Contest, Conversations continued with Pari

Hey all. You know the scoop. We’re on semi-hiatus this week. So . . . the contest continues. Anyone who answers some of the questions or comments on our posts is eligible to win 14 books (yep, count ’em) from the ‘Rati.

I’ll answer a few questions before asking my own:

From Darlene:  What would you do if you if you weren’t a writer?
Boy, that’s a toughie. I can’t even imagine life without writing; I’ve been doing it since I was five or so. But I think I’d take all the mental and physical time I devote to it and become active in the sustainable agriculture/slow food movement. Food is so fundamental and we’re really shooting ourselves in the foot – and endangering future generations – with our current policies such as the one that allows this.

What genre do you secretly want to try writing?
Right now I’m writing a mainstream novel. That’s a new experience for me. I’m also planning to try my hand at fantasy and at least one YA next year. I have to admit I’m curious about romance; I like happy endings.

What’s your secret trashy, must-watch TV show?
I’ve recently discovered Chopped and Iron Chef. Oh, man. I LOVE both of those shows. 

From JT: What are you reading?
Daughter of Fortune by Isabel Allende. I’m loving the lush quality of her writing.

From Toni: What was the very best day of your life? (Aside from significant others/ marriages and births of children.)
A fall day at the sculpture garden at Shidoni in New Mexico. I was with a good friend. We had a bottle of superb Amarone wine, sharp Italian cheeses, crusty bread and hard salami. We swigged the wine out of the bottle and used a pocket knife to cut the food. The sky glistened in a stunning blue and the sun was hot on our skins. Then, out of nowhere, came a rainstorm to cool us down. And there really was a brilliant rainbow during and after the storm.

Pretty much bliss on earth.

3) If you could go anywhere, right now, obligation-free, without stress, etc., where would you go?
I think I’d go to Italy and eat. Then I’d hop a plane to Ireland and drink. Then I’d go down to Brazil and dance it all off.

From Sylvia: What animal do you fear the most? (Must have experience and not just fantasy)
Orangutans. I was attacked by one in Hong Kong. It didn’t catch me, but I was absolutely terrified and tremble when I see them in zoos now.

As an author, what question are you asked the most that you refuse to answer or deflect the answer?
In addition to what the other ‘Rati have said, I have a really hard time with “Who is your favorite author?” because that’s always shifting.

What 10 questions do you most want to know about your readers, or us, the commenters?

I’ll add a few to the mix:

What’s your favorite board game?

What’s your favorite word?

Do make New Year’s resolutions? If so, can you tell us one?

Are you good at telling jokes? (Tell us one.)

What’s your favorite holiday food?

What’s one outrageous thing you’d like to do before you’re too old to do it?

What’s the most audacious thing you’ve ever done?

Which fictional character would you like to spend a day with . . . and why?

If you had a magic wand for a day, what would you do with it?

Is there anything you want to know specifically from me today? I’m around and can answer questions . . .

 

56 thoughts on “Contest, Conversations continued with Pari

  1. Wilfred Bereswill

    What are you doing for the holidays?

    Working my day job. It’s hell starting a new job at my age and not having any vacation time.

    What are you reading?

    Even – Andrew Grant.

    What topics would you like us to cover in the New Year?

    Just keep up the fine work you all are doing.

    What questions do you have for any or all of us?

    I think I’ve already asked them.

    What’s your favorite board game?

    It’s been so long since I played one. I’ll go with Mousetrap!

    What’s your favorite word?

    Yes Dear? Okay that’s two.

    Do make New Year’s resolutions? If so, can you tell us one?

    For 2004 I said I’d start writing my first novel. (I did. I wrote the first chapter over Christmas Break 2004.) For 2005 I said I’d finish it. (I did on May 6, 2005 {my 50th birthday}) In 2008 it was published.

    Are you good at telling jokes? (Tell us one.)

    Yes, but not at writing jokes.

    What’s your favorite holiday food?

    Raisin Oatmeal Cookies

    What’s one outrageous thing you’d like to do before you’re too old to do it?

    Score a hole-in-one.

    What’s the most audacious thing you’ve ever done?

    Won a beauty pagaent on a cruise. (http://workingstiffs.blogspot.com/2009/04/reason-for-dying-of-embarrassment.html)

    Which fictional character would you like to spend a day with . . . and why?

    It’s too early to engage my brain for this one.

    If you had a magic wand for a day, what would you do with it?

    I’d get JJ Abrams to direct the movie made from my novel. or Send my wife and I to Hawaii.

    Is there anything you want to know specifically from me today? I’m around and can answer questions . . .

    No questions for now.

    Reply
  2. Susanne

    Hi Pari,

    What a delicious treat!

    I’d like to know if there’s something you know today about writing that you wished you’d known when you first started writing.

    Susanne

    Reply
  3. B.G. Ritts

    Favorite board game?
    Monopoly

    Favorite word?
    cunctation

    New Year’s resolutions?
    No – don’t tend to keep them

    Good at telling jokes?
    Not particularly

    Favorite holiday food?
    stuffing (as opposed to dressing)

    One outrageous thing you’d like to do before you’re too old to do it?
    I think my time is past…

    Most audacious thing you’ve ever done?
    Plead the Fifth.

    Fictional character to spend day with … and why?
    Bill Smith; listen to him play piano

    If you had a magic wand for a day, what would you do with it?
    Redd up my house! (major undertaking)

    Question for me today?
    How’s Darnda?

    Reply
  4. Jemi Fraser

    I love MadGab 🙂

    My favourite word is disombobulated – it’s so fun!

    I stink at telling jokes – big time.

    My favourite holiday food is a homemade vanilla fudge – delicious, but super sweet, you can only have a little bit!

    Reply
  5. pari noskin taichert

    Wilfred,
    Wow. What a great way for me to start the day. I feel like I know you so much better now <g>.

    A hole in one? Sheesh.

    And you’ll have to tell me more about starting a new job since that’s probably something I’m going to face this year — after more than a decade out of the job market — because of putting two kids through private school. I’ll keep writing but the pay is too unpredictable to depend upon . . .

    Reply
  6. pari noskin taichert

    Susanne,
    Oh . . . there are so many things. Let me focus on a couple:
    1. You can kill a piece of your writing quickly with too much overthinking/editing. That doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t edit, but it DOES mean that you need to respect the creative impulse that spawned it in the first place.

    Redrafting, however, is just fine. That means you take the idea and start anew rather than screwing around with what you’ve already written . . .

    Heinlein’s Rules for Writing:
    1. You must write.
    2. You must finish what you write.
    3. You must refrain from rewriting except to editorial order.
    4. You must put the work on the market.
    5. You must keep the work on the market until it is sold.

    Reply
  7. pari noskin taichert

    B.G.!!!
    How wonderful to hear from you. It feels like ages and ages.

    How are you???

    And, I’m sorry but you’re NOT too old to do what you want to do. That’s why I phrased the question that way. And what does cunctation mean? Or am I going to have to look it up?

    As for Darnda . . .
    Joshua is still sending the manuscript out. We’ve had two really good rejections — but they’re still rejections. I hope we can find the right publisher for her; she’s a wonderful character and I think the mystery world — and many other readers — would love her as much as I do.

    Reply
  8. Rae

    More darned fun 😉

    What’s your favorite board game? Scrabble, definitely.

    What’s your favorite word? Unseemly – it’s nice and old-fashioned, and generally indicative of my usual level of crankiness.

    Do make New Year’s resolutions? If so, can you tell us one? I always vow to be more healthy. Sometimes it works and sometimes it doesn’t.

    Are you good at telling jokes? (Tell us one.) No. I’m awful at it. Can’t tell a story or a joke to save my life.

    What’s your favorite holiday food? I love the whole traditional roast turkey dinner. Yum.

    What’s one outrageous thing you’d like to do before you’re too old to do it? Learn how to drive a race car.

    What’s the most audacious thing you’ve ever done? Probably go to Paris by myself the first time.

    Which fictional character would you like to spend a day with . . . and why? Jack Reacher, because he never hangs around, and the most interesting things happen to him.

    If you had a magic wand for a day, what would you do with it? It’s trite, but I would fill my bank account with a neverending supply of money. It’s expensive to be me 😉

    Reply
  9. Wilfred Bereswill

    Okay, so here’s a joke, Pari. I worked in some of the Rati and added a variation of Toni’s favorite word at the end.

    Brett, Rob and J.D. die in a car accident and go to Heaven. Saint Peter meets them at the Pearly Gates and welcomes them saying, "You can do as you please in Heaven, just don’t step on a duck."

    The boys are puzzled but proceed into Heaven. Looking around, they notice there are ducks everywhere. Millions of them. They begin shuffling through the ducks trying not to step on them, but in a matter of minutes, Brett stumbles and steps on a duck, crushing it with a QUAAAACK!

    Saint Peter appears out of nowhere with a hideously ugly woman and shackles her to Brett Before disappearing, he says, "For stepping on a duck, you have to spend eternity chained to this ugly woman."

    Rob and J.D. are shocked, but like good friends, they shuffle off as quick as they can, leaving Brett, with his puppy dog eyes and the ugly woman alone. They go about their business until, sure enough, J.D. says, "Rob, there’s Elvis." Rob looks up, trips and steps on a duck. Immediately Saint Peter comes and shackles an even uglier woman to Rob and disappears without saying a word.

    J.D. is horrified and for a month tries desperately not to step on a duck. Suddenly, Saint Peter appears, accompanied by a stunningly beautiful woman. She looks like she came right from a Victoria’s Secret photo shoot. He shackles the stunning woman to J.D. and disappears.

    J.D. pumps his fist in triump, and says, "YES! I don’t know what I did to deserve this, but I love it here."

    The woman looks at J.D. in disgust and replies, "I don’t know what you did either, but I stepped on one of those fucking ducks."

    Reply
  10. pari noskin taichert

    Sandy,
    Do you read Rumpole out loud? I think that’d be fun to do.

    One of the most enjoyable nights of my life was after work at the University Club at the University of Michigan. All our customers had gone home and we’d finished cleaning up. We were all sitting around drinking and someone said, "Let’s have a talent show."

    We did.

    Barney, our barrel-chested and full-bearded bartender, was earning his Ph.D. in English and got on stage and began reciting from the Cantebury Tales in an incredible baritone. He must’ve gone on for an hour and all of us were entirely mesmerized.

    Reply
  11. pari noskin taichert

    Rae,
    Good morning.

    I loved the magic wand comment; it made me laugh out loud. Thank you. I’m still recovering from a root canal and can use all the humor I can get.

    Unseemly, hunh? Well I don’t think it would be a bit unseemly for you to learn to drive a race car.

    Reply
  12. Pete

    What’s your favorite holiday food?
    Everything!

    What’s one outrageous thing you’d like to do before you’re too old to do it?
    Sing in a karaoke bar.

    If you had a magic wand for a day, what would you do with it?
    I would create a bookcase where every time a book is taken off a shelf it is immediately replaced by a new one off my wish list. I would do the same with my fridge. I hate groccery shopping.

    Reply
  13. pari noskin taichert

    Pete,

    So when are you going to do that Karaoke performance? And what song would you do?

    I tried it for the first time a couple of years ago but couldn’t hear the music very well and, IMHO, it wasn’t my best singing.

    Love the wand idea — especially for the fridge. I’d have to have too big of a bookshelf for the first part to work.

    Reply
  14. Jake Nantz

    1) What’s your favorite curse word?

    I have to go with Toni on this one, and can best explain it thus:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Z7d1dm99IJ4

    (My favorite is the facial expression on the "Who the fuck is that guy")

    2) What’s your favorite word?

    See above. Incendiary would be a close second.

    3) What are you reading?

    PEGASUS DESCENDING, by James Lee Burke.

    4) 2) What was the very best day of your life? (Aside from significant others/ marriages and births of children.)

    My wife (then fiance) for my 30th birthday planned, in cahoots with my mom–frequent flyer tickets–a trip to LA so I could see the dodgers play in chaves Ravine for the first time in my life. We slept in real late, and woke up and it was still only 8am. Took the metro to Union Station, then to lunch in Chinatown. Went to Universal Studios for about 3 hours, then downtown to watch the boys in Blue come from behind and beat the Cards. Even got to see Gagne close it out (before he was outed for roids). Other than my wedding and the subsequent honeymoon at Disneyworld, that still stands as the greatest day I’ve ever had.

    5) What’s your favorite board game?

    Duh! Clue anyone???

    6) If you had a magic wand for a day, what would you do with it?

    My wife had back surgery when she was 15, and it still pains her and limits her every day. I’d fix her a brand new healthy back to make her life better. Failing that, I’d guarentee financially that she would never have to work again unless she wanted to, because the stress of teaching keeps her muscles in knots and is part of what causes her to hurt so much. (Of course, if I could do the financial thing by having my first book get published, go international bestseller, and get optioned for a mega-movie deal, that would be okay too) 😀

    Reply
  15. Jheri

    Favorite game = Canoe
    Favorite word = Why?
    New Year’s Resolution – stop cussing so much
    Farorite food – Pistachio/garlic dip
    Most audacious – caught and milked a ratttlesnake and didn’t remembeer it for 4 days, now I just shoot them.
    Keep up the good work you all are fantastic.

    Reply
  16. Jake Nantz

    Damn, I forgot the joke part. I’m an NC State fan, and got my teaching certification there, so I’ll give you a few local sports jokes about our elite(-ist) colleagues from the Liberal Arts UNC-ch and the private Duke University (and I’m sure I should expect a prompt response from Dusty):

    1) How do you get a UNC-ch grad off your front porch?
    Pay him for the pizza.

    2) What’s the quickest path to a UNC-ch degree?
    Drive through Chapel Hill with your windows down while playing NPR…you’ll have the back seat full of them in no time.

    3) How many Tarheel fans does it take to change a tire?
    All of ’em. 1 to call AAA, 3 to get a ‘Helms Foundation’ Championship for it, 17 to hang the banner, and the rest of the arrogant fuckers to brag about it.

    4) A State grad, a Duke grad, and a Carolina grad are walking along the beach, and happen upon a magic lamp. A genie pops out and says, "Oh, this is new. Well normally one person gets three wishes, but as there are three of you, I’ll give you each one wish."
    He turns to the Carolina grad, who says, "Well, we at Chapel Hill don’t want any more riff-raff invading our wonderful little town. We are the best people in the world, and live in the best place in the world, and we don’t want anything to endanger that. So, I want you to put a wall around Chapel Hill so no one can ever get through it and upset our little blue heaven."
    The genie waves his arms, and the Carolina grad is whisked away to wind up inside the wall at Chapel Hill.
    The Duke grad says, "Well screw that! I want everyone to envy the greatness of Duke, so put an international airport in Durham so people can come from everywhere to marvel at us even though they’re not smart enough to be accepted, or too poor to attend."
    The genie waves his arms, and the Duke grad is whisked away to see the new airport in Durham.
    He turns to the State grad, who asks, "So, tell me more about this wall."
    "Well," the genie replies. "It’s 100 feet high, and 10 feet thick, and impenetrable. Nothing and no one can get in or out. Why? What’s your wish?"
    The State grad smiles. "Fill it with water."

    Reply
  17. pari noskin taichert

    Jake,
    There’s a similar rivalry/genteel hostility between New Mexico State University and the University of NM. I think you could almost, almost switch out the names and those jokes would work. Except . . . neither U is particularly wealthy or "liberal."

    I loved your wand wishes but it’s interesting to me how small we’re all thinking … you know? Like, I’d be happy to do away with my own mortality or at least make it contingent on my control rather than simply fate AND I’d be a bestseller several times over AND I’d be always, always healthy and and and …

    On second thought, maybe *I’m* just too greedy. <g>.

    Reply
  18. pari noskin taichert

    Jheri,
    O, she of few words . . .

    A rattlesnake? Really? Tell me why you milked it. Were you out in the wild or in a lab?

    AND
    Pistachio/garlic dip? Come on. Two of the best flavors in the world together like that? What’s the recipe?

    Reply
  19. Pete

    So when are you going to do that Karaoke performance?
    Not any time soon and only after I’ve had a couple of drinks in me.

    And what song would you do?
    Probably "Can’t get no satisfaction" by the rolling stones.

    What award, Pulitzer, Nobel, Oscar etc., would you most like to win?
    What is your favourite fairy tale?

    Reply
  20. Jake Nantz

    Pari, I know what you mean, but I’m a simple guy, and seeing my wife able to live each day pain free would be good enough. As for doing away with mortality, when I die I believe I’m going to a better place, so I definitely don’t want to miss out on that.

    Reply
  21. Ev

    The contest = great fun! I’m loving reading everyone’s responses. Here are a few from me.

    Favourite game: I’m a total games freak, so can’t narrow it to just one. A few I adore are: Take 2 (played with Scrabble tiles), Blokus, Things, Balderdash, Settlers of Catan, and (new this year to me) Killer Bunnies.

    Magic Wand: Assuming limitations, like waving it and chanting the right spell not being enough to bring about world peace, etc. I’d solve some of the work stress problems my husband endures and make the life circumstances of some of the kids I work with much better/less hurtful.

    Book I’m reading: Just finished reading everything I could get my hands on of Peter Abraham’s. Daughter just handed me HANDLE WITH CARE by Jodi Picoult, so that’s next.

    Topics I’d love to see covered in the new year: I’m interested in whatever and everything y’all have to say, but since you’re asking, I’d love to hear how you handle e-mails/letters from fans (and critics). Do you respond to each one? Are there "rules" about who you respond to and why? How do you (kindly) get someone who writes you long, rambling, intense letters to . . . stop. 🙂 And re: unasked for critiques, do you respond to the criticism, explain your p.o.v, etc, or do you just let it go?

    Happy writing!

    🙂 Ev

    Reply
  22. Sylvia

    I’m late to the game today – sorry! That’s because I ‘m working on the "what are you doing over the holidays" answer which is a real b*tch.

    What’s your favorite board game?
    Trouble because I can play with all the kids/ Next would be Mad Libs since it teaches the kids verbs, adjectives, adverbs, noun and proper nouns with a slew of laughter.

    What’s your favorite word?
    Damn and all variations thereof.

    Do make New Year’s resolutions? If so, can you tell us one?
    The usual are to lose weight and finish writing a book for once. Last year I added to read more for pleasure and I hit that one out of the park. I’m also going to add for this year – decrease debt, swim my 100th Alcatraz all while losing weight and finish writing a book. We can all guess which will get done and which won’t.

    Are you good at telling jokes? (Tell us one.)
    No, but I’m told I’m funny. Does that count?

    What’s your favorite holiday food?
    Gingersnap cookies.

    What’s one outrageous thing you’d like to do before you’re too old to do it?
    Swim the English Channel, Santa Barbara Channel or Catalina Channel solo. Or do an IronMan. I’d take any of those.

    What’s the most audacious thing you’ve ever done?
    Does getting married count? Just kidding… not really, but let’s just say I’m kidding.

    I’m sure at the time I was doing it, it was swimming somewhere or in bad weather conditions. I was probably thinking "what the hell am I doing??" But once out of the water you get the stupid high making it justifiable and perfectly normal.

    Which fictional character would you like to spend a day with . . . and why?
    I don’t like having to pick one. Can I pick 10 and have a dinner party instead?

    If you had a magic wand for a day, what would you do with it?
    Dispell of all debt.

    Reply
  23. pari noskin taichert

    Pete,
    What award would I most like to win?
    Best.Mother.Ever.

    Oh, wow, I haven’t thought about fairy tales in soooooooo long.
    I just went in search of my old, old Grimm’s Fairy Tales book but couldn’t find it.
    I think that I’ll answer about a character that has always fascinated me in world mythologies — the Trickster. And I’m partial to Monkey in Chinese mythology as well . ..

    Reply
  24. pari noskin taichert

    Ev,
    I haven’t heard of half of those games. What a boring life I lead!

    As to those topics, wow. I think they’re worthy of one — or more — posts. I hope my other ‘Rati aren’t reading this comment section today so that I can use all of them!

    Reply
  25. pari noskin taichert

    Judy,
    Thanks so much for asking.

    The biggest change is in quantity. Since my return, I haven’t missed a day of fiction writing — though a couple were only a few sentences <g> — and I’m working hard to just kick that internal editor AND agent AND business manager AND marketer out of my office so that I can let my creativity shine through in my first draft.

    The second change is that I’ve now written 73,000 words in a new novel and haven’t allowed myself to go back and polish any of it yet. That’s huge for me.

    Reply
  26. pari noskin taichert

    Hi Sylvia,
    Read Heinlein’s rules earlier in the comments today. You might like the sentiment. NO WHERE does he say that the writing has to be perfect . . . or even good.

    I had no idea you were such a swimmer. My hat is off to you. Wow. Congratulations. Really. Wow. I hope you do one of those audacious things you mentioned. Any one of them would be such an incredible accomplishment.

    And, sure, you can have a dinner party. Who would you invite?

    Reply
  27. Nancy Laughlin

    I’m in a little late today too. Here are my answers:

    1. What are you reading? In the Woods by Tana French.
    2. What was the very best day of your life? Possibly the day I came in second in the first writing competition I ever entered. What a high!
    3. If you could go anywhere, right now, obligation-free, without stress, etc., where would you go? Wow, there are so many places I’d like to see, but I think I’d choose a beach, maybe in Australia so it would be warm!
    4. What’s your favorite board game? I have two, Aggravation and Rummy Kubes (the hard version not the easy version).
    5. Do make New Year’s resolutions? If so, can you tell us one? I make them but I don’t do a very good job of keeping them. For the past two years, they were lose weight and get a short story published. They’ll be the same this year.
    6. Are you good at telling jokes? No.
    7. What’s your favorite holiday food? I have to pick one? I’d say stuffing (not dressing as someone else also said).
    8. What’s one outrageous thing you’d like to do before you’re too old to do it? Either para surf or hang glide.
    9. What’s the most audacious thing you’ve ever done? I didn’t think it was audacious, but my family and friends did. I got a job half way across the country where I didn’t know anyone, packed up my car, and drove there.
    10. Which fictional character would you like to spend a day with . . . and why? I think Mrs. Pollifax. I think she’d be a riot to spend time with.
    11. If you had a magic wand for a day, what would you do with it? Get me and my friends published and out of debt.
    12. What’s your favorite curse word? Well shit.
    13. What topics would you like us to cover in the New Year? I’d love to hear more, maybe on a monthly basis, what sections of your books your working on (not plot, but beginning, middle or end), is it first draft, second, editing, etc. What’s going well and what are you struggling with. That type of thing.

    Nancy

    Reply
  28. Sarah in MN

    An orangutan? Crazy!

    For the holidays I plan on eating to excess before I get back onto the healthy eaiting and lifestyle wagon.
    Yay gluttony!

    Reply
  29. pari noskin taichert

    Nancy,
    Rummy Kubes? What’re those?

    And may I make an unsolicited suggestion on your writing resolution? It has to do with "getting a short story published."

    You don’t have any control over how editors are going to react to your work. All you can control is your writing — making it better and better and continuing to write no matter how excited or discouraged you might become.

    So . . . my writing resolutions have much more to do with output than measuring my success in terms of publication. Of course I want all my work to be published and I’m going to do my darnedest to make sure that happens, but that has the most to do with Heinlein’s rule #4 & 5.

    Reply
  30. Gayle Carline

    Okay, I’ll enter the fray:

    What are you doing for the holidays? Stuff.

    What’s your favorite board game? Sorry.

    What’s your favorite word? Nihilistic. Cuz it makes me sound smart.

    Do make New Year’s resolutions? If so, can you tell us one? I do, but they’re secret, in case I don’t keep them – which I don’t. Oh, yeah – one year I resolved never to watch Robocop again. I’ve kept that one.

    Are you good at telling jokes? (Tell us one.) Yes, but not as good as Wilfred. Here’s one: What did Captain Hook die of? Jock itch.

    What’s your favorite holiday food? Oh, fuuddggee.

    What’s one outrageous thing you’d like to do before you’re too old to do it? I’m kinda already at that age where I’m too old to be the devil in a blue dress and too young to be old-lady outrageous.

    What’s the most audacious thing you’ve ever done? Stand-up comedy. Here – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6F-uimUJrDU

    Which fictional character would you like to spend a day with . . . and why? Black Beauty. I like horses, and he’s really pretty flawless, temperment-wise.

    If you had a magic wand for a day, what would you do with it? Is it strong enough for world peace?

    Is there anything you want to know specifically from me today?
    Is it still today? You might have answered this before (I have a short attention span), but do you write from an outline or just let your characters and the situation go where they will? If you’ve tried both, which do you prefer?

    Reply
  31. pari noskin taichert

    Gayle,
    You crack me up.

    Of course the wand is strong enough. It’s your wand, isn’t it? It can do whatever you want it to.

    Loved the joke. And will be sure to look at that YouTube when I come back from the store.

    As to your question: I just sit down and write. Often I end up with a lot of words or subplots that don’t work in the final, but it’s my "technique." Every time I try to outline, I get hives. At least spiritual ones.

    I admire people who outline, I really do. But I think for me, the discovery is part of the fun. One difference nowadays is that I have an idea of where I want the ending to be. For example, in the book I’m writing right now, I’ve already written the ending and am now in the process of filling out the middle to lead to it. I think that might be a newer method that will work well for me . . .

    What’s YOUR process?

    Reply
  32. Gayle Carline

    Hi, Pari – it seems like my process is different for each book. My first mystery, Freezer Burn, had a kind of an outline. I had touchpoints, basically, that I could wander away from, then back to, to keep me on track. I was terrified that I’d start all these plot/subplot lines and not weave them together by the end. I’m working on the second now, tentatively titled Hit or Missus, and I started with the outline, but abandoned it one day when I got bored and hit my heroine over the head with a golf club. Now I’m out in Free Spirit Land, letting things just "progress", which is fun but frightening. I do know who dunnit and why. I just have to get everybody else there within the next 40-50 thousand words. Wish me luck. Better yet, pray for me.

    Reply
  33. toni mcgee causey

    Gayle, I’m cracking up — I meant that I had done the same thing to a character. Of course, then Tigergate came along, so that went out the window.

    That’s one of those things that haunt me, though. I wrote a smartass line about people mowing down others in WalMart — a line that was going to be in book 3, and when the galleys came out, that event had just occurred for real, with someone getting killed. Luckily, I had time to change the line.

    Reply
  34. Susanne

    Hi Pari,

    Thanks for your response to my question. I especially liked:

    4. You must put the work on the market.
    5. You must keep the work on the market until it is sold.

    Susanne

    Reply
  35. Gayle Carline

    Pari – No offense to "Peri", I hope. Her name grew from a joke my BFF and I shared: "Peri Menopause, Private Eye. She solves every case by crying, eating chocolate, and bitch-slapping people until either someone confesses, or her hot flash goes away."

    For the book, I renamed her Peri Minneopa (which could be mangled into Menopause if you were of a mind to), made her more three-dimensional, and turned her loose as a private detective in southern California. She’s kind of a hoot.

    Reply
  36. suzanne

    OK, I’m a bit late with this, but I’ve been thnking. I spend every morning with y’all over coffee and have enjoyed the blog enormously. I’m tired of rants and like to learn. So, to go back to the original question: what would you like us to cover during the next year.
    You’ve done a nice job on the genre wars, but how about the sub-genre wars? It seems as if the hardboiled, noir, gritty crime novels get most of the reviews, both print and on-line. On the other hand, cozies continue to sell well, but the general attitude of the genre wars (one is "better" because of its serious themes as opposed to the frivolous of the other). And then there’s the vast wasteland of those crime novels that reside somewhere in the middle, often occupied by midlist authors who don’t get reviewed, promoted by the publisher, but have a group of loyal fans.
    Or have I just been been over-analyzing again?
    Best of New Years to all.

    Reply
  37. Ev

    Dear Darlene, Pari (and anyone else wanting to get in on the Killer Bunnies action 😉 ~

    Here’s the Killer Bunnies webpage:http://www.killerbunnies.com/index.html

    The game I’m most familiar with is Killer Bunnies Journey to Jupiter. It’s hilarious–lots of references to famous sci-fi/fantasy TV and movie characters (admittedly my husband and I caught more of these than my 13-yr-old son). Even without that added humour, the game is full of zany quirks and the action, while focused on destroying bunnies and ships, can hardly be considered violent. 😉 The first play through might seem a bit "long" as you get used to how play works and have to read cards more carefully, but once you know how, it whizzes along.

    Nancy – I think your 12-yr-old daughter would really like it, but you might want to check out the earlier games too. The company advertises, "If you can read, you can play . . . "

    Pari – comic book stores (at least where I live) are a great source for games a bit less mainstream than the department store varieties. And yay re: my topic suggestions. I look forward to your answers!

    Happy New Year! May 2010 be filled with fun and games. 🙂

    ~Ev

    Reply

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