Monday, January 22, 2007

Random Things About Me

I did something wild and crazy and essentially took the weekend off, so now I'm having a hard time getting back into the swing of things. It doesn't help that I overslept this morning. Not overslept in the sense of being late, but overslept in the sense of sleeping too much. I went to bed pretty early last night because I just couldn't keep my eyes open, even to read (of course, there it didn't help that I'd reached the point in the book where the main character was insisting on acting like a complete idiot by loudly making a faux noble sacrifice, all while the other character kept insisting she didn't have to because if she'd shut up and listen for one second instead of interrupting him to loudly proclaim about the sacrifice she was making, he could tell her that he had new information that made her noble sacrifice unnecessary -- ugh!). Then I still slept almost as late as I would have if I'd gone to bed at the usual time. As a result, I have this weird sleep hangover where I'm still rather groggy and have a headache.

I have some revisions to make on my book 5 proposal, based on my agent's comments. It's so hard to write a good synopsis when I know that I'll pretty much be making up the big, climactic stuff as I go. My agent kept asking "how?" type questions to which the only real answer is "I'll figure it out when I get there, but I can't know until I see what happens before then -- or meet all the people I'll meet before then."

I'm kind of whimpering about the amount of work I need to get done in the next week or so. And yet, because of the grogginess and lack of focus, how did I spend the early afternoon? Catching up on the Battlestar Galactica video blogs on the Sci Fi web site. Argh.

Out of sheer laziness and inability to focus, I'm going to punt and play with that "list 10 little known facts about yourself" thing that's been going around, only I'm not tagging anyone. Do it if you feel like it.

1. I have a minor obsession with crossword puzzles. It's my mom's fault. Apparently, her doctor mentioned something about it a few years ago as a way to maintain mental acuity, and when she was doing them, I started doing them. Then she found them frustrating and switched to Sudoku, which I totally don't get, and I'm the one still nuts about crosswords. I even make up my own games with them, especially early in the week when the New York Times puzzles are too easy. I find one clue to solve, and then can only fill in words that spring off that one, and so forth, and have to solve the whole puzzle building off that one word. Or I try to do as much as possible of a puzzle in my head without writing anything down. I love/hate the Saturday NYT puzzle because it has more to do with trivia and knowledge than it does with logic. Sometimes it's really hard, but when I can solve it, I feel really good. The Sunday puzzles are supposed to be hard, but they're more just seeing patterns and logic, and those are usually pretty easy for me.

2. I'm not a big fan of sandwiches. There are a lot of things that I like perfectly well, but the thought of putting them together between two slices of bread grosses me out. I'm also not crazy about salads for the same reason, but with "mixed together with lettuce or mayonnaise" instead of "between two slices of bread" as the reason. However, I love soup, with all sorts of things mixed together in broth or stock. Go figure.

3. I know I write about my characters drinking coffee all the time, but I don't drink coffee myself. I love the smell of it, but it doesn't taste like it smells, and that's so disappointing. If I'm in a desperate-for-caffeine situation with no tea available, I can sort of tolerate coffee with enough milk and sugar in it, and preferably with a bit of vanilla -- in other words, with enough stuff in it so it no longer tastes like coffee.

4. I can't eat raw onions -- don't like them and they give me terrible heartburn -- but love cooked onions if they're cooked enough to get really soft or caramelized. As a result, I've been known to go to a Dairy Queen and order a burger with no onions, with a side of onion rings. The counter clerks always give me a funny look, but it's different, I swear! I also don't like onions as a pizza topping but put lots of onions in when I make pizza sauce, for the same reason. As a topping, they don't cook enough to be good.

5. I hate the telephone. Loathe it. It has to be a pretty urgent situation for me to call someone because I'm always sure that I'm interrupting them at a bad time, and I'm not too crazy about being called except by certain people at certain times. I have a cell phone that I probably pay too much for, considering I might use it once a month. E-mail, to me, is the best invention ever because it allows me to communicate with people in semi-real time without having to talk on the phone, which usually causes heart palpitations and sweaty palms if I'm the one doing the dialing.

6. I have an edited-for-television vocabulary. In fact, I don't think I've ever said a word that can't be said on prime-time network television, and I don't see that changing, since the longer I go without saying certain words, the harder it is to even imagine saying them. Plus, I have a very literal mind and tend to get very vivid mental pictures of the literal meanings of some of the things that get said, and most of those are funny rather than tough, so it ruins it entirely. I have all sorts of fun euphemisms, though (the fun of watching science fiction TV: they make up their own curse words!). So, yeah, my books are sometimes criticized as being squeaky clean, but I have a certain mental block there. I guess I'd better never create a character who swears like a sailor or I'll be in big trouble. I'd have to make up a cursing vocabulary.

7. I went through a phase of really, really wanting to be an actress. But I imagine I would have been somewhat hampered by the not-swearing thing (which would limit roles) and by the horrendous stage fright for anything musical. I was taking acting classes and was even in a show, and then I met my first editor and wrote my first book and decided I liked the writing thing better.

8. This is going to sound really odd, given my documented fondness for Barry Manilow, classical music and show tunes, but I love 1980s hair band heavy metal. I own CDs by the Scorpions and Queensryche. Seriously. But when you listen to it, some of that is pretty operatic, so not that far removed from show tunes. Operation Mindcrime is essentially a musical.

9. I'm really good at talking to men in a friendly way, but I can't flirt to save my life. The way I seem to indicate romantic interest is by panicking and getting shy. That's not very effective.

10. With all this talk about stage fright, shyness, fear of the phone, etc., I sound like a big scaredy cat, but I have my moments of boldness. I do stuff like traveling alone to foreign countries, walking in big cities alone at night, lots and lots of public speaking, letting tens of thousands of people read stuff that I write, and I've never been susceptible to peer pressure because I was never afraid of what the other kids would think or say about me.

So, there you are, all sorts of insight into my psyche. Now I need caffeine so I can work.

1 comment:

Shanna Thompson said...

From one "Shanna" to another:

- I hate raw onions too, but onion rings are fine, particularly dipped in BBQ or A-1 sauce. However, onions in salsa are also acceptable. And green onions are good either way.

- I also have a love/hate relationship with my cell phone. Although, my distaste for the device lies in the answering of calls much more than in the making of calls.

Perhaps writers' quirks?!