Busting God

Rated 4.33/5 based on 3 reviews
Short story, 15 pages. Aging undercover narcotics agent Michael O'Neill is fighting back the years. Pumping iron, practising karate with the best, running miles every day so that he can stay in the field. He is sent to the north coast of New South Wales, Australia, along with his Vietnam buddy Baby Johnson to bust a heroin dealer everyone up there calls 'God'. 5,500 words. More

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About Danielle de Valera

Until now, Danielle de Valera's been best known for her short stories, which have appeared in such diverse magazines as Penthouse, Aurealis and the Australian Women’s Weekly.
All in all, she's had a chequered career. She’s worked as a botanist, an editor, a cataloguer for the Queensland Department of Primary Industries Library and the John Oxley Library, and on the main floor of Arnott’s biscuit factory.
Although the 1st draft of her 1st novel Some Kind of Romantic was placed 2nd in the Australia-wide Xavier Society Literary Award for an unpublished novel, she abandoned writing for 25 years to raise her children, whom she raised alone.
She resumed writing in 1990. With Louise Forster she won the Australia- and New Zealand-wide Emma Darcy Award for Romance Manuscript of the Year 2000 with Found: One Lover.
Her first novel, Some Kind of Romantic, due out here in November 2016, was shortlisted for the Byron Bay Writers’ Festival Unpublished Manuscript Award in 2011, and for the UK’s Impress Prize in 2012.
A freelance manuscript assessor and fiction editor since 1992, she has won numerous awards for her gritty, streetwise short stories. MagnifiCat, a departure from this style, is her first published novel. It will be followed in 2014 by the The Children’s MagnifiCat.

Beginnings:

It’s strange the way things pan out in life. My career as a writer almost didn’t happen.
I was in 3rd grade in primary school, slowly getting on top of things, when we were sent home one day with instructions to write our first composition.
I trudged home. My career as an even halfway-coping schoolkid was over. I knew I’d never be able to write a composition.
My mother was in the kitchen, preparing the evening meal. Unusual for him, my father was also home; there’d been very few ships in port that day. When he saw me slumped in misery at the kitchen table, he asked me what was wrong.
I said, “We have to write a composition about trees, and I can’t write compositions.” I began to cry.
My father put down his newspaper and said, “It’s okay. Whatever the subject is, you just talk about it.”
“Talk about it?” I wailed.
“Yeah,” he said, “like how they’re green and leafy and they give people shade. Do you like trees?”
Of course I liked trees. I practically lived in the loquat tree up the back.
“Have a go,” said my father, returning to his paper.
I sat there, chewing the end of my pencil, and tried to write as if I was talking about trees. This half-page took me the best part of an hour.
“How’d it go?” said my father, who must’ve been watching my progress from behind his paper. He read through what I’d written. “Not bad,” he said. “But it needs something.” And he dictated a line about leaves dancing when the wind blew; something quite poetic. “Slip that in somewhere,” he said.
I rewrote the piece, placing the line he’d dictated where, I hoped, a teacher was least likely to notice the extra zing it put into my dreary effort.

By the time the English teacher came into the room carrying our exercise books three days later, I very much regretted using the line my father had written. Now, it was all too late, as she began to deal with each composition in turn, from worst to best — a tried and tested form of torture even when your conscience is clear, and mine certainly wasn’t. Eventually, there were no exercise books left but mine. I was convinced she’d saved mine ‘til last because she intended to expose me before the whole class. Why had I let my father talk me into adding that line about leaves in the breeze?
To my surprise, she pronounced my composition the best, and read it out to the class. I felt no elation, though it was the first time I’d ever come first in anything. How, I asked myself, was I going to continue this run? My father was leaving in a few days for a job at sea. What on earth was I going to do?
We were given a new subject to write about. I trudged home and sat at the kitchen table. Nothing came. I felt like the girl in the fairy tale who was supposed to spin straw into gold. Or else.
In desperation, I decided I’d pretend to be my father. Clearly, I had no talent for writing, but he did. Okay, Dad, I said to myself, what have you got to say about pets? And I began to write.
I was stunned when that composition also came first. Around me, there were boys in tears, boys who hadn’t been able to get even four lines onto the pages of their exercise books.
I knew how they felt.
It was pure chance my father had been home that day.

About that Name

Danielle de Valera’s father claimed he was related to the controversial Irish politician Eamon de Valera on his mother’s side. But he told some tall tales in his time, and this is sure to be one of them. Born Danielle Ellis, she found that this name was replicated many times on the web. In searching for another under which to write, she remembered her father’s story and chose it as her writing name. But she feels any real connection is unlikely.

Also by This Author

Reviews

Review by: tony parsons on March 10, 2014 :
Cool book cover, great font & writing style. A fairly well written narcotics short story (book). It wasnt very easy to read/follow from start/finish. Quite a few twists/turns. No grammar errors, repetitive or out of line sequence sentences. Lots of interesting scenarios & a lot of characters to keep track of. The whole story content made no sense to me what so ever so I will rate it at 3/5 stars.
Thank you for the free short story (book)
Tony Parsons MSW (Washburn)
(review of free book)

Review by: C S McClellan on March 07, 2014 :
A tight, tough little story with a distinctly down under flavor. I understand this is the first of several about these characters. Looking forward to the next one.
(review of free book)

Review by: sandra Bell on March 07, 2014 :
Great story but I admit having to look up Google maps for the names of places. They really exist.
This author brings her characters to life with a great deal of enthusiasm.
I enjoyed this story very much from 'down under'.
(review of free book)

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