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Monthly Archives: November 2013

Fiction Character looks for another character gone missing

Amazon.com link to Sharon A.'s short story collection

Amazon.com link to Sharon A.’s short story collection

My father gave me the greatest gift anyone could give another person; he believed in me.

          Jim Valvano

Dana Bowman is determined to find her missing brother Bast Overture. In last week’s post she interviewed Detective Sergeant Donald Fielding and we saw where that got her. She’s still sitting in the Thurston library boardroom and looking at her sketchpad with the picture of Bast with his beard, which he shaves off in one of the stories in Beyond the Tripping Point by Sharon A. Crawford (Blue Denim Press, 2012). The photo gets her thinking back when she and Bast were growing up.

“What are you doing, son? Drawing? Sissy stuff. You should be playing baseball.”

Dad was like that – always finding fault with my brother. And as his fraternal twin I felt it when Dad hit on Bast. This time Bast and I were sitting out in the front yard under the big maple tree. We were 11years old. We both had our sketch pads in front of us. We both drew people, but his were serious and a true likeness – Mrs. Cooke next door with her fly-away hair and crooked smile, and the delivery people – UPS – Dad always had packages coming to the house, which is why he had come outside in the first place as he was expecting another delivery. Bast usually drew secretly in his room – I was the only one he’d show his sketches to. I’d show him my sketches – I also drew everyday people but in exaggeration. Mr. Cooke flew away with her hair and her smile slid down to her neck. Dad came over to us and started yapping at Bast.

“Well, Sebastian, I asked you a question.” Dad glares down at his son.

Bast cowers and tries to hide behind his sketchpad.

“Dad, Bast is just helping me with my homework. We have to draw the people in our lives and I needed another perspective.” I look up at father, while trying to close my sketch pad.

“Is that so, Sebastian?” Dad seems to ignore me and continues staring at Bast.

“Maybe…yes…I guess so,” Bast manages to say.

“Speak up son; I can’t hear you.”

“Maybe…yes…I guess so.” Bast repeats it in a somewhat louder voice.

“Well, which is it?”

Silence.

Dad bends down, grabs Bast’s sketchpad and starts ripping off sketch by sketch, muttering under his breath. He tears one sketch up and throws the pieces at Bast.

“You are wasting your time and I don’t see much talent here.” He turns to me. “Dana, keep up the good work. You might make an artist one day.”

He strides down the driveway to meet the UPS truck just pulling into the street. He didn’t even look at my sketches. I turn to Bast. He has his face buried in his sketchpad and he is crying. I move over to him and touch his shoulder. He winces.

“Bast, it’s just me, Dana. Don’ let Dad get to you. You are good. You see people for who they are.”

Bast pushes me away. “No, Dad is right.” He picks up the rest of his sketches and starts tearing them up as if each piece was a piece of our father.

To my knowledge Bast never draw another picture. But he went on to Journalism school at Ryerson in Toronto and became a great crime writer. He could get right into the people and why they did what they did. He uses that gift when we try to find missing persons or whatever our clients want us to do.

Now, someone had gotten right into him and taken him away.

Was it someone he once wrote about? Or someone he’s interviewed in the last few months. I chew my lower lip. Then I pick up my charcoal and start sketching my brother.

Cheers.

Sharon A. Crawford

You can read more about the characters and their stories in from Beyond the Tripping Point (Blue Denim Press, 2012). Click on the book at the top and it takes you to my profile – including book reviews – at www.amazon.com. The book is available there in print and Kindle. For Kobo e-book  go to http://store.kobobooks.com/en-CA/ebook/beyond-the-tripping-point or go to any bricks and mortar store and order in a print copy.

See Sharon A.’s Upcoming Gigs, workshops, etc. at http://www.samcraw.com/Articles/BeyondtheTrippingPoint.html  The next one is this evening, teaching Kick-start Your Memoir Using the Six Senses from 6.30 p.m. to 8 p.m. at the Beaches Branch of the Toronto Public Library in Toronto, Ontario, Canada.

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Interview of Fiction Character by Fiction Character – Part 24 – Donald Fielding

Amazon.com link to Sharon A.'s short story collection

Amazon.com link to Sharon A.’s short story collection

I do like to embed a fictional character firmly in an occupation.

          – –Penelope  Margaret Lively

Dana Bowman is determined to find her missing brother Bast Overture. If that means interviewing all the characters from Beyond the Tripping Point by Sharon A. Crawford (Blue Denim Press, 2012) so be it… at least the characters Bast interviewed.

Dana drums her fingers on the table of the Thurston Public Library Boardroom. On the table in front of her rests her sketchpad and charcoal. As she waits for Detective Donald Fielding to arrive, she is still trying to decide whether to work with him to find her brother Bast or just pump him for info and do a separate investigation.

There is a knock at the door and Detective Sergeant Donald Fielding enters.

Fielding: D…Dana. I’m sorry about your brother.

Dana (muttering under her breath): Yeah right. (And in a normal voice): Thank you. Fielding, please sit down.

Fielding: D…Don, it’s Don.

Dana: I prefer to keep this professional. We have to find Bast.

Fielding: Very well. But let me remind you that I’m in charge of this investigation.

Dana: And let me remind you that as Bast’s twin sister I probably have information you don’t have.

Fielding nods:  Very well. Now, when was the last time you saw your brother?

Dana: Fielding, I didn’t ask you here to play 20 questions.

Fielding: I’m conducting this investigation.

Dana: I’m here to ask you questions about that investigation.

Silence. The two stare at each other. Fielding’s face goes slightly red and he looks away first.

Dana: What have you found out about my brother, Detective?

Fielding: That’s police business.

Dana: Oh, so you’re going to copout with that excuse?

Fielding: It’s not an excuse; it’s a fact.

Dana: Seems you were more helpful when David was kidnapped.

Fielding: That was different. David is a minor and from what the witness said, he was kidnapped and…

Dana: And my brother wasn’t?

Fielding scowls at her: Let me finish. Bast is an adult, so police technically can’t do anything until an adult has been missing 48 hours.

Dana: Well it’s over that or are you and Cooks Regional on some alien time system?

Fielding glares at her: Ms Bowman, might I remind you that…

Dana and Fielding: …this is police business.

Dana leans forward and puts on a fake smile: I know. Fielding, I mean Don, wouldn’t you like to know if I know anything that could help you in your investigation? (Dana is now smirking). It might help you, YOU KNOW.

Fielding: I…I…th…thought we were keeping this professional.

Dana: Suits me. Look, if you answer my few questions, I might consider answering yours.

Fielding: Might?

Dana: Okay, will…as long as I have answers to them. (She crosses her fingers under the table.)

Fielding: Very well. You have 10 minutes.

Dana: What have the police found out so far about Bast’s disappearance?

Fielding: Police Business.

Dana (smirking): Don, oops, I mean Detective Sergeant Fielding. We have an agreement.

Fielding: Very well. We know your brother was in this room interviewing Detective Larry Hutchinson. Hutchinson left your brother sitting right where you are, and fiddling with his tape recorder, which by the way wasn’t here when we arrived. Do you know anything about that?

Dana shrugs.

Fielding: Anyway, there was no one else in the room. Ten minutes later Bast received a call from you on his cell phone…

Dana: And you know this how?

Fielding: From his cell phone.

Dana: You have his cell phone? I’ve been looking all over for it.It wasn’t here when I came here after calling Bast. It’s Bast’s property.

Fielding: It’s evidence in a police investigation.

Silence. More stares and glares at each other. This time Dana breaks eye contact first.

Dana: Okay, for now. But I want his cell phone.

Fielding: When we’re through with it. Now, to continue Ms Bowman. The librarian on the Book Check in desk says you came charging in here about 30 minutes after Detective Hutchinson left and by the way, she confirmed when Hutchinson left. You asked her about your brother and then went immediately up to the boardroom, charging back downstairs a few minutes later. Now, Ms Bowman, I need to know what you saw in there during that brief time.

Dana: Fielding, we agreed, you would tell me what you know first.

Fielding: And I have. This is a police investigation and I’m…

Dana: Police investigation, my ass. Damn you, Fielding, you are dishing out only the info you see fit to…

Fielding: And you don’t do the same?

Dana: I’ll be completely forthcoming if you will. (She again crosses her fingers under the table.)

Silence. More stares. Fielding’s cell phone rings.

Fielding: Fielding here. Uh huh. Okay. Be right there. (He looks over at Dana). Something’s come up; have to go.

Dana: Does it have anything to do with Bast?

Fielding stands up: Can’t say. Police business.

Fielding dashes out the door. Dana pounds her fist on the table.

Dana: Damn the man. But he did give me one valuable piece of information – the librarian.

Dana stands up and glances around the room. She stares at the abstract painting on the far wall. Definitely not her taste in art viewing or painting.  It is then that she realizes she hasn’t touched her sketch pad. She goes to pick it up and notices a headshot has appeared on it. It shows her brother.

But he still has his beard, she thinks.

You can read more about the characters and their stories in from Beyond the Tripping Point (Blue Denim Press, 2012). Click on the book at the top and it takes you to my profile – including book reviews – at www.amazon.com. The book is available there in print and Kindle. For Kobo e-book  go to http://store.kobobooks.com/en-CA/ebook/beyond-the-tripping-point or go to any bricks and mortar store and order in a print copy.

See Sharon A.’s Upcoming Gigs, workshops, etc. at http://www.samcraw.com/Articles/BeyondtheTrippingPoint.html  The next one is this evening, teaching a Crafting the Short Story Workshop from 6.30 p.m. to 8 p.m. at the Beaches Branch of the Toronto Public Library in Toronto, Ontario, Canada.

 

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Interview of Fiction Character by Fiction Character – Part 23 – David Bowman

Amazon.com link to Sharon A.'s short story collection

Amazon.com link to Sharon A.’s short story collection

f you look at anything long enough, say just that wall in front of you — it will come out of that wall.

– Anton Chekhov

Before proceeding with interviewing the story characters her twin brother Bast interviewed in Beyond the Tripping Point by Sharon A. Crawford (Blue Denim Press, 2012), Dana Bowman has to tell her psychologically mute son David that his Uncle Bast is missing. She decides a neutral place, rather than their home, would be best.

Dana and David enter the boardroom of the Thurston Public Library. David has a small backpack on his back. He immediately becomes uneasy.

Dana: David, let’s sit down here. Do you want to sit at the head of the table or the side?

David seems to ignore his mother. He looks around the room and starts to rapidly move his head from side to side.

Dana: Are you all right David? Just nod for “yes” and turn you head sideways for “no.” You know the drill.

David keeps moving his head like he is in another world. He grasps the back of the chair at the head of the table, looks straight ahead, shudders, then with the backpack still on, sits in the chair. He starts tapping his foot.

Dana removes David’s backpack and places it on the table: Are you all right David?

David nods his head but continuous staring ahead.

Dana follows his eyes, but all she sees is the far wall with an abstract painting. She sits down to David’s right. Out of habit, she hauls out her sketch pad and charcoal.

Dana points to David’s backpack. Do you want to draw with your crayons?

David looks up at his mother and nods but makes no move to get out his crayons and sketch pad.

Dana leans over and opens the backpack: Here, let me get out your drawing materials.

David just sits staring at them. Dana begins sketching her brother – a comic representation of Bast with his tape recorder in front of him. Then her hands seem to take over, flipping the page and drawing David and her holding hands and Bast off somewhere up in the top. She takes a deep breath

Dana: David, I guess you are wondering where your Uncle Bast is as he hasn’t been around the past couple of days.

David nods.

Dana: I know I mentioned he had some business to attend to in Toronto, but I didn’t tell you all…

David nods again.

Dana touches her son’s right arm: Actually, your Uncle Bast might be in Toronto and then again he might not. I’m sorry but he has disappeared and I am doing my best to find him. As you know he was interviewing the characters in the stories in Beyond the Tripping Point, well, you know that as he talked to you, too. Anyway, I talked to Detective Larry Hutchinson, the last person to see your Uncle Bast and I’m sorry to say he wasn’t very helpful. He did say that Detective Sergeant Fielding – you remember him?

David nods.

Dana: Well, Detective Sergeant Fielding is in charge of looking for your Uncle Bast. I don’t know all the details here but…

Suddenly David’s chair starts vibrating causing David to shake. His face goes white. Dana gets out of her chair, crouches down beside David and puts her arms around him.

David: What’s the matter? David, are you all right?

David continues shaking. Dana grabs the back of his chair and feels a sharp current run through her hands. Then the chair stops rocking as suddenly as it started. David stops shaking, but the colour doesn’t return to his face. Dana is reluctant to remove her hand from the chair in case it starts up again. But the current has stopped, so she yanks her hand away. The chair and David stay still.

Dana: Whoo. That was strange. I wish you could tell me what that was all about. Anyway, back to your Uncle Bast. Do you understand what I said?

David nods.

Dana: Good. Now, I have to decide if I’m going to work with Fielding or just ask him a few questions and look for your Uncle Bast on my own.

Dana’s hands start sketching something up beside Bast. Fielding’s face appears with a sarcastic grin. She turns to David. David grabs her hand and points to the caricature of Fielding.

David becomes excited, stamping his feet and hitting his finger against Fielding’s face.

Dana: David, do you want me to work with Fielding?

David nods his head up and down rapidly.

Dana: Okay.

Dana hauls out her cell phone and hits some numbers: Detective Fielding, Dana Bowman here. Okay, Don…I need to talk to you about Bast.

Dana doesn’t notice her son staring at the abstract painting on the far wall.

You can read more about the characters and the strange situation in “Missing in Action” from Beyond the Tripping Point (Blue Denim Press, 2012). Click on the book at the top and it takes you to my profile – including book reviews – at www.amazon.com. The book is available there in print and Kindle. For Kobo e-book  go to http://store.kobobooks.com/en-CA/ebook/beyond-the-tripping-point or go to any bricks and mortar store and order in a print copy.

See Sharon A.’s Upcoming Gigs, workshops, etc. at http://www.samcraw.com/Articles/BeyondtheTrippingPoint.html  The next one is this Saturday, November 16, from 4 to 6 p.m. Sharon A. will host (and read) at another Crime Writers of Canada  Murder and Mayhem session at Du Café.

Cheers.

Sharon A. Crawford

 

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Interview of Fiction Character by Fiction Character: Part 22

Cover of Sharon A. Crawford's mystery short story collection

Cover of Sharon A. Crawford’s mystery short story collection

A story to me means a plot where there is some surprise. Because that is how life is – full of surprises.

          Isaac Bashevis Singer

Dana Bowman is investigating the disappearance last week on Halloween of her fraternal twin, Bast Overture She starts with interviewing the last person Bast interviewed, Detective Larry Hutchinson from “Missing in Action” (Beyond the Tripping Point by Sharon A. Crawford, Blue Denim Press, 2012).

Dana sits in the boardroom of the local Thurston public library where Bast had been conducting his interviews of the characters in Beyond the Tripping Point. Although she can’t see anything amiss in the room, she now knows she should have followed her original instinct – hold the interviews in their Attic Investigative Agency office. For the third time she gets up and paces around the room, tapping on walls for hidden doors. But everything remains solid. As she returns to her seat at the head of the table, Detective Larry Hutchinson enters the room.

Dana: Thank you Detective for coming in. Please have a seat.

Hutchinson nods and sits down

Dana: You were the last person to see my brother, Bast, so I would like your help finding my brother. If you…

Hutchinson interrupts: I would like to but it is not my case.

Dana: I realize that, but it was only you and Bast in this room. So, if you could at least recap what you and Bast discussed.

Hutchinson: Sorry, you’ll have to talk to the officer in charge. Detective Donald Fielding.

Dana: I am well aware who is in charge and I will talk to him. But I repeat, Detective Hutchinson, I need you to recap what occurred here in this room on Halloween.

Hutchinson: We didn’t discuss much as it is police business.

Dana stands up and glares at Hutchinson: Detective, I am not stupid. However, my brother has disappeared and you were the last person to see him.

Hutchinson: Are you insinuating that I am responsible for your brother’s disappearance?

Dana: Of course not. But to put it in the police vernacular – anything you could tell me would be helpful – even the most minute detail.

Hutchinson: Hmm. Well, I can tell you that he was asking me questions about a certain murder investigation I conducted.

Dana: I see, and would that be the one where a certain character named Chrissie finds a dead body behind a church?

Hutchinson nods:

Dana: And what did you tell Bast?

Hutchinson: Just that we were looking at several suspects.

Dana: Including Chrissie’s cousin Robbie Stuart?

Hutchinson: Yes. Now look Ms Bowman, your brother recorded our interview. Why don’t you check with his tape recording?

Dana: I would if I could. But his tape recorder seems to have disappeared. Do you know anything about that?

Hutchinson screws up his face: What are you insinuating? That I’m covering up evidence? That I took his tape recorder?

Dana: No. I need to know if you saw his tape recorder just before you left the room.

Hutchinson: Yes.

Dana: Where was the recorder?

Hutchinson: On this table, right in front of where your brother sat – right in front of where you are sitting. And I know it was still there when I left, because I saw your brother hit the stop button as I stood up to leave.

Dana: Are you sure about that? I mean could you actually see what button he hit? It could have been “pause” for all you know.

Hutchinson stands up and scowls at Dana: Ms Bowman. Please listen, read my lips even. Your brother and his damn tape recorder were still in the room when I left. And all right, I couldn’t see exactly what button he hit. But he did hit a button on his tape recorder.

Dana: Okay, calm down Detective. One more question. Did you notice anything odd in this room?

Hutchinson: What do you mean by “odd?”

Any indication of someone else in the room…a knock or other noise on those windows over there. Did anyone come to the door?

Hutchinson. No, and no. It was just an interview – your brother was trying to get information that was police business only. So outside of his noseyness….

Dana: I see.

Hutchinson:  Do you. I suggest you talk to Detective Sergeant Fielding. I’m done here.

Hutchinson exits the room. Dana sits back and mulls that over. She really didn’t need another confrontation with Fielding. But she did seem to have some kind of a hold over him. Maybe…She looks up at the wall at the other end of the room. The abstract painting isn’t really her style. She pulls out her sketch pad and starts sketching Detective Hutchinson. She thinks he is holding something back, a lot of somethings.

You can read more about the characters and the strange situation in “Missing in Action” from Beyond the Tripping Point (Blue Denim Press, 2012). Click on the book at the top and it takes you to my profile – including book reviews – at www.amazon.com. The book is available there in print and Kindle. For Kobo e-book  go to http://store.kobobooks.com/en-CA/ebook/beyond-the-tripping-point or go to any bricks and mortar store and order in a print copy.

See Sharon A.’s Upcoming Gigs, workshops, etc. at http://www.samcraw.com/Articles/BeyondtheTrippingPoint.html  

Cheers.

Sharon A. Crawford

 

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