Monday, December 14, 2015

20 Days of Tabor Heights -- Day 5

We're three-quarters of the way through the scavenger hunt. Are you having fun?

Today's book


is near and dear to my heart. For many reasons.

First of all, this book started life as a script for "MacGyver." Yep, that's how long this story has been around. In fact, I came "this close" to actually selling the script. The writing team told me that if I cared to rewrite it, they would be glad to look at it again. So I rewrote it ... and wouldn't you know it? By the time they looked at my script, they had already chosen their scripts for the last season of the show. They were kind enough to encourage me to turn "Wheels" into a screenplay, which I did. And eventually it turned into a Tabor Heights story.

More important, I love WHEELS because it's a tribute to my brother, my hero, my favorite wheelchair comedian. Most of the humor in Tommy Donnelly's comedy routines is genuine, original humor that Dean used when he performed at comedy clubs. And yes, before you ask, I did get official permission to use it. I know better than to steal from a comedian -- he might break my legs! (yeah, gimp humor -- so sue me!)

Natalie was the little girl across the street who adored Tommy and planned to marry him when they grew up. In the wake of Tommy's broken back and the disintegration of his family, Natalie's family left town.

She never thought she would see him again, until she was assigned to cover the Mission's handicap awareness campaign -- led by Tommy. He didn't seem to recognize her, and she didn't want to embarrass him by bringing up the past, but she had to warn him before the past found Tommy in the shape of his estranged father.

Just when was the right time, in the middle of the campaign and threats from petty criminals who were blackmailing one of Tommy's friends?

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