March 10, 2007

The "Joy's Next Short Story" Contest

Yes, yes: finishing the novel. Really, I am. But there's a reading party later on this month, and I hate reading chapter snippets at those events.

Please provide me with a subject around which I can fashion a mini-short story. Optimum page count would be five pages, double-spaced, so I need a fast little story arc.

Please provide me with a theme, an image, or a premise. And, yes: there are sometimes children at these events. "Dark" is okay, but it should be transmutable into PG-13 material.

Thank you.

Posted by Attila Girl at March 10, 2007 07:23 AM | TrackBack

OK. I was going to pitch this one to the TV networks myself, thinking made-for-TV movie, but who can resist a damsel in distress?

Premise: Debris from the Chinese satellite-killer test is heading for the International Space Station. The European Space Agency launches a rescue mission, but in-fighting between German engineers and French trade unions leads to a space craft where the computer cables are 14 cm too short. No matter the crew presses on until they hit he debris field while the various nationalities aboard are in a heated argument over whether smoking on-board should be allowed.

NASA "brass" decide another rescue attempt would be a "suicide" mission. Enter a Tommy-Lee-Jones type "maverick" mission specialist who says it could be done. Too risky for regular astronauts, he visits the Houston penitentiary were they have an astronaut training program for convicts--all hard core. Here is where you get to assemble a stereotypical collection of misfits that would make TV network executives' hearts skip two beats! Include obligatory weight-lifting scene and an advanced calculus "throwdown" between two rival groups of inmates. Think "Stomp The Yard". With calculus. Who has the experience to handle such a mission? Lisa Nowak. of course. Doing her time at the Houston Pen., she agrees to head up the mission in exchange for a full Presidential pardon. To add more "suspense," have Angelina Jolie visiting the ISS on a morale-boosting mission, or something to do with "spotting" Global Warming. Add Nancy Pelosi's daughter, too(no need to check if she has one). That will add additional "political edge" and explain why Bush can't risk saying "no!"

Outcome? What do you think?

Hope this helps!

If you don't like that one, how about the "Stomp The Yard" gang going up against Iran's best in a winner-take-all "stepping contest" in order to prevent all-out war???? I smell a classic!

Posted by: Darrell at March 10, 2007 09:07 PM

Yeah; that'll all fit in five pages. ;)

Posted by: Attila Girl at March 10, 2007 10:54 PM

I bet it would!

How about a modern tale of love? For their anniversary, a wife decides to have a sex-change operation because of an off-hand remark by a right-wing commentator thrown her husband's way. Independently, her husband decides the same. He wants to beat that commentator at her own game, only left-of-center style. He's also harbors a secret wish to see his wife with another woman, only he is too possessive and controlling to let any other human being be with his wife.They both go to Thailand to get things done quick and cheap. Imagine the surprise when the anniversary rolls around. Set it in Ojai, California, and it could be "The Gift of the Ojai". . .

Posted by: Darrell at March 11, 2007 06:53 AM

Cute, Darrell.

Posted by: Attila Girl at March 11, 2007 08:49 AM

Note to "Law and Order" writers: If you're going to steal that plot line and add James Carville details "coincidentally," have the wife win the Presidential race afterward. This will speak to our sexist society, even though Jeane Kirkpatrick could have won it twenty years ago. I'll sue otherwise. Oh, and make a few references about the husband looking like a 6"2" penis before(show a silhouette on the wall). . .and the same, only wearing a "French tickler" afterward.

Last try for your contest(really!). Jane has two pairs of socks--hot pink and blue. She is meeting friends for a late lunch at 1:30. Her iPod is pink. What is she to do?

Posted by: Darrell at March 11, 2007 01:29 PM

This one is painfully easy; she wears one pink sock, and one blue sock, carries the iPod, and wears one blue dangly earring--set off by a silver stud on the other ear.

I would, of course, make sure that both pairs of socks are high-quality cashmere.

Easy schmeasy!

Posted by: Attila Girl at March 11, 2007 02:39 PM

A couple drive down the road. They seen a man carrying a chainsaw and a case of Bud Light. The man wants to give him a ride, the woman doesn't because she has better taste and hates Bud Light.


If it was (sort of) good enough for a Super Bowl commercial it's good enough for your party.

Posted by: Sean Hackbarth at March 11, 2007 07:28 PM

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