Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Who Are You?


WINNERS, WINNERS!

Amy S. won the pizza cutter and Mary M. won the free book and goodies.

Amy has already contacted me, but Mary M., please send me your snail mail address at christie (@) christie-craig . com.

Thank you everyone for posting and visiting Killer Fiction.

CC






I just wanted to remind everyone to make sure you come back to see who wins tomorrow. Also...for those of you who like entering contests, pop over to http://www.dorchesterpub.com/ and check out my contest there that could win you a $20 gift certificate to amazon.com.


It finally happened. Slap one of those tight little white jackets on my butt and call me insane. I know some of you, those who have read my books or my blogs and even a few who know me, are thinking that I lost it a long time ago. Probably when the elephant felt me up in the zoo, or maybe when I tried to sneak out of the operating room because I was certain the doctors had misdiagnosed a bout of broccoli-induced gas with an appendicitis. I mean any writer who creates a whole character around the art of throwing up, has to have crossed the insane line a long time ago, right?

Okay, you guys may have a point, but hear me out.

You see, I was having a mundane lunch with a friend. We were chatting about my husband’s refusal to eat corn on the cob. Or rather, his refusal to eat “corn off the cob”. He loves fresh corn, but the idea of eating the vegetable off the cob is too much for him. I mean, who doesn’t like to sink their teeth into a corn cob? That’s part of the fun of eating the sweet buttered vegetable, right? Like I said, mundane stuff. But then it happened. I hear this voice in my head.

Some people, non-writers, would think just hearing a voice in their heads is a good enough reason to check into the local Looney-Toon retreat for an extended vacation. Ah, but you writers understand it completely. Right?

I mean, writers love it when our characters talk to us. We invite them to come on in. Oh, and please tell us how the night went with the hunk you met when they discovered the dead body in the back alley. We want the juicy details. You non-writers may be rolling your eyes about now, but don’t judge us too harshly, you love reading those juicy details, too.

Nevertheless, it’s not the voice’s appearance that bothered me. It was that I recognized the voice—I knew without a doubt that the voice was one of my heroines, someone I’d created, but I couldn’t put a face or name on the voice.

It’s sort of like seeing someone at the grocery store and recognizing them, but not being able to place them. Like the time I saw the man trying to decide between chicken noodle and chicken rice soup. I knew him, but couldn’t remember from where. With the two soups in his hands, he smiled. I mentally tried to place him sitting in one of my writer’s workshop. But I wasn’t so sure that was it. I tried to picture him as teaching a class I’d taken at one of my writing conferences. I wasn’t so sure that was it either. Maybe he’d worked with my husband and tried to see him at a Christmas party drinking too many margaritas. But still, I wasn’t sure.

That’s when it hit me that I was wearing my old workout clothes, no makeup, and a layer or two of sweat. The mystery man smiles, “I almost didn’t recognize you.”

Now, I’m not only embarrassed that I look like something that crawled out of the gutter and should have crawled into a shower, but that he recognizes me and I don’t remember him. I manage to smile and wave at my clothes. “Yeah, I guess you saw the better side of me last time, huh?”

I was hoping he’d give me a clue to where we knew each other, instead he looks surprised and says, “I guess.” Clinging to both cans of soup, he said good bye and walked away.

It wasn’t until hours later that I realized the last time I’d seen the guy, he’d had his head between my thighs . . . doing my pap smear. Yep, he was my gynecologist. (Was being an important word.) My point is that the whole not recognizing someone is frustrating. Even when it’s just a voice in your head.

All the voice said was, “Hey, remember that one scene? I figured out why I didn’t like it, and you were wrong.”

Now, I don’t like to be told I was wrong by a character. I mean, I created her and got her hitched up with a hot looking hero, the least she can do is go along with the plot. But, as so often happens, characters think they have a say in their roles. I’ll even admit their insights often have merit. But that’s beside the point.

The point is that I can’t figure out who she is or what scene she’s referring to. So I start asking questions. (Yes, we do talk back to our characters.) “Are you Lacy, the character who used the singing fish to clobber the man who later handcuffed you to the bed, and then you allowed him to eat a cat-food sandwich, but later you married him?” Divorced, Desperate and Delicious – December 2007

Nothing.

“Katie? Are you the nervous puker who met the sympathetic puker who was a PI, and whom you later ended up playing strip tease with while doing the dishes, all the while you hid from a serial killer?” Weddings Can Be Murder—June 2008

Nothing.

“Hey, Sue? Are you the one who received a dead rat from a stalker and when you tossed it up in the air it landed on your mom’s boobs and she tossed it back up and then your mom’s dog and your cat ate the evidence. And the drop-dead gorgeous detective who shows up at your house is the same man who kissed you senseless a few months back and didn’t even call you?” Divorced, Desperate and Dating – November 25, 2008

Nothing.

“Macy? Are you the pizza delivery girl one who ran into the casket, complete with corpse, on the highway while trying to outrun an escaped convict? Gotcha – May 25, 2009

Nothing.

“Kathy? Are you the third divorced friend, in my Divorced and Desperate Series, who fell for the plumber? Only to discover that your plumber isn’t really a plumber. Divorced, Desperate and Deceived – Nov. 2009

Nothing.

“Wait? Are you the photographer, whom I haven’t named yet, who accidentally takes a picture of . . .”

The problem is that I’m getting to the stage in my career (a good stage, so I’m not whining, I’m just trying to learn to deal with it) that I’m having to promote the books that I’ve published that are still on the bookshelves, work on promoting the books that have sold but have yet to be published, finish the books that are sold, but not yet submitted, and come up with ideas to pitch for future books. So I have all these quirky characters running around my head. When one speaks up, it’s not easy to figure out who they are, who they’re sleeping with, and who wants whom dead.

So . . . any suggestions on keeping myself sane during this very busy time in my career? Any of you want to share your experiences with the voices in your head? Or maybe share with me an experience of running into someone at the grocery store? Or does anyone else have an aversion to eating corn off the cob?

Hey, I’m open to discussing just about anything. I’m crazy remember?

Today I’m giving away a pack of Christie Craig note cards, a silly pen (to remind you to keep laughing) one book, either one of my previously published books, (or if you have both of them I’ll off you a friend’s book) and a pizza cutter with my logo. Why a pizza cutter? Well, the answer can be found in this blog, and I’ll give a pizza cutter to the first person who can answer that question too.

Crime Scene Christie

30 comments:

Lucy said...

I'm not a big corn cob eater either. I mean, I will eat it off the cob - and it's really good when I do, but I'm not a fan of eating it that way for some reason.

And I've had a similar situation as you, not being able to place someone you run into on the street. I used to teach a couple of classes and I would know who they were in the classroom but I had one approach me in a parking lot one day and I was frantically looking around for my escape route, wondering if I should scream for help when I realized it was one of my students. I don't think they realized they'd freaked me out - at least I hope not, but I can only imagine what your gynecologist thought by your comment. But hey, he recognized you with your clothes on. :)

Oh, and it seems like I vaguely remember something about a pizza cutter but it could just be the voices in my head messing with me.

Happy Tuesday.

Christie Craig said...

Hi Lucy,

Okay...my hubby is going love knowing that there is another person who doesn't like to eat corn off the cob. We really do tease him about it. My son always says to him, "Man up, daddy. Eat your corn like a big boy!"

I think the older we get the harder is it to keep all the people we've met logged into our brains.

Thanks so much for stopping in.

CC

Keri Ford said...

Remembering my characters and their personality isn't that big of a problem for me. They're like remembering the family members I like :O)

It's remembering the plot they go with that I have to really think about! I remember on the ones I've written, it's the ones I have planned to follow up in the series. Right now I've got 9 stories total in mind that can follow the completed manuscripts I have. It doesn't help any that half are southern mysteries and the other half are regency set!

And I LOVE corn on the cob-just not in public. There's no easy way to polietly pick corn from your teeth.

Keri Ford said...

I think the pizza cutter thing just dawned on me. Is it because you were robbed when working at a pizza place (Dominoes, I think)?

Nope, it was Pizza Hut!
http://killerfictionwriters.blogspot.com/2008/02/my-big-secret.html

Amy S. said...

Is it because of Macy, the pizza delivery girl?

Bookmobiler said...

"any suggestions on keeping myself sane during this very busy time in my career?"

Don't get obsessive over lost causes!

I once did that I know this guy thing with a first cousin.

In my defense he'd grown a beard since the last time I'd seen him. But he has a very distinctive voice.

You know, the type that doesn't match the body.

After the usual very lame, "Well It's been nice seeing you again," I didn't remember until he started to walk away.

Fortunately he didn't owe me any money.

terrio said...

My guess is the same as Amy S, the heroine from Gotcha is a pizza delivery girl.

I've heard of authors keeping "bibles" of all their characters as they write. Details like appearance, acquaintances, relatives. Anything you'd need to know later on you can keep in one little book.

Since I've been writing the same book for nearly two years, I have no trouble remembering my characters. LOL! I do have a few other stories floating in my brain but who knows when I'll get to them. No need for me to worry now.

I was talking to Cathy Maxwell a couple weeks ago and she said the same thing though. She can't even remember her characters names all the time. I suppose once you leave the story behind and move on, you can't be expected to remember everything.

Christie Craig said...

Keri,

You just suck your teeth clean? Hopefully, you can do it quietly and your mouth doesn't accidently pop open and that loud sucking sound doesn’t resonate through out the entire room. Yeah, I might have done that once or twice.

Thanks so much for posting.

CC

Christie Craig said...

Good guess, Keri. But Amy S. got it.

Thanks for giving it a shot.

CC

Christie Craig said...

Amy S.

You got it. Thanks for playing along.

Make sure you send me your snail mail address at christie (@) christie-craig.com.

CC

Christie Craig said...

Bookmobiler,

LOL! So your family sounds about like my family. Well, they do if your cousin grew the beard so none of his ex-wives, the cops, as well as family members would recognize him. :-)

Thanks for posting.

CC

Christie Craig said...

Terrio,

Those bibles are a really good idea. I'm writing Divorced, Desperate and Deceived now. And I had to go back and skim, and skim DD&Delicious so I could see if I had given my Kathy, my heroine in Deceived, an eye color when I introduced her. I finally found that, yup, she has hazel eyes. Good thing I looked, because I had given her blue eyes in her book and I had to change it.

I've read published books where people's eye color changes. I've even read one where someone changed from petite to "a large figured woman." So I try to be careful.

Thanks for stopping by.

CC

Tori Lennox said...

I love fresh corn, but I hate eating it off the cob, too. *g*

And having voices in my head telling me I'm writing their story wrong sounds perfectly sane to me. Mine are always bossing me around.

Suzan Harden said...

Promotional pizza cutters? Only you, Chrisite...

Your readers will love Gotcha! I still think Macy's grandma deserves her own book.

MsHellion said...

I guess too what Amy S said: for the delivery girl in your next book (or what I surmise is your next book, Gotcha.)

Though I think it might be entertaining to see if anyone can cut corn off the cob with a pizza cutter.

Christie Craig said...

Tori,

I might not tell my hubby how many people agree with him. It would make me look wrong. And we don't want him to get that impression, now do we? (smile!)

And yep, I think writers are used to those voices.

Thanks for stopping in.

CC

Christie Craig said...

Suzan,

She is deserving of her own book. Any grandma still getting lucky is deserving.

Thanks!!!!

And hey, what's so crazy about the pizza cutters? You should see my pens? Faye wouldn't let me get the ones that giggled. She said they sounded possessed.

Thanks,

CC

Christie Craig said...

Okay, Mshellion,

Don't challenge me! No wait, I accept the challenge. Next time I'm having corn on the cob, I'll let you know how it goes.

If I lose a finger, I'll never tell you. (smile)

Thanks for stopping in.

CC

Refhater said...

Half my family eats the corn on the cob and half doesn't. It started with my sister getting braces and went down hill from there. (2 sympathy non cobbers with her.)

As for the voices in your head, run with it. Sometimes the conversations I have with the voices in my head are the only intelligent conversations I get all day.

I also had a similar grocery store experience. A lady approched me and started talking about my job, her son, and even invited me over to her house for dinner and to watch the local hockey team with her son. It wasn't until the next day I found out that she was the a friend of my parents. (Matchmaking mom's trying to get single kids together.)

Christie Craig said...

Refhater,

"2 sympathy non-cobbers" LOL!!!!

Too funny, girl.

Yeah, those matchmaking moms can be sneaky.

But I'm not complaining too much. My mom is the one who picked out hubby. She did a darn good job.

Thanks for stopping in.


CC

Virginia said...

I do like me some corn on the cob! Cristie you crake me up. I just love your little stories.

Christie Craig said...

Virginia,

Thank you girl.

CC

catslady said...

Add my children (now grown) to the "dislike corn on the cob". Honestly I just don't understand it. It's a fun food for goodness sake!

Christie Craig said...

I agree Catslady.

It's like an American food. Everyone is supposed to love it.

Thanks for stopping in.

CC

Anonymous said...

I've never seen anyone I want to see at a grocery store. If I run innto someone I know at the grocery store, it's always someone I don't like.

I love corn on the cob too. When I was a kid, I lost my front baby teeth at the same time, and one of my sweetest memories is the way my Dad would carefully cut the corn off for me so I wouldn't be left out.

Mary M

Christie Craig said...

Mary M.

I can admit, I wouldn't fancy meeting another doctor at the grocery store. And I will also admit, I never meet anyone at the grocery store if I'm feeling up to meeting anyone. The only time I run into people I know is if I'm making a mad dash and praying not to see anyone I know.

Thanks for posting.

CC

Anonymous said...

LOL on the grocery store!
And I have scraps of paper filling my purse from when "voices" attacked and I wasn't by a computer to write it down...

Sarah C. (Blogger isn't letting me log in)

Christie Craig said...

Hi Sarah C.

I write notes, too. The problem is sometimes I find the notes later and they don't make sense either.

Thanks for posting.

CC

schuylerboy09 said...

Lol, I am a big fan of corn on the cob, I'm just not a fan of eating it in public! Some how it gets every where and it is always suck between your 2 front teeth, lol.

Christie Craig said...

Schuylerboy,

Thanks for stopping in.

Isn't eating corn on the cob kind of like eating garlic? You know, the ol', my breath smells like your breath? If you have corn in your teeth it's okay if the person you are with is eating it and has it in their teeth too? (Smile.)

CC