Thursday, November 30, 2017

How an Ugly Picture Became the Inspiration for Diana Catt's Short Story "Framed"

That Ugly Picture 

By Diana Catt

I’m willing to bet your mom has a picture hidden away in the bottom of a box, or a drawer, that makes you cringe whenever it makes the light of day.
You know the one. That awkward pose you hope is not how you really look.
Here’s one of mine – all pointy elbows, shoulder blades, and knees. Odd sunglasses and mother-dictated haircut. About 11 or 12 years old. The cute, photogenic boys in front are my brothers. I’m sure there’s a freaky photo of them in mom’s picture box, too.
I thought about my own ugly pictures when I saw “The Two Sisters,” a painting by Georges Lemmen (1894) on display at the Indianapolis Museum of Art.

I can understand how a camera might capture an off-guard moment, a fleetingly awkward position, but don’t you have to pose for extended times for a painting?
Wouldn’t it be appalling if a painting you posed hours for ended up looking like an embarrassing, momentary, snapshot pose? 
Something more had to be going on with those two sisters…
Suddenly, I had my inspiration for a short story,Framed, which appears in the anthology, The Fine Art of Murder.

Since I bravely put up an embarrassing photograph of myself, I’m going to counter with an outright brag.  Framed was chosen to be included in an anthology of the Best from Women in Horror, called Killing It Softly, 2 (Digital Media Publishing, 2017)
Here’s a short excerpt from Framed:

The wilted missionary was back in the foyer when I returned to the living room and I watched Papa escort him into the library. Mama continued her piano playing and singing so I couldn’t hear any conversation leaking from the partially open library door. Papa had given the man some money earlier today, so I couldn’t imagine why he’d be back. I stood erect for Vonnie but kept one eye on the front lobby, waiting for the missionary to emerge.
At the moment the library door opened wider to reveal Papa and his guest, Mama finished the piece she was playing. In the sudden vortex of quiet, I distinctly heard Papa say, “Be careful what you say, sir. Your life may depend on it.”
I didn’t know if that was a warning or a threat.
Then Mama started playing again.

Killing It Softly 2: A Digital Horror Fiction Anthology of Short Stories (The Best by Women in Horror)

The Fine Art of Murder

Monday, November 13, 2017

Speed City Sisters in Crime Play "Deadbeat" Chosen for 2018 Indy Theater Fringe Festival

Post by M. B. Dabney

Deadbeat, a play collectively written by the Speed City Chapter of Sister of Crime, has been chosen for the 2018 Fringe Fest in Indianapolis. The play is the first project of its kind for any chapter of the national Sisters in Crime organization.
The one-act play will premiere in the 2018 Indianapolis Theater Fringe Festival, which is held every summer in August. There will be six performances of the two-woman dark comedy. The specific dates have not yet been set.
The play is about two middle-aged women who discover the dead body of their ex-husband – and each thinks the other is the killer.
As the rights owner and producer of the play, the chapter plans to use it as a fundraiser. The play’s running time will be roughly 40-45 minutes.
The chapter started the play last June at the suggestion of chapter member Crystal Rhodes, herself the author of numerous plays. As the chapter pulled together a group of writers to work on the play, Crystal served as the project’s mother superior and guide, directing, suggesting and correcting where needed but allowing the project to move forward in its own way.
Crystal and her sometimes writing partner Lillie Evans, who’s also a chapter member, provided invaluable insight into the structure of a play and how it should be presented. The chapter owes them both a great debt.

IndyFringe is a “riotous celebration of theatre old and new, edgy and not-so-edgy.” Held over an 11-day period in the Mass Ave. Cultural District in Indianapolis, the festival will host 64 performing groups on eight stages for a total of 384 performances.