?”  Gerry stopped short, quickly noticing the dead dude on the carpet.  He quickly held the edge of his work shirt over his mouth and nose.  I was sorely tempted to gag again. The stoicism I exhibited was slowly dissipating and being replaced by panic.  What if the killer came back, and decided to finish me off? 

 “Okay Gerry,” I said, “cut the crap!  How did you get Velcro’s’ body in here?” “What do ya mean how? You mean you think I did this, thanks a lot!” he said, somewhat pissed.

“This wasn’t your handy-work?”

“No! Why would you think I would do such a horrid thing?”

“Not sure really; maybe because you and Ray have the only keys besides me, and you love practical jokes.”

“Yeah, I do, but nothing this heinous! My practical jokes are more of an April fool’s kind of gag.  Besides I don’t even know him.”

“Okay. I’m sorry I’m just trying to figure out how and why he got here. Furthermore he is wrecking my rug! “I know it’s odd to worry about a frigging rug right now but this is how I deal with stressful situations. I ignore the obvious problem, and settle for something mundane and harmless to worry about.  Okay so enough about the damned rug.  I focused on the corpse once again.

 

As I don’t do ‘cool nonchalance’ well, I retorted, “Gee good point I practically fell over him on my way out of the bedroom.” 

“Didn’t it occur to you at some point during the night, that there was a rotting corpse in the middle of your living room?” Gerry asked.

“For one thing, I sleep with my bedroom door closed and my air conditioning on; and second, I was so tired after this weekend; I just came in and flopped. I didn’t even realize

I had a guest, dead or alive.”   

“Well regardless of all that, we have to call this in.” Gerry got out his mobile and dialled 911.  It was definitely classed as an emergency.     

 

 I suddenly realized I probably had a lot of explaining to do. In fact, I was in deeper shit that I wanted to admit to myself.  I dreaded facing the local constabulary on this one. Picturing the headline, ‘Local girl kills debt collector in living room’ the guilt was flooding in, and I hadn’t done anything … yet. This thought was followed by what I thought my parents’ obituary might be, when they found out my predicament, ‘Man dies suddenly of a major coronary, directly preceded by death of wife due to gross shame”.   The reality of the situation was really starting to get to me.  I don’t look good in prison orange.

 

“So do you know John Doe?” 

“UH, yeah I do actually.”

“Did your date go that badly?”

“He wasn’t a date!” In fact I wouldn’t even have classified Hodges as a friend.  The shock was starting to wear off, and I could start to feel weak in the knees. Gerry caught me, as I was about to go down.  I love a mystery as much as the next person, but not in real life. Gerry guided me to the couch and forced my head between my knees. Shock had truly set in, as well as morbid disgust, and revulsion. This had to be the weirdest situation I have ever been in.

There was a knock at the door again and it was the police. 

The lead inspector and the crime scene unit converged on my building at once. Immediately, my home sweet apartment becomes a crime scene, confirmed by the usual crime scene yellow tape. The coroner waited outside until the initial investigation was finished.

DEAD ON ARRIVAL AT AMAZON

 

A SCENE FROM DEAD TO WRITES USING DESCRIPTION

KAREN ebook.jpg

 

Terri decided she needed to have some of the fruit and a piece of the rich dark chocolate from the gift basket as the wine was kicking her ass. She was halfway through the carafe of wine already, and at this rate, she’d be downright snockered by the time Sylvie arrived. Terri held off having another glass of wine until Sylvie arrived to share with her. Instead, she took a drink of water along with the snacks.

For the evening, Terri had chosen a form fitting, fire engine red, knee length dress which accentuated all her curves. Paired up with four-inch stilettos, she could pass for a runway model. She wore her hair in a side braid and inserted black onyx earrings to finish off the look. Man. You’re dressing like you got a date or something, she said to herself. She was right. It was a date with her best friend. Why not look nice? Just as she was finishing putting on her makeup, she started to feel nauseous and a tad dizzy. Her vision was fuzzy, and she found it hard to navigate her way across the living room, especially in the heels. She started bobbing and weaving like a drunkard. I was right. That was way too much wine for one person, and I am a bit of a lightweight in that area. Halfway across the room, she lost her balance totally and went flying in to the glass top coffee table, crashing through it. Somewhere along the way, she had begun to convulse uncontrollably. She hit the floor with glass sticking out of her head and foam around her mouth. She was dead within seconds.

DEAD TO WRITES ON AMAZON

ADVICE ABOUT WRITING

“JUST WRITE THE DAMN BOOK”-KEN FARMER-WHAT’S WRITE FOR ME WITH DELLANI OAKES.

LEARN THE BUSINESS SIDE OF BEING AN AUTHOR. -CHRISTINA GIGUERE AUTHOR OF SELF-PUBLISHING HACKS : WHAT OTHER AUTHORS ALREADY KNOW.

JENNY BURKE ON DESCRIPTION AND WORLD BUILDING-Many writers ignore the senses of smell, touch, and taste. Using more senses pulls you into the story.

Karen Vaughan, Sassy Sarcasm, Uncategorized

SASSY SARCASM: SARCASTIC FIGHTING

Sassy SarcasticWHEN IT COMES TO FIGHTING IN MY BOOKS THE GLOVES COME OFF AND THE TONGUES ARE SHARPENED TO A FINE POINT.

STELLA AND LAURA JOUST OFTEN AND VICIOUSLY AND STELLA DOESN’T SPARE THE CAUSTIC REMARKS FOR OTHERS EITHER. SHE HAS ATTACKED ELAINE AND LAURA’S MOTHER.

MYRNA, WHO I INTRODUCED IN DEAD TO WRITES, WILL DO BATTLE WITH HER WIT WHEN STELLA RETURNS AFTER A STINT IN THE SLAMMER.  THESE TWO LADIES WILL GO HEAD TO HEAD WHILE FIGHTING OVER STELLA’S OLD APARTMENT WHERE MYRNA NOW RESIDES.

 

HERE ARE A FEW SCENES WHERE STELLA AND LAURA FIRST TRADED BARBS AND REJOINDERS!

dead_mean_dont_swing_2 (2).jpg

 

Mrs. Fitz, a moment please.”

A moment with Stella would ensure a parking spot on the football field. Instead I painted on a face and did fake graciousness to the hilt.

“Just one I am running late for class.”

“Too much nooky will do that.”

“Stella, your point…?”

“Yes …right. I just wanted to express condolences for the nasty find in the dumpster last night.  Glad it was you and not one of our senior residents.”

“Well there are nasty parts of every job, Stella. Now if you will excuse me I have to find a spot in the parking lot at school. I have a test to write. If we can discuss this later, whatever this is I will happy to lend you an ear.”

“Humph, aren’t you a bit long in the tooth for school?”

“More to life than collecting rent ma’am.”

line-1.png

STELLA QUOTE.jpg

I went down the hall to the laundry room. I couldn’t even fathom doing a load before checking the traps and washing out all the machines before using one. I was just putting my loads in when Stella flounced in. I gave her a look that said “Don’t start lady.” She’s either dense or doesn’t care and got on my case about the eulogy.

“Ya know Stella, you can shove your eulogy. I don’t know the guy. The other tenants aren’t being forthcoming with details except for stuff I refuse to put in a tribute to the dead man. I also don’t have the time for this crap and it’s not my job.”

line-1.png

“Well if it isn’t Mrs. Fitz? Who’s your little friend dear?

If Elaine had been in any shape, Stella would have been on her back on the floor. Luckily for both of them, the cab pulled up and honked. Elaine shot Stella a filthy look and stumbled out to the taxi.

“Not much of a conversationalist. You really need to pick politer friends dear.”

I was sorely aching to tell her off but I suppressed the urge to tear her a superfluous opening. I waved and walked back to the apartment while counting to ten and praying for strength.

A SCENE FROM DEAD AIR  LAURA AND GERRY #8 (wip)

“Hey Myrna what’s up?” I was trying to ignore the elephant in the hallway.

“Laura, you know this person?” Myrna said pointing to Stella behind her.

“Yes I do unfortunately. Stella, what are you doing here? Weren’t you locked up in a prison somewhere?”

“I got out!” She was smiling smugly.

“Out? Stella, you killed your husband! How could they let you out? It’s only been nine months!

Stella smirked and said “my lawyer appealed and we won!”

Myrna piped up with “he’s probably a shyster!”

I suppressed a chuckle and asked Myrna “what seems to be the problem?

Myrna replied “this woman and on my door demanding to come in and look around. She claims she lived here before!”

I sighed. “Yes Myrna there goes Larry was Stella’s ex-husband.”

Dumbfounded, Myrna turned to Stella. “So you’re the nagging so and so he complains about!”

“Wait! Stella uttered “Larry, dead Larry, talks to you?”

Myrna smiled wickedly “yes and the things he tells me!”