Sunday, October 26, 2008

The Long Awaited Friberg Factor

This Post recalls back to this One before. Go forth, read, and Prosper. And Forget I ever spelled Friberg as Freeburg. Oh, and I do like his paintings; I'm not trying to make fun of him, BYU, girls who scrapbook and jog on Ninth East, the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints or people with AIDS.

Laura's brother Joel visited us today, and he told us that her and Jeff are still working on their novel, which is about a Missionary, who receives his mission call....back in TIME! (PS, if you steal their idea, I will have to kill you. Thank you). They've taken a small break, though, because Jeff has actually written another novel, while at the same time working on his Phd. He's a busy man.

We told Joel about our big Friberg series, and he talked about a novel coming out about an FBI agent and secret papers, and I realized that I had to get my ideas out before someone else thought that they thought of them first. All Copyrights reserved and all that jazz.

I'll give you the synopsis, so that way your spending pump will be primed for the purchase (or because I would never put my name to this pile of drivel, even if it could be published, which it

The Friberg Factor

The book opens on a small scale, to draw the reader forward and make her (plus the one or two male readers) connected to the story because it could practically be her life.

Brittney is your regular female student at BYU. She's from California and is a junior in the Early Elementary Education Major at BYU. She and her roommates met as Freshmen in the Dorms and then moved together to a large complex where they like to do fun roommate things together like have group dinners and ask boys to Preference. Her hobbies are jogging along Ninth East, going to Divine Comedy performances, and scrapbooking. She also loves the artist Arnold Friberg. Her favorite painting is the Liahona by Arnold Friberg, where Lehi finds the Liahona outside his tent. She has a large copy hung in her living room, and keeps a pocket version at all times.

Every year the Elementary Education and the Engineering Department at BYU have a social together, because the E.E. has the largest percentage of girls of any department and the Engineering department contrariwise has the largest percentage of males (this social really happens in real life). Brittney goes to it, and as she's sampling at the food table while talking to her E.E. friends, her eye catches with a young man across the room.

He's six foot tall. He has a post missionary haircut, and his name is LaVonn Tanner. He hails from Southern Idaho, and is the strapping son of a prosperous potato farmer turned accountant. He went on his mission to the Yucatan, Mexico mission.

They talk a bit, and he remembers seeing the Liahona painting while walking past her apartment, and she realizes that they live in the same complex, although in different wards. For Brittney, it's love at first sight. She takes walks around the complex hoping to catch a glimpse of him. She signs up for the complex emergency preparedness coordinator so she can go to his apartment (among all the rest) and teach him about mouth to mouth resuscitation. Okay, not really. But she does help him develop a plan for when the big earthquake comes to Utah.

They go on one date, where LaVonn and Brittney go to Salt Lake and take a tour of the Conference Center. They almost hold hands while touring the room containing fifteen (or so) Friberg paintings. Brittney explains how she loves Friberg's strong men who aren't Momma's Boys, and then looks longingly (and secretly) at LaVonn, who also is strong and not a Momma's boy. LaVonn almost holds her hand while eating Ice Cream afterwards, but the moment passes, and he quickly takes her home.

After this one date, LaVonn doesn't seem that interested in her, and it breaks Brittney's heart. She determines to continue on without him, still being friendly of course, secretly hoping that some day he'll come to his senses, and realize what a killer Lemon Meringue pie she can make in under an hour (59 minutes to be exact).

What Brittney doesn't know (here the book changes perspectives for a while to LaVonn) is that LaVonn is convinced he has AIDS. While on his mission he had to receive a blood tranfusion in a dubious country hospital, and has had some health problems ever since. Although LaVonn has never been tested, he's already emotionally prepared himself to lead a short, celibate life before he succumbs to AIDS. Hence he doesn't want to lead Brittney on. LaVonn has a handsome Australian (the chicks dig Australians, so you need one in every book) roommate named Bruce and another token diverse roommate who's Black or otherwise Cultural.

Bruce, although all the girls love him, has proven, tested HIV (from some "normal" source, like a blood transfusion), and he's LaVonn's confidante in his worries about his untested (but emotionally sure) AIDS. LaVonn loves his roommates, in a manly, three pats on the back that mean, "I'm not gay" when you hug sort of way. They're like the brothers he never had (actually, he has five brothers, but they're back in Southern Idaho, and these ones live with him).

LaVonn spends a lot of this book secretly digging Brittney, but half-heartedly avoiding contact because he doesn't want to encourage a doomed relationship. Throughout the book Bruce gets more and more sick, and moves from HIV to AIDS. Brittney and her roommates show their love for Bruce by giving him a "heart attack" on his door (where you post up all sorts of construction paper hearts on a door with cute messages.)

Brittney has been taking Spanish for three years (plus in High School) and it just so happens that LaVonn, is minoring in Spanish. After Brittney has already given up on LaVonn, lo and behold he happens to be her speaking partner in a Spanish class, and so the almost blown out spark is revived.

Meanwhile, LaVonn when he sees Bruce's suffering finally goes to the Health Center and tells the Doctor that he has AIDS, and tells him his symptoms; weight loss, etc. Once the Doctor stops laughing he does some tests and it turns out that he only got tuberculosis and he gets medicine and all is well.

So when LaVonn and Brittney are in the same class he tries to pursue her, but Brittney's feelings are a little hurt, and so she gives him the cold shoulder, which means she only lets him walk her home once a week from class, instead of every day.

Brittney signs up for a study abroad to the Yucatan Peninsula, and LaVonn does too, in order to be able to show how much he loves her. Besides, it's where he served his mission, and he's sure on his "home" turf he can show her the depth of his feelings.

They arrive in the Yucatan and start sight seeing all of the "Proven" Book of Mormon sights there. At a Meso-American temple LaVonn realizes that he doesn't know where Brittney is in the complex; she's not anywhere with the group. He looks for her everywhere - but she has vanished. He's convinced something sinister must have happened when he sees her pocket copy of the Liahona ground into the mud at the edge of the site.

LaVonn knows that Brittney would never treat her favorite painting in that manner, and that somehow, someone must have kidnapped her - or worse! The study abroad group can find no hints of where she went anywhere, but a native tells them that a group who calls themselves the "El Gadiantanos" have established themselves recently in the native hills, and he suspects them with her disappearance.

LaVonn sinks to the ground in despair, as he realizes he may never be able to tell Brittney that he loves her. As the name El Gadiantanos sinks into his saddened mind, he remembers from his mission hearing rumors about a band of renegade robbers who respected no person or property.

Just then an NSA agent badly disguised as a local runs up and asks in bad Spanish if LaVonn is Mr. Tanner, and if he will please come with him....he has some information that might help and hold up a hand-drawn map with Egyptian looking characters on it. Stunned as how a NSA (National Security Agency) agent knows his name (and phone number, and first pet's middle name), LaVonn agrees to anything to get his Brittney back.

The book ends with Brittney coming to out of a faint, and pretending to not know any Spanish as two men discuss with each other how they will use "El Mormina" to understand "El Freeburg Codo," which will show them where "El Dies Tribos of Israelos" are - whether at the center of the earth or at "El Bountifulo Templos", so they can destroy them once and for all. They shockingly hold up a picture of Lehi finding the Liahona, done by Arnold Friberg - not her copy - and she faints again in wonder and shock at their dastardly plans.

The End.

But Stay Tuned for The Friberg Code.


  1. I wait in agony for this tragic tale to be resolved!

  2. okay thora, remind me again why you dont just write a book already?? i mean you LOVE to write. You are good at writing. and look you even have a whole book planned out, actually a series of books. i mean stop giving it away for free!! I love you, make some money with your awesome talent of writing and imagination. really. im serious.

  3. Okay it would be Los Ladrones de Gadianton or Los Gadiantones and Los Dies Tribos de Israel.

    Mormona for Girl Mormon

    And Bountiful Temple translates to Templo de Abundancia

    Code is Código

    Sorry the former Spanish major in me cannot let the mexicans in your books speak bad spanish.

    Interestingly there is a group of rebels in the Yuctan peninsula called the Zapatistas who have a tendency to take Foreigners hostage to make the Mexican government bend to there wishes.

  4. Oh my gosh.
    And you're not going to get this published, why again?

    Hello!! Write the story. The synopsis is AWESOME! Come ON Thora! I'm with sallysue, either don't give it away free OR actually write the whole thing out on a separate writing blog or something?

  5. Ok thora, I have lots and lots of cheesy LDS love story books. they are getting old. THIS though is different. I SAY WRITE IT.. SEriously. I know you could make a fortune! PLEASE PLEASE write it, really.

  6. You had me at "LaVonn was convinced he had AIDS". I too was once convinced of the same affliction and was also wrong. Perhaps this man will bring excitement in other ways to my otherwise dreary life as well.

  7. Two thoughts, I would be cautious about putting even a synopsis on the internet of something you are thinking about writing for publication. Basically, you just did publish the synopsis. Secondly, the story ends in an odd place--in other words, it doesn't end, it is in the middle. A book needs to be a nice little package in and of itself even if it has a sequel. Also, believe me, going from a synopsis to a completed book is a long and not always rewarding journey but if you stick to it and do complete it, changes are very strong the response from the potential publishers will be something to the effect of: Thank you for your recent submission but it does not meet our publishing needs at this time. However, there is joy in the journey and writing is a skill to be honed.

  8. But I don't what to read this post - I want to read the book!

  9. Actually, this synopsis was pretty much all I needed. You should send it out for publication as-is. :)