Bleeps, Bloopers, Outtakes …

and Remnants of Another Year …

Okay … this is one of those weeks when having so much stuff left over on my must do list … I group it all into one posting.

Thanks to Vikki Thompson from the UK and Sheri Degrom for giving me three awards in 2012 that I have thus far not posted.  I think I was considered beautiful and the best of the year.

I am grateful and thankful to have such good friends and readers, and I apologize for the long delay in acknowledging your generous awards. Thanks, friends.

And Sheri, as for who I would love to have a cuppa java with. My vote is a round table by the ocean, strong, sweet, black coffee, and the engaging conversations of some of the best people I have ever known … virtually or otherwise.

Today, I give The Round Table Award to Sheri Degrom, Vikki Thompson, Christi Corbett, PK Hrezo, Shelley Freydont, Patricia Yager Delagrange, Brinda Berry, Sheila Seabrook, Sherry Isaac, and Gloria Richards, who would provide most of the ka-snorts.

round table

Photo credit

Bleeps, bloopers and outtakes …

Since I have the first and second nature of a compulsive hoarder … millions of words have been stashed on disks, flash drives, an external hard drive … and the best of all … the innards of the old PC … the hard drive The Geek Squad will transfer to my new PC this month.

The day my PC screen went dark was exactly fifty days ago. And during thirty-seven of those days I’ve revisited at least half of the first million words I had written.


Site/Author Credit

I’ve come to enjoy my compulsive/obsessive behavior and saved all the half drafts, partial paragraphs, deleted pages, and my “other” first book.

I was twenty-something and doing office temp to help pay for college. At seven in the am I told the receptionist from Kelly Girls I would not be going to the lower east side in a torrential rain to take a last minute assignment.

She warned me that I should not refuse too many assignments. I informed her she should not underestimate my value as an employee. That one day she’d pick up the newspaper and find me on the NYTBSL. “When you see the title, you’ll know it’s me.”

The title? Already the single mom of two toddlers … the title was a play on who and what I was at the time. That title became the name of several journals and two failed attempts to write a comic novel, a genre some began to call “chick lit.”

I saw myself as a cross between Gail Parent and Erma Bombeck and honestly … I still resent the label “chick lit.” Is the male counter-part of humorous books and comic routines known as “dick-lit?” I think not.

I am a cross genre writer, crafting myteries and other odd happenings that crash land on the page. However, as a way of clarifying … women’s fiction is considered by most to be about a woman’s emotional journey.

Hell, every time I put a character on the page she’s in some kind of emotional turmoil.

Finding clues ain’t easy you know.

Being a cracker-jack loser or a misfit in modern society takes lots of hard work.

My hapless and clueless characters might find themselves anywhere, doing who knows what.

About the title …

It was also what I wrote in giant letters in bright red crayon on the ceiling of our Brooklyn apartment when in the middle of the Great Blizzard of 1978, I was summarily evicted.

She was … and in many ways … still is my favorite strange character.

She isn’t the only one. There are at least a dozen strange characters. Funny  gals like Lizzie Brogan, Megan O’Connor or Josie Napoli. Adventurous or wild women like Carmen Gonzales and Mama Merengue.  Confused or lost little women like Gail Goldblum, Sarah Stein, and Brina Esmerian.

For thirty-seven of these fifty days I had no mind to edit or work on either of my two WIP … my mystery or my women’s fiction books.

I did however, have a blast, rummaging through the virtual old yellow pages of over one million bleeps, bloopers and outtakes.

In film and television they die on the cutting room floor. Some of the luckier rejects are gathered together for specials hosted with folks like Ed McMahon or the late Dick Clark. Others become a montage at the end of a film as the credits roll down the screen.

Red Skeleton

Or perhaps this hilarious video?

Mine ended up in flash drives.

Tell me please …
what do you do with your rejected paragraphs
and extraneous characters?

Recycle anyone?

fOIS In The City


Filed under Bleeps, Blooper and Outtakes

35 responses to “Bleeps, Bloopers, Outtakes …

  1. I would gladly sit at your round table and while away the hours in recollections of first, second, and third manuscripts.

    The line, “Splits my head wide open with all her chatter. ” reminded me of my son when he was young. He talked non-stop. On several occasions, I told him that he “made my brain hurt” with his chatter. Now, he’s a such a guy. At 23, he is quiet (unless a topic he is passionate about) and I yearn for communication. I wish I could take it back. 🙂


    • For me, Brinda … it was the second child … my daughter. Not only did she prattle on endlessly, but she did so with a very LOUD voice. Actually, she hasn’t changed much except now she prattles to her husband 🙂 Thanks so much for the visit 🙂


  2. Oh, sweet excerpt, Florence! Your voice is SO strong! Hurry up and get done with the unimportant stuff, and back to writing!


    • Ah, my special biker chick. Did I neglect to mention you would roll up to that round table with your “bike?” Glad you liked the little snippet from “Mad.” I am on the fast track to devote more of my time to my strange collection of characters. Thanks for reminding me … again 🙂


  3. Your words jump off the page (or screen) with life.
    I just started a decluttering project that will take months, and is worth doing. In box marked “very old fiction” I found a story called “Seventh Wedding” that astonished me with how good it is. I did not think so at the time (but I did not throw it out either).
    “”When you see the title, you’ll know it’s me.” — one of best tittles I’ve heard.


    • Yes, LIndsay. I think the best treasures are those we have forgotten we own. Then when we rediscover them, it’s like Christmas all over again.

      She is and will always be my alter-ego and I have every intention of dusting her off one of these days 🙂


  4. vicki batman

    Good morning, Florence! When I delete, it’s gone. I don’t put in a special folder at all. I don’t recycle my words. Gone. Gone. Gone. I love your ramblings. 🙂


    • Vicki, I think you should reconsider. I have another good friend who “deletes” every email and document the moment she is done with them. I get an itch just thinking about all the stuff I might have lost. Recyling is the responsible way to go … even with words 🙂


  5. Well, please save me a place at the round table. What fun, what frolic, what great ideas.


    • That’s a promise, Shelley. Do you know that stretch of beace in Delray, with the cafe that serves genuine Italian gelato? That’s the place I saw in my head. They also make the best espresso. Next winter for sure 🙂


  6. Thank you so much, Florence, for allowing me to sit at the Round Table with you and your friends. That would be sooo fun.
    And I am there with you 100% about the chick lit and dick lit. I’m always baffled that there’s no such thing as men’s fiction. Doesn’t make sense to me, but whatever. I love your characters and want to know what happens to the Little Brat and Viola!


    • In case you didn’t know, Patti … in the thesaurus there are dozens of words for “women of the night.” And what are the words for men? Playboy and gigilo … period.

      YOu’ll get more of Viola and Aunt Lucille and then a sneak peek at the little brat … later 🙂


  7. Love Delray will be there with bells on.


  8. christicorbett

    Every single word I ever wrote for my book resides in hard copy form in a big tub on wheels beneath my bed. I saved them all these years for two reasons…one, in case of computer failure I’d have everything available to retype if needed, and two, when I hold my actual published book in my hands I want to be able to gaze upon the massive stacks of paper and see all my hard work.

    Oh, and I can’t throw out my words 🙂

    Christi Corbett


  9. annerallen

    I love the idea of being a “word hoarder”. I am too. I’ve got poems I wrote in third grade. I have the same aversion to the term chick lit. I think the industry now calls it rom-com, but that doesn’t quite get it either.Funny books about women can actually be very dark. They are books where we can laugh at our own faults and fears.


    • Anne, glad to know you are also a word hoarder. And that is exactly the problem with labels. I used Gail Parent as one of my examples. Her novel Sheila Levine is Dead and LIving in New York is a prime example of a dark comic novel. She also created some of the funniest and also dark/sad characters for comic like Carol Burnett. Thanks for being “one of us.” 🙂


  10. Awwwww, thanks honey. I would sit at that round table drinking coffee with you any day 😉



  11. You’re so lucky to have your creative output from those early days! Mine went down with a computer snafu in the ’90s. The Mad Mother from Brooklyn is gold. I think it crosses several genres.


    • Thanks, Debra. I think Mad Mother is one of those books that nags until you finally give her the attention she deserves. That’s what I will do with her and soon. She ends up like so much of my work … crossing genres … and that’s because I hate genre categories I think I write between the lines 🙂


  12. Round table chatting. Oh, goody! Make mine a spiced latte, please.

    As for the recycling question, I do have a document of discarded lines I loved but that simply had to go, sometimes the delicious slice in a scene that served no purpose, other times extraneous description that wasn’t required, but was too pretty to delete forever. For the most part, I kiss the lines goodbye.

    When down-sizing characters, I’ve twice blended one character who had to go with another who was staying.


    • Sherry, I had a strong sense that you would keep many of your treasured words. Being the talented woman that you are … you could always find ways to use those odd characters and passages 🙂

      The place I have in my mind serves great spiced latte !!


  13. Count me in – at the round table, that is. I thought maybe I was the only one that hoarded words. I have well over 100 journals I’ve written full of emotion, events and on and on. Then when I decided I was going to write something other than criminal findings and legislative proposals, I knew I’d never throw away a word again. I understand your going through things in the 50 days since your hard drive went up in flames. I believe there comes a time for every woman when we must take stock of where we are in our lives and what is truly important to us and what we’re going to do with it or keep it dear to our hearts. Your blogs are true masterpieces of lives woven together complete with images and words for all of us to enjoy. Thank you my friend.


  14. Sheri, I am honored by your kind words. I was certain that you kept journals and also understand the need for us to take the time to reflect … stop the world and step off for a while.

    Sitting at that round table with you, or in a small cafe anywhere in the south and chatting would be a grand experience for me. I am sure I could spend hours listening to your wonderful stories 🙂


  15. What do I do with my rejects? Save of course. Maybe a few years later in a cleaning out frenzy I resurrect them, discover again what drew me to write them, and maybe they become part of whatever I’m doing or planning at the moment. Or they get pitched. Do that with my closet also. And I’m working up to both pretty soon.

    Congrats on your awards, your new PC, and all the wonderful comments you always manage to have.


    • I had no doubt that you saved them, Casey. You probably also save all your wonderful photographs. I will think good thoughts for you as you prepare to clear out the rubble of words and stuff from your life 🙂

      Thanks, I get great comments from dear friends like you !!


  16. What a fun post! I L-O-V-E your excerpt. Finish your books, dagnabbit! Howling over dick lit. My books have chick-lit-like humor hits, but I get away with it because I also have steam. Those chick-lit books slam the bedroom door when things get heated.

    I am honored you invited me to share the round table — Ka-Snort, indeed. Sherry may not claim the title, but she is the one-off queen of snark. Just feed her the set-up lines…

    Me? Feed me a line. Feed me pretend-they’re-non-fat desserts. . Feed me something that matches what I’m wearing.

    The little darlings I had to kill? Hard copies of the full manuscripts support dust bunnies until I get to rewriting them. Those clever one-liners or scenes I love? They’re smattered about in a mess of files titled Later Gator, Snippets, and…

    Dang if I can remember the rest of the file names.


    • Gloria … I say ditto to finishing your books and thanks for the compliment. Hey, I would not expect “mild” or “mannered” chick-lit from you and I know you won’t disappoint 🙂

      Yes, the idea of all of us sitting around a table exchanging one liners or just enjoying each other’s company is such a grand image. You can tell us about all the “little darlings” you’ve had to kill or exile to dark corners of your mind.

      Thanks … you are a one-of-a-kind keeper !!


  17. Hey Florence! Thank you for the award! And congrats on yours! Love your comment to the Kelly Girls lady. And I hope you get to poetic justice. 🙂

    Wouldnt a round table of writers be a hoot?


    • PK, a round table of you and the others would be more than a blast … it would be highlight of a year !! I so hope that we can all meet one of these days and swap our book stories. Thanks for being such a good friend 🙂


  18. Hi there! Great topic and great to catch up with you. I’m always torn about what to do with old stuff. I recently pitched all of the notes and drafts for the my two completed novels that I never intend to do anything with. I did keep the final drafts though. It was liberating, actually, to free up the physical and mental space.


    • Glad you caught up with me, Nina. I think that one of these days the accumulated posts you do so beautifully about family and traditions will find their way into a book. But for now, I love the way you use your talents and most especially love the series on the Huff 🙂


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