Lily 6 Notes

So remember that brilliant idea (really more of a realization) I had going to McD’s for a Big Mac? It’s this:

Lily has a Five Man Band: Lily, Fin, Bjorn, Van, and Cheryl.

(For those of you who aren’t familiar with the Five Man Band concept, it’s on TV Tropes, but

That site is a trap, you will be drawn into its infinite links and it will take you hours to escape. I mean, you’ll have a really good time, but the damn thing will suck out your brains and steal a huge chunk of your life. You have been warned.

I love this illustration but I cannot find the artist to give credit; it’s on the TV Tropes 5 Man Band page.

The five man band is the Leader, the Lancer, the Big Guy, the Smart Guy, and the Chick. Yes, it’s sexist as hell, but there are no gender requirements, so maybe think of it as the Leader, the Lancer, the Big Person, the Smart Person, and the Person People Like to Look At Who Also Provides the Heart of the Story. Or not. Another Five Man Band I really love is the Leverage Band: Mastermind, Grifter, Hitter, Hacker, and Thief.Those characters also fit the Five Man Band roster as long as you count as a Chick a woman who is also a batshit insane master thief. Calling Parker a Chick is a crime against characterization.

But I digress.

Lily has to be the leader, she’s our protagonist. She’s also the center of the action, she has the reincarnation memories and the knowledge of the museum, and she’s the person that links the five together.

Pretty sure that makes Fin the Lancer, since he balances her–calm to her upheaval, linear to her patterned thinking, physical to her mental, male to her female, etc. Normally, he’d be the leader, saving Lily, but one of his arcs in this is to step to the side and provide support without dominating. He’s gonna have to practice that.

That leaves Bjorn for the Big Guy, which works; although I don’t know how many people he’ll be hitting, he’s a pretty easy-going guy and I’m not planning a lot of violence for this story. I think his size alone makes him threatening, especially when he’s with Fin. He’s also a lot simpler in his outlook on life, not stupid by any means, but he doesn’t let himself get distracted by gray areas.

Smart Guy has to be Vanessa; I have to get Vanessa on the page more, although I already know she has hidden depths and there’s something big going on behind all these scenes.

That leaves Cheryl for the Chick, which I love a lot.

Somebody had said in the comments that she wanted to see the museum, which is important and a good idea, but I’m much happier in the diner, and then it occurred to me that my characters were all much happier in the diner, too, that there was no pressing need for them to go investigating the museum mess, it was not their problem. At this point, Lily’s not even sure she wants her job back because she hates Seb and Louis and she wants to strangle Jessica, plus she’s eating pie and trying not to flirt with Fin full time now and she’d have to make that part-time if she went back to the museum. Fin doesn’t care about the museum as long Lily’s happy. Bjorn and Vanessa and Cheryl never think about the museum at all.

But if the museum comes to the diner in some way, if if it encroaches on and threatens their turf, then they’ll have to form a band to defend it. So I’ll have to figure out that happens because I think that would be fun to write, not to mention tremendously crunchy. (No, I don’t know how that happens, how many times do I have to say DISCOVERY DRAFT?)

I definitely want to see Cheryl and Louis meet again. (They were a thing twenty-five years ago.)

Here’s Louis now:

And here’s Cheryl, remembering Louis:


“We used to role play in the exhibits,” Cheryl said. “Like I was the pirate queen—I sewed skulls and crossbones on this great black bra and pantie set I had, one on each boob and one at the crotch–and he was my naked captive. I used to poke him with a sword and he’d say, ‘Stop that, that’s really annoying,’ and I’d say, ‘Now you know how I feel.’ It didn’t last. He had no imagination.”

Lily tried to blank out the mind picture of Cheryl dressed as a pirate queen from Victoria’s Secret stabbing a naked Louis with a phallic sword, but it persisted.

“Brain bleach,” Fin said in her ear.

“We never did anything in the Viking exhibit,” Cheryl said. “Missed opportunity.”

“So we can walk there safely,” Bjorn said, cheerful as ever. “Good to know.”


If it helps, here’s Louis when he was dating Cheryl, twenty-five years earlier:

This will obviously take much more musing. I might even have to get back in the car again and drive some more. But just the thought of them all in the diner kitchen after closing, discussing how to kneecap the museum people, Bjorn raiding the fridge and Cheryl getting sidetracked by her latest obsession (I think it’s going to be mindfulness), makes me happy. I have no idea how that would fit in the large scheme of things, but I don’t have to know, this isn’t a book. It’s just something to keep our minds off the weirdness that is reality at the moment. (Do NOT inject bleach into your bodies. That would be bad no matter what the President says. Jesus.).

I do wonder how much this is damaging my credibility as a writer. I have visions of people saying, “Did you see what Jenny Crusie is doing on her blog? Turns out she has no fucking idea of how to write a book, she just makes up stuff. No wonder it takes her years.”

Oh, well.

Five Man Band. SUCH a good idea.

So what do you want/need/expect next? I’ve got over four thousand words set to post on Monday (sorry about being late this week) which I will noodle around with over the weekend, but it’s all relationship stuff (which is good because this is a romance novel) so we’re still going to be short (completely empty) on the museum stuff, especially since everything I write about Seb is circling the drain, repetition. (It’s hard to arc nothing.) The whole expectation thing is a lot easier when you’re getting chronological storytelling, which you are not getting because I have no idea how these scenes fit together. But you get kissing on Monday, so that’s something. Also Fin threatens to throw Seb down a hill. There’s a crowd-pleaser.

Anything else you want? I’ll be rewriting all weekend.

74 thoughts on “Lily 6 Notes

  1. I love that snippet of Cheryl and her Pirate Queen outfit, and I started laughing hard when Fin said “Brain bleach”, and Bjorn’s comment about being able to walk safely through the Viking exhibit had me almost choking. What I particularly love about this bit, though, is the Five all interacting and bouncing off each other.

    I’m looking forward to seeing Fin threaten to throw Seb down a hill.

    I actually find watching your process of writing immensely reassuring and inspirational, Jenny. Once I had the epiphany that I don’t have to write in a linear way (I can’t – I’ve tried) which came out of a discussion here years ago, the concept of Discovery Draft is something that I’ve been chanting like a mantra (also, “I’m not writing a Jennifer Crusie, however much I might want to. I’m writing an Emily.”) It’s helped me turn three scenes that sat in purgatory but wouldn’t let me go for almost twenty years into something that’s days away from being a (very) rough completed first draft. And then I’ll be hunting down the back issues of how to work out what the hell I’m doing with shaping it from there. So thank you for letting me sit in on your writing process. It’s helped me figure out what mine is.

  2. Oooh. If we’re doing five-man band and there isn’t enough museum mystery but it will go to the diner, I suggest some sort of investigation competence porn using the knowledge they have.

    Maybe Vanessa knows something about ancient foods and picks up on its relevance to the conspiracy that surrounds the axe. The whole “what grows together, goes together thing” but where somethings that don’t grow together, being together.

    I dunno. But I know that I want competence porn.

    Please, and thank you.

      1. Yes. It’s why I like Freddie so much (Cotillion). He’s not smart as we think of it, but he’s competent. People doing things really well is really attractive.

        1. I LOVE Freddie. He’s not book smart or clever, but he knows how things work, he’s an excellent judge of people, and he takes responsibility for people and always does the right thing. When he shows up with that license at the end, my heart melts every time.

          1. I had to do some research today on UK marriage laws (for project set this year that is stalled for obvious reasons) and found out you can still get a special license, but it is Not Simple.

            Actually nothing about the process in the UK is simple. The thought that in 2020 you still have to wait a minimum of a month (or else apply for a waiver) and you have to state your venue in advance (and it has to be in a pre-approved location, which cannot be outside (REALLY?!) or in a private home that is not on the Approved List, i.e. not in your parents’ backyard or a friend’s parlor), and you can’t have a ceremony at all right now and for gods know how long, annoys the f**k out of me, frankly. I don’t know why the Britons are not making more of a fuss about this.

            I mean yes, okay. No large gatherings. Granted. But if an engaged couple of police officers can be married at their station by a colleague who’s ordained, I really fail to see why all the other people in the UK who wanted to get married this spring/summer can’t do something similar. Argh.

            /derailment of ‘Cotillion’ discussion. I should read that again and calm down.

          2. Replying to chachal re. UK weddings
            Mostly people seem to be worried about getting their deposits back for the wedding receptions they aren’t having! Since weddings are largely a formality or social occasion these days so I don’t think anyone is seriously inconvenienced except financially by cancelled events or if they needed a wedding to get a visa.

            You can get married outside, but it has to a) have a bit of a roof on it e.g. a gazebo and b) be on the approved list. If you want to get married at home then you can apply to put it on the approved list. We weren’t planning to get married but then found out we could get married in a lighthouse so we booked it and got married 6 weeks later. I think the paperwork can be faster than that but we allowed a bit of extra time just in case.

            Personally I kind of like the formality involved. After all, it is probably worth putting some thought into getting married.

        2. And now I have to read Cotillion AGAIN this year and it’s only Apr–er, May.

          1. I just re-read it last night. I do tend to skim the parts that aren’t Freddy and/or Kitty now. Good thing to remember when writing. Off to cut anything that’s not Nita or Nick. Or Max and Button because I lurve them a lot.

  3. In my quest to read all of the interesting stuff on Archive of Our Own, I found a Leverage/Harry Potter story this week. Parker was a squib of sorts from the Malfoy line. I’ll see if I can find a link, for anyone that wants it.

    Oh and Nate was a wizard who’d left the community so he knew stuff.

    1. I think my link got trapped in spam. Anyway, it’s called The Squib Job.

      I think the author abandoned it because it shows at 2 chapters of a 3 chapter story.

    2. I would be very interested in a link. It sounds great. Thanks for the alert.

  4. I wonder if Cheryl’s thing could be Marie Kondo style tidying/sorting? I like the balance with a museum keeping treasures (but who decides what’s treasure?). It might also open possibilities for Cheryl having something incriminating from Louis, that might come to light in any tidying. Does that make it too much Cheryl’s story? (Also, without it being Fast Women)

    I’d like to see why Fin loves Lily. What does she do that makes him say ‘her’, even if he can’t hear himself saying it. And why do those things (that she does/says/is) ring his bells?

    1. Cheryl’s clever was accidentally added to a museum reject yard sale/fundraiser. She bought it for $1 or so and now it is desperately needed back for reasons xyz. Except Lily keeps hiding it to keep idiot men safe from dismemberment…

  5. I think I need to see more Vanessa. I know she’s a wiz in the kitchen, and she’s got an MBA, and she’s written a cookbook. How does she interact with the others? She’s loyal to Cheryl and Lily (and a pushover for Pangur). What kind of threat is going to bring her charging over the bar wielding her mental cleaver?

    1. Yeah, I feel like I have an outline of Vanessa in my head, but she doesn’t have a pulse in my head the way the rest of the band does.

  6. You know, I really like the idea of Cheryl as the Chick much better than Cheryl as a carping nagging mom type harassing everybody in the diner. I can see her going all earnest with people because she’s just discovered…”Vegetables! They’re so cool!! Did you know they don’t just have nutrients, they’ve got phyto-nutrients? Which we need? To think right and stuff like that? Vegetables will change your life, really! Wouldn’t you rather order the Parsnip Surprise instead of that cow flesh you said you wanted?”

  7. Hmmm…I thought what (fiction) writers did, just make stuff up…??


    1. Bob used to outline his entire book and then just write it.
      So it depends on the fiction writer.

      1. If I had to do that, nothing would ever get written. In college, I’d write the required accompanying outline of a paper (which I heartily resented) after I’d written the paper.

        1. That’s interesting. I used to brainstorm the essay topic, write an incredibly brief structure for it (just a phase for each of the four or five points), annotate my notes with the point numbers, and then write the essay. (No one but me ever saw my outline.) Maybe I need to do something similar for my fiction project. I don’t like the idea of a full outline – don’t think I could be bothered to write the story if I’d worked it all out already. But maybe I do need a kernel. (I’m stuck at the completely formless stage.)

      2. Linear never entirely worked for me, until someone paid me to ghostwrite a book that way, and then suddenly (and luckily) it worked. I think it helps with the “don’t look down, just write” to know my name’s not on it and no one will ever trace it back to me, and there’s freakishly tight deadline. I’m fully expecting drafting the system to bug up again if I ever get to publish something under my own name, with enough time built in for me to procrastinate and overthink.

      3. It turns out that nothing kills my writing deader than linear. The analogy I came up with is – I write like I crazy quilt, bits all over the place, and I try to balance the colours and patterns, until I have all the fabric down and I can start pulling it together with the embroidery.

  8. What about Nadia? In her function helping Lily sort through her memories she actually seems more like the Lancer than Fin–who would then become the Big Guy? Not a violent guy like you say but he sure has a presence.

    Not sure if I’m influenced by the axe the Big Guy is holding ;).

    1. Nadia doesn’t play with this band. She’s a solo artist. Meaning, she doesn’t meet anyone except Lily.

      1. She’s more of an illuminated border around the text.
        The band is the text.

  9. This is very exciting, and I second Emily’s comment: when you share, it gives me the confidence to be more creative. I didn’t have the opportunity to be creative much once high school started, and I’m at a loss on “how to do that.”

    I LOVE the diner and I feel very comfortable reading those scenes. But I think the museum offers mystery and a chance to mess things up a bit. I wonder, if she had to leave under an emergency situation; wouldn’t it be possible that at some point, she will need to go back to at least clean out her desk or pick up some personal items?

    1. See that Jessica is screwing up the exhibit? Be told she has to take therapy. Maybe see she no longer wants to be there? Try and come back to work and be told no I guess the scenes leading up to the diner. It is the start of the chaos, and letting go of it there could be the end of the chaos?

    2. The problem would be getting back into the museum to snoop. If she has been furloughed with everyone knowing that she might not be back, it will be difficult for her to be there other than going to the admin offices to have paper work processed. In my previous jobs, if an employee who was on sabbatical showed up, everyone in the office descends to ask how they are doing. If a fired employee showed up, someone from security would be in the immediate area, probably escorting them. Also once you are no longer an employee, it just feels very awkward to be there. Unless you have an official purpose. And when she went on furlough, she would have had to turn in her keys. And if the place has good security, which you would expect for a museum, all the codes on the key panels would have been changed. This happens even with employees who are not placed on furlough but just left for some unexceptional reason.

      1. Something about Jessie’s comment made me think about inciting incident. It seems like the axe to the head would be the inciting incident, which currently happens off-page, and the trip to the therapist would be a follow-up scene.

  10. Do what you want. I do not think readers can dictate to writers and/or their girls in the basement.

  11. I don’t think this would hurt your credibility, it’s interesting!

    In terms of museum crises: stolen artifacts, board member drama, if it’s publicly funded: news article claiming it’s poorly run/mismanaged, lost provenance paperwork, financial donor drama, artifact donor drama (like they’ve donated books but want them displayed all the time and someone screwed up the part of the donor paperwork which says the donor doesn’t get input into the decision, a volunteer stole something, someone lost the curriculum/education Dept mappings (this last one doesn’t sound like the right terminology, I worked in Archives, Curation, and Exhibits), they can’t find the silent auction baskets, they can’t find the receipt for scanner purchase, someone glued something inappropriate together and can’t find the appropriate solvent, someone wants a Confederate statue to be moved into the museum but it doesn’t fit the mission and wouldn’t fit through the doors, people in charge or related to people in charge make inappropriate suggestions, they can’t find the backup drive with the database, there’s a flood and all the contact info cards have Lily’s name on it, I can on go on indefinitely!

    1. What about the repatriation of stolen cultural artifacts? Many museums have things that should be returned to the cultures that made them, and the process of doing so is really fascinating. In Canada for instance the Haida people have been really involved in repatriation of their cultural objects and the museums are in turn learning about the background of the objects in their collection such as who made it and it’s purpose. I think it’s really cool, and you could make the baddies be really against it so the goodies have to reverse heist it back to it’s proper owners.

      Sorry, I just think it’s a really cool subject

      1. It’s a very cool subject. I don’t think it’s mine, though. I need something that attaches to the Vikings, who are not likely to be bitching about appropriation since that was their thing. Viking Hypocrites.

        1. Could something go south with the supplier for the Viking exhibit (something didn’t get paid for maybe) and Lily’s name is the one the supplier has on the paperwork or as the contact?

    2. My favorite museum crisis was when the Tacoma Art Museum sold off (deaccessioned) in 2013 a major collection from a Chinese family that had been donated to them in the 60’s or 70’s to raise money to build their new museum. It turns out museums do this all the time with unrestricted gifts. Maybe something was sold off that was a restricted gift and Lily knowing it was restricted had been looking for it in the storerooms.

  12. Bjorn raiding the fridge” – what a Viking! Sacking the carrots, ravaging the gelatin, carrying off the pie…

    Turns out she has no fucking idea of how to write a book, she just makes up stuff.” Well, just make stuff up! I’ll buy it, I swear.

  13. Okay, I’ve just got to argue with you about Leverage. All in fun!

    If you want to go straight five man band, then Sophie has got to be the chick and Parker is the Lancer. Because Sophie’s role as grifter is being looked at. If there is someone who’s going to be looked at, on display, etc., it is Sophie. And Parker stands in contrast to everyone, but also, when you split them up Nate & Sophie and Parker & Eliot & Hardison, Parker is (becomes) the secondary leader.

    But I think Leverage actually covers all the five man band things, but either doesn’t divide them the same or gives different characters different roles at different times.

    Nate is the leader, mastermind, etc. and that is fairly straight correspondence (though I will note that he stands in contrast to the rest of the team by starting off as honest man, and the contrast is a Lancer component, plus I feel like honest man is a heart-like (chick) role despite him being all head in most other respects). Sophie, as I said, is very chick-like (though I really hate that word as description) but also when she takes over as leader is obviously in contrast to Nate (so there’s lancer material there), though I’d argue that as leader, she’s also “the heart” to his head (she’s the heart in team dynamics, you can argue for Nate being “the heart” in terms of relationship to the outside world and ethics and etc.).

    Eliot is not actually big, and is really not dumb or mute, in fact I’d say that Hardison is big (tall) and Parker is the one with difficulty expressing herself sometimes. But he is the strongman, clearly. I’ll also admit that Hardison fits smart guy pretty well.

    Parker, meanwhile, is frequently the contrasting agent, could easily be seen as the trickster, has difficulty with expression, and I have no idea how one could see her as the chick (a peacekeeping role to balance the others’ aggression?) because she doesn’t do any of those things. (And compare “This is the person who will argue and fight against the justification of ‘I Did What I Had to Do’.” from Tv tropes about “The Heart” with Eliot and Parker on the mountain talking about how they are the ones who do what has to be done.)

    To be fair, I think you can make a case for Parker as ‘the heart’ in the sense that she’s at the very core of Leverage, just not in the sense of the trope ‘The Heart’.

    On the whole, I think because Leverage was five seasons long and wasn’t a static show but had the team dynamics develop, it’s a strength of the show that the character take on different aspects and roles and tropes over the course of their development, while still staying absolutely themselves.

    But if you want to distill them down and stick them into a trope, I stand by this: Sophie is the chick!

    1. Sophie is the second in command, always. Opposite to Nate. Lancer.
      Parker is the one they all take care of, outside of a scam, of course. Chick.

      But I will agree to disagree. Also I’m not sure the show runners ever saw them as a five man band, so it probably doesn’t apply anyway.

      1. I don’t see anything in The Chick that says “to be taken care of”, and given other things you’ve said about Lily I’m surprised you’d add that to the female character. (I know, make it gender neutral, and yet.) Actually, it says it can be a Mom role, and Mom takes care of things. But maybe you’ve got your own spin on Five Man Band from thinking about it a lot or from other examples that I might not share.

        So yes, agree to disagree.

  14. “…Cheryl getting sidetracked by her latest obsession (I think it’s going to be mindfulness).”

    Gotta love a character sidetracked by mindfulness.

  15. I keep trying to think of a way to bring the museum to the diner. I’ve come up with having Van asked to cater some sort of fancy do for the museum, or having the diner be on a plot of land that the museum wants to buy for some reason.

    There may be no bad ideas, but not sure these are good ones, either. LOL!

    1. The University owns the land the diner sits on and they want it for something attached to the museums? A friend was involved with a theater company that lost their theater because the land was a 50year lease from the University and when the 50years were up the University took the land back. Unfortunately, the biggest problem was the company’s Director didn’t believe the university was going to really kick them off the land, so he futzed around until the last minute and they ended up without a performing space for several years.

      I am surprised of how many weird long term leases like that I hear about. There was a house on the beach recently sold for over 1 million dollars and it is on year 91 of a 100 year lease. We are intrigued on what happens when year 100 hits.

    2. I like the idea of the museum expanding and wanting the land the diner sits on. This happens all the time with those big land grant colleges—-they get bigger and bigger and take over the surrounding neighborhoods with eminent domain. Uncle Louis and Seb could be buying property secretly because they don’t want the price go up. But their takeover is like a metaphorical ax to the diner/Lily. And then the Vikings, I guess, become defenders rather than pillagers. It just seems that the most direct threat to the diner is to have its existence—Lily’s home—threatened.

  16. These are all fun people, and I like hanging out with them, but I don’t really understand what motivates any of them, except maybe Fin who sees a cute waitress who might be in trouble who he would like to help and to know better, ideally biblically.

    I think I want another session with Lily & Nadia to so I can understand more about Lily, what she ultimately wants and what is motivating her once you get past the surface drama of past lives and axes and vikings. Like to me, that’s a lot of interesting noise, but it’s not really at crux of whatever her true issue is.

    What is Lily going to be leading this team towards – she is seemingly at a crossroads in her life, but I’m not even sure I understand what she wants to get out of therapy or why she thinks she’s there. I can’t answer what does happily ever after look like for Lily…and I’m not sure she can either.

    Was she really happy at the museum previously? Is she trying to get over her thing about Vikings so she can go back to the job she loved? Or is the thing with Vikings blocking her love life? (Or does she think it’s one, but it turns out to be the other or both?)

    Did she think she was ever happy with Sebastian? It seems like she realized he was a dillweed pretty quick…so what did she ever see in him initially? Especially since her friends/family were seemingly unsurprised by the axe thing and didn’t seem to think he was ever worth her time.

    Was it a professional move to safeguard the museum or did he seem “safe” in someway?

    I really don’t understand why if the museum was truly her dream job she would have a relationship with her smarmy boss. Typically dating a coworker when you work at a small enough place where everyone knows each other is not something either party typically jumps into lightly.

    I could maybe understand a mistaken hook up once – drunk at an office party, off at a conference or something – but if it’s ongoing dating/serious relationship, it’s usually more of a consciously and carefully undertaken thing. Especially if you love your job, and especially if you’re in your 30s and old enough to have had enough professional/life experience to see the fall out an office romance can have and to know where the consequences would fall (not on your boss).

    For me, her being willing to dabble in that sort of a dating situation with such an asshole makes her seem either incredibly naive, incredibly stupid, or incredibly insecure either in herself or in herself as a professional.

    She’s either a really lousy judge of people (which I don’t get from the page since she has awesome friends) or she’s impulsive in romantic relationships (maybe?), or she thought she “needed” to be in a relationship with Sebastian for some reason connected to her career/her finances/the future of the museum or she was subconsciously trying to sabotage her career/life.

    I feel like Nadia needs to help her probe that, so we can all start to figure her out….so and so we can figure out what she wants so that we know what a meaningful conflict that feels true to her goals would even be

    1. I don’t know any of those things, but they’re good food for thought.

      Really, until I know what’s happening at the museum, most of this is surface stuff. My discovery drafts are always almost all surface. I start with snappy patter and hope to trip over some depth later.

      As I said before, doing this in public is pretty much going to tank whatever reputation I had.

      1. Oh lord, no! This is creating life out of nothing. This is the Girls giving birth to a piece of work that takes surprise and humor and makes it make sense and be a thriving whole and bring delight. This is creative alchemy.

        It’s still a pretty mysterious process to me honestly but that’s ok. It’s so fun to track it anyway. Beats spreadsheets a gazillion times over.

  17. Maybe there is a student intern who Lily used to mentor at the museum but now is stuck with Jessica as a mentor who is nowhere near as good as Lily. Now the student intern come to the diner (where Lily is) is ask questions, vent, complain, get proper mentoring, etc and in the process reveals relevant info on what is going on at the museum

  18. My daughter says pairs of people routinely fall into Schemey and Punchy, no matter what other parts they may play in the Leverage crew or in a larger group.

    I love the Leverage crew so much, and often use them to define parts in life. Or the Scooby gang – the actual Scooby gang, not the Buffy Scooby gang. Living in the Happy Valley of Massachusetts, there are five colleges (Amherst, Smith, Mt Holyoke, Hampshire and UMass Amherst) that are apocryphally associated with a member each of the Scooby gang – with the punch line that UMass is the dog.

    1. Really? I grew up in Amherst and never heard that. Of course I left town over 40 years ago…

  19. I’ve had a thought.

    Early on you mentioned that Vanessa was strong and that you needed to get a handle on how Lily was strong.

    Sometimes someone who seems weak becomes strong in response to something.
    You think they’re easygoing or lazy or distracted, but their partner tells you there is another side to them. You don’t see it until there’s a family emergency or some crisis and the person just steps up and handles things, showing exactly how very strong they are.

  20. The 5 man band is normal, Firefly, Andromeda, the Big Man doesn’t have to be big, they just have to be ruthless, or with a no gray area view point and carry out acts for the good of the group that would cause the other members to have a moral dilemma.

    The museum is a teaching museum, it can borrow things from other museums for their exhibitions. That is a good way to get access to something usually under tighter security. Maybe Uncle Louis started small low risk, gave counterfeiters access to real artefacts, to copy all the little details that end up on the provenance. I mean the forgers who stole the Mona Lisa only got into trouble, when they tried to sell the real one. Imagine some rich fanboy wanting the real weapon of an ancient warrior. Or for burial.

    Then someone realised, he could use Louis to smuggle things out past their museum security. Which terrifies Louis, but he isn’t in a position to say no. So he puts in the requests, but Lily is running the exhibition and she’ll notice it’s not correct, so he has to confess to Seb. Seb realises she’s going to notice a box with a Viking ax came with a bonus and in the altercation, it disappears and now Uncle Louis is a bag of nerves.

  21. On the museum chicanery, could Louis, 40 or so years ago, have been building something along the lines of a.. let’s say a golf resort? In an undisclosed Scandinavian location? From which his people might accidentally have dug up a longboat burial, full of grave goods and pillaged gold coins from the Moors or something? And museum type things along the lines of helmets and cloak pins and maybe an engraved royal battle axe might have found their way into places where they shouldn’t have been? Is that what Kim & Emily up above were referring to as misappropriated cultural objects?

    Apart from being potentially injured by a falling axe, would an MFA like Lily have started to doodle designs from these items, leading to Louis wanting to replace her with a low-IQ sleepy-eyed Chick and Seb wanting to keep her in the Family more or less? Or is Fin the only doodler in the Band?

  22. The snippet is delightful! Thank you 🙂

    I am actually not particularly interested in the museum at this point. You are right, it’s all about the diner. Also, character and relationship stuff is my favorite so yay. Can’t wait for Monday!

  23. I have visions of people saying, “Did you see what Jenny Crusie is doing on her blog? She’s writing snippets of a new story and they’re great. And she says this is just what her drafts are like. He final work must be brilliant, I have to go read it all.”

    I like Kay’s idea that Uncle Louis’ tried some small-scale criminal activity and found himself landed deeper in the poo than he can handle. He could drag everyone else into the poo with him, Lily could end up with some nasty people after her thinking she knows stuff she doesn’t, and her crew could have to rally round her. Lots of potential for them to keep trying to save her.

    Ooh, and Lily’s Viking memories could be what makes it look like she knows stuff she doesn’t. So, for example, the baddies try to smuggle a unique weapon out through the museum. It goes missing. The baddies show up in person to try and get it back. They come to the diner and hear Lily talking about what said unique weapon is like and assume she must have it. But actually, she’s just remembering what the weapon looked like, that time a Viking tried to kill her with it.

  24. What if you turn it around and make Lily love her job at the museum? Maybe she was getting too close to stumbling upon something inappropriate/ illegal/ nefarious there, so they gave her the axe. Literally. (Sorry couldn’t resist). And now she wants/needs to get back in there and find out what is really going on.

  25. Maybe Seb isn’t really grabbing for the axe but rather trying to stop lily from seeing something that was packed in with the axe—smuggled—and due to ber Viking history she assumes it was the axe.

    We really need to know what Seb wants from her now.

    Also I totally agree that a woman in her 30s wouldn’t have a casual dating affair with her boss if she was reasonably emotionally stable and liked her job. She might have a one time fling, or she might fall deeply in love and decide it was worth the risk, but not this.

    But I think it’s easy enough to make Seb a museum colleague who isn’t in her department so it’s not a big deal. Maybe he worked for the registrar and handled all the packing and shopping and used it to smuggle drugs. Or antiques. And unbeknownst to Lily he hung out with her so he could be around when things were uncreated and rescue his smuggled stuff—just say that was for a different department.

    I keep thinking that the diner is their safe space —where they are emotionally quarantined. But then I see pandemic everywhere.

  26. I have loved TV Tropes for years! It’s a terrific place to kill time, in case anyone isn’t especially busy or needs something new to think about.

  27. It sounds like the museum has already come to the diner, in ways that are being revealed through Lily’s experiences in this and past lives.

    Watching you write in realish time is awe-inspiring. We’re seeing the hard work behind the ballet.

  28. I always think of “the chick” as the heart/ the person in the team the other people go a little softer around. I know it’s not exactly the traditional definition, but it helps me hone in on what I like about the trope. In Firefly, (which is admittedly 7, not 5) I’d say Kaylee’s the chick, not Inarra (who’s a high class prostitute; literally a key component of her job is being beautiful to look at). But scrappy Kaylee the mechanic is the more naive one, who has a big heart, and brings out the gentleness in the people around her.

    Re: things I’d like to see next.

    -Fin sweating something
    -Lilly being cocky about something

  29. I think what I want most is Lily coming to some conclusions on her own. What we’ve seen so far, she’s reacting to other people. And I’ve done that myself many times – written the interaction scenes to figure out where the story is going, and then filled in the whys and wherefores – plus discovery draft, etc. 🙂 But Lily thinking, and more Pangur.

  30. Has anyone brought up the show beforeigners yet? It’s time travel Vikings on HBO. I can’t tell if it’s supposed to be comedic.

  31. I think that’s what Lily’s lives are all about – always reacting, not acting. Maybe that’s what she has to resolve, standing her ground against the vikings, pillaging and conquering on her own, or with her own Viking band.

    As a museum professional, I’ll just throw in, that museums administrators are always toying with non-mission activities that will bring in some money. Like making the gift shop a priority because it makes money so it is seen as ‘successful’ while the educational activities are seen as failures because they don’t raise revenue. So maybe the museum decides to open a diner of their own in competition and there is a secret pie recipe that made Cheryl’s famous and it got stuck in a book donated to the museum so now they can even out-compete Cheryl’s diner? And Lily knows the vault combination and sneaks back in to get the recipe.

    Or Cheryl’s is decorated with something that is the one thing the museum needs to complete a restoration – like an oar from a ship or something, and without it another museum they want to sell it to won’t buy.

    Or a donor will only deal with her (that’s actually pretty common that donors develop relationships with particular staff) and keeps showing up at the Diner.

    Or like in Dogs and Goddesses, there is something in the museum that Lily needs to free her from the Viking memories/Viking bad life endings. I’d think she was Celtic in her former lives (they got invaded/oppressed by Vikings a lot) so she wouldn’t read runes, but some early Gaelic or something. (Pangur could be a Manx cat instead of Norwegian Forest and/or be polydactyl) Or putting something back in the museum in relationship to some object there will make good things happen.

    Love brainstorming. Time to hit me over the head to make me stop. (Just don’t use an axe).

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