Friday, December 21, 2012

The Mean Author's Guide to Answering the Unanswerable

I am somewhat annoyed with the Mayans for giving us a date for the end of the world, but not a time. I have no way of knowing whether posting this blog post at 9AM is early enough to squeak in under the doomsday wire or not. I will be SO miffed to discover I wrote it all for nothing. Or not. Given that presumably with the end of the world I'd be dead...
Oh well. Just in case a few of us survive the apocalypse, here's a little snark to kick off the new world age.
We all get questions from people interested in what we do. Most people are trying to be supportive by asking us about this job we do. Then there are the people who aren't interested in us or in what we really do - they're only interested in feeding their own preconceived notions about writers and writing. In real life, I do my best to answer politely, regardless. However. Known only to a very select few people, I have a mean streak. It runs wide and it runs deep. I work hard to keep it hidden from view. Until someone digs at me just a *little bit* harder. Then the mean sneaks through. Here's a peak of the things I WISH I could say whilst smiling and offering up bland explanations to the four following questions:
1. When are you going to write a real book? (Or straight <insert pet genre of asker's choice that notably isn't what I write>)
ANSWER: Right after you do. NOTE: If the person asking is, in fact, a published author, the answer changes to: I make it a policy to never take advice from anyone who hasn't yet won a Pulitzer for fiction.
2. You know what you should do?
ANSWER: Ooo! Let me guess! It begins with premeditated, right? And ends with your corpse stuffed into a 55 gallon drum at the bottom of Puget Sound? No? Hey! Where are you going?
3. Can I give you this story idea I've been hording all my life?
ANSWER: Please, for the love of the Gods, no. Is there anything I can do to stop you? Bribery? The sacrifice of a small animal? WORD-WHORES STRAW POLL: Has anyone ever gotten a good idea from this? I mean when this one happened to me for reals, the plot hinged on a time travel twist and incest. You see why I ask.
4. So. Your income must be really good at this point, right?
ANSWER: Can't. Between the tears of pain and the howls of derisive laughter, I'm rendered incapable of speech. Which, frankly, is probably a good thing.
The single worst question on the planet comes from my editor - who NEVER gets the mean because she's so spectacular at what she does and is super sweet into the bargain.
5. Was this supposed to be something else? (She's highlighted a section of my manuscript that's peppered with mindbending symbols and characters I didn't know my keyboard could produce).
ANSWER: Forehead meets desk. I respond with a sheepish, "No. Sorry." Clearly, I've been victim of a random act of cat walking on keyboard when I wasn't looking and I somehow missed it before shipping the MS off. BONUS ANSWER: I threaten to sell the cat into slavery to the Microsoft test department. The purring cat walks across my keyboard to beg my forgiveness with a headbutt. And blue screens my box.

1 comment:

  1. "Was this supposed to be something else?"

    ~bwwahaha~ Mayan Calendar Countdown?