And the killer is…


cc licensed ( BY NC SD ) flickr photo shared by ben matthews :::

Hello everyone!

As you know, this past week, Monica and I hosted a “Who dunnit” activity on our blogs.

The premise was simple: Create a character, add to the story line, and prevent being singled out as the killer.

At the beginning of our story, Lupita Davenport, married to Thurston Davenport, aka the Pickle King, lay in a puddle of blood on the ballroom floor of a cruise ship bound for Barbados.

Every member of the 1992 graduating class of the Gene Kelly School of Performing Arts was a suspect.

I can’t begin to tell you how many times I’ve laughed out loud reading the story lines added by all of you.

Moreover, this story has not only brought me joy and laughter, it has also become one of the conversation topics between the Son, the Significant Other, my family, and myself.

I’ve lost track of how many times my mother and the Sister have called and asked, “Do you know who the killer is?”

“Did they find the candlestick?”

“What’s happening with Denise Diamond?”

“Did Thurston get away?”

Your additions to the story have been so good, that you have made it extremely difficult for me to identify the killer.

You have all excelled at creating funny, mysterious, intelligent, and crafty characters.

I have been blown away by your mastery, folks!

If this isn’t writing, I don’t know what is.

Nevertheless, the killer must be revealed.

I consulted with Monica to see who she thought the killer was in our story, and she admitted that she didn’t have a clue.

And so, after pouring myself a cup of coffee, I sat down to read over the story a few times.

I even took notes.

After studying the actions of the characters, I have come to the conclusion that the killer is…

Susanna, the character created by Eloise!

How did I reach this conclusion?

Read on to see how it all happened.

Susanna started plotting her revenge from the moment she received the invitation to the 20th reunion of the Gene Kelly School of Performing Arts. After all this time, she would finally have the chance to show everyone who Denise Diamond really was. The tiresome and demanding diva had spent every day of the past twenty years reminding her that it was thanks to her, that she had a job. If only people knew who Denise Diamond really was! The fraud! She had everyone in Hollywood fooled, but Susanna knew better. Working as a receptionist for the plastic surgeon who had performed the thirty odd procedures on the starlet, she had been able to obtain Denise’s earlier photos as Esmeralda Snodgrass. Tonight, she would exhibit blown up “before and after” photographs of Denise for all to see. Susanna smiled as she thought of the humiliation this would bring Denise. Everyone would laugh when they saw her hook nose, frizzy hair, and acne scarred face. She would finally feel what it was like to be humiliated and laughed at. Susanna pushed the ladder on the stage, unaware that Lupita had come into the ballroom. Just as Susanna was about to hang one of the photographs, Lupita asked, “What are you doing?” Startled, Susanna replied, “None of your business.” But Lupita, undaunted, had pulled the banner- like photograph from Susanna’s grasp. “I’m going to report you to security.” Susanna panicked. She tried to reason with Lupita, but the do gooder wouldn’t allow her to explain. As Lupita turned to exit the ballroom, Susanna grabbed the first thing she saw: a candlestick. Without stopping to think of the consequences, she struck Lupita on the head as hard as she could. As Lupita fell to the ground, Susanna quickly covered herself with the tablecloth from the reception table, not noticing that her flamboyant red Jimmy Choos remained exposed. She exited through the backstage door, but not before the blinding flash of a camera snapped her photograph.

And there you have it, folks!

I sincerely hope this was as much fun for you as it was for us.

Monica, thank you for collaborating with me on this post, sister.
I loved working with you and I know you’ve laughed reading these stories as much as I have!

Eloise, know that your character will live on in our minds forever.

Please drop by Monica’s blog so you can discover who the murderer is in her story.

To all who participated, thank you!

And this also includes anyone who took the time to read and leave a comment.

You’re a wonderful bunch!

I’ve included a poll at the bottom of this post and would be grateful if you took the time to vote.

The results will help us determine if we should do this type of activity again in the future.

XOXO,

Who killed Lupita Davenport?

Hello everyone,

Monica and I are busy piecing together clues, gathering evidence, and tying up loose ends in order to identify the killer in our stories.

Trust me when I tell you this is no easy feat considering your characters are so good!

We will be revealing the name of the murderer on Thursday, so please stay tuned.

In the meantime, I wanted to share with you Monica’s wonderful “special effects” creation of Roxy’s photo.

Aren’t they great?

I would love it if you read our story and answered the following question:

Who killed Lupita Davenport?

Leave the killer’s name in the comment section!

XOXO,

Bella and Monica’s Excellent Adventure

Characters Welcome!

Remember how much fun you had when One Sister’s Rant partnered with Monica’s Tangled Web and asked you to join in creating a story, based on a photo of a cat on a bench?

Well, here we go again!
Sort of.

This time we’re giving you the premise for a story, one that, with your help, is sure to evolve into an excellent adventure.


cc licensed ( BY NC SD ) flickr photo shared by Ed Yourdon

Picture if you will: a high school reunion on the high seas.

It’s been 20 years and anything can happen.

Mayhem, merriment, mystery—even murder!

And, the best part of this story?
You.

Because, to make this story come alive, we are enlisting you.

We want you to create a character, a member of the class of 1992.

So read the beginning of the story below, and then, before you start giving life to your character, be sure to read the rules!

What?
You didn’t think there’d be rules?

Of course there are rules!

Otherwise, how else would we end up with a story that makes sense and flows?
More or less.

So, are you interested in making this story come alive?

Then, read on!

THE BACKSTORY:

Twenty years have passed since the Class of 1992 graduated from the Gene Kelly High School of Performing Arts.

Some went on to find work in the theater, while others took different paths.

Some moved away and others remained in the sleepy town of Mojito.

Some were housewives and others became business owners.

Some married their high school sweethearts, while others remained single.

Yet, the Class of 1992 had one thing in common—none had seen each other in 20 years.

But this is about to change, because for one long weekend, they will come together to celebrate their 20th class reunion on a cruise bound for Barbados.

Love, lust, envy, jealousy, and regret will surface during the next three days and before they reach port, one will turn up dead: Lupita Davenport, wife of Thurston Davenport, III, who, as heir to the Davenport Pickle Company, is also known as the Pickle King.

THE RULES:

1) You will create ONE fictional character and be in charge of said character through the development of the story.  However, if you do not follow up, Monica and I reserve the right to eliminate the character in a crafty fashion. Your character is your creation. She/he can have any description, career, life that you want him/her to have.

2) You cannot write the story lines of other characters. However, the story lines will overlap as other readers introduce their characters. If you do not like the turn your character takes at any point in the story, we encourage you to steer him/her in a different direction. You may not kill off your character.

3) All characters must be fictional (preferably from your imagination), and should be a member of the Class of 1992. However, you can also create a character who is a teacher, custodian, or anyone else who is affiliated with the school. Children and pets are not allowed on board. Sorry!

4) Please read the entries before yours, so as to continue the story line and keep your character in context. If the story starts to ramble, Monica or I will step in to re-steer its course.

5) Your character can be any gender, race, or nationality. He/she can be straight, gay, or bisexual. Diversity is encouraged! However, our blogs are rated PG. Keep this in mind when writing your story lines.

Note: This post will run for three days and you can post as many entries as you wish. However, we ask that you limit your entry to one to three sentences at a time, so as to give others a chance to engage in the story.

Finally, at the end of the three days, Monica and I will determine the identity of the murderer, from among all the characters created.

Your mission, if you choose to accept it, is to keep your character from being singled out as the murderer!

Oh, and we would love it if you participated in both stories!

If you choose to do so, you can either create a new character in each story or you can use the same character.

If you choose to use the same character, remember the story line will be different over at Monica’s blog.

Please be sure to read the preceding entries before diving in!

Time to create your character!

The high seas await!

THE STORY

Bloodcurdling screams pierced through the ballroom as music continued to play softly in the background. The maid, who had come to polish the crystal chandelier, continued to scream as she looked down on the macabre scene in front of her. Lying face down in a puddle of blood, was a beautiful woman with skin, the color of caramel, and raven black hair. Her ball gown, a designer label, was torn on one side. A streak of light made its way through a door that had been left ajar. The bright light shone directly on the gold-colored name tag pinned on the woman’s dress. It read, “Lupita Davenport.”

Disclaimer: This is a work of fiction. Names, characters, places and incidents either are products of the author’s imagination or are used fictitiously. Any resemblance to actual events or locales or persons, living or dead, is entirely coincidental.

Shonda Rhimes, how could you?


cc licensed ( BY NC SD ) flickr photo shared by harold.lloyd

Spoiler alert: If you haven’t yet seen the season finale of Grey’s Anatomy, you might want to wait till you do before reading this post.
I’m not one to watch a lot of television.

Yet there are a couple of shows I’m committed to.

One of these is Grey’s Anatomy.

Because of the time difference, I have to catch my favorite shows on iTunes.

This usually means I see them a day later.

Most of the time this isn’t a big deal, but today was different.

After having watched last week’s episode, I already knew one of the characters would die.

The fact that everyone in my family had already watched the show made me wary.

Fearing one of them would call and spoil it for me, I woke up early this morning, poured myself a cup of coffee, and sat down to see who Shonda had decided to kill off.

I already suspected who it might be, but in my heart I hoped I was wrong.

As the show enfolded, I was immediately sucked into the drama.

It was as if I too were a passenger on the plane.

In surreal fashion, I walked around the crash site searching for Derek.

I screamed when I saw the protruding bone in Arizona’s leg.

My arm literally jerked when Mark popped Christina’s shoulder back into place.

Yet this was nothing compared to the pain I felt when Lexie died.

Alone in my house, with Roxy on my lap, I cried.

No, I sobbed.

I couldn’t believe this beloved character had been killed off in the first fifteen minutes of the show.

Or that Meredith hadn’t been given the opportunity to say goodbye to her sister.

Echoes of “Shonda, I hate you!” reverberated through the house.

In just two minutes, I had entered stage two of the grieving process: anger.

I paused the show and stomped around the living room.

I asked Roxy why it couldn’t have been Kepner, Teddy, or Adele.

I mean, it wasn’t like any of these characters had a story line worth pursuing.

Roxy stared at me as I continued to wail.

I felt cheated.

The fairy tale ending of “they lived happily ever after” was no more.

McSteamy would not marry the beautiful Lexie.

They would not have beautiful babies and live in a beautiful house with two dogs, a gold fish, and a cat.

The fairy tale had come to an end.

The ringing of the phone brought me out of my reverie.

I bleakly said hello into the receiver.

“Did you see it? Did you see what the stupid Shonda woman did? I hate her! I hate her!”

The Niece was on the other end and she sounded as indignant as I felt.

“How could she do this? You’re a writer. Help me understand! Why would she kill Lexie off and not drag out the scene with her and Mark? I insist you write that woman a letter of complaint and tell her she sucks! Tell her she sucks!”

“Yeah, but…”

“I say we boycott the show. Let’s start a petition and recruit people so they don’t watch the show anymore.”

“I hardly…”

“What was she thinking? Was this woman off her meds when she wrote this episode? Pathetic. That’s what she is. Absolutely pathetic.”

“I know but…”

“I say we write her and ask, no, demand, she bring Lexie back like Lazarus. You know, like this was all a dream; like it never really happened.”

“I think that…”

“No, really. That would be a great way to begin the new season. She could title the episode, ‘I’m bringing Lexie back.’ Get it?”

“I don’t…”

“Write a blog post or something. Recruit your readers to join us. Get them to write on those forum things you people write on. We need all the help we can get.”

“I want…”

“I have to go. I’m late for work and I still have to figure out how to depuff my eyes. I cried so much last night, I look like puffer fish.”

“Cucumber slices. Try cucumber.”

“Thanks, Auntie B. Great talking to you! Talk to your writer friends!”

As I hung up the phone, I smiled as I realized that without having been able to get a word in, the Niece and I had grieved together.

Fully entrenched in the anger stage, we had vented our disbelief and confusion at the actions of Shonda Rhimes.

This episode of Grey’s Anatomy also served to remind me of how important the characters of a story really are; of how readers and viewers bond with characters in such a way, that when one dies, it’s like a real friend has passed away.

We cry when they cry, laugh when they laugh, and celebrate their triumphs.

We cheer them on, encourage them to make decisions, and hurt when something bad happens to them.

Today, I am devastated.

And angry.

For the life of me, I can’t understand why Shonda decided this was the best course of action.

Color me sad, disappointed, betrayed.

I think it will be a while before I’m able to move on to the next stage of grief.

And truthfully, I may never be able to forgive Shonda Rhimes.

Were you disappointed that Lexy died?