Primo Donna

I think Donna Moore may be my new favorite writer. But first, some breaking news. This blog has gone over the 1,000 hit mark. That’s amazing, I never thought I’d hit that mark in the lifetime of the blog, let alone in less than a month. Thanks to everyone who has visited and linked me to their blogs. Now, back to Donna. Since she won;t publicize herself, I’m taking it on as my personal mission.

The double Nevermore Award winning Moore has a deft and delightful way of twisting cliches and wringing every last bit of satire, wit, and humor out of them. She has a novel coming out this year from PointBlank Press, but her guest blogging and comments alone are more interesting than half of the tripe published recently. Take this from her comment on Duane Swierczynski’s blog regarding a Philadelphia Noir:

‘The cumulo nimbus was low in the sky when the scaly green alien from the Planet Zog landed his spaceship

in…errrr…some park in the middle of the city. He stepped out of the spaceship, and with one hand buttoned

up his raincoat against the chilly December day. With his left hand he pulled out his .38, and with his third

hand he tipped his fedora at the open mouthed beauty who was walking her dog in the park. Her breasts

looked as though they’d been poured into her dress and then inflated with a bicycle pump. “Hello

shweetheart” (Humphrey Bogart films were big back on the Planet Zog) “I’m a doomed greenish-noir hero

and I’ve come to save your planet from greed and despair. Wanna come back to my spaceship and I’ll

show you my probe?”

If that’s not enough, Donna has written two short pieces trying to cram in as many hardboiled and cozy cliches as possible called Death by Cliche and Cliche me Deadly.

Here’s her cozy opening:

It was 6am and I’d been up for a couple of hours baking poppy and sesame seed bread for the children’s

school lunches. While it was baking, I had knitted an afghan depicting the entire solar system as seen through

my telescope in the Den. My ex-husband (before he ran off with the floozy who worked in Macy’s lingerie

department) used to say I only kept the binoculars to spy on the neighbours but my evening class in

astronomy had led me to turn my telescope on the heavens, as well as the neighbourhood. I was busy making

Christmas ornaments for the school fete, waiting for the bread to cool, when the phone rang. I turned off the

circular saw, removed my goggles and tossed the completed wooden angel with moving limbs into the box

with the other 350 I had made that morning.

This is my favorite part and comes later in the piece when the detective meets the lead cop:

His face lit up. “Oh thanks Mrs Minderson. This case is really baffling. I’m not sure where we go from here.

Look, this is the poker that was used to bash Mr Lyle’s head in. I don’t know why I’m carrying it around, it’s

unlikely to be of much use.”

I looked at the poker “Hang on. Isn’t that a bloody fingerprint there on the handle?”

Here is part of her hardboiled offering:

First time Evie LaDame walked into my office I knew she was gonna cause me trouble. Maybe it was the

way her buttocks wriggled like a bucketful of eels in that tight red dress. Maybe it was the way her gams

went all the way to the floor. Or maybe it was because she said in that husky voice of hers “Moose, I’m here

to cause you trouble”. Moose. That was me. Mickey Moose – Private Dick, that’s what it said on the door.

I encourage everyone to check out the full offering at Donna’s site and to clamor for her novel “…to Helena Handbasket” when it comes out. And Donna, there’s a World’s Wreally Worst Interview with your name on it.

18 thoughts on “Primo Donna

  1. “Helena Handbasket” is absolutely superb, though we may never be able to use cliche ever again. Damn that Kafka.

  2. Good grief Bryon. There I was, just meandering on my daily perusal of my small but select group of blogs I keep up with – nodding my head at Sarah’s post about transcending genre, sending thanks to anyone who will listen that Victor has finally updated his blog (but worried because he is scarily silent on the lemur front recently), marvelling at Ray’s hilarious ranting abilities when in reality he’s a soft and cuddly kitten (whoops sorry Ray), enjoying a trip down musical memory lane with Duane, or reading about the superfantastic shoes with The Manolo, etc etc when I see myself as the subject of a blog post.I spat my breakfast of muesli and yoghurt all over the keyboard (actually, it was a bacon sandwich, but I thought that the truth might reveal the fact that one of my new years’ resolutions had…well…not so much been broken as thrown with force agains the wall and smashed into tiny little pieces by January 5th – I knew I should not have made that “Eat more muesli” resolution).Thank you very much for your very kind comments. I don’t know whether to beam widely, or cringe in embarrassment. And I feel that, in the interests of full disclosure, I ought to warn you that the last interview I had I tripped over an open umbrella, fell over, and exposed my underwear to an office full of compete strangers. I’ll try and not repeat the experience.Really – thank you – I’m flabberghasted. Never has my ghast been so flabbered.Donna

  3. Not only is Donna (or Kafka, as we like to call her) a comic genius but she also has a rare flair for language and plotting. And just to make the rest of us really sick, she wrote “…GO TO HELENA HANDBASKET” in a month, start to finish. I must have read the book five, six times now, and it’s still as funny as ever.Al Guthrie

  4. A month??? That’s not even right. The only problem I have with Donna is this schitzophrenic feeling of intense awe and amazement and intense hatred and jealousy. That ain’t right. I guess this just means I have to go back and read Winter’s End again. I KNOW I write better than that.

  5. I can’t be jealous of Donna’s writing. It’s just too damn good. You get to a certain point and you just end up transcending the whole jealousy thing.BTW, tomorrow will be Donna Moore appreciation day. It is up to us blogging mad professor types to post at least one reason why she is the greatest author since sliced bread and make it a chain letter sort of thing. Go.

  6. Chain letter eh? Maybe we can say that she has cancer of the cliche and her last dying wish is to be the subject of an internet chain letter. And John, if you’d give me a freebie copy of A Touch of Ghosts I might be more inclined to stop ripping on WE.

  7. Bloody hell. Thanks a lot guys, you’re all too kind, but I’m seriously embarrassed now. Ms Weinman, if I thought for one moment you were serious I would kill you.Kafka

  8. Serious or not, I’m doing it. I haven’t updated my blog in four days due to lack of clever ideas. This is an idea about something clever, but there you go.Bryon, great post! Donna is brilliant and lovely — even more so at 4am across a donut shop table in Toronto after many drinks.

  9. Will we have to point out which pair of Donna’s shoes are our favorite too? OR do we make a donation to the Imelda MArcos Foundation for shoe addicts?

  10. What the—Why haven’t you updated your blog in close to 4 days and yet you’re still getting more hits per day than me? (Then again… It might be because I’m constantly checking this site to see how many hits you get.) Because I’m insanely jealous… and insanely competetive.

  11. It’s because I don’t talk about Rutgers every other damn post. And shut up John, there are only so many times one person can hit the refresh button. Truth be told though, I’ve been checking your site and thought you were getting more hits than me a while ago…maybe the only hits we ever get are each other checking up on the other’s hits…speaking of which it’s about time for an update.

  12. I’d like to echo the ever-on-the-mark Ms. Weinman (after all, how many native Canadian women do you know who can explain the infield fly rule before breakfast on a Saturday morning? Answer: ONE) and go her one better. 2005: the Year of Moore.Stop being bashful and be gracious with your public, Donna Moore. Celebrities are bound by certain rules we mundanes can’t even conceive of. Like, uh… you know… Brian Thornton

  13. I am looking everywhere for easy spirit shoes and easy spirit shoes, while doing so I somehow stumbled onto your easy spirit shoes blog. I am happy to say I learned something and will look into this further…Thanks for the great posts…jon

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