Friday, March 14, 2008

So, How's That Book Comin'?

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.

Har-dee-har-har, jackass.

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".

Bean counters!

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.


missburrows said...

How about a play? Get the costumes and such and show us your chapters! If that doesn't unclog your block, nothing will!

I'll get the popcorn started.


missburrows said...

But not the kind that kills you.

meleah rebeccah said...

I completely identify with this post....I have been struggling with my 'book' forever....I almost tossed it. but, I manged to get though some of the it..and then I got blocked all over again....

Rima said...

I never thought that a hobby could make me it's b1tch, but blogging is it.


What you need is a benefactor who will foot the bill for a monthlong writing retreat in the mountains. I'm sure the characters would begin speaking again then.

TheVasquez3 said...

oh yes...bean counters. BWAAA ha ha


Edge said...

Child labor good. Prime Minister of Malaysia BADDDDD!!!!!

LOVED WF in that movie.

Maybe if your characters ran into each other having a drink it would help.

Speaking of. I wanted to ask you a few serious questions about a book idea I had. I need a little direction on something. Mind a quick email or two to get me pointed in the right direction?

And then you can talk about your boobs. Lord you love talking about them.


Sugarplum's Mom said...

Writing is tricky business... I have a hard time with it... but I like to daydream. Check out my blog - I tagged you for a meme.

loveyh said...

You know, if we could combine your beginnings with my endings, we'd be golden. Alas, you write romance, and well, I do not.

Groovy Mom said...

Maybe subconsciously you are afraid to finish your book because that would mean you start the proofreading and rewriting and rewriting and rewriting again phase, and THEN you have to submit it. Maybe that's why your characters have shut their traps.

I only suggest it because it's happened to me too.

Emma Sometimes said...

Maybe you should start drinking coffee. That always gets my creative juices flowing.

Okay, seriously? Just keep writing...and one day it'll just break through.

I'm not good on the writing part. I mix my your and you're, and run on my sentences..even start them with "So,..." which I've read is a big no no. I've got street don't listen to me. I have no clue what I'm talking about.

Who's stoopid now?

Emma Sometimes said...

(hint: not Avery)

Huckdoll said...

Just the fact that you started a book is amazing to me. Very cool. But hey, a long time ago, in a far away land...I was a bean counter. Nuff said :S

M@ said...

Coffee? Try Aderrol....

sybil law said...

I tried to start a "novel" in the 7th grade. I only got as far as the first, opening sentence, which always opened with the alarm buzzing.
Maybe I could make that work now?!
Not likely.
Good luck!

Misssy M said...

This might placate him whilst he's waiting for the novel...

Well done on being shortlisted.

Janie said...

Hey, girl, at least you've "started" the novel.

Way more than I've accomplished!

Flip Flop Momma said...

I feel your pain, I hit road blocks with ALL the ones I have started too.


MamaGeek said...

Damn bean counters is right. I can't imagine writing a book - writing a blog post alone makes my brain shut down.

holly said...

c'mon....suddenly, there was a knock at the door.

say it with me....suddenly....there was a knock at the door.

you can do it.

what? they are tent dwellers?

okay. um...suddenly, there was a knock at the flap.... okay that doesn't really work.

Joeprah said...

I too am working on a book, and I think it is counter productive to let people know you are because they always ask about it...sigh.