Friday, February 7, 2014

Parson Short Rides Again!

Many years ago when I was involved in writing mystery plays I came up with a fictional character I called Parson Short. He was mentioned in a couple of the plays as a fictional character and then made an appearance as an actual character in one play. He was intended to be both real and fictional, sort of like Ellery Queen who was the supposed writer of the series of Ellery Queen mysteries of which he was a character as well. 

I thought of the character as a sort of take off on other characters I was reading at the time. Ministerial types were hot for awhile back then. Father Brown, Sister Mary Helen, Rabbi David Small and others. Parson Short was conceived as a small time private investigator. He wasn't an actual minister, his first name was actually Parson. I gave him a stock rejoinder to questions, "Parson's the name, not the occupation!"

We had fun making up fictional books that the fictional character would have appeared in, all titles with the word "Short" in them, like "Short Stories", "Murder for Short", etc. That was from our "Reunion with Death" script, and as I said, Parson Short made an actual appearance as a living character in the script for "Play Dead."

As I was planning my current rural mystery series in progress I thought of having Parson Short be a resident of the town as a reclusive mystery author. Wheels within wheels. 

Parson Short has popped up again, though. I am taking a Creative Writing: Plotting class with Fleeta Cunningham in Bastrop, Tx currently. As the main exercise of the class we are plotting and writing a short story throughout the class. Therefore, I have resurrected Parson Short to be my protagonist! Look for the new adventure to appear here when finished!


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