The kind of questions that on most days are far from pertinent are down right nightmarish for these heroes of A to Z fame. What will my Q or X post be? EDT, PDT, or GMT. When do I post? Do I comment on five, 50 or 500 posts? Will anyone read or even comment on my posts?
But have no fear my fellow A to Zers, April one will come and so will the mad scramble known as the Great and Wonderful 2018 A to Z Challenge. As the worn out saying goes, many will enter but few will win. Why? Why? WHY?
Sure, you can be a pure PANTSER and make a stab at the A-Z, but, from experience I can tell you it is no small feat. A good attempt requires weeks, if not months of coordinated planning. I finished the 2017 A-Z with pride as I laid out the plot, characters and setting of a new historical novel. I learned so much about my characters, the way I wanted the whole thing to flow and even about myself in those 30 days.
I also met some new blogging friends and found some different places to visit on the big ol’ WWW! But I am here for a different reason. With less than 24 hours before Arlee Byrd and his minions wave the checkered flag to start this craziness I want to advocate for a grand celebration on what I call A to Z Eve.
Yes, I am picking on the Fellow in Red, but I have no illusion of making A to Z Eve bigger than Christmas Eve. You can’t compete with gifts, snow and egg nog. But I think we could make it a thing. Of course it will take time. So tell me fellow A to Z folks? What do you do on A to Z Eve?
Six chairs encircled Sally’s garden table. One for mother, one for father, one for Louie who would certainly have his uniform neatly pressed just as it was before she shipped off to war. The fourth reserved for the fellow who waited for Louie to leave, of course Louie couldn’t know that. Then two more for the Bridge club ladies. It would be a splendid party.
“How long are you going to let her monopolize the table?” Orderely Hal asked.
The name alone was designed to ward off all-comers. The Black Hand Trail was a harrowing passage between two small villages in the remote part of the country. The only groups that braved the trip were members of the Gamboya and Xollee tribes.
Thirteen miles into the twenty-three mile trail the narrowest part barely allowed a single person. Legend said once two young men met at his choke point. Both tribes were too proud to acquiesce to the other. The young ones held out a hand to stop the other. In the frigid air frostbite soon won out.
Wow, is it already almost time for the A to Z Challenge again! Great! I love it! I also love the fact that I get to spill the beans about what my theme will be this year. How many of you were here for the Them Reveal last year? If you were you already know my approach. I plan to lay out the characters, setting and plot of a novel series I plan to write. Last year my A to Z was about a historical fiction novel set in the mid-1860s. It centered around three American Civil War veterans and the impact of their steam locomotive on the life and business of a beautiful red head name Clementine O’Grady. If you are interested you can find out more here: Steel Horse Saviors
I found out a couple of things through my approach last year: 1) It is a great way to plan and plot your novel and 2) I knew a whole lot less about the historical part of my story than I thought. As a result, when the annual National Novel Writing Month or NaNoWriMo came around in November I was not ready to being writing. I still want to write this novel, I just have to spend a sufficient amount of time learning what I don’t know about the time period and technologies so my story makes sense.
Comparatively though, the choice for this year’s A to Z is a story set in the present, so there is no concern about understanding what fits. I plan to introduce a recurring character from the many weekly flash fiction opportunities I enjoy on a regular basis. Her name is Sophie Marcus and you can think of her in the realm of the great detectives, such as Columbo, Sherlock Holmes and Adrian Monk.
Sophie is a late-70s baby who in her early 40s is single and devoted to her job as the chief detective for the Portland, Oregon police department. Sophie has some issues, the chief among them is trauma from an intense psychological battle with a serial killer named Red Death. Sophie has a collection of friends and foes who will make her story rich with characters.
“It is a radical plan,” the king’s brother nodded. “But our enemies approach from all sides. We will surely be overrun.”
The aged King looked at his sons, the heirs apparent who stood with fixed jaws, determined to represent their father well, even though they had as much concern and fear as he that their reign would soon end.
“Your majesty, our latest reports . . .” the King’s advisor said nervously before the king raised a hand silence.
The King then turned to his sons and gave them his best reassuring smile.
“I know to you this is cowardice, but sometimes you have to know how to win your fight without fighting. Be well my sons!”
After the king departed the chamber his brother allowed the evil grin playing at the corners of his mouth to consume his face. His plan was going better than expected. He had all three heirs in tucked away in gift wrapped shells for his co-conspirators from the next kingdom.
Sydney marveled at the flawless carrot cake on the picnic table. For the first time in her seventeen years she had one to be proud of. She cocked her head at the odd droning sound above, but the bright sun made it difficult to see. There was a myriad of colors and then a sickening thud as something dropped into the center of her cake.
“What’s that?” triplet Macey asked pointing at the pyramid shaped photo block.
Sydney’s heart leapt at the photo of Marcus on one knee holding a sign that said only “PROM?”
“Finally!” she said. “Finally!”
I will offer my apologies if I shattered a rule with a serial, and I promise this is only a two piece story, but I just felt like there was still a bit to tell.
Silently the two men slipped through the water fronting the location confirmed to be the destination of their target. They had two lines of instruction: One for rendition and the other for removal. Which it would be was still a moving target. The diplomats were toiling endless hours on the former, but the team favored the cleaner option. Dragging on overweight oligarch across three borders would be no picnic.
Through night vision binoculars they peered at the crowd gathered at a gala in their target’s honor. No question about it, either way would be so messy.