Friday, February 4, 2011

Being A Writer Can Be Hazardous To Your Health

Being a writer is tough. Our minds work in a such a way that mere laypeople do not understand.  Every outing is a character study, while  every news story is a possible plot. A simple word from a stranger can trigger a storyboard.

When I talk to people I am fascinated with the smallest details and ask lots of questions. Hey, this is research for free and beats looking things up on Google. And I’m just naturally curious, I think most writers are. The problem is my conversations usually last longer then necessary. This recently happened during a trip to a computer store. I was looking for ink cartridges for my printer and was getting help. Somehow the conversation turned to the latest technology for spyware. Before I knew it I was surrounded by 3 guys dressed in their blue polo shirts and khaki pants all sharing their thoughts on the subject. I was fascinated, sadly my three children were not. Nor were the 5 people standing around needing help and shooting me dirty looks. I quickly thanked the young men, grabbed my ink and shooed my kids past the angry onlookers.

We also have to watch what we say. One day I was in the grocery store with my kids and I was in a very melancholy mood. I told the girls we needed to buy chocolate and lots of it. As we were loading up the cart my oldest asked, “Mom, the only time we buy this much chocolate is when you are sad. What's wrong?” Without thinking I told her “Well, tonight I’m going to have to kill someone.”  My oldest didn’t blink an eye. She knows her mom regularly kills people off in her stories.  Unfortunately, the lady with the fur wrap buying her Ghirardelli bars did not. Not to worry, I finally caught up with her in the frozen food aisle and explained I was a writer. Guess what? Her cousin did some writing too and we had a nice long conversation.

The most hazardous part can come when you live and breath your characters. They never seem to leave you alone even when you are sleeping.  Sometimes you replay scenes in your head. Like maybe a scene in which your hero is about to drown in a raging river and you scream his name. Only to realize you REALLY did scream his name and your husband is already on his feet beside the bed looking dazed.

Did you just scream James?”, hubby rubs his eyes.

“Um, well maybe.” I say shaking the fog from my head.


“I think I was dreaming.” I mumble as I start to pull the covers up to my shoulders.

Hubs narrows his eyes. “You were dreaming about James?”

“Yes, you know the character in my book.” I now have the sheet over my head trying to shield myself from his piercing stare.

“No, I don’t know.” I cringe as he climbs back into bed, then I hear him sigh.

I relax and start to giggle, “Sorry.”

“It’s alright”, he says as he snuggles closer.

I knew he would understand. It can be tough being married to a writer, but he’s a sweetheart.

“Just so you know”, he whispers in my ear, “I’m writing a story too. Just wanted you to know,  in case  I scream the name Trixi in my sleep.”

If you are a writer, what do you find is the most hazardous thing about our profession?


Nancy said...

That is so funny. I love the whole story. I don't think I ever got that involved with a character, at least not one of mine. Your husband came up with the right name. "Trixie" is very funny and not someone you would need to worry about. It was the name my husband used to use to tease me.

T. Anne said...

Ha, ha! That is so funny about having to kill someone and loading up on chocolate. I'm sure security greeted you at the door. ;) I do have so much fun with being a writer. Mostly it's because there are no real boundaries to what we can do. World beware.

Nancy said...

I've nominated you for the Stylish Blogger Award. If you wish to receive it, go to my blog.

Kara said...

Nancy, it's a good name isn't it? :)
T.Anne, I was terrified she was going to call the police or something:) It is fun being a writer, we have the best of both worlds-real and imaginary!

Kittee I am a Runner! said...

Thats funny Kara.. I a gave you an award on my go check it out...

Kara said...

Thanks Kittee!

Cassandra Frear said...

Adorable stories. Love it.

I'm tweeting this. and I'm going to find you on Twitter!

And Kara, I must say that I so appreciate your regular visits to the Moonboat and your cheery voice there.

I've been through a sudden move in December and January, and we're still settling in. Plus I've been sick several times (from moving).

This has all made it very difficult to keep up with my blogging friends. But during this time, you have faithfully commented and encouraged me, and it has meant much.

Happily Ever After Again said...

Funny stuff :)
I think my biggest struggle is that I like to write at night. My ideas come to me when I should be asleep or winding down in bed with my hubby. It's hard, because he doesn't really understand why I don't schedule my writing time. I have time to write during the day, but when the thoughts flow I have to take advantage of it! However, the last few months I haven't written much because I am trying to be a good wife, lol, but my writing suffers...
Although, my marriage is my priority, of course, so I deal! ;)

Jennifer Shirk said...

LOL! That's hilarious!

I don't get to kill anyone but I do get a little depressed when I have to write the black moment in my romance. even though I know there will be a happy ending, it still get sme down. :)

Jill Kemerer said...

Ha! I'm just like you--I ask too many questions and the kids get bored!

I will admit to getting depressed when I write or revise the black moment.

Terri Tiffany said...

LOL I think I bore my husband to death with my endless conversations about my characters and their lives!!

Janna Qualman said...

Oh, just the fact that it's so intensive. If I'm not doing, I'm thinking and studying and absorbing. It's all-in!

Liked your example, Kara. :)

Pat's Place said...

Glad I read that on this gloomy, cold day. It gave me such a laugh!