Thursday, December 29, 2011

HEAVENLY HELL- Where All Serious Writers Go

Pearly Gates after Daily Polishing
Welcome to the New Year. Well, for you, maybe. I’m writing this several days before New Years’ Eve, knowing I'll have returned from a trip north to see family just in time to miss all the celebration. While the rest of you are out there whooping it up, I’ll be at home pounding the keyboard. But if you think I’m whining, you’re mistaken.

You can tell this is a serious writer
by his pride in the three words he got
onto the paper. Can't see them?
 Oh, he must have used White-Out.
I think the last time we ventured out on the wild year end spree was 1989 when we got as far as Plaid Pantry before the drunk drivers scared us off the road. Following the national tradition doesn’t appeal to me. It would mean actually dressing up and going out, and then eating too much and drinking things I don’t even want to remember in the morning. Not that I don’t like to dress up. I do it at least twice a year, and actually, I clean up pretty good. But there’s just nothing like hanging around the house in my faded muu muu, fuzzy comfy sox and new Christmas robe that so far doesn’t even have a bacon fat dribble on it while the guys are safely downstairs in front of the TV. I'll have a glass of wine, maybe, and some shrimp cocktail that still has frost lingering on the tails. I’m perfectly capable of getting fat without leaving the house.

The truth is, I’d just as soon stay home and write, curled up in said faded muu muu on my bed with my laptop, as do anything else in the world. I will spend the day working on the ending of my January release, BELOVED STRANGER, briefly hobbling on stiff legs down the stairs for supper, then return to my awkward Yoga-like position on my bed to work some more on it.  No doubt I'll find a rough spot on the last scene, but I'll simply do what always works: a whirlpool bath. Sure enough, in five minutes I'll have all the missing parts outlined in my little notepad, and I'll lean back to enjoy the soothing flow of the bubbly water. For maybe a minute.  I'll spend the last 25 minutes before the timer shuts off planning my next story. (No, I'm not providing any pictures of me in any of the above circumstances. Don't ask.)

Demon Deadline's Workplace
I know what you’re thinking. Couldn’t I just enjoy the whirlpool bath without turning it into some sort of workaholic marathon? Are you kidding? What kind of fun would that be? I’m a writer. I write.  People who don’t write, don’t.  And they don’t understand those who do.
Ever hear about the writer who died and walked up to the Pearly Gates, only to discover the Gates were temporarily closed for their daily polishing? While he waited around for things to open up, St. Peter offered the author a tour of Hell because, he said, authors get to choose whether they go to Heaven or Hell. 
Demon Deadline in action.
Down in Hell, all the writers were squatting before desks made from rocks, pounding on ancient typewriters, while behind them some joker whose name was Demon Deadline (I kid you not) cracked a whip and yelled, “Write, you fools! Write!” 
As soon as the gates were polished, St. Pete and the author returned to Heaven, and St Peter showed the author around the Heavenly Authors’ Chamber, located on a remote cloud, perched precariously at the very edge of Heaven. All the writers were sitting before rock desks pounding on ancient typewriters. And darned if that guy Deadline wasn’t right behind them, cracking his whip and yelling, “Write, you fools!  Write!” 
“I don’t get it,” said the author. “What’s the difference?” 
St. Peter beamed proudly and said, “Our Heavenly Authors get to be published in the Heavenly Times.”
Real authors understand that.  Of course any author who had a choice would clearly choose Heaven over Hell, but lacking that choice, he’d choose Hell over an ordinary life without writing. Writers know all about Hell anyway. Hell is a When as well as a Where. It'’s when you spent the entire night working out a fabulous scene in your mind until you know every single detail. Then you sit down at your computer the next day and discover you do indeed have every little detail in your mind. Everything, that is, except the words to describe it.

And Hell is when someone drags you off to a party to loosen up and have fun for a change, just when you’re champing at the bit to write that delicious love scene. (And yes, that’s champing at the bit, not chomping. All  Regency authors know horses do not chomp their bits because Regency authors love their research even as much as they do writing.)

Heaven is when your hero is Johnny Depp, Gerard Butler and Jimmy Thomas combined in just the right proportions, and you have no trouble at all picturing him or telling anyone all about him. Hell is when you’re a hundred pages into the book and still can’t get a mental picture of Hero, even though he ought to be the sexiest, most kissable guy you’ve ever written.

This ordinary world is very neatly divided into two kinds of people: Those who write, and those who know all writers are crazy. The second group would find no pleasure in running around all day in comfy sox and muu muus (or pajamas or sweats), but tying one on at a New Year’s party is something they find worthy of a year-long wait. They consider computers to be work tools and whirlpool baths a source for luxurious “aaaahhhhs”. Writers, on the other hand, derive incredible pleasure (or pain) from their computers. But whirlpool tubs, being the source of some of their greatest ideas, are clearly work tools.

So those of you who are not writers will not understand my New Years’ Eve wish. It is only for authors, who will have no trouble understanding. Here it is, my special wish for you, for now and all the years to come:

And for the rest of you, who we love so much:
Buy our books! Live a Happily Ever After!

Love and hugs to all!

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Glass Eye Studio Winner!

Running behind again--as you know I sometimes do--
The WINNER of the $35 gift Certificate to The Glass Eye Studio is Diana Duncan! Diana, I'm being demonic. I'm waiting for you to find it so I can hear you scream...

I'm still collecting entries for the final drawing on New Years Day for:
A gift certificate for the tooled Leather e-reader cover- or $87 toward any other item in the Oberon Designs catalog.
One $10 gift certificate each to three winners to the winners' choice of Amazon, Glass Eye or Oberon Designs.

There are so many choices at Glass Eye and Oberon Designs that I can't even decide which ones for myself, so I wouldn't want to pick for you. The e-reader covers come in sizes and shapes to fit all Kindles and Nooks, and might fit other readers too, but I'd be very careful about that if you're the winner. Check your measurements carefully and then contact them directly to be sure. If not, there are many other beautiful products available.

The usual things will get you extra chances in the drawing.
Buy a 99 cent book on Amazon- (particularly HIS MAJESTY, THE PRINCE OF TOADS since it is climbing the charts right now).
Or give a copy to a friend if you've already bought one.
Comment on Face Book.
Comment on my blog.
Reply on Twitter.
Share or re-tweet  promo posts.
Write your own promo posts for me.

Each one will get you one more chance at the final prizes. Go on- help my TOAD reach the Big Time!

About Me

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I write write write. Sometimes I travel. Then I write some more. And I have a great family who understand that I write write write.