So What the Heck am I Writing Anyway?

Since yesterday was a pointless rant here at PS, I thought perhaps it was time to give you an update on the latest writing project. Not much writing, to be honest, but that doesn’t mean the process isn’t happening.

If you look on the website, you’ll see this:

What happens when four suburban moms get together for coffee every week?


Yeah. Nope. Outdated totally. That was how the idea started, but we’ve come a ways since then.

The original idea, stolen shamelessly from my friend Rebecca (whom I’d link to if she had a site) was about four suburban mothers frustrated by their stale marriages. Every chapter would be one week in each of the women’s lives, carrying them from one coffee clatch to the next. Yeah, wasn’t forming in my head.  Like I admitted, the idea was kind of borrowed, but it was triggered only by a title Reb came up with for NaNo a hundred years ago. I actually thought it might be something she and I could write together. The thing is, she has a better idea and is running with her. Good for her! But, she said, I could write it by myself. With her blessings. Thanks, Reb. Never forget you for that. Well, and a ton of other things, but anyway…

So normally I’d just sit down to a blank MS Word doc and start typing, but after MFM flopped like a sardine out of oil, I decided to make myself take a break and not write word one until NaNo in November. I may break this promise later, but right now, it’s a good idea.

I’ve been hanging out at the dog park a lot this summer with a hyper puppy. Met a lot of folks there, and I can just see a story revolving around dog park friends. Enter four women at the dog park instead of the coffee thing.

Making four women’s stories work together in a book was posing some difficulty. I mean, who has the prominent voice? Is there one? First or third person? Will the reader be too confused to go on? Will the writer?

Enter Anna – my main character. She still has three friends at the dog park, but this is her story. Oh yes, there are also dogs, including two Pekingese named Dinky and PawPaw. You know I’m going to have fun with those two.

So what does Anna do, I wondered. I went with my primary back-up: freelance writer. So she was a freelance writer and her marriage is in trouble. Enter old boyfriend, much hilarity and heart-wrenching ensues. Except she’s not a freelance writer.

Was talking to my mother last night and  we were discussing man-brain and how puppies brains are like Jell-o.  I say, without thinking, “Yeah. Jell-o for brains. Guys and Dogs.” BAM!

Suddenly I knew Tuesday Morning Club was not my title, and knew that Anna was NOT a freelance writer. Nope. She’s a dog trainer, and since Lizzie and I are slated to start classes tomorrow night, my research is built in to my life. How convenient is that? Yes, GUYS AND DOGS is already a book by Elaine Fox. I know that, and it perturbs me no end that my brain can’t come up with anything original.  But I only knew this after I googled it, and considering I watch Guys and Dolls much more than is healthy for anyone, I’m going with it for now. If I ever get published, they’re not going to let me keep any title I come up with anyway. Might as well use a working title that got my juices flowing.

Note none of this comes to me through any conscious thought. It just pops in there. Some people would call it a muse, I call it dumb luck. But it’s good that I can still do that. After the MFM debacle, I was really wondering if I still had it in me. I do, I guess. Probably always will. I guess it’s just time to realize that part of writing is NOT writing. On purpose. Because somehow in the last month of not writing, I’ve gotten more accomplished than I did the last year writing MFM. Now it’s time to go with the flow.


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