A few days ago, I was tagged in a one of those chain-style Facebook memes where someone is chosen to do something very specific and then post evidence of it a status update, at which point they’re free to tag some non-zero number of other friends, family, and/or in-laws to carry on the cycle.
In general, I kind of enjoy these kinds of things, especially the writing-related ones. For one thing, it means getting picked for, well, something. Sure, that’s gotta sound a little strange from 41 year old dude with a penchant for attention seeking and more than his fair share of egotism. But you have to remember I was the kid frequently not picked for things back when my lack of skill with a whiffle ball was rivaled only by my lack of speed around makeshift bases. Thus, it’s still nice to get picked for stuff occasionally, even now.
Well, except for, like, jury duty, or when the Puddinette picks me for extensive home projects. For some reason those things don’t give me quite the same thrill.
Moving right along….
My agent represents a whole host of brilliant writers, and we’re a pretty close knit group, as far as these things go. So I wasn’t surprised one bit when, after watching this particular meme circulate among writers on Facebook for a few weeks, one of my agency-siblings tagged me. Thus tagged, I’m more than happy to play along.
The way this particular chain meme works, once you’ve been hit up, you’re supposed to go to either page seven or page 77 of your current work in progress, then proceed to line seven, and post the seven lines of your work that follow. And I was pretty excited to do that, especially after reading what I had to share on page seven of my current novel (page 77 is still blank, I’m afraid).
The only problem, though, is that I’m a bit of the foil-hat type when it comes to posting things to Facebook. I mean, I don’t mind spilling whatever’s on my mind in the occasional status update, but putting anything out there that I consider Copyright, 201X, Puddin makes me more nervous than an arachnophobe at an arachnology convention during Halloween.
See, Facebook likes change its legal Terms and Conditions from time to time and do things like, oh, claim everything posted in a status update is property of Facebook to do with as they like. Now, admittedly, the likelihood of that happening in this case is roughly the same as me flapping my arms and flying to the moon where Captain Morgan himself would offer me a shot of rum. But, better safe than sorry. Also, sometimes I just like to be the contrarian.
But! Then I realized that if I post said sliver of the work-in-progress here, everybody wins, right? So, here it is, then, seven lines of page seven, from my current work in progress, codenamed Project Hermey:
The door was swinging closed, but no one had come in or gone out. Bones and Chee were still waiting outside by the light, and Chee was scrolling through something on his phone. Probably checking his online dating profile, which, after a bit of hacking, Molly had uncovered was nothing but a sackful of lies from the words, “Welcome to Chee-ville, hot stuff!” Apparently he liked to tell potential—that is, unsuspecting—dates that he was the owner of a chain of booming coffee houses and that he enjoyed thought-provoking, sad books, spa days, and long walks along the beach. Truth was, the last time he’d been at the beach, it had been with her family, and he’d gotten stung by jellyfish.
The other patrons of the laundromat had looked up at the mysterious door too, but finding no one, had already gone back their folding. The pair of kids though, barely more than toddlers, were now giggling together in the far corner of the shop.
With that done, now, I’d say that’s more than enough rambling about spiders and tin-hats from me for one week. Look me up on Facebook if you’re curious who, if anyone, I tagged to continue the chain.
Now get out there and have a great weekend!
And, uh, try not to set the place of fire.