Happy Holiday Writing!
Happy Holiday Writing!
You may have heard this before –
1. If you anger a writer, you will die – in their story!
The good news is – you get to live to die another day
2. Any little tick you have, one of the characters will probably get.
You’ll probably never notice
3. Anything you say can and will be used … in a story.
If it’s good, anyway.
1. They have very active imaginations.
2. They won’t bother you during your football/baseball/soccer game. (cuz they’re writing)
3. They won’t notice if you’ve taken out the trash. (cuz they’re writing)
4. They’re easily distracted. For example:
5. They’re always up for a new adventure.
6. They notice the details when you do something sweet for them.
When people read what you’ve written, sometimes they feel they have some sort of insight into you the rest of the world is not privy too.
It’s ironic. I spend half my time in class convincing my students that maybe a yellow bird or a green light means something more in literature. That the author might have planned it or perhaps it was unconscious, but that it might just be a way into the text, to understand the story or characters a little better than a simple reading might.
And… we can sometimes assume things about the author.
We know Fitzgerald disliked the hypocrisy he saw all around him and Trumbo was disgusted by the war, but can we say with any certainty that F.Scott had unrealized feelings based on the characters’ portrayals.
Some people like to make guesses about me. They like to make what they feel are educated guesses about the person I am. Someone made a comment to me, recently, about one of the characters in my book, trying to guess which character was actually me.
Of course, we put ourselves into the characters, but rarely do we actually write ourselves. Sometimes, I let it go – let them wonder. Other times, I’m a little annoyed that someone makes an assumption because they read one story and based it on one of the hundred characters I’ve created.
We can’t let it get to us too much – once we send a story out into the world, we can’t control where it will end up or what people will think.
Since my book, How to Throw a Psychic a Surprise Party, came out, people have consistently asked me – so, how do you?
I’m not sure how to answer without giving away the themes appearing throughout the book of short stories, or to get long involved conversation about what we want to to see verses what we hope to see.
One of the basic constants in life is we are consistently surprised by things that have been right in front of our eyes. When whatever it is finally reveals itself, we are shocked and embarrassed that we didn’t know.
Some of our more dense friends will say – how could you not know? and other rude a-holes will actually claim to have known the whole time.
Life is like a magicians trick – he has all the cards in his hands, but one quick shuffle and presto – chango – the card is suddenly behind our ear, in his jacket – pocket, up his sleeve. How did it happen? How did he do that while we were looking right at him.
It’s a matter of keeping our attention elsewhere. We’re too close. Too busy. Distracted. There are signs, but they’re so easily explained away – and then, then… kind readers… it’s Pandora’s box of tragedy released on the human race. It’s what grows like weeds deep inside all of us.
That is what the book is about.
I’ll be at Gatsby’s in Long Beach Saturday at 5, psychic in tow. They have a full day of Halloween Horror planned.