Our accountant, Ron, thinks it's hi-lar-i-ous to ask me how my book is coming along and when he can head to Barnes and Noble to get his autographed copy at my book signing.
During the course of a twenty minute phone conversation with him yesterday, he brought it up not once, but three times.
Ron: How's the book comin'?
Me: It's not.
Ron: Why not? It sounded like you were making good progress.
Me: I was. But then I hit a road block.
Ron: Writer's block?
Me: Not exactly. See, I got this blog...
(Okay, I didn't tell him about my blog. I didn't think he'd understand. Besides, he'd have all these ideas about how I can make my blog "work for me".
My point is, if I had writer's block, I wouldn't be able to write anything, and it's obvious to anyone who reads my blog that that's not true. I've got a good handle on writing crap.)
Ron: So, what's the hold-up?
Me: My characters.
Ron: What's wrong with your characters?
Me: They're not speaking to me.
Ron: Not speaking to you? As in your art is not speaking to you?
Me: No. My characters. They were all Chatty Cathys, and now they've gone and written themselves into a corner, and I haven't figured out how to steer them back out. And they're not giving me anything to work with.
I'm sure at this point Ron had written me off as a poor, tortured artist who thinks the characters from her books are real and telling her to kill the Prime Minister of Malaysia or something. And that's not true at all.
It's the President of Uzbekistan.
But seriously, this phenomenon of rebellious characters is not all that uncommon. Ask any writer of a character-driven story if their main players have ever led them off the intended course, they'll probably tell you they have. Because stories, despite being researched and plotted and outlined, are still as fluid as the author's imagination. And mine has never really taken a linear path.
Therein lies the problem.
I told a friend of mine that if there was money to be made in starting novels, I could make a killing. I have six of them on the back burner.
Alas, that's not really a marketable feat. Lots of people have started novels. You can't toss a brick and not hit someone who's started a novel.
So, I just told Ron I was working on it, and that he'd be the first to know since the advance would be counted as income on our taxes.
(It was accountant humor, and, oh, how he laughed.)
And I will work on it again, but in the meantime, I've got a hundred and one things I need to do for this trip I have to take.
Anyone know who flies non-stop to Uzbekistan? Lax security would be a plus.