Saturday, June 18, 2011

The Disconnect Between the Writer and the Audience

I love having writer's block because it gives me an excuse to sit around the kitchen all day and do nothing.  The dogs think it's a free pass to jump on me and demand pets.

I finally finished bathing them all two days ago, which was both fun and agonizing since I'm allergic to them and they make me sneeze like nothing else in the world.  They didn't enjoy it too much but took it pretty well considering they generally freak out and try to jump out of the sink at me and claw me to death.  Apparently, being in the shower with your dogs means that they sit in the tub and complain at you while you try to condition your hair and feel normal.

One of them is staring wistfully at the outdoors but won't come down the stairs.  She is such a weird little dog, but she seems happy and I'm not going to drag her down to send her out with the others if she doesn't want to.  She's a sweetheart under all the bluster, and if she wants to sit on the stairs all day, let her.  I'm sitting in the kitchen all day as it is.

I still haven't found a good writing spot yet.  Upstairs is like a sauna this time of year, even with the air conditioning on, and everywhere else has TVs that distract me with Criminal Minds and NCIS reruns.  Give me a choice between Kitty Malone and NCIS, and it's going to be NCIS all the way.  I'll pretend to write, but you know I'm really watching McGee mess up the mission.  I can't help it.  The TV is so flashy and loud and my writing is so dull and boring.  At least I think it is.

Which brings me to my point.  Does anyone else out there feel that there's a disconnect between your audience and your writing.  Like, you're missing the point or something's going over somebody's head or you're just not reaching them at some level?  I feel that way, and I don't really know what to do about it.  I know I'm supposed to write for myself, to please myself - that's what my writer friends tell me in their wisdom - but I also want to connect with a reader base.  It just seems like the potential reader base is either ignoring me or just doesn't get me.  And it's a bit discouraging, if you know what I mean.  You work really hard on something, and you want people to like it because you love it, and then it kind of just sits out there and rots.

I forget who told me this, but somebody said that writers write because they love writing, not because it turns a profit.  I do love writing, and I don't need millions - I wouldn't know what to do with myself and would probably crash and burn in a fiery exit - but it really is proving to be true.  It's testing my dedication to the craft.

However, and there's always an however, it's way too early to tell anything.  It's only been three months, and two sales in three months for a newbie writer is pretty good.  I shouldn't be complaining.  And I am grateful for the two sales.  See, you who shall remain anonymous on this blog, I'm not that much of a psychotic bitch.  Just a little bit, a baby bitch, a bitch in training.

Aaaaaaaaanyway, my computer is fixed!  And I didn't have to pay for it!  That made my week infinitely better.  Thank you for warranties.  But I do have a funny story about being in the Apple stores that I now will relate.

Me: I hate the Apple Store.

Friend: Why?

Me: They don't even have a name.  It's just a giant apple of pretentiousness.

Friend: You're a brat and this is why no one likes you.

[in the store]

Me: I'm going to plant myself in the middle of this aisle and stand here until someone serves me.

Friend: What if they don't serve you?

Me: Then we will stand here forever.  Go play with the iPads if you want.

Friend: They're too expensive for me to even look at, let alone touch.

Me: Can I have your phone so I can play Angry Birds?

[half an hour later]

Hapless Apple Employee: I'll be right with you.

Me: Putting on my angry face now.

Friend: You're not intimidating.

Me: That's because this is my warm-up angry face.  Just wait until it's full power!

Friend: Give me my phone back.

Me: Never!

Hapless Apple Employee: What can I help you with?

Me: I have an appointment with the Genius Bar.

Employee: Name?

Me: -goes off into spelling it out-

Employee: I got it, I got it.  We'll call you when a spot opens up.

Me: I hate this store.

Friend: Why not get a PC?

Me: Because I'm in too deep.  They have all my information and will sell it to Brazil if I leave.

Friend: Why Brazil?

Me: Because it's the first country I thought of.

Friend: You're so damn weird.

[half an hour later]

Genius Bar Dude: So what's the problem?

Me: The computer doesn't turn on.

Dude: -takes computer and tries to turn it on-

Computer: Screw off you putz.

Dude: -picks up computer and looks at it-  You have notebook paper in your disk drive.

Me: Oh no, really?

Dude: Let me just take this into the back room and open it up to look at the insides. -leaves-

Me: This is horribly embarrassing.  He's going to find staples in it, I know.

Friend: Why?

Me: Because a box of staples opened up in my bag and got into the disk drive.

Friend: -silence-

Me: He's going to come back out and tell me there's staples in it and that I'm a horrible Mac user and they're going to take away my computer forever.

Friend: - laughs-

Me: Who manages to get staples in their disk drive?  How does this happen?  This is so bad.  I can't be trusted with electronics.  I'm the bane of electronics.

Dude: There were staples in your computer.

Me: -dies-

Dude: We can order you a new top case and have it fixed in a few days.

Me: -dead-

But yeah, aside from all the embarrassment, the computer was fixed and now I can write my sex without feeling guilty about stealing the communal Mac for my devious purposes.  It worked out well because I needed to do research for my latest installment of Kitty Malone and it took a while.  I needed to look up how women in the 1920s did their makeup.  I love the 20s, is my favorite decade, but I only know the modern ways to do the eyeshadow and lipstick.   I ended up poking around a few blogs I found on Google and found out that grease pencils were a big thing, which sounds disgusting.  I don't know about you, but I don't want grease on my eyes.  And apparently, the mascara was heated before use and then put on the eyelashes.  And here I thought that regular old mascara was terrifying.  I poke myself all the time.  Imagine poking yourself with heated, waxy, coating!  Scary.  Scary scary scary.  So I had some fun with a 1920s incarnation of Kitty getting her face done by Magdalena and being horrified by it all.  Then there will be gangsters!  Or something!  Choices!

I also had some more fun playing with the sexual tension between Magdalena and Kitty.  Maybe it'll go somewhere, who knows.  But then I got stuck and stopped writing and ate some pie.  Love pie.  Hopefully the pie will inspire me somehow.  Or the dogs.  Or maybe I should stop introducing strange sexual tensions where there shouldn't be sexual tensions and just go about writing plain romance.

Choices!

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