Monday, November 15, 2010


Yes, I do have them.


I think I even cried once about five months ago.

Which means I'm good for another seven months, if I follow my once a year crying holiday rule.

But I was definitely clenched teeth, peel your fingers off of whatever is gripped in your clutches angry last night.

My son and I were walking Beemer, our Yorkie, who was quite content sniffing and peeing his way through the neighborhood, when an unleashed German shephard raced out of nowhere and attacked.

After multiple kicks I got the brute off my dog, only to have the German shephard go after my son. And then me. When the owner finally showed up, several bites and a side full of scratches on my Yorkie later, there were still many more minutes of me kicking and snarling to get it off of me and my dog.

I was so ticked I went straight into my house. Washed up the dog wounds. Called the police. And then took my dog back outside so he wouldn't be scared all night.

All in the attempt to calm myself as much as anything.

I didn't sigh...or stare off into space...or think...or wander many characters are apt to do when you first start writing. I took action to fix the problem.

And that's how you write emotions in your books.

Emotions are the response of characters to the action, the plot, of your story. Newton had it right: for every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction. I live by that rule in my stories.

I'm not saying my characters never sigh...or stare off into space...or think...or wander aimlessly, but I only let them do it in limited quantities because it makes them cry.

And that's only saved for once a year special occasions.

Monday, November 1, 2010

Moving Forces, Stationary Objects

My son walked into a chair Friday night and stubbed his toe. It hurt. A lot.

He almost swore a word that would earn a bar of soap in his mouth, adding a few letters to change it at the last syllable. After wrapping a bag of frozen vegetables to his foot for an hour it wasn't hurting so much, and he fell asleep on the couch.

So on Saturday when he was hobbling around, going all drama king about his foot hurting, I told him to suck it up. It's just a stubbed toe for cripes sake. Of course it hurts. It's supposed to hurt when you smash a moving force into a stationary object.

No complaints from him the rest of the day. And none on Sunday morning.

So when I looked at his toe Sunday afternoon and saw it was black underneath, I, of course, finished his word without changing the last syllable and took him to the German hospital emergency room where, after a four hour wait, the doctor promptly confirmed that I am the world's worst mother.

Because his toe is broken.

As broken, unfortunately, as the lousy rewrite I am currently working on...which could use some moving force smashing into the stationary object.

See, I'm at that magic draft where you think you can't possible learn anything else about your story and then: Wham! Bam! Thank you, ma'am. Something bops you upside the head and you suddenly have new eyes.

Eyes which, fortunately, can see right through to the black underside that needs fixing. Immediately. Without several more days of pain and suffering.

So today, I proudly wear the World's Worst Mother badge while both my son and my story hobble around, reminding me they needed fixing in the first place.