Monday, September 22, 2008

In the Event of Famousness

I’m pretty lucky, all things considered. After years of craptastic luck, as evidenced by the time I fell of a cliff and the time I unknowingly dated a mobster, I kind of feel like I’ve got it made these days. Life is good, and I’m all about passing it on. So I’ve decided to start a new feature for this blog: once a month, we’re going to talk about famousness.

Because, really, I’ve got it all planned out. In the event of famousness, I need to have plenty of pithy things to say for the camera-bearing hordes that I expect to be parked on my front lawn, so I’ve started making lists to prepare for this event. And it seems to me that authors tend to get a lot of the same questions, so I figure that the best way for me to pay it forward is to share some of my stock answers with all of you, so that when you’re famous for writing an expose that proves once and for all what’s in Kentucky Fried Chicken or whatever, you’ll know what to say too.

And one of the questions that writers get asked most often is: “Where do you get your ideas?” In the event that you’re ever faced with this question and are chock out of answers, try one of these babies on for size:

1. Osmosis. Go to the library, stack a bunch of books on the floor, and sleep on them. It’ll change your life. Honest.

2. I stalk famous authors until they give me ideas just to make me go away. It helps to be in costume while you stalk, makes you look particularly unhinged. My favorite stalking costume is probably Little Bo Peep.

3. From Fred. That wacky Fred.

4. Like I’m going to tell you? Pshaw. And monkeys might fly out my butt.

5. I don’t know. I can’t remember much since the lobotomy. Do you have any Twinkies?

6. Well, I fell off a cliff once, and as I was lying there, broken and oozing, they all came to me at once. I really suggest it; it’s great for the creative process.

7. If you knew that, you’d be as famous as me, wouldn’t you? Neiner neiner neiner.

8. Well, I spend a lot of time reading blogs. I mean, a LOT of time. And then I think a lot, and read some more blogs, and think some more, but that really doesn’t get me anywhere. So then I take a shower, and voila! Ideas galore. So if you want ideas, I guess showering. Although you should still read my blog just in case.

See? That’s fodder for a bunch of interviews in the event famousness strikes. Now I won’t sit there and gape at them like a beached whale with a mental deficiency. And neither will you. Not that you’d do that, of course, you’d be much more graceful than that.

Aren’t I so helpful?


Jamie Eyberg said...

What does getting hit by cars do for the creative process? I should be a genius if that has something to do with it.

PJ Hoover said...

I get all my ideas from a childhood spent watching WAY too much TV. But this sounds so bad in an interview. I think I'll steal your answers.

Tabitha said...

LOL!! My answer is so boring compared to yours... If anyone ever asks me, I'll just tell them you've got all the answers. :)

Cate Gardner said...

Hey, you know Fred too.

Carrie Harris said...

Jamie: Hmmm... depends on the car, I think. If it's a Yugo, you're pretty much screwed. ;)

PJ: Honestly? Me too. But don't tell anyone.

Tabitha: Hah! I feel like I should pay you for that or something.

Cate: Maybe we should start the Fred Fan Club?

Fox Lee said...

; )

Adrienne said...

I've always hoped #1 actually works. I usually fall asleep with the books on top of me, though...guess I've been doing it wrong!

sruble said...

Ha! I love them all, but osmosis is probably my favorite.

3. Would that be Fred Fred Berger?

5. Was the lobotomy a result of falling off the cliff?

6. I think I'll pass on the cliff diving (although going off a cliff, or not, is in the first scene of my WIP). I've had enough other wacky injuries to build the character needed to write stories.

Carrie Harris said...

Thanks, Natalie. :)

Adrienne: Oh, well, that won't work because ideas float. You've got to be on top of the books. And I am so full of it that it's surprising that I don't float too!

sruble: Snarf! You do realize that I really DID fall off a cliff, and was on the news and everything. Please feel free to put my idiocy to work for your WIP at any time. I can give you the bird's eye account. Ish.

Marcia said...

Aren't you helpful, you ask? Yes! Because the shower works, and you are helping to spread the word. I don't know WHY the shower works, but Jane Yolen has also said it works, so we're in pretty good company. I find that the shower works best for solving knotty plot problems in a current work, not so much for thinking up whole new book ideas.

Anonymous said...

Those are FABULOUS!

You'll make an hilarious famous person!

Carrie Harris said...

Marcia: Absolutely true. And if the shower works, then bubble baths are gifts from heaven. :)

Devon: Thanks for the vote of confidence. The question is whether or not I've got the guts to actually use one of them or not. But if ever I am interviewed, you can bet that I'll be thinking FRED... FRED... really loud regardless of what I say.

Thanks both of you for visiting my blog!

Tiny T said...

Osmosis, hehe! What about falling up stairs? If so, I should be a writing genious :D

I have the same problem; falling asleep with the books on top. Now I know the correct way!! Thank you!

K.C. Shaw said...

I plan to say that I steal all my ideas from better authors' books.

No, wait, that doesn't sound too good. I'll just say I got all my ideas from that time Carrie Harris fell off a cliff. :)

Brenda said...

LOL...these are great!!!

Wasn't there a movie that Fred was in with Phoebe Cates? Dead Fred or something...

I figure if that is the same Fred, then we're getting ideas from both sides...the living and the dead!

Does Fred getting a commission if we use his name?

sruble said...

I didn't realize you were on the news and everything (now I am intrigued). It never occured to me that you didn't fall off a cliff, probably because I've had so many wacky injuries.

Actually, my MC is stopping someone else from going off the cliff, but she's the kind of person that's likely to fall off the cliff saving them, or, you know, just because it's Tuesday. (There's a lot of me in the MC, unfortunately.)

Carrie Harris said...

Tiny T: Falling up stairs? I'm not sure it does you good with writing, but it makes you fabulous at martial arts. I have no clue how that follows, but I'm running with it.

K.C.: I would pay MONEY to hear you say that! LOL

Brenda: Oh yeah! Drop Dead Fred! I think I saw that once; frankly the only reason I used the name Fred is because I don't think I know or have ever known a Fred. Seemed safe, y'know?

sruble: Oh, the news thing isn't so intriguing. They did a bit on orthopedic surgery, and since my knee got fixed I was on it and they told the story of my fall and showed my son. We have it on tape. End of story.

Oh, and I fell off the cliff on a Saturday. Much better day than Tuesday for cliff diving, if you ask me. ;)

Anonymous said...

Hilarious list! Must say, though, number four is my favorite. Actually, I think the easier question to answer would be, "What doesn't give you ideas?" In that case the answer would be...nothing.

Carrie Harris said...

Thanks, Booklady. Gotta love those butt monkeys. But then again, I'm known for my sophomoric humor. ;)

Jim Danielson said...

Actually #8 is my favorite -- how can an idea stink when it just took a shower???

And it's a personal thing, but I get better ideas from fortune cookies than twinkies, but twinkies taste a lot better. Ya think Hostess could make "fortune twinkies"?

Jim D

Erin Maher said...

Number 8 is usually my "usual" but I recently discovered a new idea process, quite by accident. This was at a friend's birthday, where I also discovered a lethal martini known as the English Ed.

Apparently, when I get home after one (or three) too many, I make lists of ideas. I'm sure they're totally inspired, pure gold, but I have decipher them first.

Carrie Harris said...

Jim: Good question; I have no clue. Maybe it takes combat showers. Because really, those puppies do NOT make you clean. And I would totally buy fortune Twinkies, assuming they could easily meld fortune and filling to make it unmessy.

Erin: Reminds me of when I used to keep a notebook beside my bed. I am NOT coherent in the middle of the night, but I think I am. (This has of course changed since my Adventures in Mommyhood began. But back then, it was totally true.)