A Writer’s Puzzler

Somewhat in homage to Tom Magliozzi, the late (and great) co-host of NPR’s hit radio show, Car Talk, I present to you, my esteemed readers – a writer’s puzzler:

“DJ has been working on his Nanowrimo novel and has just surpassed 30,000 words. Using 1,667 words per day as the required average, he is right on track to clear the 50,000 words needed to win by the deadline of midnight on November 30th. His book is a culinary cozy mystery, and is the sequel to last year’s Nano-novel, also a culinary mystery.”

“DJ is a man with little focus many talents and interests. He has also been working on a historical novel, which, like the mysteries, has a backdrop of culinary themes. This novel is more a thriller than a mystery.”

“So given DJ’s penchant for writing cozy mysteries, and his recent foray into the world of historical fiction/thrillers, and – given the fact he took his car to the shop for a $16 state inspection and came away later with a new serpentine belt and tensioner (at a cost much higher than $16) – what can he now claim to be?”

The obvious answer would be BROKE!

But wait – Tom and Ray would have you wait until the next week to get the answer to this puzzler. They also would have asked you to send in your answers written on the back of a twenty dollar bill. But that’s not necessary here!

The answer:

DJ can now claim to be a published author. Yep. Someone has foolishly wisely decided to publish one of his stories in a new literary review. And pay him. Money. Really.

And was this winning entry a mystery? Not even close. A thriller? Pa-shaw.  (But I will say The New Yorker will probably be aghast they passed on the story a few months ago , but oh, well. They missed out.)

Explanation: I took a dare to write out of my comfort zone so I decided to pen a 2,500 word vignette about a disillusioned school teacher at a very exclusive private school. I won’t give out any spoilers, but the tale doesn’t end with a box full of kittens and puppies.

So now you know! More details on the new Lit Review will be forthcoming, but trust me – you will hear about it! But between now and the pub date (tentatively set for distribution in very late December,) it is time to go back to the Nanowrimo slog. A slog, for those not in the know, is one level lower than grind.

DJ sends.




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