Thursday, September 20, 2012

How New Health Care Questions Make My Writer's Brain Work

I have been experiencing trouble with extremely dry eyes. My eye doctor--a wonderful woman and great doctor--has been working hard to help me overcome this irritating issue. Consequently, I have to go see her about every 2-4 weeks as we try to restore the eyeballs to normal health. Between the last visit and my most recent one, there have been new questions put into place as a result of changes in how the government runs our health care system.

Cool beans, says I when the assistant tells me about the new questions. Fire away, I say, thinking that the questions will run the usual gamut of how much I weigh (don't ask, don't tell is my usual motto), how tall I am, whether or not I drink (socially, but then every day is social at my house--want to join the party?) have I ever smoked and so forth.

So here come the questions. Most are what I expected. I fudged on the weight (I seriously have no idea right now) and I always say I'm a social drinker--what social means to one person is quite different than what it means to another. On good days--Pilates days--I am 5'7". On bad days, I might shrink a half inch. Whatever. Apparently, fudging on the weight and giving myself a Pilates' height puts me in the proper Body Mass Index of GREEN. Yay me!!

All is well until the following questions come up:

1) Where are you in the birth order? First I answer.
2) Do you have siblings? Uh, yah.
3) Do you have a twin? Not that I know of--but hey stranger things have happened.
4) Are you an only child? Uh, see number 1 & 2
5) How many siblings do you have? Just one the last time I checked.

OK, I have no idea why the government needs to know if I have a twin, but naturally, being a writer, these questions made me think about a lot of "what if" scenarios. For instance, what if you're adopted and you have a twin and you don't know it? Or what if you're adopted and you don't know you're adopted and you're mother is actually your older sister? Or what if you're adopted and you're an only child in that family, but your biological family is filled with dozens of siblings and you would have been THE BABY of the family? What if you were kidnapped as a baby and you had siblings but you're raised as an only child by the kidnappers? What if you always wondered if you had a twin sister/brother and these health care questions awaken an innate "knowing" within you that has you searching for the truth?

And there's more.

What if you are a foster child/a person who grew up in the foster care system. How do you know what the truth is about your family of origin? Or what if you were abandoned at birth and raised by nuns? Or what if you're actually the crown princess of an obscure principality in Europe and the government has been seeking you and this is all a ruse? Or what if the government has decided to create a huge database of people who are twins so they can run experiments on them without their consent or knowledge because an Alien Nation has overtaken our world?

Do you see where I am going with this line of reasoning? I'd love to know what kind of scenarios you come up with regarding these new questions. Oh, and if you're my twin, please contact me off loop.


Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Global Writing & Princesses on Parade

It's been a busy time over at Casa del Glover. First I hosted a mini writing retreat. My critique partners drove from Atlanta to write, laugh, and write some more. They stayed over for two nights from Wednesday through Friday last week. Another writing friend came over on Thursday to write all afternoon, then we broke out the libations, ate dinner, and chatted until late in the evening. It was hard to say goodbye to my CPs--who are friends that I cherish as well--but I'm grateful for the time I had with them.

After they left, I continued working on the current manuscript's revisions until I reached THE END yet again on Monday afternoon. I am standing pat at 35,000 words and need another 13,000 to reach my elusive word count. I am the Queen of Cutting Words. So I cut 7,000 words and crafted a few new ones. This story is still very much in its infancy, but it's beginning to grow. I am afraid I may not hit the mark with it because it's the first time I've attempted such a global category series book, but I hope that I can take what I'm learning and improve as I go along. I should have a decent full draft by the end of the month, then it's time to make the first three chapters shine. Super shine if I want to get a request for a FULL manuscript from the editor who has expressed interest in my writing.

So now I'm at the stage where my writing promisingly high standard, but the story must hit the mark. Easier said then done, but I will do my best to attain that elusive goal.

Now that I've been liberated from writing strictly American stories, I've been brainstorming ideas for the next book. I always like to stay "one book ahead" of the game. I believe I shall tackle a royal book with royal characters in a fictional land (no one can ding me on setting details if I do that!). So there is a Princess story in my future. And why not? I cut my teeth on fairy tales and myths. It's time to relish the development of a fantasy set in modern times.

I'm in a good place. I'm enjoying the process of story development. I can't wait to write the next one about a Princess who is misunderstood and the perfect antidote to my hero's stoicism. Who was  your favorite princess, fairy tale or real, when you were growing up?