Thursday, January 27, 2011

Split Ends: A Novel About Dead Girlfriends

Here's a short excerpt. I'll post an excerpt for Three Dogs tomorrow.


“I see all the things I've missed out on, and wonder how I got here. An infinitely long list of bad choices and worse circumstances.”

“You’re just feeling sorry for yourself,” Patrick said. I knew he was trying to be helpful, but right then, I didn’t want his help.

“I’m dealing with a lot of dead people who I used to love.”

“So, waa. A lot of us deal with a lot of dead people who we used to love.”

“Not like this, Patrick.”

“Sure, maybe not like this. But people die. You didn’t have any part in it.”

“How do you know that?”

“Because you didn’t sick a pack of angry ducks on Stephanie, and you didn’t make a tree fall on Starr.”

Out of context, this was an absolutely obscure comment. Had I mapped out every conversation I’d ever have in my entire life, this would not have made the list.

“I don’t know, Pat. I really don’t. Maybe the cops are right. There are just too many bodies, and too many coincidences.” I paused and thought about Officer DeParalta’s comments. “And not enough answers.”

Patrick stared at me. I could see it growing in his mind, too.

“So you’re starting to believe them?”

“I don’t know. Maybe.”

“But don’t you think you’d know if you were killing people?”

“I don’t know, Pat. You hear about serial killers all the time separating their own realities from the ‘monster’ that’s killing people. What if I’m one of those guys? What if I’m killing people while in some weird other consciousness?”

“Like you’re blacking out and turning into Ted Bundy?”

“Yeah, like that. Maybe I have no idea that I’m killing people when really I am.”

“Look, I’ve known you a long time. I think I’d know if you were killing people.”

“No, Pat, you’d be the guy they interviewed who said, ‘He was such a nice boy. Always ate his green beans.’”

“You hate green beans.”

“Not the point, Patrick. The point is, no one thinks their best friend is a serial killer until the cops show up. When they arrested that BTK guy, you think his wife went, ‘Oh, totally, I saw this coming.’?”

“That’s different. She didn’t want to see those things.”

“And you do?”

“Man, if you’re a serial killer, do you know how much air time I’ll get? I could make millions selling your story.”

“Nice. It’s so comforting to know you’d use my misery to make a buck.”

“That’s what best friends are for. I’m here to help you, but if you’re guilty, fuck yeah, I’m totally selling every word you’ve ever spoken to me to TMZ.”

“You’re an asshole.”

“Your lips to God’s ears, brother.”

Despite my best efforts, I was actually starting to feel better.

“So what now?”

“Now we try to find Neanderthal. We get him to admit he was the one with Michelle when she died. That’s the only one they got you with right now, so let’s solve that one.”

“Where do we start?”

“We go back to college.”



  1. This is an excellent, high concept idea. Excellent. As I said in my previous comment, though, I think you could sew in humor, no matter what.

  2. Thanks, Jody. I'm actually quite proud of this piece. It's been a long time in the making, and it's had half a dozen titles already, but I really enjoy writing it. I feel most natural when I'm telling this story.

    However, I don't know how commercial it is. Male-oriented humor mystery. Not exactly a market screaming for titles these days.

  3. For every metro sexual out there, there's a dickless dude; stop confusing gender with sex ;)

  4. I have no idea what you said, Lisa. None. But thanks for reading my blog.

  5. “So, waa. A lot of us deal with a lot of dead people who we used to love.”

    lol. I like it.

  6. lol, a jefe. (btw, this Lisa is actually bean - does that help?)

    Just that you're narrowing your market by labeling it "male-oriented" as I tend to prefer stories of that nature, however, the dickless part of me might be turned off if you said that I wasn't part of your intended market.

    does that clarify? :D

  7. This is excellent, J! And LOVE the cover. I think you should make covers and write novels.


    (really, without me in your life, you'd be bored silly)

  8. @Beaner, thanks. It's funny, though, that women will read "male" titles, but you don't see a lot of men reading "female" titles.

    @Tracy - Infinitely.

  9. Just another sign of our superiority, I guess ;)

  10. oh my gosh, i love this idea. and your dialog is perfect, like it fell out of the sky.

  11. I still need to fill it in with some stage direction. Not too much, but some. Right now it's just dialogue that fell from the sky.

  12. Good stuff. Keep going. (This is mary walters speaking. Blogspot refused to recognize my wordpress name so I am incognito against my own will.)

  13. Mary, this is the one where you're helping me understand Canadian culture and coffee shops.