12.16.2006

HH Com 71

Low-Rent Rendezvous

Jon Griffin plays by the rules. Twenty-year Navy career. Dependably dull marriage. But when his wife ditches him and he drowns his sorrows at Foxwoods, fortune smiles upon him. The Wheel of Fortune, that is. Even though he’s got to split the jackpot with his soon-to-be-ex, he’s got money to retire and follow his dreams. Trouble is, he hasn’t been dreaming in a while.

Nostalgic for his past, he drifts to the southernmost point in the United States, a town he defended and drank through as a young sailor--- Key West, home to crackpots and creative geniuses, barflies and bums, hippies and hot young women. He buys a T-shirt shop with an attached rental, thinking retirement isn’t bad. Where else can you get paid to make people look stupid by imprinting their T-shirts with slogans like Beer, it’s not just for breakfast anymore and Rehab is for quitters?

Griff’s entrepreneurial success is marred by just one fly in the ointment---a very pretty fly, Jamaica Jensen, who is squatting in his garden shed. Her mother has bribed him with nutritious smoothies from her shop, but Griff can’t swallow the fact he’s got an illegal tenant with a composting toilet in his backyard. Where’s a guy supposed to put his scooter, bike and motorcycle to fully enjoy the Conch Republic? He’s all set to pull rank, meet her and evict her, when he stumbles upon Jamaica’s dead husband. Now Jamaica’s really in a jam.


Everything is backstory up to paragraph 3. I'll bet you have a lot of that in your novel don't you? I see that all the time.
Prune.
Ruthlessly

Once you've gotten us started in the right place, THEN tell us more about Jamaica and the dead mr.

10 comments:

Anonymous said...

I thought this had a nice voice. I definately got a feel for the character. However, (along with what Miss S. said) seems like the plot of the story is the dead husband. I'd suggest getting their faster and expounding.

RT

ello said...

Thought this was quite interesting and well written. I liked the backstory.

HawkOwl said...

I was bored, but then plot happened. And it was pretty competently written. Not for me, but good luck with it.

Xiqay said...

I liked this one, too. A lot. I want to read the novel.

You've given us a character who's developed a little in the hook, and then you've put him in a mess. This seems to me just what should be done.

So backstory doesn't equal character development. Now we know. But still, I liked this, and I'd want to read the novel.

fwiw.

Anonymous said...

I like this!

Anonymous said...

I like this too--well written, funny and interesting. A lot more interesting then some that have gotten the nod. It is in the writing and the details. I trust this person to write a good story. this does it for me.

Clarice Snarkling said...

I'm probably hooked by different things than the average reader is, but intriguing characters and not-overdone settings totally do it for me. I like this; I'd read this. I'd like to know more about what happens in the middle of the book, of course, but you've given me enough to make me want to take the book over to a comfy chair in the bookstore and read the first chapter.

Anonymous said...

Sounds alot like a Carl Hiaasen novel. I like him. I'd ask for more on this.

Anonymous said...

All the sailors are in Pensacola, not Key West.

Anonymous said...

Key West Naval Air Station:

****After the war ended, NAS Key West was retained as a training facility. It responded to the 1962 Cuban Crisis, which posed the first doorstep threat to America in more than a century. Reconnaissance and operational flights were begun Oct. 22, 1962, in support of the blockade around Cuba. During the Cuban Crisis, Key West cemented its claim to the title "Gibraltar of the Gulf," coined a hundred years earlier by Commodore David Porter.

Literally built up from the swamp, all of the NAS Key West sites, including Harry S. Truman Annex, Trumbo Point, Meachum Field, and Boca Chica, were now permanently etched in military history.

On Oct. 5, 2001, Naval Air Station Key West was re-designated as an Air Facility.

On April 1, 2003, the air facility was re-designated as Naval Air Station Key West.****

Believe me, there are plenty of Navy guys in Key West. Thanks to the rest of you who've been supportive of the story!