Saturday, January 22, 2011

Fallen off the Face of the Earth

Yeah, this has been the most pathetically non-updated blog ever as of the last...2 or 3 months. I know. I admit my failure to make this entertaining and interesting, much less informative. Here's the deal: I've been writing a book.

Yeah, I know.

Now, there are two categories of people in this world. One group of people just read that line and said under their breath, "What a giant waste of time. She'll never publish it and it sounds like a lot of wasted effort. Jean must be crazy." To which I say...well...not much at all other than that you have to be slightly crazy to be a writer so yeah, okay, I'm crazy. I'll own it with a little bit of pride - the same way you would a high school letter jacket. It meant something once and made you look pretty stinkin' cool for a time and then...overnight, literally, you graduated and wearing your letter jacket became so the opposite of cool that you were left with just the stinkin'. Cuz those things don't wash well. I got very little sleep last night and I am so sorry for the weirdness that just happened there.

Anyway, the other category of people in this world are the ones who just read the "I've been writing a book" statement and said, "What?! That's awesome!" Just so you know, if you said the "I've been writing a book" sentence to me my response to you would fall in this category. The one I like to call Positive Support.

Perhaps you feel that you do not fit into either category, but I would argue that you are either excited or not and thereby you too have a place in this highly categorized world of mine.

I have gotten several pertinent questions when I have made my book writing confession. Fine, I came out on facebook. Anyway...I'd like to answer the questions those of you in the Positive Support category have posed to me on different occasions.

1. What's it about?

I sort of feel that I can't really say, just yet. I can tell you it's "modern day" (not to be confused with modernistic). I am writing from what I know. I suppose it could be labeled a romance (not the ishy kind), but I see it more as a "coming home" or a "finding your place" kind of story. That sounds really kinda dumb now that I think about it. Oh well.

2. Fiction or nonfiction?

Fiction. Very much fiction. However, it is based, in some cases HEAVILY on some very real people. People who have no idea that I just wrote a book based on them. Yikes.

3. What are you going to do with it?

Yeah, see this is the tricky part. I honestly don't know. Here's my problem, it was really fun to write a book. But it would be all kinds of COMPLETELY TERRIFYING to allow other people to actually read what I just wrote. Writing is very...revealing. And while I take some comfort in the fact that this is fiction and most people would (hopefully) read it as such, there is a big part of me that's really complete scared witless by people reading conversations and thoughts and character development that all came out of my head. Basically, its like actually allowing others into your thoughts. Which is really really uncomfortable for me. So I am pretty tempted to finish this thing off and hide it away in the back of my closet. But some of you, you know who you are, will not accept this answer. Which brings us to the next question.

4. Can I see part of it?

I don't know. I've actually considered handing out excerpts here and there, but when I considered what those excerpts would be I got lost and confused and gave up.

5. No really, what are you going to do with it?

My real plan is this:

1. Type it up. I hand wrote this baby and I need to get it in a digital format.
2. Revise the sh*t out of it. I actually sort of mean that in a semi-literal sense. Take out the bad, leave the good, make the good better.
3. Ask a few trusted "associates", who have been firmly identified as card-carrying members of the Positive Supporters category, to review a chapter here and there.
4. Perhaps allow a few select people to read the whole shebang.
5. If (and that is one HUGE if) I get a positive response, I need to contact the people I sort of wrote about and at least confess my liberal usage of their persona. Just so you know, Step 5 makes me want to vomit because it is just that terrifying.

Now, all this will be heavily delayed by my definite need to research certain aspects to more fully and clearly write various sections of my story. I attempted very much to write what I know. But apparently, this story chose me (in a dream, actually), and it decided it had to be about a restaurant. And if you want to know how much I know about a restaurant, well, it won't be a long conversation. Effectively, I know absolutely nothing. So, anyone who is a restaurateur, I need you. Brilliant really, isn't it? Chose an industry of which I know absolutely nothing and base and entire story on it. Of course, if I were to write a story about what I know from personal experience, it would most likely have to be about a grocery story. That's a hint, by the way.

For now, I'll just tell you this: her name is Grace and his name is Bobby (actual names have been changed...somewhat...for the main characters anyway) and they could use some prayer. And by "they" I mean me. Turns out when you write, it's the same thing.


Dale Deur said...

So, I was in the restaurant business for a while...if I can help, I'd be glad to. Or, my former partner, who is still in the business, could consult. Just say the word.
By the way - I hope I'm one of those Positive Encouragers you mentioned.

Stephanie said...

I am proud of you!! That is a wonderful "waste" of time :) Ha Ha! Keep writing and don't let the naysayers get to you...I can't wait to order my copy on Amazon one day!!

Michelle Simpson Photos said...

Sounds like a great reason for an absence! Let us know if we can help any way :)