Let us introduce you to Keely Flynn; a woman who never fails to make me laugh online and in person.
The Girl Detective; There Probably Wasn’t Enough Air in That Closet
by Keely Flynn
When I was a little kid, I had an office in a closet. It had one of those particle board doors that slid shut so sure, I’ll be the first to admit that it wasn’t the best for ambiance. And it may have explained why my clientele never seemed to find me; I split my office hours between being a novelist and a private detective, two things from which I genuinely thought my household and neighborhood could benefit. Momentarily ignoring the question of why I thought I needed a closet office in a room I had all to myself, I’m also not entirely certain what types of crimes I felt confident I could solve without even a partner for backup. (There wasn’t room enough for two desks in there.)
Even though my Encyclopedia Brown dreams have petered out (for now), I’ve pretty much consistently considered myself a writer since that first desk space. I wrote family newsletters and read them to my little sisters. Minute mysteries which I was positive were the height of nail-biting suspense. Fan fiction for Quantum Leap, Highlander, Star Wars, and any other series well beyond my age range. (When I realized that neither my investigative skills nor my manuscript pitches were going to work out, I seriously questioned the ability of anyone to obtain a viable job, ever. I was 12.)
I went on to pen abysmal poetry. (It rhymed.) Drafted somber plays which didn’t do all that hot. Tried my hand at funnier plays of the Buddy Picture ilk. Those did slightly better, so I kept up with the comedy. Improv, sketches, blogs, essays, articles and- the height of my writing pride- a novella for the 25th Anniversary of Quantum Leap. (Which won first place in an international competition. Thankyouverymuch, says circa 1989 Keely.) Living in Chicago as an actor and playwright, I kept on with shows- which was eventually how I met my husband, P.J. (Which was also how I eventually met our three children.)
And I when I heard about the Listen to Your Mother show through friends, prior cast members (and blogosphere fangirls), I knew I simply had to try for the Chicago cast. And boy oh boy, the thrill when I made it in!
This show is gonna be boss, friends. And full of feelings- oh, all sorts of feelings.
If someone had asked me when I was younger what the scariest thing I’d ever done was, I probably would’ve answered “climbing down a skinny ladder from that roof deck party” or “falling out of a boat that one time.” Pretty much anything having to do with falling, drowning, potentially being upside down, etc., etc., etc. And since becoming a Mom? That answer has easily changed to “that time I had a c-section.” Followed closely by “that time I had a second c-section.” (And, you know, my third c-section.) I mean, talk about vulnerable! You’re splayed out on a table like some bizarre science experiment and thinking to yourself- Gee, I super hope I don’t die. Obviously, the end result is all that matters, but you’re surrounded by a team of ten people, gargantuan needles, weird beeps and blips, and every single person is suited up like a HazMat team member. And you’re thinking- if this is such a messy situation, perhaps I should be garbed in more than a hairnet?
But even that answer is eclipsed by the very new, very real scariness of publicly reading something which came from your heart and brain (and occasionally bladder- I’ve been known to nervously pee) in front of a massive crowd. Which is what I’ll be doing on May 4th.
The reading, that is. Hopefully not the peeing.
So please come see this wonderful, heartfelt, hilarious show if you’re in the greater Chicagoland area! You’ll be supporting one of my lifelong dreams.
And in terms of the other: should the need arise after the show, I can don my detective’s cap at a moment’s notice.
This is what a girl detective novelist in a turtleneck looks like.