Swing And A Miss

View from the Plane

Commander Rochelle “Rocky the Flying Squirrel” Wisoff- Landing Fields will be your pilot for the trip.  Check out her flight plan on the Friday Fictioneers blog.

The picture is hers, too.  Coffee, tea or milk?

In the TV and movie business, the presentation of ideas, commonly called “pitching,” can be tedious to both parties.  It’s tedious to the writer, who has to invent the ideas and to the TV or movie producer, who has to see if they have potential or not to be presented to the public in final form.

For instance …


“Your attention, please, folks.  The good news is we’re not going to Cuba.  The bad news is, you’re still being hijacked.”  Dan Cooper brandished his gun, bailed out over Tacoma with twenty-thousand dollars and was never seen again.

“So, what do you think, Marv?”

“I have enough ‘D.B. Cooper stories’ sent to me.  All tripe.  They never set me to dancin’.  Period.  What else ya got?”

“This one …?”

Navigator Fred Noonan and Pilot Amelia Earhart boarded their plane not knowing their flight would be famous … and their love affair an eternal secret.

“Well, Marv?”

“I need a drink!”


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61 Responses to Swing And A Miss

  1. Dear Kent,

    Whoa! I’d buy that story. Bravo! A home run!!!!



  2. Haha, three stories within one short one. Very clever.

  3. Anita says:

    At least 1 true story (Of Amelia Earhart) here. Nicely expressed 🙂 Stories within your story 🙂

    • wmqcolby says:

      Actually, both are true, to a point. D.B. Cooper did hijack a plane, but not in that way. Amelia Earhart did disappear over the ocean but did not have a love affair with her navigator (although there are people who believe that, but there’a no evidence).

      Thanks for reading, Anita!

  4. Sandra says:

    The producer’s boredom just drips through the piece. What a way to spend your day, hey? Squashing other peoples’ ideas. Nice one.

  5. rgayer55 says:

    Could you throw in an Elvis sighting? Put him on the wing or something.

    • wmqcolby says:

      I think he’d have to fight the gremlin for the space on the wing! In fact, I think I saw Elvis in line at O’Reilly buying a car battery or something …

      Thanks for stopping by, Russell!

  6. elmowrites says:

    As writers we all fear the slush pile – I’m not sure whether this glance into it from the other side makes me feel better or worse!

    • wmqcolby says:

      It’s just a game they play. Besides, if one doesn’t like it, someone else will. Like the gun and the rabbit’s foot — if one doesn’t work, use the other. 😀

  7. helenmidgley says:

    You’re such a clever weaver 😉

  8. Nice! And why couldn’t there have been an affair? Oops. Does that put me in the realm of the believers? And go D.B. what a mystery that is.

    • wmqcolby says:

      I’m just happy to know you’re having fun with it. Enjoy all the possibilities. You don’t know … there might be a good story in it for YOU! 🙂 Thanks for reading, Alicia!

  9. I think Amelia went into orbit.. Her plane has been sighted many times, and the love affair has to be true.

    • wmqcolby says:

      Haha! Hey, man! Good seeing you again! Love that shot of you and Dawn! Looks like the Fictioneers are getting together a lot these days. Yes, Amelia is the Flying Dutchwoman while Fred takes a backseat. Thanks for reading! Going to yours now.

  10. Love the conversation! I can hear it loud and clear! Great story 🙂

  11. The Earhart story is intriguing. Maybe not a series but definitely mini series material.
    Do they still do those?

  12. storydivamg says:

    First, your introduction was almost as entertaining as your flash this week. .Guess you know Miss Rocky pretty well, huh? She’s an awesome friend, for sure.

    As to your flash, I feel the producers’ pain. At least once a week it seems I find myself in the position where it becomes necessary to tell a budding writer “That story’s already been told at least 500 times.” Of course, not being a big-time producer, I generally try to deliver that message without crushing the writer’s spirit, but honestly! If your moralistic tale was first told several millenia ago by Aesop, then it probably needs a fresh twist in order to find an audience today. (End of rant.)

    All my best,
    Marie Gail

  13. Dear TV or Movie producer,.

    I liked your writer’s pitches. Too bad you didn’t pick up on them.
    How about the writer who invites his producer on a plane ride to a far off place and opens the emergency hatch half way through the trip and shoves the producer out of the plane because he keeps rejecting the writer’s ideas – only to find out the producer knew the writer had planned all along, and wore a parachute, and then shot at the writer as he pushed the producer out of the plane, but the shot missed the writer hitting the side of the plane causing the plane to go down killing all aboard and then landing on top of the producer, killing him,too .

    Surely, that would be a great story.

    or, you could simply have an Elvis sighting like Gayer suggested.


    • wmqcolby says:

      Dear Writer’s Village,
      Please try to remember the words of Sherman Duffy of the Chicago Globe who described a reporter (writers, too, could be in that mix as well) as socially fitting in somewhere between a hooker and a bartender and spiritually standing beside Galileo because he knows the world is round … not that it does much good when his editor knows it’s flat.
      All the best,
      And tell Elvis to hurry up with that car battery!

  14. storydivamg says:

    Okay, I just reread my rant, and I’m afraid I might have sounded crazy. Allow me to clarify: I LIKE your story, I feel badly for those producers. If you have any experience in the producer’s or editor’s chair, which it sounds as though you might, you certainly understand how few people who think they have great ideas actually do have great ideas.



  15. Kent, It seems that almost everything’s been said. I feel bad for both the writer and the producer. It’s a rough world out there. I loved the humor you wrote into this story. Well written as always. 🙂 —Susan

    • wmqcolby says:

      Thanks, Susan. It’s actually not so bad. On one level, yes, everything’s been written before, but, since we are unique individuals, stories are like snowflakes. Although they’re still composed of the same substance (frozen water), no two are alike. On another level, there’s plenty of work out there for the writer. If they don’t like your story, they at least got to see that you’re able to write and could assign you re-writing. You get paid EXTREMELY well. 🙂

  16. dmmacilroy says:

    Dear Kent,

    Your story has provoked a great deal of sturm und drang. Very well done.



  17. subroto says:

    A hijacker reality show, maybe that’s what the audience wants. “Who Wants To Be A Hijacker”. The losers get pushed out of a plane. The audience gets to decide whether they have a parachute or not.

  18. From the intro to the last line – hilarious!!! I like your style.

  19. “I need a drink!” Why, he’s pitching a remake of “The Lost Weekend” with Ray Milland! That’s a winner!

  20. Amy Reese says:

    Very original! I like it. But of course Amelia Earhart had a romance. Flying and romance go together. How’s that for a pitch?

  21. Nan Falkner says:

    Dear Kent – great story! I really enjoyed it – Did they really have a thing for each other? Don’t want to know – never mind. I have been to her house where she grew up in Atchicson, KS and I can see why she wanted to fly. Her childhood home is right across the street from a bluff overlooking the river – beautiful scenery! Great story like I said! Nan 😉

    • wmqcolby says:

      Thanks, Nan! No, that “love story” is probably just an urban legend. You know how those go.
      I was in Atchison a couple of years ago and saw her house. Didn’t go in, though. I like Atchison. My mom and dad have some vested interests there, namely, funds in Benedictine. Good school.

  22. These epic mysteries keep us fascinated for decades… or more. Nice job Kent.

  23. Dee says:

    Loved the way you weave fact and a bit of fiction with this Kent, I think I’ll believe the love story – softie that i am.

  24. Sarah Ann says:

    Okay, so they’ve seen it all, heard it all. Well then try giving some advice on what you want to see pitched. With so few words you paint such a picture of the mood of this pair. Great story – miserable producers.

    • wmqcolby says:

      Oh, it’s not so bad, really. That’s just the way the game is played. If someone doesn’t like your idea, send the customer down the hall. Thanks for reading, Sarah!

  25. Another excellent story I almost missed. Superb story telling!

  26. Great bit of dialogue. I’m sure at one point, all of us will have been one of these characters.

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