Monday, March 4, 2013
Putting the Bee in Bee Dazzle
By Eugene Saint and Karen Bessey Pease
The Crazy Lady Down the Road…every place has one. But what transpires when – half-naked in her garden – she meets her new neighbor? When this unwelcome stranger shares a secret about their adjoining properties?
Karen Bessey Pease (aka “Kaz”) and Eugene Saint didn’t have a clue…but they were dying to find out. So they teamed up – and Bee Dazzle was born.
Bee Dazzle is the result of an online game of Writers’ Tag between two authors who have never met. Writers’ Tag is a ‘by the seat of your pants’ approach to writing in which there is no collaboration between the players. They simply start writing… and the next player ‘takes it from there’.
In the case of Bee Dazzle, Kaz wrote an opening post, then Saint read it – in its raw, unedited form – and continued the story as he saw fit. The authors had no predetermined plan and no known story-line or plot. This is authentic improvisation from post to post.
For this particular game, the rules were simple…there were no rules except that the story had to be wrapped up in under 20,000 words. Being somewhat long-winded and loving the ‘sound’ of their own literary voices, Saint and Kaz prescribed to the ‘no rules’ portion of the rules and were able to wind Bee Dazzle down in 22,000 words – give or take a dangling participle or two.
Kaz wasn’t sure about combining her well-honed writing talents with those of an ornery and opinionated curmudgeon from Tennessee – but in the spirit of cooperation (and to give Saint a much-needed ‘leg up’) she agreed to this game of Writers’ Tag. It was a laborious and often aggravating endeavor…but in the end, the results were worth the sacrifice.
Saint – though skeptical of combining his remarkable writing skills with those of an uppity, self-important woman from the hills of western Maine – has again thrown his body on one for the good of the squad. Although he’s spent his entire life avoiding greatness, it has been thrust upon him once more.
While collaborating on this short story was akin to kicking a whale up the beach, reading this soon-to-be “instant classic” should prove much less painful!
If, after reading Bee Dazzle, you discover you enjoy the Tag format of improvisational writing between two authors – strangers with diverse temperaments, areas of expertise and hair styles – then stay tuned for a full-length Tag novel by Saint and Kaz in the near future. If we survive the writing…we promise you’ll love the reading!
And now… an excerpt from this ‘teaser’ novella written by a man and a woman who have (it’s been said) great “synergy”… which is defined as “the interaction of two or more agents or forces so that their combined effect is greater than the sum of their individual effects.”
Saint and Kaz have synergy… of that there is no doubt. But do the authors have ‘staying power’? We’ll let you be the judge.
_ _ _ _ _ _ _
“Yeah, it’s a memorial. That is to say there’s no one actually buried there. It’s different if there’s an actual body. The State keeps pretty close track of that stuff. For one thing, if there’s someone buried there then future owners of a property have the right to know it. Plus, if someone runs across human remains on a property then they’ll know whether or not they ought to be there. And you can’t just exhume a body, you know — even on your own land. It’s a big deal.
"Memorials are different. I suspect that’s why Winston had the plot constructed way out there overlooking the bog — figuring it would be a long time before anybody would want to build on that site.”
“Ah...I see. And therefore I should marry you. Of course. It makes perfect sense. Duh, me.”