The Journey

Dispatches from the Wasteland – #2: An Excerpt, a Request, and a Vision


So, I’m doing the NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month) thing this month, an experience that may slightly interest some of you and will bore the hell out of the rest of you. This means that I won’t always be able to come up with fresh and original material, every day, for the month of November. However, to avoid the possibility of folks fleeing Bonnywood in droves, leaving me bereft and alone, forever damaged, I have a two-step plan. (I should probably have more steps, but I’ve never been very good with rules so I’m going to have a hard enough time just following two of them.)

One, I will be digging in the archives and re-posting some of my ancient missives that didn’t get a lot of attention during their debutante balls. As many of my fellow bloggers will understand, it’s hard to look back on one of your story children and realize that they didn’t meet their potential. So I’m giving them a second chance. If they don’t prove themselves during the encore, it’s time for them to move out of the house and get on with their lives, living in crappy apartments and working at minimum-wage jobs and wiring home for money every other week.

Two, and this is the more important part, at least for me, I’m going to be posting excerpts from the work-in-progress novel that I am using for my NaNoWriMo journey. Some of the tidbits will be from pages that are already in the can; others will be fresh scribblings from that day. What I ask of you, dear reader, is that you proffer honest commentary about the tidbits. Was it interesting? Was it stupid? Did you have any desire whatsoever to keep reading?

You don’t have to make comments, of course. You don’t have to do anything. But it would be really swell if you could help me wrangle this beast of a novel. (By the way, the working title for the book is “Cruise Control” (boring, placeholder) and the plot involves parallel stories about a family vacation in the Caribbean and an investigative team that is trying to figure out… well, maybe you should just read the snippets.)

Herewith, the first excerpt. (A few of you may recognize this as a modification of a previous post from back in the day. This book has been on the back burner for a while and I’m constantly messing with the ingredients.) This scene is from what is currently the first chapter in the book. Enjoy.


“Detective Oskopy?” asked a voice at the door.

Collin paused in mid-perusal of the coffee-stained file on the desk in front of him, sighing. It was the third time he had tried to read this file, and the third time that some fool had made it past the underlings who were supposed to stop annoying people before they got to his office. Clearly, it was time for an intimidating staff meeting wherein accusations were made and no refreshments were served.

Collin sighed again, just in case his first dramatic exhale had not been properly noted by his unexpected and immediately-unloved visitor, then he turned his head toward the door, fully prepared to unleash a scowl that would leave psychological scars. This act of retribution, however, was quickly scuttled once Collin’s eyes focused on the woman who had somehow breached the many layers of security and bribery that normally prevented such an intrusion.

She was quite lovely.

Not in the traditional sense, of course. There was none of that supermodel business, with the wafer-thin beings frolicking about on a pristine beach whilst a sexually ambiguous photographer captured her every nymphet move, the ocean breezes caressing the stick figure’s amazingly-voluminous mane of hair. No, Collin’s visitor, who had just been mentally upgraded from Coach to Ultra-Platinum Status, was built of sturdier stock, and her hair was severely but artfully restrained in an exquisite bun, nary a strand out of place.

Collin was quite pleased with this, the restraining of the hair. In fact, there was a bit of stirring in the nether regions, a stirring that should not be occurring in the workplace, or at least not in workplaces that hoped to gain positive reviews from organizations that rated workplaces on the potential for the occurrence of unrequited stirring. Perhaps Collin had perused the wrong movies during his formative years, or he had somehow managed to develop an affinity for industrial-strength hair products during an unsupervised summer at camp. The foundation of his proclivities is murky, and it’s really not all that important to the story. All that you really need to know is that Collin preferred his conquests to be streamlined.

And the Vision at his door was just that.

“Yes, I’m Detective Oskopy,” said Collin to the Vision. “How may I service you?”

The Vision at the door was apparently not accustomed to such a multi-directional response, and she briefly paused to consider the ramifications of Collin’s words, with fleeting images of her chaste body being hoisted upwards in the service bay of a local automotive-maintenance establishment. (Perhaps Vision had also watched the wrong movies at pivotal development points, resulting in an affinity for hoisting and aggressive tinkering by sweaty men in coveralls. It’s not our place to judge.)

“My name is Virginia Wolf,” said Vision, thus allowing us to give her a specific identity rather than a vague, demoralizing reference term that could easily be overlooked when casting the movie that will hopefully be made of this book. “I’ve been sent by the Home Office to assist you in your endeavors to find the culprit of this heinous crime.”


Click here to read the next installment in this series…


21 replies »

  1. I like your little snippet! (Okay, that doesn’t sound appropriate, but you know what I mean) I love a good mystery/whodunnit! Hope your month of writing goes well for you! May the words flow for you as easily as warm Hershey’s syrup! (Sorry, I’m not a writer, but a fitting simile regardless, ;D)

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I’m still trying to work on a ‘team name,’ LOL – so far, the only one that comes to mind is “Bonnywood Sanctuary” – a play on your blog title, and my guild name in-game!

    I’m maintaining some semblance of sanity, so I guess that’s good! Oh, wait…I do that whether it’s NaNo or not…

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Oh yes, reads like my kind of book. Humour not forced, not the boring wiritng that a lot ob books seems to fill the pages with. Think I would enjoy this, but then I like your style Brian.
    Good luck with the month of tortured typing. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks, Claudette. Yes, I think you’ll like this one, especially a few characters who show up later in the book. And, of course, my family shows up as well, so you can better understand how something wicked this way came… 😉

      Liked by 1 person

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