I have a new cell phone. Some refer to it as a crackberry and they’d be right. It fulfills my obsessive compulsive need to have all my phone numberss, calendar, voice notes, INTERNET access, etc. in one place. Seriously.
You want to hear the craziest thing about being a writer? I never have a pen. Ever. My purse is an abyss of things to write on and write with, they get sucked into a black hole I swear. So the new blackberry? It has voice notes. I can record a note to myself at any time and hear it later, and it allows to me ramble without fearing that my handwriting is becoming illegible because I’m on the freeway.
That being said I’m now torn. Do I keep my landline?
Every family has “rules.” I’m writing, of course, about the family rules that start out as a casual remark made by someone which grows to achieve inside joke popularity. In my family, the rule has to do with tattoos.
I remember being young, maybe 8 or 9 and telling my mom I was going to get a tattoo. At the time we were watching the Olympics and one of the athletes had the rings tattood on his body, not unlike many of today’s athletes. I said it more for the shock factor then anything. Imagine my surprise when my anti-tattoo mom immediately responded with “If you qualify for the Olympics I’ll pay for your tattoo.”
Well heck, I remember thinking that’s a pretty good deal! Oh, wait… Even at 9 I was too busy with school and sports and other kid stuff to even consider an Olympic attempt. But the rule remains.
Tattoos for me at that moment became more then just something that was pretty. They were a symbol. Achieve excellence in a field and mom had no problem with you proclaiming your achievement via body art for the rest of your life. SWEET! (Yes, I’m a little bit competitive).
The challenge remained in the back of my mind when I entered high school. I remember writing (let’s be honest, horrible) angsty poetry and reading about Toni Morrison. “If I win a Nobel Prize will you pay for the tat?” I remember asking my mom. You have to love mom, she nodded immediately even as she asked. “Honey, do you know what the Nobel Prize looks like?” I didn’t.
It didn’t have the same zing as the Olympic rings, did it?
After high school, college, and grad school I decided I’d read enough sad stuff to last me awhile and I turned to writing fiction. Specifically romance fiction. And who is the queen of romance fiction? The Nora. And everyone knows Nora tends to camp out at the top of the New York Times Bestseller list.
Only this time, I didn’t even ask if my mom would pay for the NYT tattoo. I really don’t think I could stomach having the New York Times logo forever emblazoned on my body. Maybe I’ll feel differently about that when the time comes.
But in the meantime. I want to know why Olympic medals seem to symbolize the prettiest of tattoos. As writers, I think maybe we need to hire a graphic designer. Just saying…
Do you ever wonder how multi-published authors can crank out over a dozen books a year?
Concentration. Even as storytellers they lose themselves in their plots and away they go. Sounds simple, right? Well it is in a sense. You sit, you write, you repeat. And there you have the “magic formula” for every single fantastic book you’ve ever read.
But they never tell you about the hazards.
Last week I was sitting at my laptop happily typing away. My chair was right near the sliding glass door of my balcony and it was noisy enough, and windy enough for me not to notice little things.
Until I was interrrupted by a startling sound.
It was, as you might imagine, an effective distraction. And for once I didn’t mourn the loss of focus. I was too busy staring as smoke curled out of the top vents of the microwave. (Did you know that’s what those vents were for? I had no idea!)
I ended up with something that looked a little bit like this: I’m going to have to apologize here and admit that it’s not actually my picture. I found it HERE. I was too distracted to think to grab my camera. LOL.
But here is what I’ve learned: 1) You know you eat a lot of microwaveable meals when you instinctively just hit the button for 6 minutes. 2) Microwave popcorn does not take six minutes to pop. 3) If you happen to set off your fire alarm it is best to air out the entire house as quickly as possible so the whole place doesn’t smell. But… 4) Chances are it’s going to smell REALLY bad for awhile anyway. 5) The only way to make the smell of charcoaled microwave popcorn go away is to wipe every surface (especially the inside of the microwave) with bleach wipes, followed by spraying fantastic, followed by spraying windex.
Eventually you’ll realize none of those really work and you’ll just start laying out large platters of baking soda EVERYWHERE including inside the microwave.
And after a week, the smell of burnt popcorn will go away, along with the after-smell of stale cigarettes.
See, it’s Monday morning and you’ve already learned something!
Do you ever wonder why so many people want to be writers? There is the story telling aspect, of course. Throughout the ages bards have been some of the most sought after members of society. After all, there is no better way to forget you live in an age before deodorant was invented then to have someone tell a story and distract you.
In modern times, the storyteller is a hero(ine). Take me away from longest election cycle in the history of the world! I beg my favorite authors by buying books in stacks. I’m sure each of you have your own reasons.
But all of that is from the audience’s point of view. What is in it for the writer? Is it the glory? Maybe. Imagine seeing your name emblazoned on a book and archived in the Library of Congress. Even the IRS will forget who you are after you pass away but your books are archived in the Library of Congress!
Then there is the less academic reason: MAN CANDY.
Did you get caught raiding the internet for pictures of Gerard Butler? It’s research! Did your significant other do something really annoying just the other night and it’s bugging you? You can take comfort in the fact that the hero of your book would never do that. You might not be able to train your hubby, but you can edit your hero! And last but not least, lets not forget that once you combine research and photoshop the sky is the limit.
**Image caption: This is my friend Lillian Feisty who fell and broke her leg in three places on her first foray into the world of Roller Derby. See! Visual research is so much safer then the physical kind! This image is her in the emergency room (I wish I looked that great with a broken leg and no meds) photoshopped with the captain of international man candy, David Beckham. Get well soon Lil! Photoshop credit-Sabrina Brayden