Sunday, September 17, 2006

I saw a UFO

I did. Seriously. I'm not saying it was a proper spaceship with little grey sexless men beaming laser out through where their eyes should be. However, it was an oddity I'd never seen before. There I was driving along, ignoring the person in front of me as is my normal way of operating a vehicle, and I happen to look up into the sky, right between two power lines and there was this weird sort of...thing. I thought it was a blimp. But blimps don't have red lights circling the bottom. I thought it was a helicopter, but helicopters don't disappear in a matter of seconds. I pass a cluster of trees and it was gone, again, in a matter of seconds.

No idea what it was. And it's not like I can tell anyone about it. Well, anyone other than the conspiracy theory-loving spouse and the Big Foot seeing best mate. Both are a bit loony. Good people, but both loony.

So what does one do with this information? Sit on it? Alert the media? Write a heartfelt, first account about a young boy being probed?

Right. Ignore it. It's what we do best, isn't it? Ignore the unknown.

I finished the first chapter of my novel just moments ago. No. No, finished is not a proper word. Writers are never finished with their work. There are always edits. Always more to do. Always. It's like the Romantic period never ended and we're still creating, no matter how long a story is, no matter how many characters have bled and died. We're never done. So I'll just say, I've finish the first tentative draft of my first chapter that will likely go through at least 50 incarnations until it is 'done enough' to submit. Until that time, it's 'done provisionally.'

Does that make sense?

Random facts about writers:

Good writers don’t think they’re good. (Unless they’re egomaniacs. What am I saying, we’re all egomaniacs.) Well, most writer’s think what they write is crap. It’s the nature of the craft. If we were all well adjusted, socially apt individuals, we wouldn’t spend hours on in alone in front of a computer.

Writers are jealous by nature. It’s true. We get insanely jealous when we read something someone else wrote. Well, if it’s really good. Case in point: How many writers got utterly enraged when that 15 year old kid wrote the dragon book? Eragon? Loads and loads, trust me. (I’ll admit to being one of them). 15 years old and he’s picked up by Knopf. Ridiculous. Frustrating. Unbelievable. And how many spewed out venom about how crap the book was? Loads, trust me, even if they didn’t admit it publicly. In small circle of friends, they hate that kid. In interviews, they think it’s great. See? Liars. Jealous, jealous liars. I’m not making excuses. It’s just the nature of the craft.

We’d steal plots from our best friends if it was good enough. It’s true. Don’t kid yourself into thinking that it’s not. We want the limelight. We want to write the next great novel. We want to be on the cover of Time. We want a fat bank account. See, I told you, egomaniacs, the lot of us. So if you have a great plot idea, don’t tell anyone. Don’t tell your writer’s group, don’t tell your best friend, don’t tell your neighbor. Just write. I know a published writer (fellow egomaniac) who likes to tell ‘stories.’ These stories, for the most part, are plots he’s dreamed up. Some are really good. Most, are crap. I think he does this to throw me off. I think he’s telling me his crap ideas to see if I’ll steal them. I probably would if they were good.

Watch your back and stay away from UFOs. Or just don’t tell anyone anything and you’ll be great.


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