Monday, November 18, 2013

I Guess My Brain Went The Way Of My Thyroid

I went to see Dr. Thyroid on Friday. Why, I don't know. You'd think since I no longer have a thyroid, he'd have lost interest in me.

He asked me if I was still planning on retiring (a topic of fascination to a surprising number of my acquaintances), and I said yes. He then asked me if I knew what I was going to do after I retired, and I was forced to admit that I was still working on that.

I could have said, Well, my mother died less than two weeks ago, and I'm learning to cope with that, but I didn't feel like moving the conversation in that direction.

My blood pressure was up, but that was because they'd kept me waiting for half an hour, which ordinarily wouldn't have been a problem, because ordinarily I would have brought a book, but the last time I saw Dr. Thyroid he mentioned that he never ever reads, and we can't have that, so I brought him a copy of The Dead And The Gone, which is a pretty darn thick paperback, and it took up all the room in my pocketbook that would have otherwise been occupied by something to read, so I was stuck with a Woman's Day filled with Christmas cookie recipes and a People magazine from late September.

By the time they called me in to Dr. Thyroid's office, I was close to tears, but that was because my emotions are a little over the top these days. I usually don't start weeping in a doctor's office for at least 45 minutes.

Anyway, I now have one less book in my storage closet and Dr. Thyroid's vistas have been expanded. He doesn't want to see me for another 6 months, and I'll be seeing him in his other office, which has a much better variety of magazines. And I'll bring a book. And tissues, just in case.

Every now and again I come up with an idea for a book, and I devote a few of my remaining brain cells to developing it. Here are the most recent three:

1. A science fiction girly novel with a lot of set up, a reasonable amount of middle, and a really good ending, only the whole thing is doomed to failure because there's no need or market for a sci fi girly novel. Sci fi maybe. Girly maybe. The two in combination? Uh uh.

2. A maybe suspense novel/maybe serious YA problem novel with a good set up, a potential for a lot of interesting structure, and no ending whatsoever. That no ending business is a real issue, because the serious YA problem isn't one that can resolve itself to my satisfaction, and if I wrote it as a suspense novel, it would feel a lot more like work.

3. Another science fiction novel, this one not particularly girly. Entirely too much set up, hardly any middle at all, because I was having too much fun with the setup, and no ending because there's no middle. Presumably if there were a middle, there'd be an ending, but given the only part of it that seems to intrigue me is the setup, the likelihood of a middle showing up is pretty dismal.

Still, each time one of these ideas pops up, I get all happy and excited and I think about it and ponder it and explore its finite possibilities. But then I remind myself that I'd have to write it (okay, that might not be too bad if I really like it), and then my agent has to read it and decide if it's marketable, and then even if it is marketable, it has to get submitted and I have to wait around to see if any publisher is going to want it, and most probably won't, and sitting around waiting to hear and alternating between hopeful and dejected isn't any fun whatsoever. None. Not a single scintilla of fun.

I think that is the very first time I ever wrote the word scintilla. Hmmm... Maybe I should devote my retirement to using words I've never used before.

Now that could be fun!


Anonymous said...

If you like to write so much Mrs. Peffer maybe you should put your mind to that and devote a character in your sci-fi girly novel (I would read it) to a certain fan, posting a certain comment.... uh? uh? Just kidding!

- Gia

Susan Beth Pfeffer said...

Good morning Gia-

Think about all the terrible things I do to my characters. You'll be lucky to be spared all that!

Anonymous said...

Right you are Mrs. Peffer!

Is that really your doctors name? It seems better then mine. Mabudduy, prononced: Mah-Boo-Dee
Im not lieing, I promise!


Susan Beth Pfeffer said...

Good morning again, Gia.

I refer to my doctors by their specialities, so Dr. Thyroid takes care of my thyroid.

It's a habit I got into when I was taking my mother to a variety of different doctors.

It would be a little weird to have a doctor named Thyroid!

Jill Darwish said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Gillian said...

I definitely think you need to write the girly SF. I'd have read it in a flash when I was a teen, lo these many decades ago, and I bet there are girls now who would leap on it.

AND of COURSE it would get published. With no waiting around at all! :)

Susan Beth Pfeffer said...

Hi Gillian-

We're talking seriously girly here, and I really don't think seriouly girly and seriously sci fi are a healthy mix!