Real Life Inspires Art, If It Doesn’t Send You to the Nuthouse First

Posted 26 November, 2014 by carolmaloneyscott in News / 0 Comments

My debut novel, “There Are No Men,” recently enjoyed a flurry of commercial success during a promotion, reaching #15 on the Kindle Top 100 chart for Women’s Humorous Fiction. I was very excited, and MOTIVATED to keep going on my current work in progress, “Afraid of Her Shadow,” which as of this writing is at almost 50K words!

Energized by my growing fan base of readers, I cranked out a bunch of words – words I actually love and I dreamed of my new readers enjoying. I love my new office in Jim’s house, and I am very comfortable writing there.

But then I went downstairs.

I thought it would be fun and productive to turn my Word document into a PDF so I could load it to my Kindle. I had not reread most of what I wrote, and when it moves beyond 100 pages I like to see if the story is going in the right direction and how it flows. I hate reading on my computer so this was the perfect solution.

I don’t have a comfortable chair in my office so I went downstairs. As a mother I can block out a lot of noise. I can easily read with distractions, although reading my own work is a bit different as I am reading it for critique purposes. But still, I can handle it.

Dear Lord.

As I sat there reading, my son, Nick was surfing the Internet, looking for a coat to buy. This is also like a part time job for him, as he is very particular and undecided with coats. He already sent me the links to two he wanted for Christmas.

“Mom, I don’t know if I want that coat anymore.”

“Which one? The first one?”

“There’s a cooler black one but I still want that other one.”

“The one in the first e-mail?”

“No, I want both.”

“So you want three coats?”

And so this goes on and on, partially because I am not really listening and partially because he isn’t explaining it well. At the height of this nonsense this happened:

“No, Mom, I want this new one and the one from the second e-mail, but then there’s this cool other black one…”

Enter Jim – “So when are you going to make those cookies?”

“AHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH,” I scream as Daisy now joins in with squeaking her toy. I throw my glasses on the table and hang my head, making a mental note to buy myself a comfortable chair for my office when more chickens hatch.

I also vow, in my head, to hire someone to make cookies and Christmas shop, once I make this fantasy, but thoroughly expected, money. BUT – and here’s the thing I need to consider. Where would I get all of my fantastic material if it wasn’t for real life? If everything were smooth and simple what would I write about? Sure, I could make shit up about aliens or buildings blowing up, but that doesn’t fit in the women’s humorous fiction genre. The annoying crap that happens to women like me every day is what fuels these stories. Readers can relate to me trying to work while family life whirls around me like a tornado of needs and wants that only I can supposedly fulfill.

So I will always be the mother and wife I was born to be, but until I can afford that chair I am not above sneaking off to the bathroom to work in peace and quiet. What a visual for readers of my next book, right?

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