Tuesday, November 9, 2010


Logo created by Ali
Extra Pulp From the Mind of Tommy Hancock

It’s a great thing as a writer to be able to have ideas. I’m very fortunate to have many of them. Sometimes too many. One of the other Spectacled Seven and a longtime friend of mine, Derrick Ferguson, once commented that I have “ideas like bullets”, the basic concept being that I fire off story concepts, beginnings, or mostly complete outlines of tales to tell like street thugs dispensing rounds in an old pulp mag. Alas, this is true and the darndest part of it is I produce way too many inklings to ever write about them all beyond a few summary lines or maybe a half detailed synopsis.

So, why not spread the wealth? Hence that is where the idea…and title for this column sprang from.
Every week ’round about this time I’ll be posting some semblance of an idea that I’ve had for a story, series of stories, book, whatever. It will be here for you to read, to comment on if you want, but if it ends up in this column, then it is also available for you to write. Yup, you heard me. I’m wanting to take these little jewels I manufacture like an overactive oyster and let them see life from the pen of someone who actually has time to write them. So, please feel free.

What do I want in return? Not much, actually. Most of the time, I will simply post an outline or discussion of the idea I’m offering with no provisos. When I do that, all I want is credit given for the concept if and when you do write it. There will be some ideas, though, that I throw out there looking for a co-writer on or even maybe wanting to be the plot guy while you do all the heavy lifting. In those instances, I’ll be sure to say so.

So, yeah, these ideas sprout from my brain fodder, but I’m not stingy. If they sit here long enough for me to
have time to write ‘em, then I might…but I saw my calendar today…these will sit unwritten by me for some time to come. Have at it.

That jake with you? Good.

Now, the first concept to be shared is one I’ve had in my reserve pile for some time. Although every column won’t have a neat little tale already written, this one does. Read this as if the writer were a man who was alive in the era the character is placed in and lived in a world where heroes and villains were common place.

Now, stand back. I’m going to fire the first of my IDEAS LIKE BULLETS…

Take the little colored girl from Arkansas, born the daughter of a wise man in an ignorant time. She saw her father, a man of God and the people, take the Lord's word into the shacks of his own heritage and right into the front doors of parlors and city halls where 'his kind' only served or swept up. She watched as he shepherded both his own congregational flock and the entire citizenry of the small town they lived in toward what would be Dr. King's dream. She looked on in terror that crisp May night in 1929 when a man wearing a flour sack made into a mask over his face sped past her home, a shotgun out the window. She watched her father die before he hit the ground as her own blood filled her eyes. Those images were the last things she saw for seven years.

Left for dead by the supposed avenging angel of Anglo pride that felled her father, she clung onto life long enough for her mother to find her. Thanks to her father's many supporters on both sides of the color line, she made her way to a hospital in Tennessee. Doctors determined that even though she was not dead, she might as well have been. Carrying the faith of her husband, that little girl's mother refused to believe that and carried her daughter back to Arkansas. In the home she was born in, she lay comatose until the day after her twentieth birthday. Never a twitch or a mumble. Not until that day.

She awoke to a new world. A world where her mother had found new love. A world where people with strange gifts now populated the skylines and news headlines. And a world where a young woman still had the last memories of a thirteen year old witness to her father's murder. As well as something more.

That little girl, as she lay drifting toward death in her front yard, had looked up enough to see her father's killer return to see if either of them remained alive. He reached up, laughing, and pulled the sack from his head. The newspapers and courts had ruled the preacher's murder the handiwork of a white man 'protecting his heritage'. But what she had seen that night was the face of a black man. The businessman her mother now called husband.

That memory did not come easily to her, only in fits and flashes. And with it came something else. Horrible images in her sleep at night began manifesting themselves before her eyes in the light of day. At first afraid she was still trapped in her coma, she began doubting her own sanity as her dreams literally walked around her more and more every day. Until in the confines of the room that had been her home for seven years, she watched the scene play out in front of her. A solid image of the man who killed her father and meant to kill her. Standing over her, pulling his mask away. And revealing her stepfather. She cried out, desperate for answers, knowing she had lost all grip on reality.

Then, behind her, on her shoulder with the softness of baby's breath was her father's hand. Not her father, but another bit of imagination come alive. Somehow, she never understood the reason, she'd been given something in exchange for her seven years. Abilities like no other. And she used it, first for her own purposes. The costume was a necessity in the beginning, a way to keep her mother safe until she had enough to hang the man who killed her father. A loose fitting multicolored collection of rags and remnants with strands of cloth attached at her arms to the sides of her clothing. And when she spread her arms, the cloth opened like wings. And that little girl lost became Daydream and flew into history on her own angel's wings.

OK, there you have it. This character could very easily be taken several directions pulp wise. The original concept has her powers being basically able to make images from her dreams hard and real for anywhere from a matter of seconds to up to an hour. You’ll understand when you read it.

Now, remember the rules as laid out above. If you take this one and run with it, just remember to credit where the idea came from. And please, let me know either via the comments page here at ALL PULP or at if you are going to try your hand. I’m having to farm them out to see them live beyond the meager beginning I give them, but it doesn’t mean they’re not still my kids. Take care of ‘em, will ya?
Tommy Hancock