“Big News, guys.” The Nice Writer Lady gathers her characters on the front porch, her anxious gaze darting from one pensive face to the next. It is August, and the light has an aqueous quality to it, sun motes floating through the lazy flip of fat green leaves. The old Sugar Inn has been home now for several years, and they’ve all left their mark on it – Rush’s guitar leaning in a corner, the girls’ shoes abandoned by the back screen door.
“How big?” Bob O’Neill, quintessential alpha male, leans on the railing and folds arms across his chest, already firm in his disregard for The
Nice Writer Lady’s (admittedly often dubious) proposals.
“I’ve hired an editor,” she blurts, and she can feel astonishment in the ensuing silence – Rush’s calm stare spiking a flush in her cheeks, Bobby’s derision making her squirm.
“But we were done!” Nicola combs fingers through her hair, vexed. “Remember? We talked!”
“And that was a huge help.” The Nice Writer Lady placates. “But we need to do more.”
“What?” Bobby demands.
“Your name, for one thing,” she says, and enjoys his apoplectic expression just a bit. “The Bobby/Benny thing is just too much for a lot of readers.”
“Are you kidding me now?” he splutters, and she regards him through her reading glasses, silently consulting her higher self until she can ride smoothly past his complaint.
“I’ve learned a lot,” she says. “About story structure and character arcs and what the reader wants. It’s been fascinating.”
“Reader who?” Bobby is furious, but Rush quiets him with a dismissive hand wave before making a gimmee motion at the Writer Lady.
“Tell us more,” he says, and she is proud of him all over again.
“Well, take Nicola for instance,” she says. “Do you see how she just disappeared from this conversation? She has to quit doing that.”
“Nope,” Nicola says. “Going fishing.”
“And Benny.” The Writer Lady persists. “There’s kind of been a public outcry about her. I mean, she was supposed to be central.”
Benny is currently swimming. All eyes turn to the lake, the slender shape cutting a path through the glittering tide. Is that Angelo with her, or Toot?
“The Professional Editor Lady is sure the story belongs to Benny.” The Writer Lady can’t help sighing just a little. “Oh, and you two, Rush and Bobby – or whoever you are now – you’ve got to go to work. I mean, what do you do all day?”
“Hang here and play guitar,” Rush said. “Sometimes sip from a glass of Jamesons.”
“Exactly,” the Writer Lady says. “You have an exciting career” – Bobby snorts - “You’re narcotic officers. Let’s see more of what you do.”
“Okey-dokey.” Rush rises slowly to his feet and plants a kiss on Nicola’s head. “We’re setting up surveillance downtown tonight. Wanna ride along?”
“I do,” The Writer Lady is already on her feet. “But only if this relates to Benny. And, existentially, to Nicola.”
“We’ll make it work,” Rush says after a heavy pause. “You’re not rewriting the whole thing, are you?”
“Oh heavens no. Only pieces. Say, can the Professional Editor Lady come along too? Her name is Bonnie; you’re going to love her.
"The Professional Editor Lady" is now accepting new clients. Interested writers can contact her through her LinkedIn profile here. Bonnie is also the author of several books, which can be found here.
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