"The notion that such persons are gay of heart and carefree is curiously untrue. They lead, as a matter of fact, an existence of jumpiness and apprehension. They sit on the edge of the chair of Literature. In the house of Life they have the feeling that they have never taken off their overcoats."
- James Thurber, My Life and Hard Times

Friday, August 17, 2012

LOOK over here

God bless that Tameri Etherton. I just got home from a week's vacation in the Plumas National Forest. It's about a 10 hour drive if you want to come back in one day, which we did. We managed to make it home by 10:30, ripped through a drive-thru for instant food, then drove home and found we'd been locked completely out. Our lovely son broke in, but by the time we had brought the bags in, eaten, and checked the Facebook status, it was after midnight.

Today, I am completely wiped out, feeling the need to hop back into real life, and not knowing what to do first, or even second.

Enter Tameri, who was tagged in a little blogging game and tagged me. It's called LOOK and I'd post the little picture of the meme (or is that redundant?) but I'm exhausted and likely to post something that would crash computers worldwide. The rules are to go to your latest work-in-progress and search on the word "look". Once you find it, copy and paste the section to your blog. Then tag a bunch of people. They're supposed to do the same.

I'm so tired I barely know my name, so tagging is out, but thanks to Tameri, I'm at least kick-started in forward progress today. If you want to join the game, copy and paste your work to your blog, then leave me a link in the comments. I can probably still read.

This is from the second chapter of the third, untitled, unedited, mystery.

* * *

The smell had hit her first, followed by the smoke. A private investigator's job is to be curious, so she loped toward the source, and saw fire engines pulling out of Angelina Drive, onto Morse. Two police cars were at the corner, officers directing traffic away from both streets. Fortunately, it was already mid-June, meaning the elementary school was out for the summer and keeping the police from having to re-route frazzled parents.

Now she stood and looked at the devastation. She wanted to cry, and it wasn't even her house.

It belonged to Benny Needles.

Benny was a one-time client, part-time assistant, and full-time needy little man with a big obsession for Dean Martin. He had spent the last couple of years running through his inheritance, stuffing his house with Dino items that he bought on eBay. Peri was never sure whether he was actually a hoarder. While his house was so full it was difficult to move around, it was full of specific things. Tables, chairs, sofas from the sets of Dean Martin movies littered the living room. Posters, and photographs, all signed, were on the walls, And then there were the tchotchkes – ashtrays, barware, even an ice cube tray that had been the center of Peri's first murder case.

She wanted to get a closer look at the damage, but she wasn't certain if the police would let her past the barricade. She knew almost everyone in the Placentia Police Department. Peering at all the uniforms, she was hoping to see someone who didn't just view her as an over-snoopy private investigator.

All I can do is try, she thought. The worst they can do is say no.

The tall blonde adjusted her ball cap over her ponytail and approached the officers. She spotted Officer Chou on his phone. He was always very courteous. She caught his eye and he motioned her over.

"Hey, Peri," he said after he ended his call. "I was just calling Detective Carlton."

She smiled. If Chou couldn't let her pass, Skip Carlton might. For one thing, he was a reasonable man. For another, they had been dating for ten years. But why was he needed on the scene?

"For a house fire?"

"House fire's not the problem. The body inside is." Officer Chou looked worried. "I'm assuming it's Benny."

"No." She shook her head. "I happen to know he's out of town this week. It's Dean Martin's birthday, and he went with Phil and Nancy Nickels to some town in Ohio. Dino's birthplace and all that."

* * *

It's now your turn. I'm going to go have some coffee, start a load of laundry and take a nap.


Tameri Etherton said...

L.O.V.E.!! Yes, two exclamation points. I feel it's appropriate.

You had me worried it was Benny, but now I'm all curious who is the dead person? Argh! That's the thing with these memes... now we have to wait for the rest. That Peri, she sure knows how to find excitement.

Thanks for playing and sharing a bit of your WIP. Now get some rest!

dino martin peters said...

Hey pallie, likes Miss Gayle Carline, how wonderful to find this excerpt from your next volume of Peri's murder and mayhem....and am simply simply thrilled to see this tome is goin' to 'gain be Benny-centric, thus Dino-centric as well. Loves this start and simply can't wait for the rest...I have a hunch this is gonna be you best Dino-effort yet! Know that this start has just be shared with all the pallies gathered 'round ilovedinomartin. Keeps lovin' our most beloved Dino!

Gayle Carline said...

Tameri - I'm trying to rest and get stuff done. It ain't easy, but Snoopy's memoir can't wait.

Mr. Peters - how lovely to see you here. So glad you liked my snippet, and thanks for posting it on your blog. Hope to have the story edited and out for public consumption soon (but you can't rush these things).

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