Saturday, October 14, 2017

In which I wonder what to write from now on, as Sly and Doris are dead (although the estate still is not settled and continues to present challenges) and as Ted has quieted down some, which makes us nervously happy but also scared because when will the next shoe drop?

So yeah.

There's the draft of the book I wrote, where I fictionalized events because really, nobody wants to read a story where there is not some kind of either redemption (happy!) or comeuppance (even happier for the people watching for the comeuppance). (Think "House of Cards" - I hate every character on the show, but I watch because I want to see them get what's coming to them.)

I sent query letters to agents but either I stink at writing query letters or my first pages were not compelling.

But you know what? I don't think I am a novelist. I am not a plot person. My friend Jeff Abbott is brilliant at plotting. AND he gets to incorporate what he studied in college! He was an English and history major and one of his books has all this stuff about Russia and the Cold War. He mentioned one of his history professors in the acknowledgments, which was really cool.

I am not about plot. I can't make plot up. I don't think I am good at sustained narrative where you start with The Protagonist Wanting Something She Can't Get (i.e., a good relationship with Sly and Doris) and then Overcoming Obstacles and Going Underground For Three Days to Overcome Her Tragic Flaws only to Emerge Triumphant.

I think I am better at short scenes and that's what I like and I just have to figure out how to get that kind of thing published. (Published somewhere besides here, I mean.)

The other thing is that Primo is running for office again. He has a chance to win this time, which would be cool.

I am not interested in being part of the political world myself, but I will gladly grab the popcorn and listen to all his stories about the politics of politics. (It's SO DIRTY, Y'ALL. SO DIRTY. BUT SO FASCINATING.)

So maybe I'll write about that. On verra.


  1. I don't care what you write about, just write. You are bright, funny and pretty damn insightful. You make me happy and really that is all that matters.

  2. You know - write what you know. You don't have to fictionalize what's happened. The redemption can be the reclaiming of your lives, the overcoming of having dealt with this crap for as long as you guys did. The flourishing of YOU GUYS as the new generation that will Do It Right. Supporting Stephanie, and Michael and Maria, and the lessons on how to draw boundaries with Ted and not allow a bully to take over your life just because they have half of a point about something.

    Write what you know. As far as format? Sure, let it be small little pieces. You are really good at that. So write it that way "A Record of Survival. One Moment After the Other."

    1. Also - there is ongoing redemption in the cheese-throwing fights and you and Primo learning to handle the stress better and draw boundaries *with each other* and work together to deal with this external influence which has such a huge impact on your marriage.

      You write about it in a way that's entertaining, but there's a core underneath there where we're rooting for you to get through it and watching that happen - for both of you together and each of you individually is captivating.

  3. Is this the end? You began on the middle and ended at the wedding? Yes indeed. If you find nothing new then I will have to start all over. Though a campaign of any sort would be more tolerable if you narrated it

  4. This comment has been removed by the author.

  5. Just write. Your voice, not someone else’s. A collection of vignettes, a day book - just write. Please.

  6. I so enjoy your writing. Some publisher out there wants you, I just know it!

  7. Why not self publish as Ebook? I would buy it. Love the way you write.

  8. I like the vignettes. Nothing wrong with putting together a collection of vignettes that show development over time.

    Personally, I think the transcript-like rendering of conversations is fine for a blog, but in a book, even in vignettes, I as a reader would really prefer to see them written out. One exception: in the case of texts, like between you and Stephanie, you could definitely format those as texts (make them look like phone screenshots).