Dear Miss Snark:
I’ve finished a 62,000-word novel entitled "Wing Nuts," set in Summer Harbor, Maine. The mayor’s decided to castrate the seagulls in town to revitalize its pier – fewer birds, less mess – and news of the curious Bob Barkering attracts attention nationwide. Assigned to the story is Lanie Drew, a young writer from the local paper. She’s eccentric, addicted to antacids and loathes Republicans. Still, she’s dating one. Soon there’s death, lust and a decapitated seagull surgeon. When Lanie unwittingly discovers the town’s superhero underground, she and the wannabe heroes race to solve the gull-related murders. Lanie’s own neck isn’t safe.
As an award-winning writer at the ---- newspaper, I’ve loaned her some qualities (we’re both dashing, drive Jettas.) I write on everything from the paper industry to retail, and have been recognized for several feature stories and investigative reports.
"Wing Nuts" is chick lit, humor, mystery and strange phenomenon (like a boy who talks to asparagus). It’s quirky in a tube top. I hope to use this unconventional coastal town in a second novel.
Thanks so much for your time.
My garbage man and I have super powers.
I’m well aware most people coming out with such a ridiculous declaration are highly suspect or plain insane. Capital that: INSANE.
I’m not out of my mind, best I can tell, though it’s a bit like asking a dentist to fill his own tooth.
Maybe I’m not the best judge.
Since the unlikely discovery, I’ve been tormented by this bird-obsessed lunatic. He’s behind a slew of murders in town, gruesome, seemingly random.
Signs point to one more victim.
Me. (Last. It’s almost insulting.)
Won’t happen if I nail him first, the prick.
But you need back story.
I’m Lanie Drew, up to now quite happy in my chosen profession – dashing female reporter – with what I can only describe as an unhealthy addiction to antacids. I’m a former junior bobsled champion.
Very former. I don’t want to talk about it.
My age and one mildly disfiguring baked potato incident are also off limits. Mystery’s sake.
Home is a modest sublet apartment in teeny Summer Harbor, Maine: Last American home of the sardine. (It’s a jingle.)
There’s always the threat of the original renter moving back, keeping me in an unorganized state. Still, it’s been three years. Unpacking my CD collection wouldn’t be entirely out of bounds.
One neighbor’s an ugly drunk; his breaking a beer bottle against our paint-peeled Victorian the first clue.
The other is a grandmother type, a wild knitter. She crafted a blue cover for her mailbox the same week she moved in. Her entire wardrobe consists of small colored loops with peeks of pink flesh.
Despite the venerable New England tradition, we don’t potluck.
My occasional boyfriend’s name is Gary. He’s shorter than me. That’s why it’s occasional. Plus, he’s Republican.
On Mondays, best pal Ruby and I take a pottery class. I hate, hate it. However, it’s humbling and offsets the aforementioned, but not discussed, bobsled ability.
Once a month we badminton – love that.
I live alone with a pair of goldfish, Dazzle and Voodoo, whose loyalty is open to question. Were they not contained in a 10-gallon tank atop my bookshelf, they would undoubtably bolt.
I enjoy late ‘80s music, they don’t.
Up to now they have rebuffed my every attempt at synchronized swim lessons. I bought a video on it and everything. Stubborn.
Potentially mad and at least troubling:
Since June, I’ve been able to twist my body into whatever shape and size I pick.
I’m a completely fake perfect size 4, the agony.
So it’s altogether creepy, with perks, like dating Vin Diesel. (Not that I would. Too goon.)
That pivotal Tuesday started like any other.
Daz and Voodoo were restless. Mr. McCartney, the flaming drunk, was sprawled on the front lawn, several inches of pale, unpleasantness exposed. He’d passed out taking a piss on the old lady’s K-car. That was his thing.
No matter. I was late for an assignment.
I tossed on a lavender top and gray trousers, coaxed my hair into something long and soft – promptly tucked behind both ears – mascared, then tried best I could on the way to the car to avert my eyes from the spectacle in the grass.
My aging gold Volkswagen Jetta, a graduation gift, drove the 15 minutes to the other side of town, toward the neglected pier, where hundreds of seagulls bird-swore sharp, angry squawks at every empty-handed passerby.