Why You Should Never Live With A Cop From A Crime Novel

I found this great crime novel parody by Tara Sparling! She has a history of writing award-winning blog humor, and I think you’ll enjoy this one in particular.

Tara Sparling writes

Why You Should Never Live With A Cop From Crime Novel

So far, we’ve had fun living with an unreliable narrator, and a chick-lit heroine. But you knew I wasn’t going to stop there, didn’t you?

Anyone who’s ever lived in shared accommodation will know that flatmates can be difficult. But what would it be like to live with the sort of crime novel cops whose innate mix of inner demons and public doggedness usually ensures them an eight-book deal?


It is 7.30 am. You are about to depart for work from the bland, nondescript starter home of a cop in a crime novel. You wipe down the countertop of the dated beige kitchen, clearing the last crumbs of toast away, when you notice a crime scene photograph of a horribly mutilated woman beside the exhausted coffee machine. Trembling, you pick it up. You’re sure you’ve seen her somewhere before.

Crime Novel Cop: [sneaking up behind you] You don’t want me to tell you what…

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Glimmer Train Spring 2015, Part 3: PRECARIOUS


The middle section of stories in the Glimmer Train Spring/Summer 2015 issue all deal with an unstable situation. Topics include the frailty of human mortality, the risks of a hostile environment, and the hormones of a teenage girl. Ok, that last comment was unfair. In that story’s case, it’s the plot that drove a boat into a whirlpool and took its main character with it. As opposed to the other way around.

Now that I’ve hinted at the third story’s insanity, it’ll be hard to interest you in the other, basically functional pieces of fiction that come before it. Well, as I said in my last Glimmer Train roundup, we can learn from any critical and emotional response a story elicits. And the soberness of “Caretaking” and “Civil Affairs” will reveal, in comparison, how exactly “Museum of Me” snorted Cocoa Puff powder stolen from a hack screenwriter. Let’s begin!

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Five Writers On ChapterBuzz Who Don’t Suck

This is why I have trouble sharing my work.


On the last Trudge-Along Tuesday, I promised you I’d find five ChapterBuzz authors to recommend. I imagined that the change-of-pace would provide a nice recharge for me. I also thought that Sherlock Season 4 would be good, so what the hell do I know.


I’ll give the authors of ChapterBuzz this: all their novel chapters are better than any episode of Sherlock Season 4 (though not as deliriously, deliciously, hilariously bad as Sherlock Season 4). For each author I list below, there were three others I examined on ChapterBuzz before sighing and giving up. No first draft is good. That’s a given for writers. And that’s the obstacle you have to overcome when you share your first draft with the world.


Here are five authors who made a first draft for a novel and actually compelled me to read more after today. They’re ranked from most okay to most good. For the majority of these authors, I only read a chapter or so. Since my reading strategy involved giving up the moment I lost interest, all these authors did manage to hold the attention of a critical, capricious grump for longer than 5 minutes.

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Glimmer Train Spring 2015, Part 2: DENSITY


During the last writing workshop I took, almost all the writers had an obsession with smooth reading. If you submitted a story, you were guaranteed a few comments about “I really had to slow down during this section,” or “I read too fast and got confused about X.” I tried to temper that type of criticism in my own feedback… mostly out of self-interest. If I get harsh in the below critiques (and I will), know that I have committed graver writing sins for far less interesting stories.

The readers in that workshop wanted fast-paced, uncomplicated prose. I like uncomplicated prose. I also like, on occasion, to take my time with a story, study the language, let my brain work a little against the hypnotism of literature instead of always submitting to it. And I got that sensation with “A Dispatch from Mt. Moriah,” “Norwegian for Troll,” and “Tunnels.”

This second cluster of stories in the Glimmer Train Spring/Summer 2015 issue require examination, patience, and more than a few trips to the dictionary. At least, for me they did. Bare in mind that complex doesn’t always mean smart… and the shorten form of “density” is “dense,” dense like that high school freshman who claimed to understand Nietzsche. Let me show you what I mean with our first story…

Continue reading “Glimmer Train Spring 2015, Part 2: DENSITY”