"The notion that such persons are gay of heart and carefree is curiously untrue. They lead, as a matter of fact, an existence of jumpiness and apprehension. They sit on the edge of the chair of Literature. In the house of Life they have the feeling that they have never taken off their overcoats."
- James Thurber, My Life and Hard Times

Friday, May 29, 2009

The days of whines and jeezes

J.A. Konrath, who writes the Jack Daniels series, once described his writing style as (I'm paraphrasing here), "I give my main character a goal. Then I throw every obstacle I can think of at them to keep them from reaching that goal."

I think this describes most stories. The protagonist must have something they want, even if it's just to be left alone. And the author must spend the entire tale trying to keep them from getting it.

My main gal, Peri, wants to do low-risk investigations, like background checks and surveillance. You know, hunt around on the Internet and in libraries, sit in her car with a camera, easy stuff. Of course, that would make a pretty dull book. "Peri turned in her reports, went home and had a dirty martini, and they all lived happily ever after." The only thing to make that worse is if Peri never worried about her bills, her age, or her ability to buy Grey Goose vodka. Bo-ring.

And yet, as much as I like to read books with a quick pace and constant turmoil, I'd like my life to resemble the unsellable plot I've described above. No worries, no conflicts, happily ever after.

Today, however, I don't get my wish. I'm juggling three different events for my son's choir, worrying about the lack of sign-ups for summer horse camp, and trying to figure out how to squeeze a week's worth of travel to see my family in Illinois into our summer schedule. I thought I had a nice 8-day time frame worked out, when my husband said he needed to be back a day earlier and my son needs to be back two days before that.

Oh, yeah, and there's the book launch party, my publicity and marketing plans (am I missing an opportunity? Ack!), and I should be working on the next book.

So, in honor of today's resemblance to a soap opera plot, I'm naming this Whine and Jeez Friday. Please feel free to post your latest whine, about your life, your writing, your career, your kids, your pets, your landlord, your spouse...

I'm listening.


Elle Parker said...

Hee! I'll join you in the I Should Be Working On The Next Book whine....

I was supposed to have it done and submitted by now. If I had, it might stand a chance of a release date before Christmas 2010. *sigh*


Elle Parker

Patricia Stoltey said...

I'm with you! I started to list my whines individually and it was too depressing. I'm going to step away from the computer for a few minutes and make popcorn.


Dani said...

Whine & Jeez could be right up my alley, but not on Fridays. LOL.

I love the bigger picture - now we can see how gorgeous your hair really is!

Your Blog Book Tours HQ

C. Margery Kempe said...

I'm late, but I can still whine! I haven't got going on the revisions of my novel, I have a billion things to do before Monday when I leave the country for a month including finishing the two papers I'm giving in the UK, and I have a signing today but people NEVER show up for them, so I'm whining in advance about people not showing.

Woe indeed!

But it is a gorgeous day, the signing gets me away from the computer for a couple of hours and well, I am going off on a lovely trip, so I can't complain too much...

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