Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Where I Get My Ideas


Okay, so a while back I posted some smartassey replies to the "where do you get your ideas" thing, but I realize that I never really answered the question seriously, and I know you're all twitching and foaming with suspense. Because we all know that suspense is foamy. Like a cappucino. Or espresso. I don't really know; I don't drink coffee.

You think I'm random NOW? You should see me on coffee. You could hook me up to a generator and run Disneyland.

Anyway, you're all foamy because you want to know where I get my ideas so you can steal them, right? Well, I'm sorry to tell you that my ideas are unstealable. I get all of my ideas from my ex-boyfriends. So you'll just have to keep foaming. Or get an antibiotic; either way, you're not taking my ideas.

True story: I used to work at a very depressing place, where I was coordinating autopsies for people whose loved ones were dying or had just died. And my work was valuable and important and all that rot, but it wasn't exactly a laugh riot. A good day was a day when someone didn't cry at me.

I'm a trained crisis counselor, by the by. Doesn't that frighten you?

So my one rule was that no matter how busy I was, I would go down to the hospital cafeteria and eat lunch with my guys. One was the Fed Ex guy, the other delivered the gas. Both very important dudes in the hospital world, and both incredibly sarcastic and snarftastic. We put together a radio show called Bill Dead Guy, and I got to be the femme fatale, and the hero was a corpse. Now THAT was fun. I got to speak in a perky little voice and say things like: "Oh, Bill, you're so studly!"

Anywho. I used to tell the guys stories about my ex-boyfriends during lunch when we weren't making radio shows. On a good day, I could get one of them to snarf, and stuff would come out their noses, and that made me happy, which sounds weird but is still true. And at the time, I was still writing the serious books that were all valuable and important and had lots of dead things in them, but not the funny kinds of dead things that lurch and foam. (I'm all about the foam today. Dunno what gives with that.) And then, I said to myself, "Hey, idjit. If your stories are so funny, why not make THEM the basis of a book?" And I replied, "Don't call me idjit."

But I wrote the book and populated it with a few of my many exes, with the details changed to protect the not-so-innocent. And it gained me an agent. So at least those mutant numnum-heads were good for something. You think I'm being harsh? I dated a guy who got a cue ball stuck in his mouth. THAT's harsh.

At least it wasn't a foamy cue ball. Which doesn't really make sense, but I had to bring it around full circle somehow, didn't I?

20 comments:

Tiny T said...

You answer yourself too! I'm not the only one :) Hehe, idjit.

Catherine J Gardner said...

How do you get a cue ball stuck in your mouth?

adrienne said...

You'd have to have a sense of humor with a job like that. I think it's one of the most valuable assests you can have - sometimes a sense of humor is all that keeps you going!

K.C. Shaw said...

Wow, I thought I'd had miserably depressing jobs in the past!

To bring things kinda full-circle even more, I know someone who once dated a funeral director. She was on the phone with him one day and, in a desperate attempt at small talk, he mentioned that he'd gotten a sample tube of toothpaste in the mail. Aim toothpaste, only he was too stupid to read it correctly and pronounced it "Am." Although I do think getting a cue ball stuck in your mouth ranks even higher on the stupid scale.

Carrie Harris said...

T: Oh no, you're not the only one. And sometimes I disagree with myself too. Get into major freaking arguments and then refuse to talk to me because I'm being irrational. Well, not really, but it's funny.

Cate: Very carefully. Seriously, tho, it's a long story. I'll post on it sometime. Or maybe put it in a book, because it really is too good to pass up.

Adrienne: I completely agree with you. Which is why some of the most hilarious people I have ever known are pathologists. And they tell some seriously inappropriate jokes, let me tell you.

KC: Wow. When you say "desperate attempt at small talk," you're not kidding.

Maverick Mercury said...

Hey Carrie-

My list is up.


l8r-

g84

Aaron Polson said...

The antibiotics didn't work...I'm stilly foamy.

I usually get my ideas when struck by a cue ball...or from a gumball machine...

Aaron Polson said...

Don't ask me what stilly means. I told you I was foamy.

Big Plain V said...

Yup. Blown away again. This kind of random stuff defies commenting.

You impress me, lady.

K. M. Walton said...

You are one funny broad. The way you write lets the reader in through humor and honesty. Cool stuff.

sruble said...

Crap! Whay didn't I think of writing books about my ex-boyfriends? I could tell you some stories too!

Bill Dead Guy sounds like my kind of show.

BTW, I love the funny kinds of dead things that lurch and foam. hee hee lurch and foam.

Carrie Harris said...

Mav: Woo hoo! More reading/ procrastination material for me!

Aaron: You are my hero. Actually, that's literally true. The hero in my WIP is named Aaron. But I did it before I "met" you, so don't worry that I'm a stalker or something.

V: But you commented anyway. Rock on with your bad self. Snarf!

KM: Yeah, you should hear the whacked up stuff I come up with when I lie. ;) Thank you for the compliment, though. It made me feel all warm and fuzzy.

sruble: See, I'm beginning to think we might be related. Because really, how many other people think lurch and foam is funny?

sruble said...

Why wouldn't they think lurch and foam is funny?

hmmm ... maybe we are related.

PJ Hoover said...

Too funny! Ex boyfriends are good fodder but so is working with autopsies and having lunch with Fed-ex and Gas guys.

Lady Glamis said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Lady Glamis said...

Thank you for your comment on my blog! I've been having fun reading your posts and laughing. You are witty and sarcastic. Love it! I can see why an agent picked up your work - you have a great talent for words and language.

And yes, I'm in awe that anybody could possibly get a cue ball stuck in their mouth. That is a comic moment indeed!

Carrie Harris said...

sruble: My point exactly. Heh.

PJ: I think the point here is to be extra nice for your FedEx guy when he delivers your packages, and maybe, just maybe, he'll give you an idea for a book. :)

Glamis: Thanks for the compliments and the visit! Yes, that ex-boyfriend had some awesome talent. I've gotta admit it. Snarf.

Brenda said...

idjit is what my hubs calls me all the time...that is a story (or 2 or 3, etc. etc.) of its own...grin..

Mary Witzl said...

Carrie, you could obviously make entertaining stories out of thin air, so ex-boyfriends and interesting (though depressing) jobs may help, but I know you could weave your tales even if you didn't have such a rich store of these. Glad you do, though!

Hope I manage to post this -- I'm having a hell of a time with blogger lately.

Carrie Harris said...

Brenda: Aw, come on. You can't leave me hanging like that, can you? :)

witzl: That's the nicest compliment I've had in a long time. Thanks!!!