Thursday, December 20, 2007


I'm going to kill two tomatoes with one literary metaphorical stone.
I was tagged by sustenence scout.
I'm supposed to list three things that I believe make for powerful writing. So I decided to tell a story. Bear with me...


The vegetable was dead. No doubt about it. Pierced with twelve to fourteen deep gashes over it's entire circumference. Funny. No blood. I walked into the galley. Another body lay stretched out on the companionway steps. It was a gruesome sight. But again no blood. This murderer was crafty and careful.
Exhibit A found at the foot of my bed at approximately 6:03 am.

Exhibit B found on the companionway steps at 6:05am.

The medical examiner was thorough and blunt. He combed his hair from the back to cover his bald spot. His sansabelt pants were heading toward the south pole.
"These wounds were made by needle sharp teeth," he said. "Any one of which would have been fatal. This is one frenzied killer."
I couldn't believe it. A murderer on the loose. ORION is no longer safe.
I interviewed the two boat cats.
They didn't see a thing.
Didn't hear a thing.
I was stumped.
Looks like another one for Cold Case.

So what does this have to do with three things for powerful words?
Well. First of all.
1. Sometimes perfectly normal mornings can turn into grotesque nightmares. Write about them.
2. Death is compelling even when it's only a vegetable. Write about it.
3.(to paraphrase Clinton) It's the story, stupid.
It's always the story.
Oh. By the way?
The culprit was not who you expected.

The fourth thing? Expect the unexpected.


Melissa Marsh said...

Pat, I had to tell you - I was into Barnes & Noble last night and they had a side display with their manager's "picks." Lottery was one of them! She had wonderful things to say about it. :-) And I thought, yes, all of them are true - you WILL cheer for Perry, it IS an impressive debut, and you WILL love this book! :-)

Janna said...

We have the same trouble with apples at our house...

Church Lady said...

I love tomatoes.

I wanted to wish you and your family and of course Touloose a very Merry Christmas!!!
You are da' bomb!

Sustenance Scout said...

Love it, Pat! Very tasteful (ahem) photos of the victims, btw. :) K.

Lisa R said...

Funny! What else can I say? In my house -- it's the bananas!

Ello said...

I like your tomato killer analogy! ANd I love the kitty in the cubby! Too cute!

Wanted to wish you a very Merry Christmas!



ORION said...

That's too cool melissa!
Apples and bananas?
Thanks Church lady (remember your task for England!
Aloha ello and back at ya!
I have some VERY cool book plates that I can sign and mail to people to stick in their copies of LOTTERY if anyone's interested...

Sam said...

Aloha Pat -
I hope you're having a wonderful holiday!
Good writing advice. I think twists and unexpected turns are the best part about a story.

Manic Mom said...

OK, am I just a dense girl? Or am I just really clever? Did the cat murder the tomatoes or did the winds rock the boat and shake the tomatoes out of their resting places in your kitchen?


Dear Pat, help me!!!

ORION said...

Girl Kitty stole them out of the vegetable bowl on the counter one at a time. When she got bored with the one, she dropped it at the foot of the bed thoroughly chewed and got the other and dropped it on the companionway...again thoroughly chewed.
Another example of muses behaving badly

Sustenance Scout said...

Sign me up for a bookplate, Pat! Woohoo! K.

Whiskey Sierra Bravo said...

So you make the cats wear silly grapefruit helmuts and dress up in elf costumes and dance and you are suprised when they turn psychotic and murder vegatables. I'd keep my underware drawer tightly locked.

Wandering Star Bob

Ello said...

I want I want I want!!!! Do you still have them?????