Sunday, September 14, 2008

Guest Blogger Tracy Madison

I'd like to introduce you guys to a very neat lady that I met a the national Romance Writers of America Conference. She was quirky enough for me to like her, quirky enough for me to want to read her book.

Take it away Tracy . . .

When Christie asked me to guest blog here at Killer Fiction, I was pleased—and so very honored—to say yes. I mean, who wouldn’t want to blog in this amazing forum, with some of the coolest, funniest, nicest (and way talented) authors around? But then, after I said yes, I began to think about what I would write about.

These women have outstanding posts, and I didn’t want to bring a yawn fest to the table, so I thought and I thought and I thought. And then I decided I’d write about how I often bring real life situations into my books. Not just ANY situations, but quirky, funny, and even embarrassing situations. Because in my opinion, these are some of the elements that can truly bring a character to life for a reader.

Of course, THEN I had to decide WHICH moment to talk about, because those who know me KNOW I’m rife with quirk. So, I decided, even though I’ve blogged about it once before, I’d share with you a quirky, funny, and yep—embarrassing—story that happened to me not that long ago. This story made it into my debut book, A Taste of Magic, in the revision stage.

One morning when most normal people are still sleeping, I woke up in a panic. No, the house wasn’t on fire. No one was sick. The phone wasn’t ringing. I was panicked because I needed to ramp up the humor in one particular scene in my book, and I had no clue how to do it. Nothing I’d tried in this particular scene felt right. But because I can’t think coherently in the morning without coffee, I went upstairs to get it started.

As I said, it was early. So early, in fact, my entire household still slept, except for my dog (and this on its own was remarkable as she sleeps 23.5 hours a day-I swear!). So, I started the coffee, and then came back to my desk, fired up the computer, hopped in the shower—you know, all that morning stuff.

When I went to get my precious cup of coffee, a mess greeted me. Instead of functioning as it should, my coffee pot had decided (I am absolutely positive it did it on purpose, just to mock me) to spit the coffee all over my counter. Not just that, but it dripped off the counter, pooling into a huge puddle on my floor. I’m a little (okay, a lot) addicted to coffee, and this was a travesty of the highest proportions.

My brain screamed for caffeine, but I restrained myself from snorting the coffee off the counter—because that’s kind of gross, addicted or not. So I cleaned the mess up, and started another pot. Then, because I was sort of a mess from cleaning up, I washed my hands. And this is where the real trouble began. This is when I should have walked away.

See, what happened is, I discovered that a small plastic cup had somehow (kids!) gotten pushed down into the garbage disposal and was stuck. I fiddled with it, trying to get the cup to come out. Seeing as it was almost a perfect fit, it didn't budge. By the way, if I'd already had coffee, I am positive (positive!) I wouldn't have made the decision I then made. But my caffeine deprived brain couldn't handle any type of rational thought process.

So, brilliant as I was at that moment, I plunged my hand into the cup, thinking somehow I'd be able to pull it out of the disposal that way. No. Sadly, that didn't happen. Some sort of suction thing took place and my hand became wedged in the cup that was stuck in the sink, leaving me in a so-not-fun position.

To make matters worse, it was that moment my coffee maker began spitting coffee out all over the place again. And I couldn't do a thing about it, because I couldn't reach it (you know, being stuck to the sink and all). I pulled as hard as I could. And then I pulled again. And again. But my hand didn’t budge. Frustrated, not happy at all with my situation, I had another brilliant idea.

I grabbed a butter knife out of the drawer with my other hand (which I could reach) and tried to pry at the edges of the cup, hoping to pull it loose. This? Didn’t work, not at all. Coffee is burbling away, dripping onto my floor, my hand is kind of gross feeling at this point, and NO ONE is awake in my house to help me. So I screamed. Loudly.

Really loudly.

Of course, no one heard me. Well, that’s not quite true, my dog heard me. She came in to see what all the fuss was about, and she's no Lassie, so it wasn't like I could send her for help. This continued for about 20 minutes more, with me sporadically yanking my arm as hard as I could, yelling for help, and saying things better left unsaid here.

Finally, and I have NO IDEA what I did, but the suction bubbled a bit, and as I twisted my hand, it completely released and I was free. FREE!

You'd think at that point, I'd have left the little cup alone, but no. I was on a mission and ten minutes later, I managed to get that out too. I cleaned up the coffee mess again, and then stared at the horrible coffee maker that ruined my morning. I still wanted my coffee, so I debated if I should give it another go. Deciding that was just playing with fate, I left the thing alone and drove to the nearest drive thru and bought my coffee.

As annoying as going through this was, once I finally settled back down at my desk, I realized I had nearly the perfect answer to the scene in question. So yep, my heroine gets stuck in a sick—only her hero rescues her, while mine slept soundly through the entire ordeal. And laughed at me when he woke up.

Oh, and to this day—I haven’t attempted to brew coffee in that pot again. I leave that up to my husband!


Anonymous said...

LOL. Funny blog, Tracy.

I can totally picture that kind of thing happening, too. Smart woman, though, to go get coffee and use the hand stuck in the dishwasher in your book.


Christie Craig said...

Hi, Tracy,

Thanks so much for blogging with us at Killer Fiction today.

I'm laughing about your experience. I'm glad I'm not the only one who gets herself into those kind of homemade disasters. LOL.

Crime Scene Christie

Anonymous said...

LOL. I think that's because you are the queen of those kind of disasters, Christie!

Faye, ducking a little

Estella said...

Too funny!
I think I would have gotten a friendlier coffeemaker. I'm up hours bfore my husband and I NEED my coffee.

Anonymous said...

This sounds straight out of the scene of a movie. One of those scenes where you're thinking to yourself, No way this would ever happen in real life. ;-) Too funny, Tracy. But I'm glad you were able to work it to your benefit. I'm definitely looking forward to reading A TASTE OF MAGIC this March.

Tracy Madison said...

Faye: LOL, I'm not sure how smart I was...but it worked out in the end!

Christie: I'm thrilled to guest blog--thanks for asking me!

Estella: The problem is that coffee maker isn't that old, and we paid a LOT of money for it (because it grinds the beans fresh for each pot). And well, I'm stubborn.

Leah: Haha! Unfortunately, these sort of incidents happen to me a lot. But hey, as long as I can use it as fodder, it's all good!

catslady said...

I've had my coffee maker do that to me too - sometimes it's because the filter is in wrong and it all backs up or I don't have the pot all the way in or I forget to put the lid on (it's spring sensitive so that you can poor the coffee before it does the entire pot - very important to us addicted coffeeolics). But you have me beat with the hand stuck in the sink lol.

Tracy Madison said...

Catslady--I'm not sure WHAT I do wrong, but I've given up trying. :)

Natalie J. Damschroder said...

Some people would look at the cup, think about sticking their hand in it, consider the consequences of getting stuck, and have the perfect "what if" moment to develop the scene for their book.

Those people just aren't...dedicated. LOL

Tracy Madison said...

Natalie, lol, what a perfect way to put it! I like "dedicated" so much better than the alternatives!