March 6, 2006

Channeling, Or What?

Filed under: Pen to Paper — chapterhouse @ 2:20 pm

To the other writers out there (and if you have a blog and you're reading this, then you're a writer out there) —

I was organizing my notes for my mystery novel when I ran across a pink* sticky note I had written months ago. It read,

"What about ex-wife?"

That was in pencil. Underneath, in pen, was:

"She's in Italy."

I had jotted down the "What about ex-wife?" bit because I had decided not to bring the Main Character's ex into the story. So, what to do with her? I wanted her to be alive, but not to have to be brought in as a character witness for or against the MC. If that happened, then of course there would be interaction between the MC and his ex, so then I'd be writing scenes about a completely unnecessary character. Jotting the question down and setting aside the note for a while was a great way to let the matter percolate from one braincell to the other one. 🙂

Then sometime later, the answer came to me (or I channeled my muse, or whatever/however that happens), and I went back and wrote, "She's in Italy." The idea was that she had remarried and moved to Italy (which works great because the MC is of Italian descent, so the ex might as well have originally come from Italy.) Now, neither the defense nor the prosecution would think it's really necessary to try to subpoena her for the MC's trial. (Thanks to Judith, who lives in Rome, so that little tidbit was in one or the other of those braincells, because otherwise the poor ex-wife would probably be living in the middle of Baghdad or something.)

It just struck me funny when I saw that note with the question and answer, both in the same handwriting, but obviously written at two different times. Do you ever do stuff like that?

* A bit of esoterica here: In my system, pink sticky notes are for jotting down things I don't want to forget; purple are for brief synopses of scenes already written; and yellow are for scenes yet to be written. All of the notes go into my wonderful, adorable Moleskine notebook. Scenes can be rearranged easily, since they are all on sticky notes (thanks to Pooks for that idea!)

Pooks, by the way, has a Moleskine that she writes in. I mean, with ink, directly on the page! Those gorgeous, beautiful pages. I'm just not there yet.

And speaking of Moleskines, I saw some on the counter in my favorite book store, Barnes & Noble, and I asked the gal if she had ever bought one for herself. She said, "No, and I never will!" Well, why ever not? She said it was because the covers were "made from mole skins." Hahahahhaaaaaaaaaaa! I didn't actually laugh, but I did tell her that no, they're made from a water resistant fabric.

On the way out to the car, Tomcat and I died laughing because that lady probably thought all this time about those poor little moles, and the people working in Third-World sweatshops sewing all those tiny little mole pelts together!



  1. No, I don’t ever do things like that. Maybe if I were better organized I would.


    Comment by Duke_of_Earle — March 6, 2006 @ 6:16 pm | Reply

  2. P.S. Mole skins? That lady must have been from Dumas.

    (An inside joke. A daughter once told me that Dumas, TX, looked to her like “Dumbass, TX. So in my family, when we run across someone who makes a comment like that mole skins one, we say “She must be from Dumas,” and we all break up.)

    Comment by Duke_of_Earle — March 6, 2006 @ 6:19 pm | Reply

  3. John, whenever we see a bad driver, we say “they must be late for a Densa meeting.” I’ve even used that in my novel.

    Comment by Candace — March 6, 2006 @ 6:22 pm | Reply

  4. You have just told me how to organize a terrible handbook I am supposed to be putting together for a lot of techies… and I couldn’t get it together on a computer screen. I have to cut up an existing handbook and reorganize it. I was clueless……. Stickies!! Yay, Candy!!! (and how nice to be famous on your blog!) ;D

    Comment by Judith — March 7, 2006 @ 12:13 am | Reply

  5. Judy, you helped me out on the fictional ex-wife issue, so it was the least I could do. 🙂

    Comment by Candace — March 7, 2006 @ 5:58 am | Reply

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