Writing Non-Fiction posted November 4, 2017

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What if Cody Schroder and I really met?

Meeting Cody - Part One

by Brett Matthew West

The recent contest known as I Am Real posed the interesting proposition of what would transpire if the writer and one of their characters met in real life? While I do not enter contests anymore, this notion intrigued me so I decided to explore this possibility.

Before I became a member of FanStory in January of 2015, (has it been three years already?) the scope of my writing career consisted of Country song lyrics and Freelance articles. These have always paid the bills and allowed me and my son to live a fairly comfortable life.

Prior to becoming a FanStorian, I had never even considered the remotest possibility of writing fiction, stories, or books. I did not consider them to be my fortes.

Then, out of the blue one day, my muse (who most of the time is not so friendly) presented me a treasured gift. I have heard it said if a writer has one character they create that identifies them then that writer has accomplished something worthwhile.

In my case that character is, and always will be, named Cody Schroder. I can not tell you exactly where Cody originated from. I wish I knew, because if I did, in less than a heartbeat I would bottle the formula and sell it for multi-millions of dollars to aspiring writers. Believe me, I would!

Consciously, I never patterned Cody after anybody I have ever known. I didn't sit down and draw the character out prior to writing about him. Somehow, the blond munchkin has just morphed into the Little Mister Personality he is today, not only here on FanStory, where he is adored by many, but in real life as well. I will detail some of that later in this posting.

Suffice it to say that yesterday afternoon was a particularly tough one for me. At 2:30, I met with my secretary, as well as the editor of the Nashville Tennessean newspaper, in my Downtown office on Demonbreun Street here in good ole Music City USA. In of itself, that was not so unusual. The conference area in my office comfortably seats six occupants and the three of us have engaged in conversation in the room before.

I try to keep the ambiance of my office cozy. On the paneled walls, I post framed copies of a couple of Freelance articles I have penned over the years. Egotistical? Nope, suggestive in that a person I am trying to drum up more business from can see samples of my work. Some of these I have even displayed here on FanStory for readers to enjoy.

I also ensure there is plenty of coffee available for my guests. Those, and glazed doughnuts, I have learned over the years, go a long way in accomplishing more success in my meetings. Lately, I've been batting a thousand in acquiring Freelance work.

However, I was conflicted on how I felt about the offer on the table that we were discussing. On one hand, I thought I wanted it. On the other hand, I wasn't overly impressed with the fringe requirements attached to the offer. Not to alienate any Florida FanStorians, but the so called "Sunshine State" is not my cup of tea.

I stirred two creamers into my black coffee and half-heartedly wondered, "Just how long is this trial supposed to last?"

"Approximately six weeks, Brett," I was told, "but, being a quadruple murder, and a capitol case, you never know about these things."

Therein laid the first problem: the time I had to pack my suitcases, and make a ten hour drive South, before the weekend was over. The trial begins Monday morning. Problem Number Two was I have a ten-year-old son to consider. I also have a bowwow who can not be left unattended that long either.

I knew my secretary would watch Blazer for me. She had several times before. For her efforts, I would, of course, add a small bonus into her paycheck for services rendered. Danny remained an issue needing to be addressed.

"Sweeten the pot," I encouraged the editor.

What I wanted at that point was the promise of future Freelance assignments with one of my most consistent writing outlets. I have penned, and sold, several articles on a variety of topics for the Tennessean over the years.

"We've always had a real pleasant working relationship, Brett," the editor told me, "you scratch my back and I'll scratch yours."

Those are the kind of promises that help keep food on the table for Danny. A growing boy consumes plenty of nourishment. I just can't keep shoes on his feet. That's a battle I quit fighting a long time ago. Danny is all rough-and-tumble boy.

Because of the numbers that were crunched, I could not refuse the assignment. I figured I could fly Danny to Central Florida on Friday nights, and return him back to Nashville on Sundays in time for him to be back in school come Monday mornings. Veterans Day, and Thanksgiving were also coming up. These would allow my son and I more time together during the period this assignment was expected to last.

I am a firm believer that where there is a will there is a way. Fortunately, I do have somebody in Nashville to watch Danny for me when we're apart, which I HATE being. A boy needs his Dad home. Separations had occurred between my son and I before, but this would take the cake. Six weeks can seem like an eternity.

We concluded our meeting with me favorably agreeing to commute to the Marion County Judicial Center in Ocala, Florida this weekend to cover the trial and pen the aforementioned article. Yee-haw!

Being Friday, I could not wait to get home to the sane world, and safe refuge, of my residence. That is where my chance encounter with Cody occurred.

(To Be Continued)

Side Note: The alleged facts surrounding this trial are:

-the defendant is accused of murdering his ex-girlfriend
-at gunpoint, he forced her to call her mother to come to her house, where the defendant is accused of murdering the mother as well
-he is also accused of murdering the two young children of his ex's new boyfriend.

Of course, he is facing the Death Penalty.

I can see why the Tennessean wants this story covered.

***Helpful critiques are the only type of reviews that assist writers. These are what I seek.***

This is Evan by Lilibug6, selected to complement all of my Cody Schroder books, stories, and articles.

So, thanks Lilibug6, for the use of this incredible picture. Not only does the photograph complement all of my Cody Schroder books, stories, and articles so nicely, it has provided Cody an easily recognizable face on this site for his many fans.
Pays one point and 2 member cents.

Artwork by Lilibug6 at FanArtReview.com

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© Copyright 2018. Brett Matthew West All rights reserved.
Brett Matthew West has granted FanStory.com, its affiliates and its syndicates non-exclusive rights to display this work.