Saturday, March 03, 2007

It's Insanity! Obsession! Craziness!

Good news first!!!!  Ohmigosh, GREAT news!  My plate is CLEAR.  I am back to my spy novel, where I belong.  Ohmigosh, I can't tell you the relief.  It's been a bear writing stuff I didn't really want to write, while my heart and mind were just aching to write my spy novel.

Thank you, God, Goddess, Lord, Heavens, Gaia, Universe.

Anyway.  Yesterday, while writing at Borders, I sat next to a woman in the cafe who was drinking her coffee and staring into the fire.  Isn't that nice?  Nothing wrong with that. 

I was the insane one.

It started out with a sideways peek.  I casually glanced between us.  No books.  I looked at her lap.  No cell phone.  I snuck a glance at her face.  She didn't seem to be waiting for anyone. 

What was she doing there?

I found myself quite uncasually trying to see what was on the other side of her.  No books.  No magazines.  I looked behind her on the ledge and there was a CD!  Yay!

Okay, she was getting a coffee, having a moment of relaxation before she bought her CD.

I went back to writing.

An hour later, she was still there.  I tried to unobtrusively look at her face.  She still didn't seem impatient.  She wasn't waiting for anyone.  She was just sitting there.

And not reading a book.  This fact grated on me until she finally got up and left.  I burst out to DH, "She sat here for almost two hours, in a bookstore, and didn't read a book!"

I got a very strange look from him. I'm not sure what he was thinking, but he wisely didn't say anything.

I have this insane fear that if she's not reading a book, then the downfall of this business we love is imminent.

I had the same feelings a few weeks ago when someone proudly announced that they most certainly did not read fiction.  I almost choked on my tongue.  I couldn't speak.  I tried to be a brave knight, defending our passion, but I sat there with my mouth gaping open and my tongue tied.  (Enough cliches for you?)

I have no conclusion, except for the realization that I have an insane fear that people will suddenly stop reading fiction.

8 bonus scribbles:

Kate S 3/04/2007 08:22:00 AM  

Congratulations on getting back to your novel! I was just wondering if you were still working on it.

I understand your fear. Part of it is that I keep reading that only non-fiction sells, everyone else gets their fiction at the library. Gah!

spyscribbler 3/04/2007 08:29:00 AM  

Yeah. My editor didn't realize she had another novella from me already, so I was off the hook there. Then I just had to get DH to give up our vacation, and then I could afford to NOT write the current WIP.

Thank goodness.

I still feel kinda guilty about it, but sheesh. I'm killing myself with writing half the day, and day jobbing the other half. I'm never going to get to the next level if I don't get to write something that NY could even consider!

StarvingWriteNow 3/04/2007 11:37:00 AM  

Perhaps this fireplace-staring, non-reading bookstore patron has a place in a future spy novel. What WAS she doing there? Waiting for her underground contact to show but he never did? Trying to figure out how she's going to come up with "the goods" in 48 hours? Hmm....

Sam 3/04/2007 02:39:00 PM  

It's a good feeling when you are working on something you're passionate about.
As for reading fiction - there are a lot of people who don't read it, actually. But I'm sure they read non-fiction, biographies, and such.

Avery 3/04/2007 03:58:00 PM  

I think I've ranted before about the person I encountered who informed me she didn't read fiction because she was "too well educated." I'm sure there are loads of others like her out there. But, I'm also sure there are loads of people like me, who find borrowing books someone might have taken into the bathroom or picked their nose while reading too horrific to consider.

Seriously, don't worry. There will always be a market for us. It may shrink and expand over time, but it'll be here. We just have to work harder to draw out our readers, be the rock stars of our field.

Out with the elbow patches and tweed and in with the motorcycle boots, ripped jeans and hair products!

Liz Wolfe 3/05/2007 09:28:00 PM  

Let me relate a story to you about my daughter when she was 17. She met a nice boy online. He went to college not far from us and they made a date to meet just as friends. The boy (nice looking, nicely dressed) shows up with a rose and a stuffed animal. They watched a movie at our house then went to a family fun park. The next day, I'm teasing her about her date with "just a friend" and she says "I could never be in a relationship with him."
"Why not?" I ask.
"He doesn't read."
"He has to read. He's in college."
"Oh, he reads what he has to for school," she says. "But he doesn't read for pleasure."
That was it for her. Which gives me hope. I tell every parent of young children that I know to read to their children. Every day. It works.
Oh, and YAAAY! on being able to get back to your spy novel. I'm polishing one as we speak. Blog. Whatever.

spyscribbler 3/06/2007 02:38:00 PM  

LOL, starvingwritenow. I have to admit, when I do lots of research, I start making up ALL kinds of stories. When I was walking around DC, I found a pair of jeans on the sidewalk. By the time I stumbled across another oddity to obsess over, my brain had practically composed a novella!

You're right, Sam. Nothing wrong with it. I did say I was being crazy. :-) Although, I know some in my family haven't picked up a book in ... er, decades? I have trouble with that!

spyscribbler 3/06/2007 02:41:00 PM  

Avery, we are all different, which is what makes people so fascinating. I have an insanity where I hate to wash my hands in public bathrooms. I carry around gel. For some reason, I'm afraid that washing my hands in a public bathroom will put more germs on my hands! I never considered that about borrowed books, though! Very true!

Oh, Liz. You must be so proud of your daughter. I would be! I don't know her and I am! Thanks for the well-wishes!