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You Know You've Been Unemployed a Long Time When... - Mo's Journal
August 13th, 2010
01:19 pm

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You Know You've Been Unemployed a Long Time When...
you read this article and think:

Hmmm. If I can't find a job, is there any way I can manage to get wrongly convicted of murder, spend a couple decades in prison and then get a big settlement?

(17 comments | Leave a comment)

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From:lux_apollo
Date:August 13th, 2010 05:43 pm (UTC)
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There are solutions and then there are solutions! ;-)
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From:mofic
Date:August 13th, 2010 07:19 pm (UTC)
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My motto for my job search is No Stone Unturned!
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From:wneleh
Date:August 13th, 2010 05:48 pm (UTC)
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That'd make a great book.
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From:mofic
Date:August 13th, 2010 07:21 pm (UTC)
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Less creepy than Westlake's The Ax. Did you read it? It's very good - about an unemployed man who becomes a serial killer in order to eliminate the competition for a job.
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From:mofic
Date:August 13th, 2010 07:30 pm (UTC)
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Reply 2: If I were going to write it, my character would plan on being falsely accused, convicted, and exonerated after a brief prison stint. And his/her partner would beg him/her not to do this, to present the exonerating witness in time to be ruled not guilty. But s/he would be determined to get the big settlement. Only, in an ironic plot twist... the exonerating witness would die right after the trial so s/he's stuck in prison with no way to prove s/he's innocent.
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From:wneleh
Date:August 14th, 2010 01:47 am (UTC)
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I'm thinking the bulk of the book would be the MC trying to find an unsolved local murder she could conceivably have committed, and determining the real circumstances of the death (doesn't have to have been murder) so that she can eventually be exonerated.

All the while, people are telling her what she should do. Tutor! Sell macrame plant holders! Nanny! UPS delivery! Law school! Has she tried Monster.com? Here, have some leftover tuna surprise! And etc. And she tries various things, and stinks at some, and excels at others, and keeps adding to her resume all these things that won't ever get her paid a living wage.

So eventually it goes as you say - she ends up getting nailed, and in prison. Where she finds fulfillment teaching young women inmates to make plant holders! Or not.
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From:mofic
Date:August 14th, 2010 02:40 am (UTC)
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Yes! It could say on the jacket "A Darkly Comic Novel Ripped from Today's Headlines."
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From:wneleh
Date:August 14th, 2010 06:38 pm (UTC)
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Though I'm thinking more wry than dark.

Big questions now - partner/no partner; and kids/no kids. The kids, if they exist, have to be at least 18, else I can't see a mom chancing incarceration.

Big challenge now is to keep MC from being a total Mary Sue.

- - - -

I figure I'll knock this out while I'm at Mass. Gen. How hard could it be??
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From:mofic
Date:August 14th, 2010 09:15 pm (UTC)
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I don't know if it's a man or a woman but in my conception there's definitely a partner and kids. The protagonist isn't expecting to be away from the kids, because the protagonist isn't expecting to go to prison for a long time - s/he needs a conviction and incarceration so s/he can have a wrongful death lawsuit, but the idea is for the partner to bring forward the witness as soon as the protag is settled in prison. And the partner is begging the protag not to do it because something could go wrong and she'd be left alone with the kids and her beloved in prison. Which is, of course, what happens.

Should we both write it, then compare?
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From:wneleh
Date:August 15th, 2010 06:07 pm (UTC)
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I think MC has to be a women - the central premise is, here's this brilliant 50-something-er who has become invisible to people who don't already know her; or she's immediately grokked as scary!Mommy or the fifth grade teacher they hated.

Similarly, I don't think she's partnered; I don't think someone with a competent other in her life would put the energy into this that it requires. First, she's driven in part by $-based desperation, and I don't see that in the partnered out-of-work or underemployed women I know (and the more I think about it, the more I realize that an awful lot of women I know who were working FT or happily PT a few years ago aren't working, or working much, right now, for a lot of reasons but the economy is at the root of most of them).

Also (remember, I'm not thinking a straight Mary Sue, or Mo insertion, here) she's motivated by, I guess I'd call it a drop in status. In partnered people, there's a bit of borrowing (I know a lot of people who will say "my parents were professors" when they mean "my dad was a prof") but the MC doesn't have that. If she can pull this off, she's proven she's smarter than an awful lot of people; and along the way she ends up figuring out several other murder cases that she ultimately decides she can't frame herself for, which brings some satisfaction (with added plot complications of, how do you tell the police who done it w/o bringing attention to oneself?)

Or maybe I'm just showing my standard lack in interest in writing romantic relationships!
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From:wneleh
Date:August 15th, 2010 06:09 pm (UTC)
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BTW, a lot of the invisibility thing is what I've been experiencing the past year or two. It's very strange, and I don't like it one bit. But no more about that on LJ!
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From:mofic
Date:August 15th, 2010 11:07 pm (UTC)
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If you want to talk about it elsewhere I'm all ears (or, I guess, eyes).
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From:mofic
Date:August 15th, 2010 10:11 pm (UTC)
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Hmmm. I don't want it to be a Mary Sue but I think whether male or female the character has to be the breadwinner for the family. I think s/he has to be motivated by financial desperation. I don't think loss of status will do it, because Convicted Murderer is lower status than SAHM. So I think it's either:

- a married man in a traditional family
- a woman in a lesbian couple where she's always been the breadwinner; or
- a single parent.

But with the single parent I have the problem you mentioned of not wanting to leave her kids (although if she's desperate enough and confident enough this will work I can see it) and also the problem of she needs someone she's confiding in to try to talk her out of this. Still, I guess it doesn't have to be a partner.

FWIW being I've been out of work when partnered and when unpartnered and I was not less desperate when partnered. It depends who the partner is, among other things.
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From:aurienne
Date:August 13th, 2010 11:24 pm (UTC)
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I just wanted to say I love your updates!
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From:mofic
Date:August 14th, 2010 02:40 am (UTC)
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I'm glad! I live to serve. And amuse.
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From:aurienne
Date:August 15th, 2010 12:40 am (UTC)
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So many are migrating to facebook (I'm there too, now, somewhat, but it's such an inferior platform to LJ!), so even when I don't have anything useful to say in response to your posts, I just wanted to provide some positive feedback.
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From:mofic
Date:August 15th, 2010 12:24 pm (UTC)
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I'm on facebook, too, but I don't use it much. I like looking at statuses - little windows into lots of people's lives. But I really don't get the appeal of spending a long time on there.

As I said elsewhere, I think LJ is about content and the social aspect arises from the content. You write something and people who are interested (because they know you or because they're interested in the subject matter) comment and you start reading what they write and build a network that way. Facebook OTOH is just social - any content is kind of shoehorned in. So lj is much more of a writer's tool. And a reader's one, for that matter.

Anyway, thanks for being a commenter. All feedback is useful.
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