Wednesday, February 10, 2016

The Secret Life of an Author

Welcome to the super secret life of an author.  In this post you will learn the mysteries of the universe, experience the creation of worlds and taste the expanse of the written word.
Every morning I wake up, refreshed and ready to tackle my writing projects with optimism.  Nothing I do is done half baked and I pride myself in writing with articulation and style.  I eat grammar, breath greatness and sweat gloriously clever plot.  My life is a perfect retelling of the most fabulous story ever to grace ink and paper   After all, what is life unless it cannot be lived with the utmost finesse?
Excuse me for a moment. I need to go dump a load of crap in the toilet.
I am not bitter, nor am I angry.  I am sore, hungover and in pain.  I am 24 hours past a devil of a root canal and right now, all I would like to do is go back to the dentist's office and bite the dentist (which would be counter productive because I can't really bite anything right now, DANG IT!!!).  The last thing I feel like doing is sitting and fleshing out a fabulous world, but there is something beautifully compelling about life's experiences and the writing process.
The more crap you wade through in this life, the more interesting the writing you produce.
For example, back in the early 1990's while all my friends were discovering video games, sitcoms and the new-fangled internet, I was milking the family cow by hand.  I know that sounds weird, but in my dairy producing hometown, while our neighbors had electronic suction for their herd, we had hands.  They had 4 wheelers to round up cows, we had a GMC suburban.  They had color tv, we had static.  Not to mention my parents were weird health nuts, so I swear EVERYONE had sugar and candy in the house and we definitely did NOT.
On the other hand, my childhood was FASCINATING!!!  I fished with a stick and string, I got chased by homicidal chickens, helped give birth to a calf, housed rabid breeding maniac rabbits in the basement (those suckers multiply exponentially!!!), watched (a little too gleefully) as chickens ran like speed zombies with their heads cut off AND we named our cows and tried to guess which cow we were eating at dinnertime.  That last one is a favorite family pastime.  You'd be amazed how accurate we got when we could identify the cow via flavor, toughness and color of their meet.
I escaped life by climbing on the roof of the barn, no cell phone or gameboy, just me and the fields, cows and motley assortment of animals.  I haven't changed much today with a few minor alterations.  I live in the city.  My idea of animal husbandry is owning a dog and keeping her in relative good health.  My current life and the life of my family couldn't be more different than my weird beginnings, but they are no less flavorful.
For example, I went to the dentist.  Said dentist is a very nice man.  He likes to drill holes in my teeth, all the way down my root, into my skull and scramble my brains.  It is a fair comparison to the ancient Egyptians who shoved a hook up to stir the brains up a bit and them rip them out through the nose. Which as a fairly accurate description to the feeling I had post-operation.  
After the brain scrambling comes face paralysis, pain and uncontrollable drool, all of which are excessively attractive.  And I like to look my prettiest!
All of this is secondary to the fact that in one day's time I am speaking at a writing conference.  I have five classes and a book signing to muddle through with slurred speech and a half scrambled brain. I could pull off being drunk without drinking a single drop of alcohol, but the clincher is that the conference is in Utah and arriving drunk (sans alcohol even) would be particularly frowned upon.
The stage is set.  I will go to the LTUE Writing Conference.  I will slur my way through teaching class and muff up my book signing, but by golly I will do it with STYLE!  Why, you may ask? Why put myself through the humiliation and shame?
Because I am a writer and the best/worst experiences are what makes the plot of my next book so amazing.  It is a craft to fail at life so epically and be able to let it roll onto the page like glorious fiction.
See you at LTUE peeps!
*LUTE is abbreviated of Life The Universe and Everything Else.  It is a writing conference held on the BYU campus in Provo, Utah on February 11-13th.

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