Tag Archives: novel fodder

Return of the Zombie Writer

I’m tired.  Land of the Living Dead tired.  But I’m also thrilled to be back home, back to real life and back to my computer screen.

The last two weeks were filled with the good, the bad and the ugly.  In no particular order or chronology. 

  • My computer died.  I all but had it buried when the Computer Tutor sat up until 3:30 in the morning last Tuesday breathing new life into it.  Thankfully he was able to save my writing–heading to Mozy now–but everything is in read only now.  Should be fun retyping…
  • I went to Chicago with my DH for his work.  We were wined and dined with dinner cruises, champaign carriage rides, museums, botanical garden tours and sailing.  It was my first trip there, but definitely not my last.  The architecture was amazing and the fact that our last name is a famous street name had a cool factor all its own. 
  • While gone, my DD got in a car accident in which the car was totaled, the airbags deployed and whiplash abounded.  Nothing like being states away and completely helpless.  I didn’t have the ability to hug her and hold her close while simultaneously beating her for being on the wrong road at the wrong time.  Everyone is okay and seatbelt safety has been reinforced.  The windshield in front of DD was cracked even through the airbag and her seatbelt.  I shudder to imagine what could have been. 
  • Two days later, Eldest’s wallet had a run in with the lawnmower.  He lost it on the golf course.  It was found after credit cards, driver’s permits, money and leather spewed out onto the green.  All as finely chopped as a specialty salad in one of the fancy restaurants we ate in.
  • Because of the above two items, my little sister (who kindly watched over our angels) will never need birth control.   
  • I read Mockingjay, the final book in the Hunger Games trilogy.  If you haven’t read them, get cracking.  Now.  Suzanne Collins is firmly planted at the very top of my Favorite Author list.  When I grow up, I can only pray to be just like her.  Even a little bit.
  • I have tons of catching up to do on my computer–sorry for the absence–and a new schedule to figure out.  Starting next week, I will open the doors of my new business.  I finally have pictures up over there if you want to check it out.
  • Lastly, my women’s group decided on our 2010/2011 program.  As I am on the committee, I had the pleasure of helping plan our year.  Our theme is Bridging the Gap.  Because of this, we will get to learn all sorts of ways to move from possibilities to practices.  Subjects of interest: literacy, socio-economics, health, technology, safety, environment and culture–to name a few.  Exciting stuff.

Life is good.  My novel fodder folder is overflowing and blog posts tumble around in my head.  All I need to do is hop on over and visit all of you before I fall asleep…

When Novel Fodder Happens

This morning found me on the wrong end of everything.

Dear Daughter needed a ride to school to catch the bus for a baseball tourney.  No problem.  Early morning runs are part of my taxi gig as a mom.  As are late night ones.  And mid day runs.  And I-forgot-my-clarinet runs.  And….  In my next life I’m coming back as my daughter’s daughter to collect my taxi tokens–with interest.

Anyway, I swear I put on more in-town miles in a day than most commuters do in a week.  This means my gas tank dwindles faster than it should.  It dinged at me after the school run yesterday, but I was too rushed to pay attention.  Then, it dinged at me again for the dance trip, and a third time after the movies.  But, I was too tired to stop and fill up.

At 6:00am gas was the farthest thing from my mind when I drug myself out of bed and drove DD to the school.  Which, incidentally is truly the farthest thing from gas in this town.  Every gas station is on one half mile strip of road on the very east part of town.  The school, and my gas-less truck, was on the very west side of town.

And I, with my pink capri jammie pants, green t-shirt, red slippers and bed head was somewhere in between when the engine started coughing.

I had no cell phone.  Never do.  DH is four hours up north fishing, so couldn’t be my knight in a gray Tahoe anyway.  Thankfully my truck spluttered to it’s death in the gas station parking lot.  However, I had no credit card and had to go in to pay.

The only thing that could have added to my morning novel fodder was if my DD’s bus–filled with “hot” baseball players–would have driven by as I stood at the pump.  I would have waved.  She would have hated me. 

As much fun as this would have been, we’d have been even.  And there’s nothing I want more than to come back and collect those taxi tokens.  In the meantime, I’ll settle for torturing her with dancing as I drive.  She loves that–almost as much as I love running out of gas in my jammies.

Hope your day is filled with happiness~ cat

Life Quirks: Fact is better than Fiction

Yesterday I spent my day on the fly.  I had a HUGE project to work on (13 hours total by the time Iwent to bed) and a ton of running to do.

Not the get-your-heart-rate-up-cuz-I-wanna-be-skinnyless chubby, but the taxi driver, errand kind of running.  For the first half of the day I threw on my comfiest clothes while I did my creative thinking for the project. 

Low and behold, noon barely squeaked by and I had an urgent need to begin running.  Not wanting to be a total geek, I swapped my jammie pants for a day-old pair of jeans (because they were still clean and right at the end of my bed, just slightly baggy.)  They went beautifully with my hundred-year-old, navy blue sweatshirt (which looked hot with my gray t-shirt sticking out the bottom–very 80’s.)  And lest I forget, I must add that my socks were white gym socks (because what else goes with jammie pants?)  These I slipped into a pair of black dress shoes (because they were easy to get on and were by the door when I donned my taxi hat over my bed-head pony tail.)

And this, my friends, is how I presented myself to my community at no less than five places of business. 

I know, you’re all shaking your cyber heads right now and pretending not to know me.  However, I had the most amazing epiphany while waiting in front of the clothing store for my DD and her friends. 

I WAS A READY-MADE CHARACTER.

If I wrote romantic fiction, I would never have my MC be the clutzy young lady as a way of meeting the hot male protag.  Oh no, I would write myself right into the pages. 

Hot male protag would stumble across the hidden secret that his seemingly put-together flame is really a fashion faux pas of the worst kind.

Writing YA?  Heck, what a better way to  forget it.  I can’t divulge that storyline just yet!

And the list goes on…

What life quirks do you have that would make fantastic novel fodder?  Have you used them in your own writing?  Or, are you the quirky character that gets written about and don’t even know it?

Who have we become?

I am so used to our wonderful writing community I forget that not everyone in life has good intentions.  Sadly, a tourist was murdered on one of the islands two days before we stopped to enjoy the native flair.  Our world has become a place where all intentions are questioned and stopping to help a stranded motorist can be scary at the very least. 

Who have we become?

On our way home from the Minneapolis airport, DH and I journeyed over unplowed and windblown roads.  We had considered staying put, as our flight didn’t land until late in the evening and the promise of nasty road conditions didn’t excite either one of us.  However, missing our kids won out and we travelled the road less taken.

Fast forward a few hours to a lonely stretch three miles out of town.  It’s midnight and DH and I are both so tired not even tooth picks can prop open our eyelids.  We see a rag-top Jeep in the ditch.  The internal debate begins.  We pass by, our headlights shining on a man waving his arms at a passing car–ours and another. 

DH slows the truck and turns around.  The misgivings hang heavy in the air between us.  What the heck are we doing?  My imagination kicks into overdrive, fueled by my recent reading of Serial, a book about psychopathic hitchhikers.  If you haven’t read it, don’t.  Unless you never plan to pick up a stray on the side of the road.  Then by all means, read away, secure in the knowledge that you will never be on the short end of the pyscho stick.

Never was there a more perfect setting for foul play than that night.  Outwardly oblivious and inwardly cowering, we took turns pushing Unlucky Motorist’s Jeep and trying our hand at the wheel.  To no avail.  UM’s four wheel drive remained useless and his truck stranded in the mounting snow drift.

What to do?  We offered him a ride, even though fourteen other cars had passed him by.

The questions abounded: where do you make let UM sit?  Will a DVD case serve as an adequate weapon?  What will our kids say when we meet our demise 90 miles from home rather than on a remote island or in an airplane crash?  Why didn’t someone else pick up UM first so we didn’t have to go through so much turmoil?

Then I looked at it from his point of view.  Likely we were no better travel companions.  After all, who in their right mind would be driving around at midnight in the middle of a winter weather advisory?

And so I wonder, who have we become when the need for help is shunned and good intentions are questioned out of fear and distrust?

I hate that this is our world and think maybe the dystopian novels aren’t all that far off.  I know they say all fiction is based on fact, but it was a sad reminder of how dysfunctional parts of our world have become.

Because of that, I am exceedingly thankful for my cyber friends and the writing community who open their arms to stranded writers along the way.  It is a place I feel safe and in control. 

Now that we are safely home, it is easy to say we did the right thing.  But it does make ya wonder…

Have you ever done anything that makes you think “novel fodder” in the worst way?  Have you used these experiences in your writing?  Does your writer’s imagination make simple acts seem questionable?