Happy New Year to all my friends, family, and the hardest working literary agent on the planet, Victoria Lea.
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. . . .
#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 . . .
The road to success is long . . . .
You’re not afraid to take the path less followed because . . .
you are the director of the characters running rampant through your brain.
*Conversation with friend (Jenny) after long day on Twitter, Facebook, blog, and revisions*
Jenny: How was your day?
Me: You can’t control everything . . . the hair on our head is to remind us of that.
Jenny: . . .
Me: Clancy went to Paris for a cosmetic photo shoot. Now I have to blog, tweet, post on Facebook, and work on revisions without help.
Me: Here’s proof.
Jenny: You sent your pretend character to Paris and now you’re complaining that your muse is gone?
Me: I know. I can’t believe she left without me. I started tweeting about my blog. Zippo. No retweets. Then I tweeted, I hate those unrealistic movies where wives say, “Yes, honey,” and don’t roll their eyes. Bingo. I started getting retweets. People like twitterledumb.
Jenny: I see.
Me: Here are some of my top retweeted tweets:
Just walked by another car with a stick figure family on back window. It saddens me to see whole families suffering with anorexia.
I always say, “Systematized logistical projection” when I don’t know the answer to a complicated question.
Just bought a self-help book on relationships and had the author sign it. That way, I’m a collector and not a loser.
Pope Francis wanted to follow me on twitter, but I blocked him. I don’t want God knowing my business.
Reasons I’m happy to have cop in family #3: You know DUI checkpoints. #2: Get out of tickets. AND . . . #1: They photo shop your mug shot.
Hey, buff guy at gym – Don’t be a kill-joy when you’re jumping rope & I start singing, “Cinderella dressed in yellow, went upstairs to kiss . . .
I always ask little kids what they want to be when they grow up because I’m looking for ideas. Where do I apply to be a Ninja/Princess?
My parents taught me to look w/ my eyes & not touch. It stopped me from breaking things, but I now blame them for my sexual problems.
My sister joined AA . . . because it’s the only place left where she could smoke indoors.
Do atheists eat angel hair pasta?
*My thought while listening to church sermon.*
Spoiler Alert!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! There are no trains at Home Depot.
My sister enjoys seven to eight cocktails every day on her deck. She calls it bird watching.
I read that 76 year-olds are the new 46. I bet people on Social Security are praying the politicians don’t get wind of this.
Husband stopped putting the toilet seat down. Now I don’t shut the door when I get out of his car.
My father owns a funeral home. I like running out of the embalming room screaming, “I see dead people.”
You made me feel special. You found out where I lived, knocked on my door & handed me roses. Now suddenly you’re a florist doing his job?
Jenny: I heard there are tons of stalker jokes on Twitter.
Me: There’s nothing funny about stalking. It takes effort and some bushes have thorns.
Jenny: You’re thinking of things to tweet now, huh?
Me: If you’re happy and you know it, shake your meds.
Jenny: Stop it already. I thought people tweeted about life experiences.
Me: You need to mix it up. Here’s a real conversation I had with my sister that I tweeted.
Sis: Husband’s penis is getting smaller and smaller as he grows older. What’s with that?
Me: . . .
Sis: I wouldn’t harvest a vegetable from my garden that was that small.
Me: Here’s a true story:
*Mom watching 4 yr. old shoot tampons across room*
Mom: “What are you doing?
4 yr. old: “Can’t I play with these? They look like dy-na-mite.”
Me: It’s about acknowledgement. Facebook friends plead for you to like their postings. Some even email me that I don’t need to read the article . . . just click the like button. Giving a like when you don’t mean it is a kind of like, and a kind of like is a mere like, and a mere like is close to a dislike, and a dislike hedges toward disgust and before you know it, I begin loathing their postings.
Me: I get over forty requests a day to like a posting.
Me: Blogging is all about getting followers. Tweeting is retweets and favorites. It’s exhausting! And to top it off, Pinterest is where bad cooks celebrate canned soup “recipes” and crazy bitches plan weddings they’ll never have.
Jenny: When did we become so needy?
Jenny: Just think what a better world we’d live in if people put this much effort toward the well-being of family and loved ones.
Me: But if we were constantly around family, we’d start thinking and behaving like them. Hey, you just gave me an idea for a cartoon caption.
Jenny: There’s something wrong with you.
Me: Shhhhhh . . . I don’t want my followers to hear you.
Mitzi: No, Clancy. I said to find a photo of olive oil . . . o-i-l. Not Popeye’s girlfriend.
Clancy: What did you expect? I’m a fictional character. Of course, I’m going to think Olive Oyl.
A few drops of olive oil added to hard dishwater will help lather the soap and keep the skin from getting rough.
Clancy: My knowledge on fictional characters might come in handy.
Clancy: For instance, did you know Barbie’s full name is Barbara Millicent Roberts and Ken’s last name is Carson? Shaggy from Scooby-Doo is Norville Rogers. Even the paper patient glued on the game Operation has a name . . . Cavity Sam. I bet you didn’t know the policeman on the Monopoly “Get out of jail free” cards is Officer Edgar Mallory.
Mitzi: Right, I’m going to write a scene about Barbara Millicent Roberts and Ken Carson listening to Norville Rogers on the television while removing Cavity Sam’s organs. Oh, no! There is something seriously wrong with me. . . I can picture the scene. Ken’s painfully trying to grip the tweezers with fingers that don’t bend when he hears a knock on the door. His arm jerks, causing the tweezers to drop into the metal opening. Cavity Sam’s nose beeps and lights up as Officer Edgar Mallory bursts into the room. With stiff plastic arms, Ken shoves Cavity Sam toward Barbie.
“Officer, I swear,” Ken says, “removing Cavity Sam’s ice cream shaped brain was Ms. Robert’s idea.” Barbie flicks her cigarette while staring into officer Mallory’s cardboard eyes. “So, what can I do to get one of those get out of jail free cards?”
Clancy: Why didn’t you give me a last name in The Taste of Orange?
Mitzi: You’re Clancy. Unique characters don’t need a last name.
Clancy: If I’m so special why does it matter if you find a publisher?
Mitzi: Because it will make you real. The only way I can hug you is by holding the book.
Mitzi: Why did you set up Twitter while I was in Chicago? https://twitter.com/JustClancy
Clancy: Why are you complaining? You should thank me. Wait a minute. How did you find out?
Mitzi: Twitter sent a warning. You’re following more people than follow you. Makes you look like spam.
Clancy: But I have diverse interests.
Mitzi: A fictional character with diverse interests belongs on Pheed. It’s the new social network. There are no restrictions like Facebook and Twitter. It’s tailored for someone like you that doesn’t like to follow rules.
Clancy: Sounds like something my protagonist, Peter Codington, would be interested in.
Mitzi: By the way, nice picture. You’ve been working out.
Clancy: You might want to try it.
Mitzi: I worked out by playing with my grandchildren.
Clancy: I popped in and out of your head while you were in Chicago. Loved Bailey and Will. Especially the three-year-old when it came to bedtime.
Mitzi: Bailey has quite the imagination. Did you know her doll, Mary, threw up in the car on our way back from my brother’s house? How do you remove doll vomit?
Clancy: According to, Bailey, the vomit was sitting on top of your head. Why did you waste your time pretending to wipe down the backseat?
Mitzi: Bailey was so descriptive that the odor made me nauseous.
Clancy: Here’s Bailey’s conversations five minutes after you tucked her in bed.
My feet are cold. I need socks.
Two minutes later: I need my blanket fixed.
One minute later: I’m too hot. I can’t take my pajamas off.
Three seconds later: I can’t pull the zipper. They shouldn’t put zippers on little kids pajamas.
One minute later: When is it midnight?
Two minutes later: Mary got out of bed. It’s not fair that she gets to stay up and I can’t.
Three minutes later: I need my door open another crack.
Five seconds later: I’m talking to myself and nobody is listening.
Two minutes later: I shut my eyes but they won’t go to sleep.
One minute later: I need to brush my teeth again.
Clancy: And the number one call out that made your daughter-in-law jump up from the couch and run toward Bailey’s bedroom—I have to go number two.
Mitzi: What else did you do while I was gone?
Clancy: Pretty much just wondered what happened to the chubby little “Bee Girl” from the Blind Melon Video.