Friday, December 31, 2010

Friday Challenge - New Year's Eve style

I cannot believe it. The sweet patootie and I have a new year's party to go to. yeehaw. Good thing we finished the third season of The Wire last night or we'd be bailing I'm sure. Nah, this is a great group of people that we truly love so we're happy to go into town.
I have a couple of clients today and my weekly visit to Arlo will happen. Then I meet up with SP at Gwen's old house - she moved yesterday. We're getting a daybed from her to replace the one that moved up to my office - oh don't worry about it - it is all too complicated. We need a daybed or sofa for our rec room - she has one - good.
Then mad dash back here - whoop up something for the buffet dinner - grab some hooch  - put on my new party frock (a Gomish thingy) and out we go. It will be an affair with not too many folks, tonnes of good food, a roaring fire, and all the Canadian Babes and their appendages.
Usually SP goes to bed by ten and I sit up alone like the cheese. He doesn't like any sort of forced gaiety - he's allergic to celebrating quite frankly - so why pick me? I would celebrate a chicken crossing a road, a leaf falling, the successful or tragic outcome of a new pair of skates - you know I like to kick it up! And if he chose me, I also chose him - knowing pretty quickly that celebrating was nothing he was into. So why hook my wagon to his stay-at-home star? Because he is the mountain and I am the hurricane (hi Sue! hi Soph! hi Susanne!) I need his solid immovability and he needs me to toss things up around here.

This week's challenge to be taken at any time in this first week of the new year - is to look at your characters - the ones in the most presently engaging of your works in progress and ask them how they got together in this one book? Why do people end up together? Why - in a dream say - might you have Elizabeth Taylor and your third grade teacher and your car mechanic? Huh? Why?

Me - I would do this by interviewing a few of my main characters - like this:
Libby, you have this very strange sort of interaction with a bartender in True. Why did he need to be in your life or my book?
Well, Jan, funny you should ask me that. I wondered why this schlemiel showed up in the fictive dream as well. The thing is that he is a necessary angel. He is the one, who in a very short amount of time, tells me that I have to relate to my family of origin. And I have to hear him SIMPLY because he is really not important to me and therefore impartial. I meet him when I am most frustrated with my situation and he just cuts through the bullshit and lets me know what needs to be done.

If you aren't writing a book then apply this to your own life - how did I end up with this partner, these children, this choir, this group of pals. Believe there is a reason for it and then ferret out the reason.
Have a great New Year's Eve and I'll talk to ya this weekend.


Margot Kinberg said...

Jan - What an intriguing challenge!! And I think you must be psychic or something because my blog post today will be how plots like that work out and how those story-across-story loose ends are tied up. Interesting...

~Nicole Ducleroir~ said...

I married a ying to my yang too. I think the most successful couples are equal parts polar opposite and sameness. That should be the definition of compatibility.

I'm at a perfect place in my WIP to ask the kinds of questions you propose. So glad I visited your awesome blog today!

Enjoy the party and have a Happy New Year!

Mary Vaughn said...

Okay, Madame Morrison Gypsy Queen, how did you know? I just did this with the main characters in my short fiction. It really helped a lot.
Be safe and ENJOY tonight!