Monday, November 22, 2010

For All I Know, Scooter Wrote It

Out of deference to my Cousin Fran's cat allergies, I've been pretending to clean my apartment. And out of deference to my cat Scooter, much of the cleaning has involved searching under the stove and refrigerator and somesuch places, in search of the twist ties he shoves there. Twist ties (especially the black and white expensive ones) are Scooter's current favorite plaything.

While cleaning the den the other day, I searched around under the computer cabinet. I found a couple of pens (Scooter's previous favorite plaything), and I could hear a piece of paper rattling about.

Scooter heard it too (Scooter likes noisy things), so he went digging. He dragged out a piece of paper with typing on it.

I scanned the paper, but I can't figure out how to post the scan here, so I'm just going to type what was on the page, using that nifty blockquote thing to make it look official.

6

He was a little drunk. I was sure of it. I'd met Trish, once last summer, when Dad and she first began seeing each other, and again over Christmas vacation, when I'd gone for my semi-annual visit, and could tell things were getting serious between them. But in all my conversations and e-mails with Dad, he'd never hinted that he was going to marry her. In fact, he'd expressed some reservations because of Trish's two young children.

"I was just wondering," I said. "What I mean is, why now. Why Vegas?"

"You sound like my mother," Dad said, and I knew that wasn't a compliment. "Megan, Trish and I are grownups. We both happened to have a couple of days off, and Trish's parents were able to take the kids, and it seemed like the best time to do it." There was a pause, and I could see Dad start thinking Daddy thoughts. "Oh honey, are you disappointed?" he asked. "That we eloped? I didn't think. But of course you'd want to be there, see your old man tie the knot."

The noose was more like it, I thought, but I love Dad, and Trish wasn't so bad, not really. "Of course I'm disappointed," I lied. "Disappointed, and surprised. But mostly I'm real happy for you."

"Here. Trish wants to say hello," Dad said, and I could


Here's the thing. I've been in this apartment six and a half years. I was the first person to live here, so I can't assume anyone else wrote that page (besides, it positively reeks of my style). I've written three books here that have been published (Life As We Knew It, The Dead And The Gone, This World We Live In) and one (Blood Wounds) waiting to be published. I've written several books that haven't been published, a YA suspense novel (named, I think, 7 Hours) that I loved but never found a publisher, two middle group novels, one of which my agent thought needed work and one I never showed her because it wasn't good enough, and one completely unpublishable version of a third moon book. And this page 6 doesn't sound like my memory of any of those books.

I have no idea what manuscript it came from. There's no point in my going through all my documents because I'm on Hard Drive #3 since moving here, and I'm not one to back things up. I don't know who these characters are, what happens to them next, or even if there's a page 7 floating about.

My brain is currently hard at work (although it feels like play) at the idea I came up with last week. I'm ready to write a chapter outline, to get a feel for if I need more events in the story. If I stay interested, I'll most likely begin writing it week after next (next week I'll spend recovering from November, a long and tricky month).

I only hope if I do write it, that I keep better track of it, and don't let it vanish under the computer station, only to be dug up by a cat searching for his twist ties!

12 comments:

Anonymous said...

I think the answer is that you are sleep writing. Very common with authors who write about the moon.

Say, what happened to the leftmost side of your website under 'popular posts'? The first letter, at least when I look at it, is cut off.

Glen

Susan Beth Pfeffer said...

Hallo Glen-

I'm seeing the first letter right where it belongs.

Maybe that first letter doesn't love you, like it loves me.

And sleep writing is an excellent suggestion, and a heck of a good idea. It'd give me lots of extra time to clean my apartment (which I really have to do right away).

Happy Thanksgiving!

Anonymous said...

Happy Thanksgiving to you too!

(But I still don't see the 'W' in while and the 'H' in Houghton.)

Glen

Judith said...

I just love your blog and look forward to more from Page 6.

Susan Beth Pfeffer said...

Hi Judith and Happy Thanksgiving-

I don't think you should count on more from Page 6, because I don't think there is more. Well, there probably is somewhere in this apartment, but I don't seem to be eager to go searching for it.

Just another one of those life mysteries, along with where do all the twist ties go!

Wanda Vaughn said...

You sound about as eager to clean your apartment as I am to clean my house. I've got parents, sisters, and daughter's boyfriend coming to my place on Friday. Yes, Friday. My hubby is law enforcement, so Friday is when he can celebrate. It also frees up my out-of-state sister to spend Thursday with the in-laws.

Aren't the holidays fun? Happy Thanksgiving!

WandaV

Wanda Vaughn said...

See, Ms. Susan? I'm no longer an anonymouse!

Susan Beth Pfeffer said...

Hi Wanda V(aughn)-

When I was growing up, we always celebrated Thanksgiving on Friday. We combined it with Sabbath dinner (which was a weekly big deal in for my family).

I'm having somewhere between 5 and 8 people over for dinner Friday night, and if I don't finish the cleaning and start the cooking post haste, things could prove disastrous!

Happy Thanksgiving whatever day you celebrate it!

qwertyuiop said...

Happy thanksgiving! Man I wish I found random pieces of paper with good writing on them! Alas...
-Jon

Susan Beth Pfeffer said...

Happy Black Friday qwertyuiop (aka the far easier to spell Jon)-

I used to hope that if I left my manuscripts around at night, little elves would pop in and do my rewrites for me.

Alas, it never happened, but now at least I know why. They were too busy writing manuscript pages!

Friendly Neighbourhood Bookseller said...

Maybe it was backstory for Megan in LAWKI? Before you starting focusing on Miranda.

Happy Thanksgiving, hope it went well!

Susan Beth Pfeffer said...

A belated hello to Friendly Neighbourhood Bookseller-

An interesting theory, but almost definitely a wrong one. I focused on Miranda from the beginning, and always knew Megan would just be one of her friends.

Oh well. A little mystery in life is good!