Monday, July 25, 2011

Oh Crap, It's Monday

By Kathleen Bradean

I mean, hello! It's Monday. My day to post. *Taps foot* *Looks around room* *Hopes something comes to me*

As I was driving in to work this morning, having a nice little chat with myself about one of my characters (interrupted by not so nice chats with the jerk who cut in front of me only to drive 15 MPH slower than the rest of traffic), it occurred to me that it's a good thing I don't take the train into work anymore. At the time, I was mumbling something along the lines of, "Okay, so she wakes up next to a dead hooker, and her worst enemy is trying to pull her to her feet and telling her that she has to leave before the cops get there. What's her first reaction? Freak about the dead hooker, or punch the guy slapping her awake?" I can imagine the invisible force field effect as I suddenly end up alone at my end of the train car while the rest of the passengers pack like sardines at the far end, their eyes wide open and wary. Or maybe the guy sitting next to me would nudge me with his elbow and say "If you need a place to bury that hooker, I know a spot out in Riverside."

Don't you hate it when other story ideas leap out at you like a cheap 3-D effect when you're trying to write something else?

So anyway - output.

My score, if you will, is eighty short stories, more or less, two novellas, and four novels published, and I just got a contract for my YA novel. That's more than some people and less than others. I don't remember this being a contest though. Sometimes, I don't write fiction for months. Sometimes, I'm up until an ungodly hour writing about waking up to dead hookers instead of writing my weekly non-fiction post, then waking up at another ungodly hour to drive to work and try to dash off an entry while my oatmeal is cooking in the microwave. Sometimes, I read, or go see the last Harry Potter movie or just hang around with the people I live with and talk about nonsense so that everyone is laughing. Yeah, I get jealous when I see the output of other writers, but when I stop thinking of it as a competition, it's amazing how quickly that goes away.

For the record: I decided she'd punch the dude first and then quietly freak about the body later.

Glad that's settled.

8 comments:

  1. Lady, I friggin' love you <3


    (This is also a post that randomly sums up my emotions lately)

    Double love!

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  2. Hey Zoe! I haven't "seen" you in ages! *kisses*

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  3. "Don't you hate it when other story ideas leap out at you like a cheap 3-D effect when you're trying to write something else?"

    I wish they would.

    Since I knew you before you published any of this stuff (mostly), I'm personally very impressed. For what it's worth.

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  4. Lisabet - I get fragments of ideas (an write on a train mumbles about th murder plot she's working on, and a stranger offers to help her dispose of the body) all the time, but I either don't have the energy or interest to try to write a story based on that. Short stories are great becasue your idea can be much narrower, but for a nveo, as you well know, it has to be something that keeps the writer interested for as long as it takes to write the damn thing.

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  5. Kathleen, you've accomplished a lot in the last few years and more impressively, you've developed what they call a Voice. Now you've piqued our curiosity. I want to read the story (novel?) about the woman who wakes up next to the dead hooker. (Why does the hooker always have to die? Topic for another thread.)

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  6. Jean - I felt really guilty for using that tired old trope, but it was the quickest way I could describe the gist of the scene to someone who hadn't read the story. I swear that I treat the rest of the sex workers in the story with proper respect. And she doesn't die because she's a sex worker. She dies because of who she is. I know - she ends up dead anyway - but I think the distinction is important.

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  7. And you don't think you're prolific? Jeez! Evidently, I'm lazy. Well, actually, I've never made any bones about being a lazy bastard. But jeez.

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  8. D.L. - prolific compared to Sommer Marsden or Donna George Storey? How about George Sand or Mary Shelly? I always feel that there's much more I could have written. (and you have to spread that out over the years.)

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