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Flattered, but I Don’t Think So

by on February 8, 2014

It’s not what you think. Or maybe it’s just me who had a naughty thought when I read that title.

This has to do with writing or more like it – not writing.

In 2012, my daughter fell in love with with a flash fiction piece I wrote as a Yahoo! Contributor entitled, The Strange Girls of Lowe Academy. This is not a romance but an urban fantasy that takes place on the Gulf Coast of Mississippi. I loved it as well because the idea behind it combines two of my favorite things – Mississippi beaches and Mississippi family history.

Together we talked about developing this into a full length novel. Nothing has been done by me to date. I’ve been busy.

So I was surprised when my daughter hands me an outline not only for a novel but a five book series.

Daughter: Since you aren’t using this, my friend and I are stealing it. We did this outline in study hall.

Me: You can’t take my idea, honey. We’ll work on it together this summer.

Daughter: Nope, we’re doing it.

I didn’t argue any further, but was careful not to say the word – fine. I wanted to make sure I wasn’t unwittingly giving up my rights for a lawsuit if these two headstrong women make it big and try to cut me out of the profits.

Me: If you get stuck, I’m willing to help with what my original direction was.

Daughter: I’ve watched you. I know how to do this.

Gotta love and foster that kind of confidence!

Here’s a little snippet from that piece that we love:

Shadows on the Teche PlantationHeralded as nothing short of a miracle by a national architectural magazine; the Lowe Mansion had celebrated its 155th anniversary with great fanfare last year. To this day it remains a shining example of an antebellum plantation home that had survived numerous storms including Hurricane Camille and Hurricane Katrina when everything around it had fallen.

I touched the intercom button and immediately heard the metal click that released the doors. There was no need to push them open. Someone was always waiting.

I was greeted by a Lowe girl probably no more than fifteen dressed in the standard uniform of a khaki skirt and navy blue button up shirt. She extended her hand and gripped mine in a hearty handshake. “Mr. Chandler, Mistress and Madam President are expecting you. ” She spoke like an older woman. More like a friend of my mother’s relaxing with a Vodka Collins after a tennis match at the club than a wayward girl from the backwoods of Mississippi. That’s what Lowe girls were supposed to be – the wayward young women of small towns, right?

I followed her black shoes click-clacking on the polished wooden floors of the Academy to the board members’ meeting room. The girl opened the door and I could see Wilma Pierce, Madame President, seated at the head of the oval table. She was a thin woman with pale blond hair pulled away from the skeletal features of her face. She looked ancient.

Seated next to her was Vonzetta Bailey, Head Mistress, the curvaceous brown skinned woman was Wilma’s physical opposite. And at the same time they were the similar. They always looked amused, but they never smiled.


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