My comeback project for ff.net is called “Not Done Yet,” and it showcases the powerful women of Elwood City as they deal with various issues. In this discussion, I’m going to lay out the piece so you all will know what to expect. Expected post date: Soon.
For this piece, each chapter has each person’s story in the order they appear. This makes for some long chapters, very long chapters (math whizzes: I have 6 chapters and have started a 7th, and the piece has 53,000 words. That’s about how big each chapter is). The order will be discussed below, as I’ll cover each segment in order of their appearance.
Each segment has its own timeline. Unlike my other pieces like Sophomore Sorrows, it’s just too difficult to keep everyone on the same day because they all have different issues. The one set thing is the starting year and where everyone is age-wise. For reference: Kate is 15, DW is 18, Arthur is 22, and the adults are wherever they would be from this starting point. Most are probably in their 40’s with the older parents being in their 50’s. So far the grandparents alive in the show are still alive now (Thora, Grandpa Dave, etc.), with Bubby being the only exception (I consider her to be deceased now that Joan Rivers has passed. While this is more headcanon that canon, it’s a widely-accepted theory). No pets are mentioned but one can assume what they wish:)
I decided to focus on Jane instead of Thora, DW, or Kate in the Read family. Through Jane, we’ll get a view on everyone’s problems, but I start the piece with her own issues. Jane has just had dental surgery, and at some point during the night, her husband stole her pain pills to aid her through her recovery. We learn he’s had the issue for a while, but the stealing has made it a problem, a dire problem–Kate is set to have surgery in a few weeks, and a girl her age cannot go without pain meds in a situation like that. So Jane and Thora team up to figure out a way to deal with David.
Another issue I’ve just started to touch on is DW. Jane has snooped and discovered DW might be in trouble herself, but I’ve kept David’s issue front and center for the first few chapters. Expect more from DW in later chapters, and I might throw Arthur in eventually.
We can’t have a girl power piece without Francine, but when we open with her, she’s a girl in trouble. Her boss is grabby and doesn’t seem to notice how uncomfortable it makes her. So Francine discusses the issue with Catherine, then her coworkers, and soon the beginnings of a crusade start to get rid of their grabby boss. So far this is the only focus of Francine’s storyline, but it has many aspects, so another storyline isn’t really needed yet.
As you’d expect, Fern is having some writing issues in this piece. Whenever I age her up and have her as a writer, this is what you can expect from me. This time Fern is a college dropout working at the Greasy Burger. When she’s not on shift she’s writing and trying to get through to a publisher, a task that soon gets noticed by her mother, who immediately wants to help her self-publish. Doria Walters is a real estate agent, as you all may recall, so she has a good client base, and she even refers Fern over to Alex (her classmate from gradeschool) for a cover design.
The problem? Doria takes over as editor and ruins Fern’s work, and now she has to figure out what to do about the issue. This feeds over into another storyline I’ll bring up later.
Again as you’d expect, Sue Ellen is studying abroad in France working on her Master’s Degree when we first see her, but we soon learn she’s deeply unhappy here. This is her mother’s dream, to have a daughter with a French degree, and Sue Ellen is struggling. She hatches a plan to build her own life by secretly returning to the States to continue her degree there. A French classmate, Pierre, wants to help her pay for things, but Sue Ellen has struggles all around. What if her mom finds out? But more importantly, what does Pierre want from her since he’s paying for all of her things?
I’m thinking of adding George into this section but we’ll see what happens. Like with Francine’s storyline, there’s been enough going on for a while to keep me from adding anyone else, but I see that changing soon.
When we start with Jenna, she’s very pregnant (8 months) with her boyfriend. At first things look normal, but we soon discover this is an abusive relationship. Frank has moved her out of Elwood City and into a suburb far from town, and he tends to lock her in a dingy bathroom when he’s tired of hearing from her.
But something snaps and she decides to escape this bathroom while Frank’s away, so she’s soon back home with her mother with the help of a friendly neighbor. Things are looking up for her once she’s there, and she even finds a job opportunity despite her condition. But things will soon change when Jenna gets back in contact with her ex. This is what you can expect from Not Done Yet–when one problem seems solved, another erupts, and that’s definitely the case with Jenna Morgan. I foresee a lasting problem with this Frank dude that might fast-forward her time-wise compared to the others. Also I don’t know what to do about the baby, so yeah, Jenna is interesting.
Miss Muffy isn’t who she used to be, namely because her parents cut her off completely. Now she’s living by their mercy. She stays with their contacts and does grunt work in their company. She’s essentially a slave to them, a disgruntled one at that.
So when she encounters Maria during a trying time, Muffy is eager to know how this normal classmate became a law student with no debt living in a luxury condo in downtown Metropolis. Maria tells her she’s an escort, and soon Muffy must decide if being an escort is the life for her. Family drama will certainly arise, but if Muffy can overcome, her future should be bright (for now;D).
I’m finally using Ladonna:D So this storyline to me is the scariest of all on a personal level. Ladonna and her mother moved back to Louisiana as soon as Ladonna graduated high school so she could go to college back home. Soon the women face a huge problem–Ladonna’s mother is diagnosed with Alzheimer’s, and the disease progresses so quickly that Ladonna must drop out of school to care for her. At the start of the piece, Ladonna is struggling with this care, and with the fact that no one knows but her. She didn’t want to burden her family, but now she needs to know her options. Her mother doesn’t recognize her anymore and fights her on even the most simple of tasks.
Like with Jenna, her problem seems solved when she eventually tells Bud and the family steps in to help. Her father encourages her to go back to school, but Ladonna needs direction. We’ll have to see where she goes in the future, and her storyline will probably focus only on her because I don’t know the Compson family. I haven’t even used her mother’s name yet:) I need to do research then we’ll see.
Bitzi is living the single life when we come across her, but she’s definitely not enjoying it. Barhopping for love and using dating apps for lunch encounters is getting old fast. Add in that her son is getting busy with a coworker, like “Let’s get married today” busy, and Bitzi is a frustrated woman desperate for companionship.
So when she meets Richard online in a chatroom, things are looking up, right? She isn’t eager to talk about him to anyone, but this could be it, you know? Well, 1, you don’t know because I haven’t posted yet, and 2, y’all know me. This is not going to end well for her at all.
MRS. BELINDA BARNES
I gave her the name Belinda just because (I know I’ve named her before but I don’t know what I called her). Anyway, when we come to Belinda, she’s doing what we all expect her to be doing. She’s a nurse at the local general hospital who works 12-hour shifts just like everyone else.
But that’s the problem. Mei-Lin is 15 now, and her shifts seem to be much longer than 12 hours. She leaves in time to see her husband bringing her daughter home, and she gets home in time to see an empty house. Add in how strenuous her work is, and Belinda is miserable. She’s on the job hunt, and so far that’s keeping her storyline pretty busy. I’ll probably do more with Mei-Lin and maybe some OC coworkers in the future.
MRS. ANITA POWERS
Again, I named her Anita just because, and I named her husband James because I wasn’t thinking. But you’ll know the difference between the two because Anita has three problems, and her biggest is with her husband the alcoholic. James is a heavy drinker and it’s starting to become a huge problem, but Anita is focused on Problem 2, her business. She wants to franchise and expand, but that takes focus and dedication, as well as people. She’s using Doria to help her through decisions (both personal and business), but she wishes her son would help too. But Alan is Problem 3–he’s AWOL in Chicago working a dead-end job for reasons only he knows. He dropped out of college and took up shop there, and he rarely calls home.
As mentioned, Doria’s storyline flows from Fern’s into this one, and soon Anita is aware that Doria might be manipulating things to favor herself. We’ll see where this goes because this overlap just started. Besides, Anita has enough issues to contend with without adding in another person.
This is the storyline y’all are gonna hate me for (h8ers gonna h8), because yeah, I’ll just say it, I’m a total bitch for this one. So Molly is raising James in her own house because their mother was murdered. Molly is in school about to graduate as a dental assistant and James is starting college [which I just realized is a plothole–why is James in college but DW is still in high school? I’ll have to add something in about that]. Things are tough, but I’m making it worse because Molly has just been diagnosed with cancer.
But she’s reunited with Rattles and his wife so she’ll have plenty of help^^;
*tomatoes rocket towards the stage. I barely avoid them*
I know, I know, I’m a dick. Sorry, but I like drama
*audience boos, I shrink back and move on*
When we start with Prunella, we’re really starting with Rubella the Hypochondriac. She’s at the hospital for tests, something Prunella has to do every now and again to help out. She’s got her own problems with work, of course, but Rubella needs her badly, for the most part. Soon Rubella is committed because of how she answered some questions, and she’s soon diagnosed with the same mental illness that drove their mother mad.
With her sister locked away, things can get better for Prunella, right? Nope. Not only does she have her own hallucinations, she feels trapped in her work and begins searching for a new job. Prunella’s battles are going to be with herself, and we may see her grapple with mental illness (be it real or created because of how paranoid she is about NOT being crazy). I don’t like her story because it feels short and repetitive compared to everyone else, but maybe y’all can throw me some ideas or something.
Marina is pretty successful when we first see her. She’s a teacher at an Elwood City school for the blind, and things look good. But we soon realize the school has budget issues, the kind that could get the place shut down, and as the chapters go on, Marina has to make some decisions. For one, her coworker, a guy named Anthony with one of those rich dads who owns a private school of his own, offers her a job. But when Marina decides she’d rather save the place, that opens up an even bigger can of worms. We’ll have to see where this storyline goes, and yes, I’m considering a romance between her and Anthony;) We’ll see though.
So there’s an overview of each storyline. I’m totally open for ideas for future problems, but I don’t want to kill anyone off so none of that (well, propose the idea anyway and we’ll see. I’ve considered having Mr. Powers [James] get into a deadly DUI wreck to help him get the point about his drinking, but I haven’t decided yet). And again, this is my comeback piece. I’ll be posting it eventually on ff.net when my schedule is willing, then I’ll update this piece and my other unfinished ones both there and on here. I may even start a one-shot series along these lines to really delve into this world and play with all of its options.
And this is my comeback piece because it’s time to just ignore Travis and move on (though I’m not done with him and he better watch his ass because my birthday doesn’t have much positive about it and I’d LOVE for him to suddenly disappear around this time as a gift^^). So I’ll be coming back as soon as I can get past this whole “no internet” issue:)
Oh, and a reminder: I am still working on my 678 series and my polls here are relatively unanswered, so yeah, hit those up if you’d like. There’s a pet one and a divorce one, and so far they’re all like a 5-way tie or whatever. You can probably vote multiple times, so yeah, please hit that up so I’ll get some direction. I’m behind on my million words for the year and I need stuff to write (other than this piece^^).