Tuesday, October 4, 2016

Oh! I don't have to worry about that anymore!

I've been going down to Provo on Tuesdays to hang with TRQ and the Coach, which has been fun, especially since TRQ and I are on an epic quest to eat a burger at  a different hamburger joint every week.

Except today we got mixed up and ate mushroom soup at Zupas

But that's not the point.  The point is this:  when we first walked into Zupas I heard some guys sitting at a table together complaining about BYU's football team.  Suddenly I felt a familiar pit in my stomach.  OH NO!  (I thought.)  SOMEBODY'S GOING TO SAY SOMETHING MEAN ABOUT MY DAD!  AND THEN I WILL HAVE TO BEAT THEM UP!  WHICH WILL GET ME THROWN OUT OF ZUPAS AND THEN WHO WILL EAT MY CHOCOLATE-DIPPED STRAWBERRY?

And then I remembered.  My dad doesn't coach anymore.  He hasn't for 16 seasons now.  But there I was, automatically reacting the way I reacted a lifetime (or more) ago.

Friday, September 23, 2016

Cheating: a Novelist's Perspective

So La Louise and I were talking yesterday about what happens when the honeymoon is over with that novel you're writing that you were so excited about.

How excited were you?  You sent it roses.  You texted it non-stop.  You swore your undying love.  You updated your status on Facebook to "in a relationship."

But then you hit that middle part and gah.  Suddenly your love doesn't feel so fresh and dewy.  And suddenly you think about cheating on your manuscript.

What do I mean by that?  I mean you start wanting to write this OTHER book you've been thinking about because this OTHER book will be easier to write and more satisfying and Reese Witherspoon will option it and make you rich and you and Reese will go to the Oscars together, but only if you promise not to upstage her gown with your gown.

Reese can be tricky that way.

Anyway, this is me and Louise warning you to resist the temptation.  This is just part of the process.  Accept the fact that all middles are messy for awhile and then have a little faith in yourself and your story and see it through until the end.

Then you can decide what to do with it.

And never mind about the Reese advice.  Buy any damn Oscar gown you feel like, is what I'm saying.

Thursday, September 22, 2016

Am I the only writer who . . .

doesn't like the rain?  Is it a prerequisite to like the rain if you're a writer?

The reason I ask is that last night at TKE, Matt and Jaime Kirby (both writers) came in and chatted with me (a writer) and Jen Adams (a writer) and somehow we got onto the subject of rain and its awesomeness and I went NO!

They're all happy that summer is dead and I'm all NO!

So then they doubled down on rain-awesomeness and I doubled-down on sun and summer awesomeness.  And then they all agreed it was their British blood that made them like the rain and I said I had that blood, too, but walking through sheep poo in the rain in England for 8 days pretty much made me never want to go back to England again.  And more to the point, never walk in sheep poo again.  Especially for 8 days.

And then finally I had to go  into the back room take a truckload of antidepressants and sit under one of those depressed-people lamps and tell myself that it's not the Twilight of the Gods.

It's just September.

Wednesday, September 21, 2016

Writing again

Seriously, I've probably written more this summer than I've written in forever.  It feels good.  Which is not the same thing as having written something that's good.  But still.

I've wondered why I've had this sudden burst of writing energy, and I'm not sure there's a single answer.  But part of it is that I've been going out into the playhouse--that one Ken Cannon is building in the backyard--and writing by hand, something I haven't done since I taught myself to compose at the typewriter.

Yes.  I said typewriter.

When I first started writing on deadline for Utah Holiday and Network many decades ago, I realized I needed speed.  The typewriter (and, later, the computer) provided that.  But with the advent of the Internet, the computer became a way to seriously distract myself.

Thank you, Internet!  Without you, I would never know what that great feminist Kim Kardashian who takes nude selfies on an hourly basis to empower us all is going to do next!

Anyway.  I'm writing by hand now.  And somehow that process keeps me grounded in the story I'm telling.

Monday, September 19, 2016

What's your campaign slogan?

A coworker at the bookstore shared a Facebook meme that tells you to take the last text you sent and turn it into a campaign slogan.

Hers was something about taking out a video game character while wearing her underwear.  Another's was "Happy anniversary."  Mine was "I won't be home until 7:00.  Hopefully the dogs won't destroy the house."

Ever since then I've been trying to turn that into a campaign slogan.


I don't know.  Too many words?

What was your last text?

Friday, September 16, 2016

Julia Claiborne Johnson on finishing what you started

So, given that if it weren't for Megan, we'd never know what happens to Bar. Bum., Jasper, the fairy woman Gwendolyn, and Hollyhock, I was particularly intrigued by Johnson's comments at TKE last night.

Johnson was in town to discuss her delightful novel, BE FRANK WITH ME.  Here's the thing (or one of the things) she said that had me nodding in agreement.  After reading a slew of books that made her go HOW DID THIS GET PUBLISHED? she finally realized they got published because they (wait for it) got finished.

If you want to publish a book, you have to finish it.

Amen and so forth with it.  (Whatever that means.)  (It's just that Ken Cannon says that sometimes.)

Thursday, September 15, 2016

"Briarton," Part 8

TRIGGER WARNING:  You may be sad to learn that this will be the last installment of "Briarton."  Either I didn't finish this story.  Or the pages were lost in TRQ's storage unit.  I suspect the former.

"His Honor, the Mayor," gulped Dr. P.P. "wishes to see you instantly.  Bring the child with you."

Then struggling for one last breath, the poor tired doctor fainted and fell through the doorway.  The lovely fairy woman Gwendolyn smiled sadly and gently tended the doctor with damp leaves and hummingbird's nectar.

Jasper Jay reached for his lamp, wrapped a quilt about his son's body, and left for his father's home.


However, there is an opportunity for YOU to tell us all what happens next.  Have at it with my blessing!