Killer Year–The Class of 2007

Killer Year Clubhouse – Dispatch #1

Let me tell you, living here at the Killer Year Clubhouse isn’t always easy. Okay, I’ll grant you we’ve all only been here just over a week, but someone – and I’m not naming names – has been leaving their wet laundry in the washer for hours after the load is done. (Might have to call a group meeting on that one.)

Good thing this is a big place. We’re up on the hill, and there’s this great view from the deck. Added bonus: a huge cooler built into the bench around the rim of the deck, and someone’s been keeping it full of beer and other bottled alcoholic beverages. But let me make this clear, we have a strict NO ZIMA policy.

There are fifteen bedroom, thankfully – the last thing I wanted to do was share a room with a writer…they can be SO neurotic. Among other rooms, we also have a large library, a community room, a dinning room, and a shooting range built into the basement.

We spent the first afternoon hammering out a few rules. After all, if we’re going to be jammed in here together until the end of 2007, it’s best to get a lot of things straight up front. Here’s a sampling of some of the things we’ve come up with:

1. A Red card taped to the outside of a bedroom door means DO NOT DISTRUB under almost any circumstance. This includes, but is not limited to: fires, tornado warnings, earthquakes, visits from friends or relatives. The only exceptions are if the particular person’s agent or editor shows up or if it’s a food delivery guy (pizza, Thai food, Italian, you get the idea.)
2. A Yellow card means the person inside might be writing, but they’re open to being interrupted. In other words, “Please take me away from this painful task.” (And, no Mr. World Cup fan…two yellow cards do not equal a red card.)
3. We worked out a cooking schedule and a cleaning schedule…well, on the cleaning it wasn’t so much working out a schedule as deciding the spouses of those who are married (all immediate family members living in another house just down the street) would take care of it for us. We haven’t told them that yet, though.
4. No two writers can have a crisis in confidence on the same day. To elevate this possibility, we’ve created a sign up calendar, so we could mark which day we want in advance.
5. Every evening at 8 p.m. there will be critique sessions on the patio (weather permitting.) These sessions are voluntary, and are focused on helping each of us create the best work possible. Any unsubstantiated negative comments will be punishable by temporary suspension of Internet privileges.
6. Running through the halls screaming like a lunatic is completely forbidden. Except, of course, for your assigned crisis day.
7. Ditto on running through the halls naked.
8. Toni is NOT allowed to tell how her breasts lead to a career in crime fiction without making sure no liquids are being consumed at the time.
9. To make Sandra – our only Canadian – feel at home, we have decided to shut off the water to the house every third Thursday.
10. Though both CJ and Phil are doctors, they are excused from diagnosising any little pain or rash one of us might develop.
11. Oddly, Jason has offered to act as house doctor if necessary. He says he’s read about doctors in books, plus remembers watching episodes of Dr. Quinn, Medicine Woman while he was growing up, and feels he can handle it. (Thank you Jason.)
12. No using shooting range after 10 p.m.
13. No shooting at each other.
14. If an accident does occur in the shooting range, anonymous calls can be made to Jason’s room at ext. 12.
15. Cursing is completely permitted, but if words or terms are used incorrectly then the offender is fined $5 for each offense.
16. No one is to ever mention the fact that J.T. once killed a man…subject closed. I’ve already said too much.
17. Marcus is only allowed to impersonate the Hoff on his crisis day.

We tried to come up with a rule about sexual research, but were unable to come to any agreement. It’s still being debated.

The big news this week is that just over half of us (8 if you’re counting) are off to ThrillerFest this week. Rob has rented one of those oversized Winnebago’s and we’re all piling in for the trip. Hopefully the seven staying at the house won’t get too rowdy, but the look in Sandra’s, Gregg’s, Derek’s, Marc’s, Patry’s, Thomas’, and Bill’s eyes when we told them we’d be gone for a few days didn’t leave me with an easy feeling.

Still what the hell. We’ll be riding the party bus to Phoenix…

…I hope Rob picked up a map, too.

Brett Battles
The first Jonathan Quinn Thriller coming
Spring 2007
Bantam Dell


16 Comments so far
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All I can say is that after looking over the shopping list for the weekend, I’ve agreed to pickup both kegs and the olive oil.

Comment by Bill Cameron

What’s wrong with Zima?


Comment by Jason Pinter

Hey, I thought I only agreed not to point the breasts *at* anyone. I didn’t see the fine print about paying attention to liquids. Fascist. (I say that with love, of course. See you at the shooting range.)

Comment by toni mcgee causey

Please don’t make Zima squirt out of my nose, Toni.

Comment by Bill Cameron

You forgot the most important thing about the liquids. That along with my intelligence and charm, I was blessing you all with a supply of Canadian beer!

Comment by Sandra Ruttan

Aces over Eights, my friend, Aces over Eights…

Comment by JT Ellison

Sandra, Derek, Marc, Patry, Thomas, and Bill and I are making a major Zima run to Costco. See you
Thrillerfesters (sounds like disease, sorry!) when you get back. Have fun!

Comment by Gregg

I’ve got no problem with Toni’s breasts whatsoever. Brett, what the hell are you thinking?

And I’ve decided I want to room with Toni, CJ, Sandra and JT if they’ll have me. I give good back rubs.

Comment by Rob Gregory Browne

Hey, I didn’t make up these rules on my own. We all voted on them remember? Well…at least in my mind we did!

Comment by Brett Battles

So… agreeing to share a room is all about you satisfying our needs?

Comment by Sandra Ruttan

Clearly, Rob is a very giving person. I respect that.

Comment by Bill Cameron

Hmmmm…. backrubs…. drool….

Comment by JT Ellison

Sandra, what kind of man would I be if I wasn’t interested in satisfying YOUR needs? That’s first and foremost…

Comment by Rob Gregory Browne

Um, guys, there are other, more ADULT forums where you can continue this conversation.

Comment by Jason Pinter

Brett, I think Jason just gave you a new rule to add.

After we vote, that is.

Comment by Sandra Ruttan

You know, I was sitting here thinking about it, and I realized I’ve never even had a Zima.

Comment by Bill Cameron

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