I should be getting my 50 pages of "Lies in Chance" ready for the agent that requested them. And I will, but that's on the docket for tomorrow. It's already 1:30 here and I'm exhausted from two full days of field trips involving stairs. And tonight I'm supposed to go for a big long hike before "Biggest Loser" comes on? When was I drinking hard enough to agree to that?
Anyway, Sunday was the last Sunday School lesson I'm teaching until fall. (We have our party next week.) I thought, since I'd spent so much time hearing about branding at the WisRWA conference, that I'd tie the topic in for the outgoing 8th graders. You know, how your present, or brand yourself to the world and how that reflects on your faith...okay, it sounded really good in my head early Sunday morning when I didn't have anything else ready.
Of course the discussion went off course, because that's what 7th and 8th graders do to you, and we wound up talking about my book. They all want to read "Dream" which I've told them they can't do because it's really not appropriate for them to read. Well, that and I'm not comfortable with my Sunday School students knowing what my sexual fantasies are...oh wait, Ramona isn't me...right....
We talked a bit about things I'm currently writing and one of these cherubic savants suggested I write a book about my Sunday School class. There was much chatter then about plot and who would be in it and what story I would tell. I stepped back and listened, and inwardly smiled. See, everyone wants to be a character in someones book...until they are.
I remember writing stories back in high school. I wrote between classes, I wrote during classes (The teachers thought I was taking notes, my parents thought I was a B student. Truth is, I never paid attention. Had I done so I probably would have been the valedictorian.) I wrote after school. I was never without a notebook. Some kids, when they weren't trying to torment me, would ask what I was doing. (The only thing more strange in my high school than a person READING a book was someone WRITING one.) When I was an idiot and told them, they'd always ask what I was writing about them. And when I was an idiot and told them, they'd drag me by my hair down the hallway or stack my locker, or throw my book bag in the boys locker room.
And, of course, you already know that my high school bully is named in "Dream." She has a copy of it now...I wonder how that's going...
Yeah, everyone wants to be in a book, until they are.
So my writing friends, beware! Beware of people telling you they want to be in your book. Chances are, these are the people who don't want you to put THEM in your book, but rather some flattering fictional version of them. Writers draw from truth based on their perception of things. Readers like reality, but only if it's about someone else.
So keep writing. Just remember to change the names and ADMIT NOTHING!