Friday, September 26, 2008

So many decisions......

....a writer makes when deciding to start a story. I've had one kicking around in my brain  like a soccer ball. Ideas can come from anywhere, as any writer will tell you. Below is the science joke that started this one.

"A doctor, a lawyer and a mathematician were discussing the relative merits of having a wife or a mistress. The lawyer says 'For sure a mistress is better. If you have a wife and want a divorce, it causes all sorts of legal problems.' The doctor says 'It's better to have a wife because the sense of security lowers your stress and is good for your health.' The mathematician says 'You're both wrong. It's best to have both so that when the wife thinks you're with the mistress and the mistress thinks you're with the wife, you can do some mathematics.'" I found the joke here ( in 2005 but apparently the domain name is up for sale because the site isn't there anymore. 

My story is about a mathematician whose wife AND mistress both turn up dead within days of each other. Did he kill them both? Was he set up? That's for me to find out, when I finally go back to working on it.

Friday, September 19, 2008

Traveling and NOT writing

I'm sitting here in Asheville, NC watching a countdown of the top 100 songs from the 1980s on VH1. I rarely watch this channel when I'm home (I'm more a Law & Order, Bones and Numb3rs girl) but without the TIVO to tell me what's on, I hate trying to find something to watch. I keep wanting to rewind but I can't! TIVO has totally ruined me for watching television. A voice from the peanut gallery shouts out "Good Eats" as something to watch but I yell back "He's not on right now!" So here I sit listening to music that takes me back to high school. The peanut gallery then adds "You've already made that trip once today." I have to admit that I did revert to high school, or better yet jr. high when my friend L, who is traveling with me, asked if I was 14 when I showed her a magazine I was going to purchase in the local Books-A-Million store. The title is "Cutest Crushes!" and has all these teen heartthrobs on the cover. Why did I buy this? Because Robert Pattinson and Taylor Lautner from the "Twilight" movie, which comes out in theaters on November 21st, were on the cover. (The movie is based on the book by Stephenie Meyer.) Anyway, these two were on the cover and I just had to buy it. I'm obsessed with this series of books to the point that I can't write my own stories right now. The peanut gallery is reading me the definition of "fangirl", but I haven't done any groping yet. It's a good thing I live on the opposite coast or I might turn into a real fangirl.

L reminded me that not having TIVO is archaic - we shouldn't have to look up TV listings online to find something to watch.

Saturday, September 6, 2008

Not really, well, maybe.....

I've decided to start (another) new novel. I'm writing the same way I cross stitch - I start a lot of new projects but don't finish the majority of them. But I have so many ideas just waiting to be let loose, I can't decide what to work on. I know it sounds like an excuse, and that's exactly what it is, but I hope that by blogging about it I can finally get some work done and get something finished.

I completed a novel last May (2007) with L, a very good friend of mine. We decided to try the NaNoWriMo path, even though it wasn't the official month to participate. I had a break between taking grad classes and teaching a couple of undergrad classes. I ended up with 50,044 words. I ended up killing three people in this novel, and attempting to kill a fourth. Co-workers would ask me if I had killed anyone else when I would arrive at work. I might have tried for a higher body count, if I didn't think one of them would call the local police and report me.

I wrote that novel by the seat of my pants. I sat down and wrote whatever the characters told me to that day. And one of them tripped me big time. Marcus is the name of my hero. He first told me that his parents were dead so he had inherited their mansion, like those in Newport, RI. Then later on, when the heroine, Bella, is injured in a car accident, his dad is the doctor at the local hospital. What's a writer to do when her leading man tells her two different things?

L asked me if I wanted to be in her book. I said sure. She let me pick my own character name (Sophie) as well as my husband's (Basil) and I returned the favor in one of mine about jury members mysteriously being murdered. Her husband in the story was injured (but not killed - remember that L!) and she gets to take care of him. He'll be ill for awhile, at least until I get back to that idea. I kept threatening to kill him, but she said she would off me and my hubby so I had to quit being mean to him.

But back to my new story. Pepper is a former NTSB (National Transportation Safety Board) investigator who has decided to return to her hometown. She will about my age (40) and ready for a change. She hears about an accident where the details don't add up. She gets two of her friends in on the investigation. I've been throwing this idea around for several years. Might never get it off the ground, but at least I'll we working on something, getting ready for November 2008 NaNoWriMo starts.