Friday, June 29, 2012

Quinella It Is...

As you can see, the banner has been changed.

Quinella will NOT be "Q," just Quinella.

Her birth name is Quin Ella Quinella (Family name originally "Netta").

Ask Ma'am: Quinella Gives Advice to a Reader...

I'm just playing around with the Ask Ma'am column, perhaps Quinella's first piece of professional advice after her mother leaves the family...
Dear Ask Ma'am,

I'm a wife and stay-at-home mother of two children (1 and 10), and I love my family deeply. My husband is a nice guy who adores me, but I desperately need a vacation away from him, just for two weeks.

He never helps around the house, always throwing his socks next to the hamper and leaving his dumbbells on the living room floor. Two days ago, I nearly broke my neck tripping over those darn things.

I feel that if I go away for a while, my absence will force my loved ones to see how hard I work to keep home and hearth together. But my husband would never allow me to go off on my own. For one thing, I couldn't afford to stay in a hotel or go anywhere fancy. But I do have an old college friend in California (I'm in New York); she has invited me to stay with her for two weeks. I just have to pay for my airfare.

Should I just slip away without telling anyone and then call my husband once I'm in California?

What do you think?
Fed up Mama
Dear Fed Up Mama,

Sure, maybe ditch the old man--anyone who leaves dirty socks on the floor (e-yewww!) deserves to be smacked in the noodle (but just pretend, the ma'amster does not approve of violence.)

But, seriously?

You would just pick up and leave those two sweet innocent babies behind? Other than just being kids, have they done anything to set you off? (I thought not.)

If you must take a vacation, tell your husband of your plans, and ask your friend if you can bring your kids with you. If not, you three musketeers go to a relative's house.

Please don't sneak away. Please, please don't. You can't imagine what it's like to wake up one morning and find your mother gone and not knowing where she went.

It's not fair.

So get the strudel out of your noodle and take your break away from it all in the right way.
Yours Very Truly,

Ask Ma'am

Sunday, June 24, 2012

Q's Stillborn Twin Brother...

Q's dead twin brother is a family secret that gets revealed (by a clueless relative?) on her 10th birthday, 9/11.

How she reacts to the news is yet unclear. I need to do a bit more character sketching on Q before I can figure this out.

I MIGHT change the title to Quinella. Is "Q" a bit contrived? It's also a bit Star Trekkie, although my Q has nothing in common with the science fiction character.

I won't make any hasty decisions.

Saturday, June 23, 2012

Q, A Young Character at a Pivotal Time in History (Some Back Story and Random Notes)

Some basic facts about Q: She was born September 11, 1991.

This date, of course, becomes important only on Q's 10th birthday, which will be a pivotal point in the novel, BUT not the main focus. At this point, Q will not lose a friend or family member, but she will lose a bit of her innocence. (How, I'm not sure yet, BUT no incest stuff--this has become such a cliche by now--yech!)

Q's parents (as of yet, unnamed) have named her Quinella because in early Summer 1991, when her mother was six months pregnant with Q and her twin brother (who dies at birth), Q's father won back-to-back quinellas at a dog track in Florida. In Race 7, he placed a $20.00 bet on 7-8 (two long shots), and won $427.50 (this amount might change), and then turned around and, in Race 8, placed $426 of his winnings on 7-8 again, also long shots. Again, the dogs win, and the Nettas find themselves flush with cash.

However, this windfall becomes their curse, for they never again win such a large amount of cash gambling.

Must run now, but will add some more notes later!


Friday, June 22, 2012

"Ask Ma'am": Q as Underaged Advice Columnist

I'm mulling over the idea of creating Q as an underaged character who is posing as an advice columnist.

Her mother is the actual columnist for a local newspaper, but when her mother goes AWOL from her life as a mother, wife, and columnist, Q, unbeknownst to the newspaper, assumes the "Ask Ma'am" column and begins dishing out humorous and outrageous advice to readers.

When the column goes national (and the big money begins rolling in), Q's mother returns to the family, and the conflict between mother and daughter flares up big time, especially when "Mother" (unnamed as of yet) realizes that Q is, by far, much more talented than the mother. Therefore, she must pay Q a large allowance to keep Q as ghost writer.

Meanwhile, Q discovers domaining as a sideline, using her substantal allowance to register dotcoms and reselling them on the aftermarket.


Even at a young age (10-13?), Q realizes that, eventually, her house of cards in the advice biz is going to collapse and that she will have to fend for herself.

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Character Sketches and Plot Outline

Over the next few months, I'll be working on an outline for "Q"; and, yes, I'll be including the quotation marks in the title.

First, though, I'll be developing a character sketch of "Q." My work tends to be character driven as opposed to plot driven.

Before developing the outline, I'll be jotting down possible character sketches of all the primary characters: Q, her parents, her partner, her nemesis, and maybe a best friend.

At the moment, I don't have a clear view of "Q."

I'm leaning toward a 3rd person (limited) viewpoint, but this could change to omniscient.

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Or Is It Quin Ella Quinella?

Make that Quin Ella Quinella?

Food for thought.

More Quinella Drama...

There is no better way to create a character with family issues than to give her a weird first name.

Now double that with an equally weird last name, and who knows what will happen.

So (drum roll)...

Her birth name will be Quinella Quinella

--All the more reason to assume "Q" as a nickname.

I'm not sure how Quinella will play out as a character, but she's bound to get interesting.

Here's the kicker, though: Quinella, as a last name, is not even the original family name--it has been assumed by her parents (mainly at the insistence of her boomer father, who became alienated from his own parents during the late 1960's).

The original family name is "Netta" (Get it?), and when Q finds out, she slam dunks her parents by legally changing her name to "Quinella Net."

She registers the domain name (which I, as her creator, have done for her, given that imaginary people have no substance, but, most importantly, no credit cards, lol).

By reclaiming part of the family name, Q is rebelling against the boomer excesses of her parents and becoming her own person--in some ways more conservative, but in other ways more "out there." After all, why would someone assume a global TLD (internet extension) as a last name except a child of the internet age?

In my last post, I felt as though Quinella Net was a contrived name (and it is), but now that Q, a child of the internet age, has created her new self out of a domain name, it now all makes sense.

If you happen to stumble upon this post, what do you think?

Not Quinella Net

I just decided (after sleeping on it) that "Net," as a last name, is kind of contrived, so I will go back to the drawing board.

So Quinella still needs a last name.

Monday, June 18, 2012

Quinella Net = "Q"

...And now my main character has a last name: "Net."

Short and sweet, but, best of all, strange, offering lots of opportunity for personal issues and confusion.

Before November, I might change my mind, though.

I think Quinella will stick, although I'm not quite sure about Net as a last name.

Could it be contrived?


The main character of "Q" will be named Quinella, which gives rise to her nickname of "Q."

Can you imagine the issues one would have knowing she has been named after a type of wager at a racing track?

Sunday, June 17, 2012

Nano Novel: Q

I'm getting ready for National Novel Writing Month a bit early by setting up the blog in June 2012.

I have never written a novel in a month, so I thought it would be a great experiment, to see if I can write anything coherent in one short month.

I'm planning my life right now so that most of November will be free and unfettered.

Right now, I have only the title: "Q."

I have no idea what this novel will be about, although I'll allow some ideas to percolate between now and November.

Between now and then, I may jot some ideas down on this space, maybe not.

I just want to have fun with this idea.


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