Happy Monday, all. While Monday marks the end of Easter festivities for some, it also means it’s Bread Dough Diaries day! Come on, don’t pretend like you aren’t excited, lol.
So, today’s installment is actually more of a Cake-Batter-Epiphany, but I think it qualifies since technically cake IS a type of bread–just ask Marie Antoinette. I know, I know, she didn’t really say that. Anyhoo, I started writing the first chapter of Clean–Book 2–Devil in the Details this weekend (woo hoo!) and of course, immediately came up against a snag. Here’s the situation:
The book opens with an echo of the ‘box nightmare’ that plagued our heroine, Della Jordan, from the first book. DJ indeed finds herself in a box, a broom closet to be precise, but this is no nightmare. She’s actually trapped in the closet with a five year-old girl who’s mother has just been murdered by three Russian mobsters. The thugs don’t know DJ and Natalia are there and our heroine would like to keep it that way. My challenge as the author–how to get them OUT of the closet.
Plan A- in typical DJ style, was to come out, gun blazing. She’d neutralize the threat then retrieve the little girl. But my bullsh*t alarm went off and I couldn’t write it that way. What’s wrong with that scenario? 1- DJ’s one tough woman, but I doubt she could take out three guys with only a .32 before one of them has time to open fire on her. 2- No matter what they show in TV and movies, five year-olds do not often keep their cool in a crisis soooo the only thing that’s keeping Natalia from kirking out is the fact that DJ is there to hold her hand. If DJ leaves the girl alone in the dark, the mother in me says the girl will start screaming and crying, especially because her mother has been killed. All the ruckus would give away DJ’s surprise attach for sure. Back to the drawing board.
Plan B- With this one, I thought I’d found the ideal solution. As DJ often did in the first book, she texts Mickey for help. Though he’s surprised to find out that she’s not in Barbados as she should be, he calls 911 and reports a domestic disturbance at the NJ apartment DJ’s trapped in. Ultra-pleased with myself, I went about my day….and then I decided to make cupcakes.
While I folded the cake flour into the batter, my inner monologue declared a loud ‘DOH!’ Of course Plan B wouldn’t work. Mickey can’t call the cops. DJ’s whole career is about avoiding police involvement. There’s a dead body in the apartment which means the po-po would have a few questions for Ms. Jordan. Damnit! Back to the drawing board.
Then, right in the middle of filling pastel-colored cupcake liners, the answer hit me. Mickey could still call 911, but instead of domestic disturbance, he reports smoke coming from the window of the apartment next door to where DJ is holed up. The sirens would still run off the Russians and DJ could slip out with Natalia without any law enforcement complications. And since I’ve got a source who used to be a NJ firefighter who can tell me what the firemen would do in the case of a false alarm, I can work out the details with a high degree of accuracy. Yessss! I licked the batter from my wooden spoon quite satisfied with myself. DJ’s out of the closet and I’m free to write on…until I hit another plot snag which I’m sure will happen any time now, lol.