Author has written 20 stories for Dukes of Hazzard.
Everything's a story.
Like where I live. When I first moved here in the summer of 2004, my new landlord told me that this area is the best part of the state. After all (he knocked wood) it is the "hurricane sweet spot," meaning that hurricanes always go south of here or north, but never hit here (some more wood knocking). Two years and three direct hurricane hits later, I never refer to the town by name, I just call it "Hurricane Sweet Spot." It shouldn't be too hard for you to find that on the map.
Or what I do. I have one degree in technical theatre and another in education, neither of which I use in my professional life. I'm a nonprofit do-gooder, in the field of disability services. It just kind of happened. On my way here I've had a great variety of experiences, from working security with a bunch of cop-wannabes to working with abused kids, of course some theatre and then there was the recording studio, and now disabilities services. Oh yeah, I also spent some time in India and Taiwan, teaching English. So I did use those degrees from time to time, but right now I don't. I am living proof that it doesn't matter what you study/major in. Having such a varied (shall we say checkered?) work history has given me a wealth of whacky stories to tell. Like working midnights alongside a retired Marine with a filthy mouth.
And then there's the story of how I came to rediscover some of these old television shows. Up until two years ago, I never used anything more than rabbit ears to tune in whatever would come. In 2004, I moved into this area where rabbit ears would only tune in static, which was cool for a little while, but you can only watch so much white noise before they come after you with those nice little jackets that tie in the back... so I got sub-basic cable. Three networks, three semi-networks and two religious channels. Enter Hurricane Wilma, and the subsequent week without power, two without cable. When my cable came back, I had all the channels. What a strange act of God.
My creative writing is usually in the form of poetry, mainly because you can say an awful lot with just a few words in that medium. But fiction seems to be where my brain is lately, and so fiction it is. It takes so much longer than poetry, but if I ever manage to complete anything, I'm sure it will be that much more rewarding. Won't it?
The more I write here, the less I'm writing elsewhere, so let's go on with the show...
Well, since I wrote that, a few things have changed. Like where I live. Now the nearest large body of water is to the west, not the east. This is not a good situation for someone who is inherently directionally challenged! But I am adjusting, even if the water is on the wrong side all the time. And, just for kicks, I am still in the land of hurricanes. Though 2006 and 2007 were mercifully quiet, so I have high hopes for 2008.
Also changed, is what I do. I am back in theatre, which is a very good thing. The theatre I am back in is a little on the "less than sane" side of the scale, but hey, it's a theatre. They're pretty much all that way. And what do I do in this theatre, you might ask? (Okay, you didn't. But you might have.) I write... grants. I can see I have your sympathy. There are jobs with the word "writer" in their titles that are somewhat less than fascinating. This is one of them.
Oh, and now I have to pay for cable. I went for about six months with rabbit ears again, but alas, I couldn't stand it. So I am actually buying commercial television. There's something wrong with this picture. Maybe I could stand just one more hurricane, if it'll bring back my free cable... As a wise person once told me, be careful what you wish for; you just might get it.
From the land of hurricanes to the land of tornadoes: I've moved again. New scenery to see, new people to meet, new roads to drive. I'm sure it'll color my imagination.
I’ve come to the conclusion that, despite all compelling appearances to the contrary, I am not a fanfiction writer. Regardless of what I’ve written, I am oblivious to the vocabulary and rules of fanfic.
What I am, it turns out, is madly in love with those Duke boys. Enough so that I’ve spent more than five years writing about them, some twenty-five to thirty years after they were on the air. File under “strange but true.”
So, for someone who is not a fanfiction writer, I’ve written the following fanfiction:
Duke Luck Shines on Hazzard – This was my first fanfiction ever, and my first fiction since Junior High (which coincided with Dukes being on the air – do the math if you like). The goal was simple: set up the series by exploring the final moonshine run. Then there were the subplots: Enos as moonshiner’s-son-turned-lawman, Rosco losing his pension, and Daisy’s habit of falling for entirely the wrong guy. Of course, there was Luke newly back from the Marines, and Bo coming into manhood. It was a heck of a lot of fun, and remarkably easy. I had no thoughts on posting it anywhere, and only discovered ffdotnet when I was about halfway through writing it. In the end, I was happy enough with results to go ahead and post. Which led to—
Mortgaging the Past – This was me trying to recapture the magic of writing for the sheer pleasure of it. It was testing out new legs, stumbling (roughly) forward.
‘Tween the Ditches – Another attempt at recapturing the magic. It wasn’t exactly what I wanted it to be, but I learned a few things from it. One might have been that a prompt is not an idea. Another is that vignettes seem natural to me. A plot is another whole (fickle) beast. But the boys, well, their relationship is unfailingly fun to explore.
Cousin, Mine – Mining became something I needed to tell a tale about. I’d seen a piece of theatre that made me think differently about things I thought I knew, and that led to a bit of research on the subject. Plus I’d been chewing on the boys’ relationship post-Duke Luck… and figured that Bo really needed to grow up a bit more before the series could begin. Cousin, Mine was the result. It was also me teaching myself to go beyond technically executed writing into exploring “heart.” When it was done, I announced my “retirement” from fanfic. As you can see, I took this announcement seriously. Very seriously.
Not This Time – came along one month after I finished posting Cousin, Mine, as proof that I was in (very serious) retirement. It was also me giving in to the recognition that vignettes come a heck of a lot easier than plot lines.
Learning to Worry – is a favorite of mine. Luke needing Bo and never quite admitting it; Bo taking care of his older cousin without making too big a deal about it. Boys being boys.
Truth or Dare – was me figuring that if I wasn’t in retirement, I should keep writing. Another stumble-step.
Never the Same – This was actually something of a rewrite of Duke Luck Shines on Hazzard. Took a 50,000 word story and boiled it down to about 2,000 words. My poetic self kicked my fiction-writing self in the shins: concise, you fool!
Downwind – Well. This story changed everything. I had been saying to friends I’d made on the site that the Duke boys were boys, and should behave like boys, but I kept writing them sappier and sappier. Downwind is the pinnacle of that phase in my writing. I had also been writing in omniscient, which really consisted of wandering from one point of view to another, willy-nilly. And again, this story is where that got completely out of control, when I took a trip through a dead woman’s (Aunt Lavinia’s) mind. The idea was fine, even if it borrowed too heavily from my own experiences. But in the end, I disliked the execution of this one. I grabbed one of those convenient break-lines that we use to separate scenes, and placed it right here, after this story. End of one way of writing, beginning of a totally different way.
We Ain’t Kids – The boys became boys again, right here. Fighting like boys, ignoring problems like boys, making peace like boys. I kicked grammar to the curb, because it was in my way, and began stumbling my way through point-of-view instead of omniscient. Sure, Bo and Luke shared a point of view much of the time, but that was only because they were BoandLuke (and/or because I hadn’t gotten very good at point of view yet). This was also me trying to assimilate the reunion movies into the series. It only partially succeeded in that endeavor.
Could Have Been – I’d played around with Luke and the Marines before, but this one was probably the first time I felt I got it about right. It’s how Luke takes care of Bo – wordlessly, foolishly, with equal measures of sarcasm and sacrifice. He may be an idiot, but he’s an endearing idiot. (I’m pretty sure I intended to “retire” again after this one. Just quietly and without fanfare, because those comeback tours can be terribly embarrassing.)
Betrayal – This was the end result of a months-long struggle for a plot. Bo being Bo and Luke being Luke. Bo resenting Luke for being Luke, Luke frustrated with Bo for being Bo. Action scenes, because it's Dukes after all. It was fun to write.
Walking in the Shadows of a Past Reality – My new toy, the present tense! I started writing in it just as an exercise, and then it slowly took over my life. I like it for its immediacy, and the way it makes point-of-view writing that much more intense. That said, Walking… turned out to be kind of a downer. It started as 'what if the boys never got caught running moonshine,' but once I took the external conflict of probation/Boss/Rosco out of the equation, Duke turned on Duke. It also turned out to be a lesson in the perils of POV -- because it was only told from the boys' points of view, it was up to the reader to guess at Jesse's motivation for the secrets he kept and the way he chose to reveal them.
Due Process – wrote itself, really. Once I began playing with the structure of the Miranda rights (which, of course, is where Miranda got her name) and the Georgia Bill of Rights, the story came out all on its own. Bo and his hormones can get the Dukes into a heap of trouble. Writing from Rosco's POV is more fun than a body should be allowed to have.
Can’t Be Hurt – Again, Bo and his hormones. Or Luke and his stubbornness. Or Hazzard and the same circles it can go around in. Wasn’t easy to write because the boys were at odds again, but in the end, I enjoyed it. (Maybe I’ll retire when I’m done posting it?)
Listen to the Whispers – Okay, so I didn't quit after Can't Be Hurt. This one started out as an experiment in setting mood through rhythm, but Shakespeare I ain't. So it just turned into a good old romping first season (read: Bo very young, Luke somewhat irresponsible) action/adventure tale.
Running – This started out as two separate and very simple ideas. Or not quite ideas, more like idealets. Cute little things. One was that I wanted to write about young boys, pre-probation, maybe as teens. (But what's the conflict, I asked myself? The draft hanging over Luke's head, came the answer.) The other idea was something about Bo teaching Luke to play again after the Marines. Two charming little stories that had nothing to do with each other. Then the idea of Part Two came along, and it became one, long, serious story. That nearly killed me to write, but in the end I was glad I did.
On the Flip Side – This was me going back to the notion of, what if the boys had never gotten caught running moonshine? The last time I had pecked at the notion, it turned into Walking in the Shadows of a Past Reality, which was kind of a downer. So I went after the thread again with different parameters. And, yes, wound up with a totally different story.
Pillow Talk – A silly little one-shot that explores the perils of being an attractive Duke boy in a county full of women. It came from a prompt that I gave to someone else, then wound up writing myself.
Dueling Dukes – An AU tale that has the boys choosing sides in a feud that neither of them started, but are both doomed to fight out anyway. This was one of those ideas that started out fun and just kept right on getting more fun as it was written. It was really interesting to watch the characters in action when all of their surroundings had changed, but their personalities stayed intact.
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