Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Pillow Talk

(In bedroom. Keri Stevens takes fluffy feather pillow from under Dr. Stevens's head)

KS: Gimme that. I've had a long day.

Dr. S: You? What did you do?

KS: I dragged your son and his broken ankle to two different doctors, a radiology lab and two pharmacies to get crutches.

Dr. S: (snatches pillow back and shoves over thin, threadbare, lumpy foam pillow) Well, I worked on two review articles and spent three hours staring at the microscopy results.

KS: You need me to copyedit yet? (sticks thin pillow between her knees, rolls to side)

Dr. S: Not yet. But you're a writer. (yawns). Ghost for me.

KS: Sure. You at the third sex scene yet?

Dr. S: (spooning, freezes still) The what?

KS: The resolution sex. They've got it almost figured out now. Less conflict, more fire.

Dr. S: Um. Yeah. The mossy-fiber boutons have found their place in the hippocampus.

KS: (rolls onto back, elbows him away because the room is stuffy). Good. What about the grand gesture?

Dr. S: Huh?

KS: What sacrifice will the high-fiber buttons make to ensure the hippo campers lives happily ever after?

Dr. S (yawns, rolls away)...trek-bee...neuropeptide excitability...GABA...

KS: (sits up, excited) That's it! Gabba-Gabba-Hey! We'll use Ramones music as a thematic element. This'll be the best Neuron paper any scientist has ever published.

Dr. S: (snores)

KS: (Slowly tugs fluffy pillow out from under his head.)

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Lookie who I found.

She's not in Stone Kissed - but she could be.

If she could talk, what do you think she would say?

Thursday, September 2, 2010

It Works for Me

Most successful writers write every day. Every single day. They floss their teeth. They file their receipts. And they write.

I'm not that writer--at least not in the drafting phase. Maybe I will be when I grow up some day.

But I haven't yet mastered the balance between the voices in my head and the real-world demands. If the kids interrupt me, I snap at them. When the characters interrupt me, I find I've been standing at the sink for 15 minutes scrubbing out the same wine glass or that I've driven three exits further than I wanted to.

I have to pick which world I'll inhabit and stay there.

So, a few times a year, I draft. NaNoWriMo-style, I just push the words out. Some call it "pantsing," but for me, it's highly inefficient plotting. This first draft isn't a first draft, it's a "zero" draft or a "crapdraft." And it's a rush.

I do it for the rush. There's no rush in revision (except for the occasional shout of "Yeah! That's it!")

In the next two days I'll warn the family. I'll show the husband the fridge magnet with the pizza parlor's number again. I'll tell the kids, "If Mommy is talking to the laptop, don't enter the room." And then I'll ride the ride.

Maybe next year my method will change. But for now, this works for me.

What works for you? As a reader, do you read a little every day, or does life shut down while you stay up all night with your novel?