Hard Times Companion
Updated through chapter 67
This is a simple reference sheet for the story. I use it as an author to easily find things I mentioned in the story. There are also Easter eggs I mention in this story that happened in Family Feud sprinkled throughout that I should probably track for my own reference.
This will continue to evolve as I craft this story.
I do a lot of subtle foreshadowing and I also like to leave things to the reader’s imagination at times. I don't always describe every event that happened. I might reference a past situation or a history between two characters and let the reader fill in the blanks on what must have happened. That is often very intentional on my part. In the companion I try to track some of those details so I don’t forgot them.
I find that if I give the reader just enough information - their mind will construct a more elaborate and plausible scenario about that event than I would and I don't want to bunny-trail too far from the main story line to tell that background story. I can’t tell every side character’s entire story and every event that ever happens – however I love fan-fiction and short-stories about the side characters. I would encourage you to reconstruct what DID go down in one of those side-events and write it up as a short story!
There is a revolving door of characters in the story. Just like any big trailer park like this setting – it is a bit like the ensemble cast of Hee-Haw. There are just going to be a whole mess of them.
Conner – A little younger than his sister – he has red hair and freckles. He is puny and nerdy. He likes video games and sci-fi.
Ellen – Ellen could best be described as looking like a teenage Ellen Paige. She has dark hair in a pixie cut and is pale. At the start of the story she is unaware of how cute and adorable she looks and thinks her shoulders are boxy and she is frumpy. She moved to the Buckman with her family after they fell on hard times. Ellen is a bit of a rule follower/over-achiever who is very book smart and tends towards the shy side at the start of the story. This story is written from her perspective almost exclusively.
Ellen has A to B cup tits, and an outie pussy.
Patricia- Could best be compared to the mom on the show the “Middle” – the same character/personality almost perfectly.
Mike is an all-around good family man with a strong jaw. He was an
Executive but was laid off and unable to find work. He lost his
house, his car, his credit cards are maxed out. Early on in the story
he leaves to find work in a nearby town. You can think of Mike as the
same actor who plays the husband on the middle.
CRYSTAL – Crystal is the classic ‘trailer park milf’. She has Auburn hair and is well tanned, fake tits and a very attractive body. She has a scratchy voice from whiskey and cigarettes. She has a sassy southern personality and is a bit of an extrovert. She has a belly-button piercing at the start of the story.
She has an innie vagina, belly ring, and D cup fake tits. Her skin is dark tanned.
Crystal (and Patricia’s) mother was a Greek woman. We know that she imparts certain practical wisdom on the girls that they mention every now and then. We learn that Ellen’s grandfather is deceased but was alive when she was little.
In chapter 59 Crystal is given two big metal zero gauge white gold piercings in her breasts, and one in her clit.
LLOYD – Lloyd bears a strong resemblance to Ashton Kutcher. He has a goofy personality and isn’t too bright. He is relatively fearless and often helps strangers whenever he can. He is a classic “Good old southern boy”.
SAVANNAH – blonde, blue –eyed trailer park vixen in high school. If you google “JOY” from my name is earl/search on youtube – you will get an idea of what she is like if you picture her in high school.
She has an innie vagina and B to C cup peach-shaped tits. Her skin is a light bronze by the time they begin working outside. Her middle name is Ginger.
In 61 she gets the nickname “Scumvannah”
Ares and Zeus are two male Rottweiler-mixed breeds who spend most of their time in the yard in a small fenced in kennel. According to Wendy they were a gift to Lloyd from his birth-father who told him they were wolves and would keep him safe until he returned home (Which he never did).
TED: Ted has short blondish high and tight haircut, tiny mustache and scruff on his face. His job as a security guard and his general role in life is that of someone who craves authority and respect but gets little from others – and he does little to deserve it. He is a bully towards people much weaker than himself and an ass kiss to guys who are actually tough and considers himself one of their peers.
Ted has Short Man’s Syndrome - This typically describes a man under 5 foot 5 inches. Short man syndrome men usually have a heavier body, a small head , but a larger face, typically are going bald. A man with short man syndrome will try to overcompensate for his small stature by buying oversize cars, always lying, being very controlling, very bossy, and think they are always right. They cannot admit they are wrong. They will align themselves with the people they think can do the most for them, and will use people to their advantage, lying about everything.
If you google “Kenny Powers” from Eastbound and Down/search on youtube- you will get ONE of the key inspirations for Ted and the voice I hear in my head when I write his dialogue.
MAW-MAW Teds heavy set mother – she always has a serious and slow disposition. She was introduced in chapter 12 and moved in with the family. She is Senior’s Sister (and Junior’s Aunt) .
They live on Glory Hill Street
Junior – Ch. 20 “He stood at average height and a little overweight. He had red rosacea streaks around his cheeks and greasy, short, black hair. He wore a faded denim overalls and a flannel shirt.”
The owner of the Buckman’s son. Drives the white caddilac that is often ominously seen in the Buckman. Junior lives on Seminole in the first trailer on the lot. He is Ted’s Uncle.
Senior – Ch. X – He is alluded to but not yet introduced. He owns a theme park and many motels in town. He owns the trailer park and made a fortune. His sister is Maw-Maw. Spoiler: He is distant relatives to the Griffin family and was once an executive working for the Bitterman Brothers (see FF).
Tammy- Ch. 25 - looks like Tammy Faye Baker, Junior’s sister, has a big pit bull named “Chunks”.
Daisy – “Daisy Dukes” Ch. 39 – BBW, Ted’s twin sister. She has four kids: Gene, Sarah, Damian and Dumpling (A baby). Her husband is “Meth-Head Bill”. Daisy has a pink “Shut the Fuck Up” Bunny Rabbit tattoo on her right tit.
ASS Family – Odd Jobs designation for the family
Jack - Ted
Lazy – Maw-Maw
Racing Nicknames – Ch. 28
“Juicy Lucy” Ellen
“Country Boy” Lloyd
Angel – Ch. 15 She is seen at the pool sunning herself and smoking, Angel is an attractive former head cheerleader and homecoming queen who is 7 months pregnant. She was seen in a rebel flag bikini next to an ape-like redneck boyfriend. Angel’s unnamed sister works at the Landing Strip (A strip club). Her brutish boyfriend’s name is Derek Hammond
She is also former-Miss Firecracker’ and winner of the WPIG Country 105.3 “Hottest Bikini Contest”. Her father is a Biker. She once had a nerdy boyfriend that Derek and his friends beat up.
Terminator, Big Mike and Gator work at the club as bouncers/managers
Boogie- Ch. 22 Drives a van with a Dixie Air-Horn that goes “Dug-a-doo-doo-doo dug-a-doo-doo-doo-doo!”. We don’t know much about him in that chapter. He follows the girls through the park effectively blocking other cars from staring at their asses.
Bleaker , Larry and Lenny – Ch. 23 – Larry is the store manager of “Wicked Weasal” in the local mall. He used to keep an ‘account’ that was Crystal’s partial payments on swimsuits. He is married.
Lenny is a young man who once got scammed by Savannah into buying the family a dinner on prom night. He also works at the cash register. He was never physically described but he wears glasses and has a large nose.
Catfish – Ch. 27 – balding, long black mustache. A customer when Ted first takes over the business. Catfish later turns out to be his friend and becomes an assistant manager of the girls.
Ding-Dong/Donger– Ch. 9 – Notorious Trailer park flasher. He looks like a cross between Terry Bradshaw, Hulk Hogan and “Dobber” from Coach. He is fairly muscular and tan with long blonde hair (but balding on top). Donger is Australian.
Gerald and Tater – Ch. 3 and 36, originally unnamed boys who participated in the Cowboy’s and Indians game in chapter three. They re-emerge in Chapter 36 high on gas-fumes at the Head shop. Tater was once step-son to Crystal and Gerald was once step-son to Ted. Gerald’s mother is named Shawna. Tater’s father is named Ron.
Kung-Fu Dave –
Ch.14 caught chasing Ding-Dong through the park. Self-appointed
Trailer Park Super Hero. Not very bright – slurs his words.
Pimps his sister Ashley for a six pack and a George Strait
cassette tape/Some menthols. He follows something he calls the
“Ninjetty Code”. He uses attacks he says out loud while
he executes them (for extra power) - Judy-Chop, Kung-Fu Chop, Karate
Kick and Ninja Chop – careful of ninja chop while karate kick
or you WILL hit your leg (his advice)
Uses skoal can and sharp scrap metal as kung fu star. Ashley has a bad dye job of blonde tips and brown hair and what Ted calls a “Butter-face”. She has an adequate body but very saggy tits (with oversized brown nipples). Her green eyes are cross-eyed. She talks with a deep southern accent/valley girl accent. We meet her in Ch. 37 at the mall.
Haislip: April, Larry and Tawny
Haislip, April and is naturally a rival of Crystal –introduced in Ch. 14. If every Betty needs her Veronica as a foil – then this is Savannah’s Veronica. They live one street over from Glory Hill. April used to date Ted. She is best described as looking a lot like Linda Carter – the actress who played Wonder Woman. She has a a tattoo of a rock with an American flag and an eagle on her right shoulder
Haislip, Larry – Chapter 7 – An old pervert who gets his truck washed. He likes to feel like he is disciplining a particularly bratty Savannah. He is revealed to April’s grandfather in Ch. 15
Haislip, Tawny – Ch.11 Savannah’s rival, tall, blonde and very buxom. She was briefly mentioned in an earlier chapter when Ted was staring at her at the pool. Ted also stared at Angel another girl at the pool when they drove past.
Hooker, James, Dr. Ch. 31 a character introduced in FFIV and an homage to a fellow author. He is visiting family in the Buckman and stopped to see what was happening at the pool area. He is interested in the girls doing lawn care for his family and may have set it up for the future.
Joleen, Ch. 48 Mysterious woman from Crystal’s past (who looks a bit like her only older) that shows up at the wrestling match. In Ch. 56 we learn that she runs the Teen Detention Center and that Savannah spent two weeks there already. Ray-Ray is her husband/lover and also runs it with her. Joleen is a friend and mentor of Crystal.
See ch. 61 for Savannah’s confession of what happened at the teen detention center. Crystal’s version is that she had to pull a lot of strings/prostitute herself to free her daughter.
Laqwanda and Clymidia – ch. 11 two black teenage cousins who are often fighting. Laqwanda is tall, while Clymidia is stout and thick.
Louise – Chapter 9 - Ted’s Ex-wife and an employee at Rowdys. They have kids together and Ted is naturally delinquent on support for them.
Mean Freckle Faced Boy – Chapter 28 – buys a spot in the “V.I.P” section of the pool area. Owns a supersoaker collection. See also “Skeeter Townley”. He is a hard-core watcher. His name (or possibly a nickname) is Opie although he hates that name.
Methuselah – Chapter 11- Old man who reads from the book of Enoch at the pool party
Odd-Jobs – Chapter 3: Trailer Park Handy Man, jovial and with a good sense of humor. His real first name is Oliver Jacobi. He is later revealed to often have a number of schemes and plans to make money off the residents – and to keep order in the park. He used to go by “OJ” but after OJ Simpson he does not as frequently. The Odd Jobs character is best described as someone based loosely on Brian Doyle Murray a veteran character actor.
Ch. 16. O.J introduces us to his nephew Ryan. Ryan attends a rival high school of Cherry Lawn the Union County Rams. Ryan’s Easter Egg is that he is the son of Supermarket magnate owner of Jacobi Supermarkets.
Ch. 18 he introduces the three ups – show up, keep up and shut up.
Pastor Gary – Chapter 35 – meet him in porn store. He fell from grace at the local church.
In 61. Ryan is known as Pussy boy, pissy boy, rich boy, or Peter Pud/Peter Pan. Ellen becomes his “girlfriend” and is known as Stinkerbell. They are also called ‘Booty and the Beast’ and other Disney references due to their lofty station.
Ray-Ray, ch. 66 an odd man who went to high school with Daisy (and Ted). He constantly smiles and licks his lips. He is missing the teeth on the side of his face.
Riggins Tim, Billy - Chapter 8 Billy and Tim are handsome young men who live in the Buckman and attend Buckman High. Billy just graduated but Tim is a star player for their football team the Buckman Predators. Glenn Riggins their father and their unnamed mother are both in prison.
Buckman High is officially called “Brigadier General George Gordon High School”. Their team is officially the “Predators”.
Sanderson, - Ch 61. An older neighbor in a fishing hat who has been watching and disapproving of Savannah since she was a little girl.
Shawn – Ch. 15 Friend of Crystals who appears at the end of the chapter. He is wearing a cap that says ‘hurt more deer’ with a fish on it and a blue shirt with a tricycle that reads ‘chicks dig my bike’. He drives an old beat up 78 3/4 ton pickup which suits him since he does scrap iron and new trucks wouldn't look to new after just a few weeks having 5ton magnet slammed in the box picking out the iron.
S.S. - Ch. 16 a giant of a man – he has a flat top hair cut (Which Ted imitates). His name means what you might think it means. He bears a collection of Nazi and racist tattoos and despite looking brutish may have an intelligent and sensitive side. He works for Odd Jobs officially as an assistant maintenance man and an unofficial enforcer.
Car Wash Steve – Ch. 15 – a friend of Odd Jobs who is sent as a plant to check up on the girls. 30ish years old drives a truck. They naturally are not doing what they are supposed to be doing.
Terry – Ch. 15 a transgendered woman with blonde hair and perfect tits – drives a white Bentley. A professional prostitute. Terry was at one time a Running back on the same high school football team and Ted and remembers him as a third-string non-player.
The Leaner – ch. 29 an old man who paid to sit in the V.I.P section but constantly leaned in the most creepy manner against a fence. He looked like TV’s “Larry David” – if you want to google that image. He is a ‘hard core watcher’.
The Wrestler – ch. 29 the wrestler wears a wrestling t-shirt, sweat pants, sweat bands, and headband. He is doughy and out of shape with a blonde afro that looks like shag carpet. He is a ‘hard core watcher’. It is possible that he is in fact Al Snow or Logan Caine –retired from wrestling with some sort of brain injury.
Todd- Chapter 6- A young kid who gets his car washed. He goes to school with the Danvilles. He is later stuck with a bill at Rowdy’s restaurant for the family after they dine and dash.
Townley, Skeeter –Ch.28, Skeeter is head of a very large family of mostly red-headed people, who live in the Buckman. Skeeter is older with a beard and a fishing hat. Skeeter is a mechanic and fan of the phrase “If it has tires or tits you are going to have problems with it.” He and his grandson are considered ‘hard core watchers
Skeeter is rumored to be Ted’s father through another marriage. He was married to Maw-Maw years ago. Maw-Maw is the relative on the Gaylord side of the family and is Junior’s Aunt.
Tyrell – Chapter 3 – A smooth black neighbor who thinks the entire family is crazy. He has a nephew named “Nelly Jr.” who he leaves with the family.
Wayne – Chapter 58 – a 15 year old pimple faced boy who Savannah told “To grow some ball hair before he asks her out”. He works at Krystal as a cashier. Wayne’s friend Flick wears serial killer style glasses, is stocky and rarely speaks – his only line is “in the ass.” The previous year Wayne had pursued a date with Savannah but the family conned him into paying for their meal instead.
Buckman Mall– appebee, wax on, wax off, variety of stores – used to be the central hub until a highway deal missed the town.
Cherry Lawn Regal Mall included upscale places like Starbucks, L&M, Urban Outfitters, Macy’s, Abercrombie and Fitch, Godiva Chocolatiers; and their food court was lined with exotically indulgent or healthy alternatives from California Pizza to Middle Eastern delights. They were bright and the mall was clean and spacious.
Gaylord Fun Land – A theme park owned by Junior’s father (and Ted’s uncle).
Glory Hill – The street the Danvilles live on.
Jacobi Farm (Ch. 55) – Where the older kids (18+) go to party – very exclusive. Savannah jokes that it is a Jacobi farm tradition that at midnight all the girls at the party get blindfolded and lined up naked. Then we are supposed to kneel and suck cocks until we correctly identify which is our boyfriends dick
J Street – a street in the Buckman notorious for prostitution. The trailers are often rented by crack heads and meth dealers.
J MART – an old run-down version of wal-mart or k-mart that sells off-brand merchandise.
Landing Strip – mentioned in Ch.16 is a local strip club where Angel’s sister works. It is next to a tiny local airport.
Pump-N-stump – gas station on route 51. In chapter 41, an unknown author of a letter mentions a daughter who worked there.
Rowdy’s Restaurant – A popular local restaurant where one of Ted’s ex-girlfriend/wives works. The family dined and dashed there and may not be welcome back.
Stop N. Play – Recreation Center: Unofficially known as “The Semen Hole” because it is on Seminole avenue (main street in park) – where the most prestigious double rides are also located.
Teen Detention Center – located in the old animal control building, it is run down and completely dilapidated. It stands right next to the new state of the art “Griffin Animal Rescue” – an easter egg reference from Family Feud.
Hard-Core Watchers – This is a small list of people who are considered “Hard Core Watchers” – who always V.I.P or watch
Skeeter Townley and his Grandson (Opie)
Donger (at times)
Alison and Tawny Haislip might be considered “Hard Core Watchers” as well – but they would not sit in V.I.P.. They remind me of the two old crotchety muppets who sit in the balcony and insist on watching every show but finding constant fault with it.
FIRST SET OF CAR WASH RULES:
Say Sir and Ma’am to everyone – even non-customers. Everyone is a potential customer except for Ding Dong and Methuselah (Trailer park crazies)
The girls hate to have to touch one another. Therefore they will be standing in the corner you and do it back to back, belly to belly or belly to back touching one another.
The girls are to wear bells when standing in the corner – if they jingle or move a muscle they are to be spanked.
Act like brats – but hot brats. Make them fall in love with you but don’t let them fall in love with you! You don’t want them to ever feel sorry for you.
Don’t trust the girls to go to the bathroom alone – they will waste too much time. Use the men’s bathroom – must be escorted and make sure they wipe.
No adjusting the bathing suit once it is on. It is just trying to flash to men.
Prices: 10 dollar hand wash, 20 dollar full wax and 50 dollars Premium service. Tips gladly accepted.
Lunch Prices: 5 dollars for:
1 Hot dog (with mayo or mustard 1 dollar extra) – girls supply the buns.
Handful of grapes
Milk shot- 1 dollar
Mini-Car wash scenarios
-Surly Bitches want a break
-Angry Bitches get jealous and start to argue
-Devious Bitches try to half-ass the job and get caught/break rules.
Bathroom Breaks: Morning and BedTime, 1pm and 4PM.
Buttplug rule: not to come out without permission and only if something else is going into or out of our assholes.
Sweet titty cheesecake- a term used for acting like a slutty ditz.
Sweet dick beefcake – if Lloyd does it.
Enema shows 20 dollars 25 dollars with polaroid
20 dollars for a BJ (finger in butt optional) – Ch. 61
CH. 24 New Rule: “Make my niece show you what she does at home for five dollars with the garden hose” – 5 dollars.
“No punching, and no spitting or scratching in the face. The first girl to pull off all the other girls clothes AND pin her wins!”
Ch. 33 Kisses on mouth 5 dollars, 4 dollars before 10 am. And after 4pm. Hugs are free (first one)
10 dollars a pull from the “Tub o’ learning”
Body Writing 5-10 dollars depending on body part and words.
Hose us down/hit with super-soaker 1 dollar, or 5 dollars to “Hunt us down”
“Tea Service” 10 dollars with Polaroid.
Electro Butt-plugs, with 30 foot range remote control. There are four settings gentle, pamper, hard and punish. USB recharging. It comes with a 2 oz tube of “E-shock” stimulating contact gel for electro sex, improves the contact between electrodes
Ch. 35 –Dominos are used
Top Bitch – Top bitch gets to punish the other bitches, she gets rewarded for telling on the other bitches. Top bitch gets to sleep in the bed, gets to eat the best food, gets to wear what she wants (but she should dress to entertain Ted). Top bitch is the ‘leader’ and can order around the bitches as long as it is does not countermand Ted’s orders.
The Top Bitch gets a larger share of the money earned while she is top bitch.
Regular Bitch – A regular bitch falls in the middle. The higher your pips the more privileges you might have “But don’t expect anything unless humiliation, pain and hardship is what you expect.”
Bottom Bitch – The lowest scoring bitch is going to have it the hardest. She is going to wear a larger butt plug, she is going to eat off the floor, she is going to sleep on the floor, she is going to crawl on the floor, she can be teased by all the other bitches.
The bottom bitch gives up 50% of any money earned to the Top Bitch while she is bottom bitch. This does not affect previous earnings.
Double Jeopardy Ted would be hanging on to our money until Sunday. “Anyone who tries to welch on the bet will lose all their earnings and it will be split up amongst the rest of us. If you want to spend your money between now and then you will come to me and I will decide if you can. “
Savannah – 4 pip
Crystal – 3 pip
Ellen - 3 pip
Lloyd -3 pip
Chapter 36 – Dominos are abandoned in favor of a profit-sharing system. The ‘bitches’ have to wear their percentage on collars marked with the numbers with small plastic dicks/asses/balls/asses.
Chapter 41 – Bowls are introduced and the new eating arrangements (on the floor – hands behind back)
Wurld’s Gretast Mom – Crystal
World’s Greatest son – Lloyd
Top Bitch – Savannah (subject to change – to the Top Bitch
‘I take big stinky shits’ Ellen
Ch.7 – “Cruise” Florida George Line – Hip Hop Remix – With Nelly
Ch. 8 – “Pour it Up” Rihanna
Ch.9 – “Spiderbaby” White Zombie
Ch. 11 “ You can crash my party anytime” Luke Bryan
Ch. 11 “ Gold” Macklemore
Ch. 11 Adventure Time (Cartoon lyrics)
Ch. 14 “Bands that make her dance” Juicy J
Ch. 15 “Benny and the Jets” Elton John
Ch. 15 “White Trash Beautiful” Everlast
Ch. 15 “Sweet Home Alabama” Alabama
Ch. 17 “You shook me all night long” AC/DC
Ch. 18 “Royals” – Lorde
Ch. 19 “Baby Got Back” – Sir Mix-A lot
Ch. 22 “Old flame can’t hold a candle to you” – Dolly Parton
Ch. 23 “The Man in Black” – Johnny Cash
Ch. 23 “Every Sperm is Sacred” – Monty Python
Ch. 25 “C.R.E.A.M” (Cash Rules Everything Around Me) – Wu Tang Clan
Ch. 25 “Beer with Jesus” – Thomas Rhett
Ch. 27 “Come on and Dance” – Motley Crue
Ch. 28 “Joker” – Steve Miller Band
Ch. 28 “Paradise City” Guns N. Roses
Ch. 30 “Play that Funky Music” White Cherry
Ch. 32 “Danger Zone” Kenny Loggins
Ch. 33 “Lucky Star” Madonna
Ch. 33 “Jessie’s Girl” Rick Springfield
Ch. 39 “Girl’s Just Wanna Have Fun” Cindi Lauper
Ch, 39 “In the Air Tonight” Phil Collins (parody)
Ch 43 “She is a Beauty” The Tubes
Ch. 44 “Great green globs of greasy, grimy gopher guts” Conner
Ch. 54 Justin Moore “Lettin the Night Roll”
Ch. 63 “Born in East L.A.” Cheech Marin
Ch. 66 “Jamie’s Cryin’” Van Halen
Ch. 67 “Beer song” Weird Al
Mathew 5:27-36 I say, anyone who even looks at a woman with lust has already committed adultery with her in his heart. So if your eye—even your good eye causes you to lust, gouge it out and throw it away. It is better for you to lose one part of your body than for your whole body to be thrown into hell. And if your hand even your stronger hand causes you to sin, cut it off and throw it away.
MAW-MAW’S VOCABULARY WORDS:
Fulsome Ch. 41 – originally said by Conner, -Complimentary or flattering to an excessive or even offensive degree. Of large size or quantity; generous or abundant.
Hiraeth – Ch. 26 A welsh term that has no direct English translation. It means a homesickness for a home to which you cannot return. A home which maybe never was. The nostalgia, the grief, the yearning for the lost places of your past!
Jackanapes Ch. 40 a sneaky or mischievous child, a carker.
Lalochezia – the emotional relief from using abusive or vulgar language
Prevaricate – Ch. 25 to avoid telling the truth by not directly answering the question.
Malapert Ch. 33 Impudently bold in speech or manner; saucy. An impudent, saucy person. Boldly disrespectful to a person of higher standing. This word is gender neutral, so it's equally applicable to both male and female.
ALSO: Malapert is a lunar crater that lies near the southern limb of the Moon. From the Earth this formation is viewed from the side, limiting the amount of detail that can be seen. The crater is also illuminated at very low angles, so that parts of the interior remain in almost constant darkness.
Meraki (n.) (A greek word with no direct translation) the soul, creativity, or love put into something; the essence of yourself that is put into your work
Nazlanmak (Ch. 50) – pretending reluctance when you are eager, saying no when you mean yes, Turkish
Sillage (n.) the scent that lingers in air, the trail left in water, the impression made in space after something or someone has been and hone; the trace of someone's perfume.
Snarkastic – Ch. 34 – not actually a Maw-Maw word. It is a cross between sarcastic and snarky that was invented for pretty much everything Savannah says.
RELATIVE TIME LINE:
DAY ONE: Friday – The family arrives and Ellen plays the game of life
DAY TWO: Saturday – Ellen plays Cowboys and Indians – Baptism under fire at the Buckman.
DAY THREE: Sunday – Ellen washes cars – Goes to Rowdy’s Restaurant - later that night she gets in trouble
DAY FOUR: Monday – Ellen washes cars at the Semen Hole
DAY FIVE: Tuesday – New day at the Semen Hole – Lloyd joins her
DAY SIX: Wednesday – (Ch. 26) Ted takes over
DAY SEVEN: Thursday (Ch. 41) Daisy joins the team
DAY EIGHT: FRIDAY (Ch. 59) Big leagues
Current Split: Daisy wins 5% from bet
10% Odd-Job’s cut
5% Ted’s cut
20% Crystal’s Cut
10% Savannah’s Cut –Bottom Bitch
15% My Cut – Bottom Bitch
20% Lloyd’s Cut
5% Conner’s Cut
10% Daisy’s Cut
5% Catfish’s Cut
HISTORY OF THE BUCKMAN PART ONE (AS TOLD BY THE LEANER TO ELLEN) Ch. 33
In the 1950s and 1960s this area was booming. There was a quarry pit because there was so much construction. The Bitterman brothers were local land developers and they speculated heavily on land in this region.
Senior was a business partner and executive who initially started the Buckman as temporary homes for construction workers. He built a theme park, hotels, restaurants and the town pretty much sprang up around that.
The Buckman was eventually going to be torn down and replaced with permanent homes for his workers but that project got cancelled when the expected Interstate never came this way as he had been told. He had been acting on inside information from his employer and when they found out – they let him invest heavily and ruined him financially.
The quarry and construction jobs dried up and the Buckman remained the trailer park it was going to always be. Senior tried for a while to make the park a retirement community and a vacation destination but there was simply not enough out here for people to want to see and the interstate made it easier to go to places like Cherry Lawn (where the real land development netted them millions).
Senior did not remain idle. He would not let his former employers ruin him.
He became a miserly slum-lord who ruled the area with an iron-fist. He had a band of bikers who did his dirty work and they ran rough-shod over the Trailer park for years. Senior expanded the Buckman into multiple nearby trailer parks and absorbed them all. He owns several other parks in the area but the Buckman is by far the largest and most notorious.
There were entire streets that people simply didn’t go down unless they wanted to get robbed.
I asked the Leaner who would want to get robbed but he hushed me and continued his story.
“The schools, the water, the electricity – nothing in this area got down without Senior’s approval. He ran big brothels and strip clubs, drugs, gun-running, chop-shops to sell auto-parts. A guy could have his car stolen on Tuesday and then buy it back at one of Senior’s dealerships on Wednesday with a fresh paint-job, a tune-up and a new vin number.”
PART TWO – As told by Crystal with help from some of the others at the table (Chapter 39)
Senior Gaylord had an iron grip on the town. The expected highway had never come through but he had managed to find a way to make the area profitable. He had opened quarry pits and there were jobs here in lumber and agriculture as well.
The manufacturing jobs went to Cherry Lawn and with them the white-collar executive office park jobs.
He had a bitter rivalry with his old business partners and they tried several times to blackmail Senior and bankrupt him.
He opened a theme park, a demolition derby, several drive-in theaters and the restaurant that was there before it became Rowdy’s. The town wasn’t much but it thrived like a weed in the shadow of Cherry Lawn’s Garden.
I had no idea our towns were so interconnected. It explained why people instantly vilified me for being from there. We lived a good distance away – I had never even heard of Buckman when I was growing up.
All good things eventually start to turn to shit – at least according to Crystal. The cops and the Mayor’s office all were in Senior’s hip pocket. If he wanted to make someone disappear – they just disappeared and no one investigated.
Then the pendulum began to swing the other way. Over two decades ago, a new mayor and town leaders were chosen who wanted to clean up the town and make it a ‘dry county’.
There was no booze for sale and they closed down all the totally nude clubs and left only the bikini bar. The holy-rollers started to move into the town and clean things up and for a while everyone thought this was a really good thing.
Crystal explained that Senior was a very hard man. He had a new girl every few weeks and when he was tired of her – people just didn’t see her anymore. He had an eye for pretty high school girls and prom-queens and the rumor was if he had an eye on you then you didn’t have much choice in this matter. He would throw money at the girl, cars, drugs whatever it took and if that didn’t work then he would use other means to scare her into being his.
Senior was pretty much a tyrant. He had brought order and prosperity to the town but the cost was people were pretty much scared shitless of him.
The people were ready for a change and my Aunt admitted – she bought right into it and joined the local church and the P.T.A and all that.
Savannah’s recollection of her mother’s sainthood during this time was a bit different but the point was – the town shut down many of its vices. The bars and the nightlife was one of the few things that made the town interesting to many of the construction and quarry-pit workers.
The industries started to pull out but the town persisted down the path it had started. Senior started to become more reclusive and take a less active role in the running of his business.
O.J. was his right-hand man. He had been one of his loyal workers from the very start of things and he stepped into the number two spot. “O.J. used to wear a suit and have a full head of hair back then! You should have seen him.”
O.J. overheard us talking about him and laughed that it was a long time ago and ancient history ‘best left buried’.
We kept talking though and I learned that there were several scandals during the 1990s that changed the town forever.
The church we had passed had sex scandals that rocked the town. “Most people who believe are good folks but when some of their leaders turned out to be deeply perverted – it killed that church.”
There had been a church-camp, church-socials, church-school – it sounded like it added a moral backbone to the town and some much needed culture. Savannah didn’t seem to like it but Crystal assured me at the time everyone thought it was for the best that the church influence Buckman. “They even had Petra play here one time”.
I had never heard of that band but Crystal thought I should have.
I didn’t learn if it was Pastor Gary at the center of it or he was just one of several people who were part of the scandals but from what I understood – it was much more than your run of the mill kind of scandals.
“People cheat on their wives and girlfriends all the time around here,” Crystal explained that this was much worse and their fall from grace was much greater but didn’t explain further.
She said that this was not the only scandal that rocked the town. The real trouble began when Senior took an interest in the mayor’s daughter. She was prom-queen and destined to go on to greater things.
Senior had to have her and he and the Mayor butted heads over it. The last anyone heard of the Mayor he had been busted down to running the garbage dump and his daughter moved into Senior’s house. This hadn’t been a private pissing match – the entire town had been aware of the gossip and when the mayor lost – his supporters pretty much left town.
At the same time O.J. and Senior had a falling out. I didn’t learn what it was about but it sounded like O.J. betrayed his boss over something and instead of getting rid of him – he exiled him to head maintenance man of the Buckman Acres Trailer Park. O.J’s official position is just a cover for his real position. He can shake people down to pay him through fines, cutting off their electricity or water, and he has his hands in all the weed dealers and prostitutes who work out of their trailers and any other ilicit scams -like ours.
Senior became even more isolated after that struggle played out and no one has seen him leave his mansion since then. His eldest son “Junior” lives in the Buckman and technically runs all of his father’s businesses for him but he doesn’t have the same ambition or drive of his father.
Tammy is Junior’s eldest sister and she owns the beauty salon and a few small businesses but she doesn’t take an active role in running them. There was a lot between Junior, Tammy and Maw-Maw that I wasn’t being told but keep in mind – Crystal was somewhat drunk when she told me this anyway and kept repeating “In the strictest of confidence” as she did.
I was told Maw-Maw is Junior’s sister but we weren’t allowed to discuss it at the table for fear that Ted would get upset about talking about his mother
THINGS ACTIVELY WRITTEN ON THE GIRLS CH. 41
“World’s Greatest M0M” on Crystal
Angry tits (smiling line) next to Crystal’s belly-ring
“World’s Greatest S0N” supposed to be on Lloyd
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS AND OBSERVATIONS
From time to time I receive questions (or observations) from readers and I’ve noticed a pattern. I will offer some responses with the caveat that these may contain spoilers.
Q: What State/County/Region is Hard Times set in?
A: I do not specify the state because I want the place to seem familiar but not exact to the reader. If you hear it is Tennessee and you have never been you may find it more difficult to picture. The state is some mid-west or southern state and that gives people more frame of reference.
Buckman is the name of the town and Buckman Acres is the name of the trailer park. If you would like some trivia Ellen is from the affluent community of Cherry Lawn Estates. (The same suburb of white-picket fences and 2 story houses that the Taylors from Family Feud live in). The name of her town is Cherry Lawn.
At some point in the history of these two towns a highway was supposed to go through Buckman that would promise a lot of new jobs and commerce. This never happened and instead it went through Cherry Lawn. The Bitterman family (and by extension) the Griffin family from Family Feud profited greatly from land speculation and development of Cherry Lawn.
The Gaylord family was shafted because they were told the highway would go through the Buckman but they managed to prosper in any case by building a community of mostly white-trash. Buckman is mostly rural and it’s like many places in America where old roller skating rinks, run-down K-mart shopping centers, bowling alleys and truck stops are the only culture and entertainment in the area.
Ted Gaylord is from a branch of the family that is not as affluent but still feels a sense of entitlement.
Q: Not all trailer parks are full of white-trash shitkickers and sluts!!
A: A lot of what I write in my story are observations growing up in a trailer park. I agree – there are some fancy double-wide trailer parks and the Buckman is not that. It is a massive collection of smaller parks that were developed cheaply and haven’t been maintained very well in an area of depressed economic opportunities.
It does have a lot of white-trash and sluts in it. This is a story about that culture. If you have no idea what that is like I can rectify that for you. Visit the people of Walmart website or better just walk around there some and you will probably start to see the kind of people who inhabit my story.
I sometimes go to wal-mart and see people who I wouldn’t put in my story simply because I think you won’t believe that this is these people’s reality. Tube-tops and short-shorts, Guys who flash strangers for a thrill, white guys who dress like gangstas and corn roll their hair, Rednecks in camouflage with beards like Duck Dynasty – that is what you’ll find in this story.
Q: You aren’t very nice to your characters. Why wouldn’t anyone stop this?
A: If you have ever been to an all-day concert you’ll sometimes find families walking around admidst the crowded beer-infused throngs at the porta-potties and mosh-pits amongst the girls flashing and the people chugging beer bongs. This is the reality at that event.
I think it is very easy to imagine a well ordered, very logical setting where there are adequate social services that would provide the needed support and response to the fact that in one trailer the mom has three teenage daughters who are sluts and/or who are selling booty for cigarettes and weed.
This is not that place.
If you’ve ever driven past an old run-down motel and saw people who apparently LIVE in that motel – this is that reality.
I am not NICE to my characters in part because there has to be a challenge and a conflict for my story to be enjoyable to me to write. I beat up my characters but dangle some hope and give them a chance to overcome the obstacles.
If Indiana Jones doesn’t get punched and knocked down and tied up by the bad-guy – how are you going to root for him when he finally gets the bad-guy?
Q: Something Ted did was illogical or I disagreed with.
A: Ted is not a rational man who is logical. He is a small man with something to prove. He is lazy, narcissistic, and often seeks short-cuts to getting rich as opposed to good planning. You will most likely watch him learn from his mistakes and evolve but he has to make those mistakes to see him learn from them.
Q: But seriously though, Ted put weights or binders on Crystal’s tits for a long time and the longest you should leave them on there is four hours (or some other irresponsible behavior Ted did).
A: Ted is not a rational man who is logical/reads BDSM guidelines and studies websites before he does anything. Do you remember someone in your family who *REFUSED* to ask for street directions no matter how lost they got? How about *INSISTED* on opening the box on Christmas and just putting some gift together without ever once reading the instructions? Even if there are bolts missing/left over they said “Well, those are just extras.”
They see directions/instructions as a sign of weakness on some level.
How about if they lit a cigarette *RIGHT BEFORE* they tried to lift a heavy couch so the smoke goes up in their face? Same guy you knew, right?
You know those people who hear a commercial that says “Talk to a doctor before taking this medicine” and actually talk to a doctor? “Hey Doc, can I take Tylenol?”
Ted is not that guy who asks the doctor. He is the guy who opens the box and throws the instructions away. He would say “Yeah you dummy, I took eight fucking Tylenol just now.” So yes – he does things outside of the official standards and takes risks.
You should not model your life on Ted and what he does.
Q: I would like Conner to be more assertive. Why doesn’t he just speak up?
A: Conner is a nerd and younger than Ellen. He comes from a reality where grown-ups are the ultimate authority and he has never had to question that because his life has been frosted cereals and video games up to this point and he had no reason to question the wisdom of his parents in their decisions.
He does now but in order to see him evolve – just as with the question about Ted, you must see him make mistakes and learn from them.
Q: I found it implausible in Ch. 11 that Ellen’s mom would allow the nudity as part of the punishment – why is that? If she is this woman who lived in Suburbia “normal white-bread” area, why did she not forbid this punishment?
A: I will say that you can rationalize it this way. Ellen’s Mom (Patricia) is very stressed out without her husband there and they just lost EVERYTHING: job, house, car, all their stuff, money, they NEED money in order to just pay off their debts to have nothing.
Ellen was already seen naked and the punishment seems to be working and Patricia has to go. She was also being goaded by her sister.
However, You were supposed to find it implausible in any case and congratulations if you did. There is some foreshadowing about Ellen’s moms past and what she is doing now that will provide context clues.
Q: Who was that person that was following Ellen’s Mom in Ch. 9 when they visit Rowdy’s?
A: Hmmm, that is a context clue as to why Ellen’s mom may have bigger concerns and/or more open mind than we realized.
Q: When is Ellen’s father (Mike) going to return?
A: If Mike returned immediately Ellen would have to explain what she is doing and he would know about it.
Do you not think it’s a much more interesting story to keep her wondering (and you wondering) when/if she is going to be found out?
Isn’t that part of the risk of flashing/exposure? Not getting caught but rather the possibility that you might?
Q: There is not enough tension. I think Ellen would protest more these spankings and goings on.
A: Ellen is a complex character that thinks she is simple to understand. She like most teenage girls her age has grown up with constant mixed messages that will paint her perceptions.
As an example, she often describes herself as frumpy and not that attractive compared to her more beautiful cousin. This is because in her mind this is true.
Then at times I describe her as looking like Ellen Page (the actress) who is gorgeous and often plays teenagers in roles like Juno. I describe her body and the reaction of people who see it as anything but the kind you would expect if she was frumpy.
She has a hard time admitting she is pretty. She isn’t “Barbie Doll” pretty like Savannah but she is certainly attractive.
She has grown up with mixed messages about ‘good girls don’t’ and at the same time Miley Cyrus showing her tits on stage to get notoriety. She protests at times having to do these things and yet – she does them and she sometimes find she enjoys it. She is confused by this reaction and that is HOW she should feel because she wonders if she really likes it, or just some of it, or if she is just an optimist trying to find the bright side.
Ellen also has peer pressure to continue from her Aunt’s family, and the fact that she has agreed to do something to help the family (A worthy goal). She may at times lose sight of why she is doing these things but she has also been painted as a girl who tries to get extra-credit on science projects and was always a stickler for establishment and rules in the past before moving to the Buckman.
Once she got there Crystal and Savannah started to impress on her the idea she could be a bad girl if she wanted to and it was empowering.
Ellen grew up being told “you can do anything you want to” and “Women are equal to men” and Crystal and Savannah are from a culture where men are DISTINCTLY DIFFERENT and behave entirely different then women. The men are often philandering drunks but they provide paychecks and Crystal clearly has a string of failed relationships that is in stark contrast to Ellen’s mom who has been married to the same man since college.
Ellen’s tension is in her head. She isn’t saying “ABSOLUTELY NO!” and being forced because then she would seem entirely innocent and I would feel pity for her. She is choosing to do these things reluctantly for reasons even she has yet to discover and will continue to discover as the story continues. She is an active participant in what happens to her – even if at times she is tricked, betrayed, blackmailed or humiliated.
I find no “Tension” in tying someone up like a rag-doll and doing mean things to that person or forcing them to behave totally against their nature with threat of violence. I am not against doing it in my story but it is not an overwhelming theme.
Q: You included something (fetish, themes, characters, situations) I do not personally like in your story. Do not do that.
A: My story crosses taboos in part because it is a STORY FOR ADULTS about things that do not actually hurt anyone for entertainment. I talk about things you may never do because at that juncture in this story I think they happen.
In Friday the Thirteenth movies people go camping and someone in a ski mask comes and stalks and kills them.
Are the makers of the films big advocates of that happening in real life? Are they suggesting you should enjoy this happening to people in real life?
(I hope the rhetorical answer you would reach is ‘no’).
How is my story any different?
The people, places, references in my story seem organic to me and they happen. I hope they don’t offend you but at the same time – I know I cannot please everyone and I decided to stop trying.
Q: There are too many jokes in your story. I find it implausible that a character made a joke (during this one event).
A: In porno there are certain rules of reality that do not exist in my reality. Hot girls always want to have sex, pizza guys have big dicks and time to fuck you, no one ever talks about politics, religion or cracks jokes unless they are dumb dirty jokes, etc.
In porn literature stories, if the author has a taboo about age then NO one exists who is under 18 that ever comes into contact with anyone in the story. It is a world of people who simply do not have anyone under 18 who plays any role in the story.
It reminds me of Glee or Welcome Back Kotter. Almost all the student actors are in their late 20s and so in reality when you finally get to high school – the only one who looks like Horshack or Epstein are your teachers.
In my real life, I joke when shit gets weird around me and bad things happen. I have a dark sense of humor and I laugh a lot (because bad shit happens a lot I guess). It helps me to deal with it. Some of my characters do this as well.
They will talk politics (even if it’s not my politics), religion (and yes, I get that some of you hold it sacred) but this is a story not about YOU – and some of these characters are reprehensible.
I also include all sorts of songs, computer games, sports, cultures, etc that I am not actively a fan of/do. I like to do that because sometimes the reader will go “WOW, they play WORLD OF WARCRAFT? SO DO I!” or “Oh my gosh! A Stewie Diver? I am from Australia and that is what we say!! How cool is that!”
I reference books, literature, all sorts of stuff in my story. I think its fun in a story to have other stuff besides “She sucked his dick”.
In almost all of my stories the Pastor Garys and Deacon Dans who are fallen men of faith tend to get their asses kicked eventually. I don’t condone kicking the ass of people of faith – just scumbags.
I will study biblical verses, Indian sex-rites, Babylon Five – and include it in the story in a way that seems meaningful if I think the character is into it. I don’t like my characters to only be interested in sex (unless that character really is that single-focused).
Q: Didn’t Ellen’s hymen break when she stuck (this) in her twat?
A: Hymens don’t break. They can tear and that is what is meant by a ‘cherry’ but in reality they are not draped membranes that cover an opening. If they were – you couldn’t menstruate. They are different depending on the woman but there are a lot of myths about hymens.
Q: Where are Ellen’s Mom and Dad?
A: The official answer is that they are staying in a cheap motel in town because they have no transportation and need to focus on working double shifts.
If I wanted you to know exactly where they are I would have told you in the story. I want you to speculate on this one as well. It is very possible they are dutifully pulling double shifts at Waffle House and sweeping floors or perhaps Mike left town and went back to his family and left Ellen’s mom to save the family!
Q: What is Junior’s deal? Why did he set up security cameras in their home? That is crazy!!
A: Junior is the eldest son to the richest man in the town. Senior (his father) had carte blanche to do anything he wanted and controlled not only local law enforcement but all the public utilities as well.
If you can imagine growing up in his shadow – being the son of the most powerful and most ruthless man in the town and being groomed to fill his shoes you might expect him to be an unusual man with unusual tastes.
Does he want to be his father and pick up where he left off? Does he get off on voyeurism? These are questions that I do not answer in the early chapters and may never really get into.
For now all you need to know is that they had security cameras and O.J. and his staff are qualified electricians and have the skills to hook them up on close-circuit to Junior’s home. I’ve actually been in a trailer park where the manager did this and would routinely watch his park from home on black and white monitors and switch between them while eating dinner or lunch.
The Buckman was once several smaller trailer parks and they now all belong to Junior’s dad after years of rivalry and acquisitions with their owners. Junior has plenty of free-time.
Q: Early in the story when Crystal is punishing both Savannah and Ellen in front of Ellen’s mom (Patricia) Savannah protests vehemently because she is not used to being punished or taking her mom’s threats seriously.
Crystal whispers something into Savannah’s ear and Savannah quickly changes her tune and agrees to a very humiliating punishment without much argument other than a stubborn “Fine, let’s just get this over with”.
What was it that Crystal whispered?
A: It is important to note that Crystal was something of a permissive mom. She is the older sister but she felt some pressure from her younger sibling to step up and be a responsible parent. She may have been handing out the punishment with a tongue in cheek “Okay, how about I just go overboard” or she may simply have been ill-equipped to think of an appropriate punishment for the situation.
Savannah knows her mom’s bark is worse than her bite and she knows the punishments never stick so she may have been agreeing safe in the knowledge Crystal would go back to bed and they could forget it – easier than arguing it.
She may have also been concerned about the whispered threat that Crystal gave her if she did put up a stink/fight about doing what she was told.
What was the whisper? If I had wanted you to stop wondering I would have told you. I would imagine it was worse in Savannah’s mind than what she was doing for a punishment.
Savannah loves games – board games, pretend games, games of chance and skill. She likes truth or dare and that sort of thing. She may have also had a passing interest in seeing how far this one would go.
Savannah can be manipulated by making things seem like a game/bet and/or calling her a chicken. Even though she is streetwise and tries to avoid losing such games - she was not about to let Ellen take all the heat for something and make it seem like she was too afraid to do it.
It is also implied that Savannah has done some dare-games before Ellen ever arrived where the consequences may have been sexual. Spin the bottle, eating worms, all the typical child-hood dare games and a little more.
Q: Who is Ted’s dad?
A: Interesting Trivia: Maw-Maw was married to “Skeeter” one of the hard-core watchers at the pool for many years while Ted was growing up. Ted and Daisy are like many in the Buckman - they do not know their biological father growing up but have a series of step-dads.
They come from a line of the Gaylord family that has very little money and Ted’s side of the family developed a reputation as being someone who is all talk/does not deliver when he was younger that he is trying to live down.
Q: Who is Lloyd’s real dad and who is older Savannah or Lloyd?
A: At some point early in the story Crystal tells a story about how they got Zeus and Ares (their dogs). They aren’t supposed to have such big dogs with such small yards but Crystal has managed to get an exception (no doubt through favors and being ripped off by O.J.).
We never know if this story is true or false but apparently Lloyd’s real dad told him they were “wolves” and that they would protect him until real dad could return. They were not wolves at all (pit bull mixed breeds instead) but apparently to Lloyd they are and they mean a lot to him.
Lloyd and Savannah are close in age and while Savannah appears older than Ellen in years – she is just more mature, they are actually the same age. Lloyd is the older one but not by much. They were born as “Irish twins” (9 months apart).
Q: Can I write fan fiction about your characters?
A: I tend to write stories I would enjoy reading in the hopes someone else is inspired to write one.
I would be flattered if you did and Stories online has a section for you to add stories to my Family Feud “Universe”. You can write about characters you wish had more ‘screen time’ or wondered about like Cathy Griffin and her family, or flesh out something the main characters did that I faded to black on and you are like “Here is what Jamie Taylor’s date night was like when her brother rented her out to his friend” or make up entirely new people who live in the Buckman or Cherry Lawn.
I would love it.
Even if you don’t use my settings or characters – if I influence you to write at all and tell stories – please do let me know. I’d love to know that.
Q: Your story is too long.
A: No, it is not. I have read that you pick a point in your main character’s life when the most interesting thing happened and write about that – when that stops happening then your story ends.
This story will last as long as it needs to last until it concludes.
It can be overwhelming or perhaps intimidating to see a LONG story. Imagine 40 chapters are 40 individual stories that are connected if that helps you.
Just when I start to fall in love with characters in someone else’s story – they end it. I like to develop characters and background and evolve them over time.
Q: A Trailer park/dirt poor people is depressing.
A: Fifty Shades of Grey is a story about a beautiful, young, single woman with an improbable name “ Anastasia Steele” who goes to a business magnate with an equally improbable name “Christian Grey” and stays at his mansion, shares limos and champagne and law-dee-daw.
I hear it is pretty good. You might try reading that if that is your interest.
He has all this money invested in the infrastructure to keep her captive and train her and yet with the money he has he could just hire porn stars to PLAY the role and only deal with it when he has time and interest to deal with it. He doesn’t have to convince anyone of anything.
I like to let my reader smell the smells, feel the feels, see what I envision. I try to paint the environment that is a reality to my characters. I cannot write about epic space battles any more than I can set my story in a fancy mansion and not want to wretch simply because I know nothing about these settings and would not enjoy writing them even if I did.
I need a little dysfunction in my characters in order to function. I would also never name my character something I would find in an old ladies harlequin romance novel like “Anastasia Steele”. I would sooner pinch names from Family Guy (lol).
I need my characters’ lives not to be perfect. They have family, past, flaws, hubris – that makes them interesting to me and real. I also need a setting I know well enough to be able to describe like I have been there- so you can go there in my story.
Q: In Ch. 37 who was the man in the bathroom stall and who took Ellen’s clothes?
A: If I had wanted you to know who that was at the time you read it – I would have told you in the story. Who do you think it was? Red McHerring or possibly Mike Tinkle (Ellen’s father?), maybe Donger taking a shit?
I wanted you to wonder. I love to fade to black in my story and make you wonder about some loose ends that I can tie up later (or leave you wondering about).
It does seem strange that a person would steal a slutty girl’s clothes who undressed in the bathroom and then jerk off on them. It does seem strange that this person knew what car to put them on.
I wonder if those are clues?
Q: This story is too much like Family Feud
A: Family Feud is a great story – my first response would be “Why would you not want another story just like that one?”
Having said that – I feel it is very different but exactly the same!
What I mean is that in some regards the story is very much the same.
The main characters are people from a modern Norman Rockwell version of white-bread middle America whose lives are affluent shopping malls, Starbucks and Panera bread. They do Pilates and have nicely maintained yards and the story upsets that carefully manicured life with a different reality.
It is different because in this case while Ellen is optimistic, naïve and sheltered like Jamie Taylor – Jamie is a popular upperclassman and varsity cheerleader while Ellen is little more awkward and sits up in the bleachers with a small collection of friends.
Chris Taylor was an introverted nerd much like Conner but even that there are many differences. Chris was always thought of as a slacker and underachiever and he lived up to his reputation in a self-fulfilling prophecy. He became big and fat and lazy whereas Conner is not.
You will find the characters do some of the same things. Someone observed they had sex behind a dumpster in both stories.
Yep – that’s kind of nasty. They also suck dicks which happens in both stories too. You will definitely find similar themes.
I suppose though Star Trek and Star Wars are similar because they both fly space ships and visit strange planets by this logic.
I include characters from both stories because I like to do cross-over but also because the actions in one story affected people in another – sometimes indirectly.
I think the writing of Family Feud was different because it was also often from different points of view and other narratives while this is almost exclusively Ellen’s point of view.
If my story is “like” anything – I guess it’s a bit of a compliment that it is like “Family Feud – since that is one of my favorite stories.
I feel it is different “enough” and yet similar “enough” to be a different story.
Q: What are your weaknesses as an author?
A: I have a lot of weaknesses and I would say the top ones are I continue to make the same grammar mistakes. I have some loyal friends who keep looking at my stories and telling me when they see a mistake – that is a huge help.
In interest of their privacy/modesty I won’t mention their names but they know who they are and they do it for the love of erotic stories and as my friends – much appreciated and thank you!
I also tend to be terrible at what I call “Fluff”. You know the fluffer who sucks the guys dicks off-camera before they go on screen in a porno in order to get them hard so they can perform?
Fluff in the story is what does that – for male readers to jack off to the story.
It usually involves detailed descriptions of who put what in what hole and what they said about it when they did. My writing is sexually descriptive and I love to create situations that are going to turn you on and give you fantasies but I tend to be poorest at writing about the actual sex-act and saying from moment to moment how it all went down.
I do it – but I wish I was better at it or I could press a ‘fluff button’ and some girl off-screen would just suck your dick for you while you read my story.
Q: Where did ted get a Polaroid camera in ch. 44? Those are very rare and they require special film.
A: You know how you clean out your old shed and you sell crap that you’ve had since the 1970s like some glass tube filled with blue and clear liquid that you plug in and set on your TV and it moves up and down creating a wave affect.
You know who buys that shit? People who live in the Buckman.
Once it is there – they sell it or steal it from each other or find it in the trash. A good example is Chrystal has an integrated stereo that has record player, cassette and 8-track all built into one unit. This is just a bunch of old junk.
Ted also suddenly has cash but is surrounded by stores like Spencer’s Gifts and Walmart that sell trashy crap and goes out and buys NEW crap – but it is still crap.
The short answer is that he had the Polaroid sitting around in the closet and decided to make money off of it.