Thursday, August 19, 2010

Nancy and I set out to re-write HIS-story from a woman's point of view!

Once we'd made the decision to write a book together -- which we'd already titled PLEASE STAND BY -- YOUR MOTHER'S MISSING -- Nancy and I tried to figure out the best way to pull this off.

After writing weekly newspaper columns for over three years, as well as draft versions of two mystery novels, I realized I hadn't the foggiest idea how to meld my literary style with someone else. Neither, evidently, did Nancy, although I think she was a lot better at it in the beginning than me. After a number of trials and just as many errors, we finally settled on a style that suited us, as well as the book. Drawing upon episodes in our own busy lives, and incorporating the ten children we shared between us, we set to work.

Chapter One set the premise for our story: A corporate executive is on his way to a church where he is to meet a talented communications physicist. When he arrives there, however, all he sees is a young mother and her two small daughters sitting on the steps. The executive settles down to wait, scrutinizing everyone who passes by, but sees no one who looks as if he could be the noted scientist he is scheduled to meet. Without this important physicist, the man knows the project his company is planning is sure to fail. But he has a another pressing appointment he must keep. Finally, he pens a brief note requesting the scientist contact him on his home phone (Gasp! Horrors! Please keep in mind that this was book was written before the widespread use of the Internet or cell phones. Yes, hard as it is to believe, there really was such a time!)

The man approaches the young mother, hands her the note, and asks her to give it to the physicist if he should appear. The woman examines the note, then after he leaves, tears it up.

Of course the scientist never contacted the man, although the two did talk in front of the church that morning. Unfortunately, the executive missed the chance to save his troubled project because he failed to see the physicist. All he saw was a nondescript young mother and her children, and for our corporate world shaker that was not enough.

An observer, had there been anyone interested in the little domestic group on the stairs, would have been startled to see that there were now only two young girls standing by the church entrance. Their mother no longer stood with them. She had disappeared, the first of such happenings to be reported.

(On Saturday: Nancy and I have the time of our lives!)


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