I might have taken on too much this Summer. Here’s one reason; I’m taking a free six week class at rukristin called Find Your Voice and although I’ve done only one lesson, it is excellent!
In this lesson we explored what stories we engage with regularly and our challenge was to document great stories – and now re-reading the challenge I’m thinking, “Oops! I got it wrong!”
I love Sue Grafton’s ABC series, with Kinsey Millhone, private detective. I read all the books so far in the series at least once a year – X comes out in August so I’ll probably start reading soon! So I decided my challenge would be to write an introduction in the style of Kinsey when she begins each report of the case, with the addition of photographs. I like these introductions because somehow she is never repetitive, they always have a tie in with a sentence specific to that book, they are succinct and tell you what is important at that moment.
Here’s two examples, first here’s A is for Alibi:
“My name is Kinsey Millhone. I’m a private investigator, licensed by the State of California. I’m thirty-two years old, twice divorced, no kids. The day before yesterday I killed someone and the fact weighs heavily on my mind. I’m a nice person and I have a lot of friends. My apartment is small but I like living in a cramped space. I’ve lived in trailers most of my life, but lately they’ve been getting too elaborate for my taste, so now I live in one room, a “bachelorette.” I don’t have pets. I don’t have houseplants. I spend a lot of time on the road and I don’t like leaving things behind. Aside from the hazards of my profession, my life has always been ordinary, uneventful and good. Killing someone feels odd to me and I haven’t quite sorted it through. I’ve already given a statement to the police, which I initialed page by page and then signed. I filled out a similar report for the office files. The language in both documents is neutral, the terminology oblique, and neither says quite enough.”
From C is for Corpse:
“My name is Kinsey Millhone. I’m a licensed private investigator, doing business in Santa Teresa, California, which is ninety-five miles north of Los Angeles. I’m thirty-two years old, twice divorced. I like being alone and I suspect my independence suits me better than it should. Bobby challenged that. I don’t know quite how or why. He was only twenty-three years old. I wasn’t romantically involved with him in any sense of the word, but I did care and his death served to remind me, like a custard pie in the face, that life is sometimes one big savage joke. Not funny “ha ha,” but cruel, like those gags sixth-graders have been telling since the world began.”
Now here’s my effort:
“My name is Jane Bradbury, female, age fifty-one and I’ve been married for fourteen years now. A notable fact as when I was born no one imagined I’d achieve much at all. I have Arthrogryposis, a disability affecting my arms and legs that makes them short, slightly curved and a bit weak. It’s not genetic, it just happens. At ten years old I set off to boarding school for disabled children where I enjoyed my status for a while as the only one there with a father who was a coal miner.
We don’t have children or pets by choice. Neither of us fancied cleaning up if either were sick or had a rear end accident! And we’re selfish with our time. It is with wry amusement we find ourselves in our current situation. Life can be like that; you think you’ve been clever making choices to avoid what you think you couldn’t cope with. Then you’re thrown a challenge and Life gloats, “Ha! You didn’t’ get away with it! Serves you right for even trying!”
Yet we’ve just had the best four months of our lives. So, perhaps we have the last laugh?”
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