Some of My Best Friends Are Fictional

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Clancy entered my life three years ago and instantly became my favorite imaginary friend.  Oh, sure, we had plenty of heated discussions while collaborating on my third manuscript The Taste of Orange.  I’ll be the first one to admit that we don’t have a lot in common.  Clancy’s a scrappy thirty-two-year-old housekeeper with a peculiar interest in her five senses, and I’m a retired, straightforward, motherly figure.  Clancy has bizarre quirks and shares them with whoever will listen.  I prefer to keep my life private.  And don’t get me started on my addiction to NyQuil because she’d wake me three to four times a night with frugal cleaning tips, unique ways to torture her antagonist, ideas for a plot twist, or her incessant need to create new characters to befriend.  Follow our Taste of Orange Journey as we retell our mistakes and triumphs in an industry where only 2% of submitted manuscripts end up on the bookshelves.

Clancy goes on vacation when I experience writer’s block.  That’s when you’ll find a new post in Mitzi’s Muses.

Coming soon . . . how Clancy magically appeared and then refused to leave.

Dang.  As I reach to turn off the computer, Clancy comes to life.   Presto.  Alakaboom.

“You promised we’d work on the blog together.  Two minds are better than one,” CIancy says.  “The first paragraph makes me seem irrational.  And what’s with the last line and my refusing to leave statement?  It’s a tad snide.”

“Get out of my head.  We can make changes tomorrow,” I say, staring at the computer monitor with dry eyes.

“Why are you putting two spaces after your punctuation marks?  I thought editors prefered one.”

“Habit.  And you have no right to complain since I do all the typing.” 

If I switch the radio station to rap it will silence Clancy.  But then again, she’s right about this blog belonging to both of us. 

“Fine.  It’s a quick edit.”

Coming soon . . . how Clancy and Mitzi bonded like sisters.

Clancy tweets @JustClancy

LIKE MY GRANDMA ALWAYS SAID . . .

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Happy New Year to all my friends, family, and the hardest working literary agent on the planet, Victoria Lea.

Writer’s Block BE GONE!

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Warm-up your writer’s voice like a professional singer when experiencing writer’s block, but instead of singing the scales . . . sing the alphabet.

Government Shutdown Blame Game

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I’m angry that our politicians reduced themselves to a bunch of BULLIES on the playground by ranting and raving with clenched fists, but The Bloggess at http://thebloggess.com/2013/10/we-are-the-government/ points Americans in the right direction. Trust me . . . you’ll feel better and can put your energy toward good causes after reading her post.

I chose to create a cartoon instead of reiterating what millions of others have expressed on their websites.

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Shrine of Democracy

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I didn’t realize how diverse the grade school student population was until I helped my eight-year-old grandson prepare for a history quiz.

Me: John Hancock signed The Declaration of Independence in . . .

Grandson: . . . English?

Me: . . .

Grandson: Was I right?

Me: . . .

Grandson: . . .

Me: I’ll be right back. This is too good not to Tweet.

You Might Be A Writer If . . .

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Writers are a special breed. I knew this when I started changing my daily schedule to accommodate my fictional character’s needs. Don’t get me wrong. I fell in love with Clancy within the first chapter. Well, I didn’t actually fall. It was more a matter of stepping into love with her page by page. Anyway, this got the brain thinking about the other areas in my life that changed while pursuing an author’s career.

Signs you’re a writer. . . .

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#1 : You don’t realize you’ve been working on your latest project ten hours straight until the grandkids yell, “What’s for dinner?”

#2: You are an expert at multi-tasking. You work on your manuscript while answering the phone by imitating a three-year-old. Keep quiet and nod your head.

#3: You have a writing quota to make each day and no longer care if family uses the fancy soap and hand towels in the guest bathroom.

#4: You look at the world differently. Carousels become horse tornadoes and roundabouts are amusement rides for cars.

#5: You’ve implemented the five senses to describe each scene in your manuscript to the extreme . . . that you now want your pockets stuffed with fireworks when you’re cremated, so you go out in a blaze of color.

6#: Family members said there was life outside blogging, Facebook, editing, and twitter so you asked them for the link to post it for your followers.

#7: You take your kids to the pet store because you don’t have time to visit the zoo.

#8: You don’t talk out loud yet, but can hear the straitjacket hanging in the closet, whispering daily, “Soon. Soon, my pretty.”

#9: You buy a self-help book on time management and have the author sign it. Now you’re a collector and not a loser.

#10: The five-second rule for fallen food has changed to one week.

#11: Reality calls. You hang up.

#12: You try out new ideas by reading your children “Snow White,” but change the storyline by killing all the characters except the wicked stepmother.

#13: You learn that all toilets flush in E flat and pigs have orgasms that last for thirty minutes, and all you can think about is where to place that information in your manuscript.

#14: You’ve changed the four food groups to wine, coffee, NyQuil, and Advil.

#15: Your three-second count down with your children lasts an hour because you are in the middle of writing a new scene.

#16: You spend over $600.00 at the grocery store on microwave family meals.

#17: You wrap the perimeter of your kitchen with crime tape to give yourself more writing time.

#18: While looking for ways to extend your writing time, you realize that you really can sweep everything under the carpet.

#19: You’ve described so many fictional characters that while standing behind a bald guy at the DMV, you ask him what hair color he puts on his driver’s license.

#20: Your parents never talked about sex or let sexually explicit books in the house and you now blame them for your poorly written sex scenes.

#21: You’re having a bad writing day when your imaginary friends exclude you from the conversation. You get back by eating an imaginary cookie in front of them.

#22: You catch your child reading their sibling’s diary. They lie and say they thought it was a handwritten novel by an author, but you don’t punish them because you appreciate their creativity.

#23: You know people who say words cannot hurt you . . . have never dropped a thesaurus book on their toe.

#24: You’d rather by lulled to sleep by the clicking keys of an old typewriter than listening to a CD with the sounds of nature.

#25: You can’t get past the thought that Twilight, New Moon, and Breaking Dawn make excellent names for hookers in your next novel.

AND . . .

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The road to success is long . . . .

But

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You’re not afraid to take the path less followed because . . .

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you are the director of the characters running rampant through your brain.

Maid 2 Order

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Clancy’s favorite non-cleaning tip: Scatter get-well cards across the kitchen table when you don’t have time to clean. Not only will unexpected sharp-tongued guests not complain nor spread gossip about your cleaning habits, but also they might feel sorry for you and offer to tidy-up.