Fiction Writing and Other Oddities

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Fun and Inspiration

As usual, I was without a camera when I really needed one this past weekend.  My husband and I spent a wonderful Memorial day holiday at our tiny cottage.  Just for grins and giggles, we took the dogs and went out in the boat on Saturday evening, a few hours before sunset.  It was absolutely gorgeous.  Perfect, cool weather and no cell phones!  My husband proposed the idea because he thought red drum would be nice to have for Sunday dinner.

Anyway, I spotted some weird goings-on in the shallow water near a small island.  Fins and such all roiling up the water.  At first, I thought it was either a porpoise or shark messing around because the fins had that "fleshy" look about them.  But my husband said, "Red drum do that," and decided to do a little casting.

He got out of the boat and waded to the island, cast once and caught something...something big.  Really big.  He wasn't sure exactly what--which made me nervous since he's a wildlife biologist, and I pretty well expect him to know everything.  (I, at one time, majored in biology, also, and know a few things, but I haven't near the memory he has, so I generally rely on him.) 

"It's a skate!" he yelled back, after a few minutes of struggling.  "Come on and give me a hand."

I was none too sure it actually was a skate and not small shark, or that there weren't small sharks swimming around waiting for my bright pink crocs to hit the water, but what the heck.  You only live once, right?  I told the doggies to stay in the boat and with the waves slapping me in the chin, I waded over to the island.

Then he hands me the fishing pole and tells me he needs a break.  So I worked the fish for a while and dang if it wasn't a monster determined to head on out into the big blue ocean.  But after a while, we finally got it into the shallow water and sure enough, it was a huge skate!  I was amazed!  I had never seen one before, and it was absolutely the most gorgeous critter I've seen.

Hubby carefully unhooked the thing after we both stared at the long--very long--tail thinking about Steve Irwin and wondering if there was any possibility we were wrong in thinking it was a completely harmless skate.  But hubby got the hook out and pushed it back into the briny deep as the sky turned a deep apricot around us.  We watched it for a while and then happily waded back to the boat.

It was the experience of a lifetime.  And of course, I had no camera.

So that's partially how we spent our holiday. 

I also took the time to write the rough draft of a short story I'm going to be cleaning up this week to submit to The Wild Rose Press.

My publisher is so cool--they will publish works of fiction including short stories, novellas, and regular length novels.  You don't know how rare that is and what a fantastic boon it is for writers to have a publisher who will take short stories and novellas.

I've always wanted to try my hand at shorties (and get your mind out of the gutter).  Hoping that my editor would be interested, I wrote a very short story set in the Regency period in London.  I just hope the one I've written is going to be...acceptable to her.

Because I've been known to write very unsympathetic characters, or so I'm told, and my heroine is definitely on the snarky side.  But you see, I've always preferred the ornery folks that no one else much cares for.  My favorite teacher was hated and feared by all the other students--and I really never understood why.  I loved her.  She expected a lot of you and didn't take any crap, but she had a wicked, sarcastic sense of humor.

And in my reading habits, I very much prefer the mean characters that "only a mother could love--and only if she's drinking...heavily."

In my family, if someone insults you, it means they love you.  It's only when they speak very nicely to you that you know you're in deep poo-poo.  So I get all kind of warm and fuzzy when people say snarky things to me.  If my husband calls me a dim-wit, I get the urge to throw him on the bed...and you get the picture.

Unfortunately, this carries over into my writing, although I've really tried to control it.  But you see, I don't much care for the sweet, nice characters.  I've been known to not finish books with nice, sweet heroines (reading or writing them).  Give me the mean ones with the big mouths and I'm happy...

So I'm not sure but what my editor will read my story and come back with... "Ummm, Amy, your heroine is a little unsympathetic don't you think?  A little...mean?"

"Well, yes.  That's why I like her."

Anyway, I've got to get back to work.  I have a snarky Regency short story to polish.

Sweet dreams, everyone, and I hope you enjoyed your weekend!

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