Thursday, April 1, 2010

Fanning the Fiction (and a contest link)

I've written about my "drawer novel," CATSPAW, before.

I like to pretend CATSPAW was the first novel I wrote, but technically it's not. Yesterday's post reminded me of my real first novel: TRIXIE BELDEN AND THE KENTUCKY DERBY MYSTERY.

Yes, I was a fan fiction writer before writing fan fiction was cool.

I blatantly stole characters and settings, and even dialogue tags, from my favorite series, and I did it with pride. I could mimic like a pro. In my head there was nothing to distinguish my lovingly crafted adventure from the real thing. Written out longhand, with painstaking attention to every grammatical rule I had thus far mastered, it was a labor of love. Not a bad effort for an eleven-year-old.

It had a pretty sophisticated plot, too, if I do say so myself: Trixie and all the other Bobwhites of the Glen go to Kentucky to visit Trixie's Uncle Carl and Aunt Carolyn (coincidentally, I had an Uncle Carl and Aunt Carolyn who lived in Kentucky) to see the Kentucky Derby. While there, the Bobwhites find out about an evil gang of horse-druggers, bent on drugging all the other horses so their horse will win the Run for the Roses. Even their horse is evil--it bites Honey's hand when all she's trying to do is feed it an apple.

Well. As you may imagine, this does not sit well with our intrepid group of mystery-solvers. They are forced to go undercover to catch the very bad, horrible horse-druggers. And Jim (my hero *swoons*) even has to beat one up! After which Trixie kisses him right on the mouth.

Apparently even then I was all about the sex and violence. I like to think I've grown as a novelist in the intervening years, but I guess some things never change.

[Before I sign off, let me link to Tawa Fenske's Contest. She's celebrating reaching over a hundred followers (in just two months of blogging!) by giving away a hand-carved wine bottle topper. And she assures me it doesn't have to be in the shape of a phallus, like hers is. In case you're worried.

If you don't want to enter the contest, that's okay with me. I get an extra entry just for blogging about it, and if you don't enter, there's a bigger chance I'll win. I don't have a penis-shaped wine bottle topper in my collection yet, and I'm thinking it would make a great conversation piece when the in-laws come to dinner.]



Thank you for the trip down Trixie Belden memory lane. I had totally forgotten about my childhood love of Jim (or the fact that he was a redhead, which you reminded me, so THAT'S why I had crushes on all the redheaded boys in gradeschool!) Do you still have your original Trixie Belden fan fic somewhere? If so, you MUST post it someday!

Thanks also for the blog linkage! Who doesn't need a hand-carved phallic wine stopper?


Linda G. said...

Tawna -- Nah, no evidence remains, I'm afraid. My mom moved a lot, and was much better at throwing out crap along the way than I am.

Probably just as well. I'm sure the actual manuscript couldn't possibly live up the brilliance of the one in my memory. ;)

Cynthia Reese said...

Linda, are you SURE we weren't twins? Except I always swooned over Brian (I guess so I could leave Jim for you and Tawna to fight over?)

Yay, Trixie! I loved her because she hated to dust and she couldn't do math -- pah on perfect girlie-girls!

Linda G. said...

Cynthia -- Brian was too much like my oldest brother to catch my nascent romantic interest, so you can have him all to yourself. And Tawna strikes as the generous type, so maybe she won't mind sharing Jim with me. ;)

The hating of the dusting thing (remember her always having to give the house "a lick and a promise" before she could go hang with the gang?) was one of the things I really loved about Trixie, too.

Ah, good reading times.