Becoming a TV Star

Becoming a TV Star

A Story by barleygirl
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excerpt from my new book (in progress) . . .

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I apologize for going incommunicado again. I'm in the throes of writing my next book, which is almost done. Here's an excerpt from Shelter Shenanigans . . . a fictionalized version of my six years volunteering at animal shelters.

* * * * * * * * * * * *

“Ya know Margie, you’ve been one of our most dedicated volunteers for over a year now and I want to reward you!” The top executive at the shelter put her arm around my shoulder a little too chummy-like. It felt uncommonly cozy.

“Thank you, Gertrude, but you don’t have to do anything. Just being on the team brings its own rewards.” I eyed the top dog warily.

“Oh, it’s nothing big, of course. On a shelter budget we don’t do anything big around here, as you know.” She blathered on, fluttering out of her office with a thick dog encyclopedia which she placed into my hands ceremoniously. I could tell by cover markings that this big fat volume was probably sent to the shelter free, as some sort of promotion. I smiled at Gertrude, inwardly laughing at the way this blunt b***h only flutters when she’s up to something.

“I love this, Gertrude. I’m doing up a free library in the volunteer lounge. Friends of the Library have a booth at the farmers market where all books sell for a dollar each. I’ve picked up some great dog and cat classics along the way. I even snagged an original issue of Watership Down, the bunny adventure story.”

“I knew you were into books Margie and I’m glad you like it. By the way, I was wondering if you’d bring a dog on TV at five-thirty tomorrow morning.”

“WHAT? On TV? Tomorrow morning?” I stared at Gertrude, aghast!

“Yes, it’s the Friday morning Pet of the Week segment. Talk to Carol to figure out which animal you should take.”

“I guess I’ll take the animal home overnight, since the shelter will be closed at five-thirty in the morning?” I was flabbergasted at the way Gertrude slipped in this little surprise at the end of her congratulatory spiel.

“Truth is, nobody on staff can get out of bed early enough to get their butts and a scruffy animal camera-ready by five-thirty!” At this point, the pretense was over. Gertrude hooted as she walked back down the hall to where her incontinent pooch dribbled all over her thick executive carpet every day.

Reaching a decision about what animal to bring on television ended up being the major snag in my agenda: “You should bring little Snookers here, he’s a charity case if I ever saw one. Viewers will melt!”

“Uh, let me see what Carol says.” I had no intention of asking whether I could bring the most pathetic dog in the kennel to my first TV spot. I don’t think piquing people’s sympathies is the way to go. The general public wants to see adorable irresistible closeups on their television screens. They want to fall in love. That’s how to get butts to move, taking a trip down to the shelter.

“I heard you’re Pet-of-the-Week person now.” Here comes gothic Chloe with her chosen feline, deformed of course. The limp rag she’s snuggling has one eye, three legs and a torn ear.

“I thought I was doing this tomorrow morning only.” I should’ve known. When a volunteer does a new task, it becomes a regular task, tacked on to a list of other duties amassed along one’s shelter journey.

“Face it, buttercup, you’ll be doing this TV gig forever, now that Lizzie is on maternity leave.” Chloe hands me her one-eyed calico waif several times, but I keep handing the kitten back to her. “I hope you know Lizzie won’t beg to get this TV spot back when she’s done grunting out another one.”

“Let’s not do a cat this time, Chloe. My big dog is very feline UN-friendly.” As I retreat from Chloe, here comes another pet hopeful.

Sandy is rushing me, clomping down the corridor in her customized bunny UGGS. Her headband has glittery wire bunny ears sticking up. She’s wearing it, every time I see her. And we find Sandy at the shelter almost every day giving her shelter bunnies special attention. In fact, she’s taking over the volunteer lounge with her makeshift folding-wire pens sprawling into every free space. That’s why I decided to carve out a corner for a volunteers’ free library, to push back against Sandy’s relentless land grab in there!

“You’re Pet-of-the-Week person now? I’ve got the perfect matching bunny duo! You’re an old bunny pro, right? You can handle two bunnies at once in front of the TV camera, right? Lizzie NEVER took a single rabbit on TV. She’s afraid of rabbits! Can you imagine that? Afraid of rabbits? I think she just wanted to spite me and my successful bunny adoption campaign!” Sandy had a point. These county workers did not like it when a volunteer tried to take over shelter functions, calling one’s own shots in one’s invented domain.

Sandy had crowned herself the bunny queen, promoting bunny adoptions relentlessly. She hauls twenty rabbits down to PetSmart every Saturday, along with needed wire pens, blankets, hay, and bowls. She conducts her own independent adoption bunny-o-rama with shelter bunnies. Store customers can even bring in their pet bunnies to get nail trims and massages from Sandy. Maybe they’ll want to pick up a new furry friend to take home, too!

“I love the idea of doing bunnies Sandy, but this is my first time on TV, so I better play it safe.” Sandy is tugging on my arm, but I turn the other cheek.

After ducking into an empty office to catch my breath, I decide to walk through the dog kennels and jot down a few of my favorites, then let Carol decide. She knew planning stuff nobody else knew, like what dogs were being picked up by foster or rescue groups. Such pickups were often on Fridays, same as my TV spots. We wanted to put the TV focus on a dog that wasn’t likely to get any adoption attention from outside sources.

© 2019 barleygirl


Author's Note

barleygirl
Many thanks to those who've supported me by buying my kindle books *smile*

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Featured Review

'.. I had no intention of asking whether I could bring the most pathetic dog in the kennel to my first TV spot. I don’t think piquing people’s sympathies is the way to go. The general public wants to see adorable irresistible closeups on their television screens. They want to fall in love. That’s how to get butts to move, taking a trip down to the shelter.
“I heard you’re Pet-of-the-Week person now.” Here comes gothic Chloe with her chosen feline, deformed of course. The limp rag she’s snuggling has one eye, three legs and a torn ear.
“I thought I was doing this tomorrow morning only.” I should’ve known. When a .. .. '


Your very own way of writing with a grin across your face, brows raised, tip of tongue peeping out of happy lips really shows in this excerpt from your latest story. Consequently, Margie mine, it has to be yet another wonder aiming for top spot. Your characters, their reactions, thoughts et al really shine, your phrasing smooth as silk. Love it. Hugs.

Posted 1 Month Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

barleygirl

1 Month Ago

My memory works sporadically, that's why I write like a maniac when a longer story seizes me like th.. read more



Reviews

I've never read any short fiction from you. I'm seriously impressed how fast I went through the story. Very readable. Keeping ones interest is half the battle, right? You have that in spades. I'm no critic, so all I can say is great work!!

Posted 1 Week Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

barleygirl

1 Week Ago

Thank you for the kudos. Since I read several books every week, I find so many seem to clog a story .. read more
I enjoyed this extract, I am a fan of present tense writing so know how easily it can come unstuck - all very neatly done here. Nicely handled dialogue with enough exposition to move the story along without interrupting the narrative. All the best with the completed project!

Posted 1 Month Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

barleygirl

3 Weeks Ago

I'm constantly chasing my tenses, it seems, so I'm not surprised if I've sprinkled in a few differen.. read more
Margie - as always I find your stories so much fun to read and i will continue to do so. I would appreciate it though if you would return the favor.

I haven't read your Kindle contributions, it seems my own Kindle isn't kindling. I promise to get it fixed though.

Take care - Dave

Posted 1 Month Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

barleygirl

3 Weeks Ago

I'm sorry if you feel that I haven't been reading you lately. I haven't been at the cafe very regula.. read more

The girl is full of good ideas & thankfully so for furry critters and all of us here, it pays off... Oh and if ya aint got a Kindle yet folks, hurry up and then load it with Barley Girl books.. More therapeutic & cheaper than a private script from the Doc .... Neville

Posted 1 Month Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

Neville

1 Month Ago

Sounds good to me.. just adore blueberries... wot you need is more (PLUGS) ya just cant get enough o.. read more
barleygirl

1 Month Ago

Very grateful for your always-enthusiastic (((PLUGS))) . . . no doubt about it! *smile*
Neville

1 Month Ago

............ just you keep an eye on them blueberries etc (SLUGS) ..
sometimes i get confused cause i read your stuff on FB and then i see it here and i think hmm didnt i read this and then why didnt i say hello and review and then i say to myself i thought i did say hello and then i remember I did on facebook. you know i will have to ad this one to my margie section on my online reader

Posted 1 Month Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

Robert Trakofler (Bad Bunny)

1 Month Ago

me toooooo
Robert Trakofler (Bad Bunny)

1 Month Ago

if i ever drive cross country you will find me there:)
barleygirl

1 Month Ago

I'll be here with a funky hat on . . .
Dear God you're right! EVERY shelter has a goth, a over-enthusiastic cheerleader, and a CEO b***h who--hate her or not--has mad delegation skills.

Aaanndd...you made my namesake your voice of reason in this..this...okay, if CAROL is the voice of reason it's definitely sci-fi/fantasy genre.

Posted 1 Month Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

barleygirl

1 Month Ago

I hooted out loud when I got to the "carol" name tirade! You are hilarious! I loved writing this bec.. read more
After ducking into an empty office to catch breath of exceptional hope this story is very beautifully penned and we appreciate your effort with much care and responsibility. Promoting bunny adoptions relentlessly Sandy is rushing down the corridor to crown queen. An excellent story I have read. This is a very beautifully presented story. ...100/100

Posted 1 Month Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

barleygirl

1 Month Ago

Thank you so much for your enthusiastic reading! I feel honored becuz this was one of my favorite th.. read more
Hi Margie love this you certainly can tell a good yarn

Posted 1 Month Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

barleygirl

1 Month Ago

This is my favorite thing I've written to date. Thanks for stopping by to share & comment (((HUGS))).. read more
Well done. We had an apricot cocker spaniel that developed cancer and had to be put down. We went without a dog for three years and one night Ruby told me she wanted to get another one...I had three stipulations...no pure bred...had to have character...and one that needed a home.
Next day she had a photo from the paper...a half breed with a Mohawk at the Humane Society.
We went the next day. We applied with 6 other couples, but after a process whereby I could have adopted a kid...we were chosen.
Been 10 Years now and I don't know what we'd do without him.
Your chapter took me through that process again. I like it.

Posted 1 Month Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

barleygirl

1 Month Ago

Writing this was great fun! I was reliving some of my favorite life experiences! But since my memory.. read more
congratulations marge for the book it has been a long time since i last visited this site.

Posted 1 Month Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

barleygirl

1 Month Ago

I have not been very regular here at the cafe, but I'm glad you visited me! Great to see you here! T.. read more

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Added on July 24, 2019
Last Updated on July 24, 2019

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barleygirl
barleygirl

Central Coast, CA



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