Sunday, March 21, 2010

John Pritchard is so pissed at me.

Never heard of him?

That's why he's mad. He's the protagonist of a novel I wrote entitled Twice As Dead. Except old John is Three Times As Dead because after he survived all sorts of adventures, including a brush with his own personal nemesis on that icy lake in the photo there, I killed him. Me.

And that's not the worst of it. I killed off a couple of nice kids, too. Perrin Summers who saved a great deal more than the world in A Parsnip Universe. And Tim O'Neal, too. He saved, oh, I don't know, all of Time? In Motes? Hard working heroes all. (160,000 words between them.) And I starved them to death. Walled them up in the basement of my Word Processor like that evil guy in The Cask of Amontillado. What's up with me?

Well, now that I've finished Chapters 9 & 10 of The AW, I kind of remember. Oh yeah. I'm a nutcase. I sent Parsnips to just about ONE publisher. She LOVED it. Wanted the protagonist to be older. I said okay. And then went to sleep like a princess in a fairy tale. And all the time said, "Well, there's obviously something wrong with that woman. Or that publisher. Or me." I finally rewrote it. The lady had moved on. The young guy who took her place was lovely to me. Gave me good advice. And then decided that the book wasn't for his audience. Which it wasn't. So, I put it in the digital equivalent of a drawer and moved on. Motes, which was the next one, is essentially done. Needs about a month of work. Drawer, too. Sorry, kids.

Then Twice As Dead? Well, I sent it to a lot of agents. Maybe 12. Possibly 15. One requested more pages. (This is a very good sign in the agent world.) She didn't want it ultimately. Sorry, John. Drawer for you, too. You hot, old, black, ex-CIA operative, you. You, I decided, I wasn't "up to." Drawer. And drawer for the 35,000 words of your second adventure, which I really loved. But what do I know about writing a) men b)black men c) black ex-CIA men. Really. Four Times as Dead and counting.

So, now we have Allie, don't call me Alice, Harper and Tom the blind bombshell and their $256 million in MondoMillions winnings -- and their cast of murderers and thieves. Poor Allie and Tom. They don't know how dangerous it is in Ann Land. I have come to "the conclusion" in the last couple of months that Somebody's Bound to Wind Up Dead needs about 15,000 more words. I'm not writing those words, you understand. I've got them pulled down around my ears like a &^%$%^ blankie.

But now, with God, and you guys, as my witnesses, I am not going to chicken out again. I'm going to start querying agents again and simultaneous look into those additional scenes. My guys have only been without oxygen for about 3 minutes. They can be revived.

So, you wonder what blocked looks like? It looks like that. For me. How's it looking for you? Which of your dreams is pissed at you right now. If it's NONE of them, weigh in and make us all feel encouraged.

And if you need a witness for your promise to go forth and kill no more, bring it here.


  1. Ann! You're back. With a vengeance.. . . a good thing for all of us.

    And you have drawers! All novelists have work in drawers --that's the difference between the writers and the wishers-well -- writers write. Simple. Fact. They don't think about. Don't dream about it. They do. It. You have drawers and out of those drawers you will pull more work- work that you will begin anew and finish anew and learn anew. Like magic out of a hat. To write is create miracles on the page. You've done it. You do it every day. Anew. John Pritchard? -- no, of course I've never heard of him -- but as sure as I'm sitting here, he isn't pissed at you. He's right there with you -- waiting.

  2. you love your characters - even the ones you kill - too much to leave them dangling. Unwrap that blanket around your head - even if it's one section at a time. Meanwhile I'll chat up my other author pal, Anne, and ask her about agents and getting published and talking to you and such.
    I'll see her Saturday.

  3. You rock, Laura. You really do. Thanks.

  4. Annie, I read a tale about a man named John Pritchard
    and he left a long lasting impression on me. SO, so much for a white woman writing about a black CIA agent.

    I also got up at 4:41 AM to be precise to finish a story called, "Somebody's Bound to Wind up Dead." What else is there to do at 6:00AM but Morning Pages and just for kicks, I decided to write the blah, blah, blah on the back pages of the book. It was quite a glowing account of the author and the book. And as far as "blankies" go, I'd say the only one needed is for the wet blankets at the publishing house. You don't need 15,000 more words-just a new agent!