“Creativity is the ability to introduce order into the randomness of nature.”
After spending six – seven hours every day for the last two weeks doing the first round of edits on my manuscript, then spending almost as long researching and sending queries for ROM today, my eyes are staging a protest at even the mere thought of a blog update. Seriously, when your vision gets bleary just from reading a few sentences in a book (true story from today), that’s when you know you perhaps, maybe, just might be spending too many hours staring at a computer screen while working. So instead of writing today about how well the revisions are going (fifty-one pages trimmed from the manuscript so far!) or how glad I am to be back on the querying rollercoaster after taking some time off to process real life’s difficulties, I’m opting for something different. I’m opting for randomness.
There’s this “7 random things about you” post that’s going around the blog world, so why not join in? It’s always so fun to learn interesting facts about other people, and my hope is that everyone reading this will post – in the comments or on your own blog – some random facts, too. Please?!
Okay, here goes:
#1: Ever since I accidentally burned myself with a hot glue gun during a Girl Scouts meeting in fourth grade, I’ve had an irrational fear of fire. I know, I know, it’s not like I got burned on fire originally, but my mind associates the incident with it anyway. Would you believe I made it through all my high school and college science courses without ever lighting a match? Whenever experiments called for that, I happily volunteered to be the data recorder and write up the labs for our group, if only someone else would take care of the fire. The only exception is Hanukkah candles; although, to be honest, I’m always super careful about not letting any hot wax drip on my hands as I light the menorah. Hope my future husband doesn’t mind being the one to be in charge of candles on our kids’ birthday cakes.
#2: The first big, multi-chapter story I wrote came about as a result of eighth grade English. We had journal time at the start of every class, and on one of our free write days, an idea popped into my head and I literally had to see where it went. Little did I know then what a sign it was of things to come! The story ended up being something like ten chapters long, and even though there was more description of the characters’ clothes than there was actual plot (ha!), it’s still the experience I pinpoint as being my first jump into the true joy of fiction writing. Pretty sure I still have a copy of it somewhere. Perhaps I’ll dig it out of its box one day and give it a reread.
#3: I have never had a cell phone that isn’t blue.
#4: I have been to more General Hospital fan events than I can count, and have met most of the kind, gracious, witty cast as a result. Favorites include Megan Ward, Nancy Lee Grahn, Rick Hearst, and Brandon Barash … but truly, almost everyone I’ve met has been nothing but sweet. The appreciation they show for their fans is really awesome. They give a hundred percent to their work and even more to the people who watch the show.
#5: While we’re on the subject of meeting people, let’s talk about 10/18/07. That’d be the day I finally met Kelly Clarkson after (no exaggeration) twenty near misses/failed attempts at applying for meet & greet passes. Getting to tell her in person what an inspiration she’s been will always be one of the coolest moments of my life. It took four and a half years of trying, but it was totally worth it. The ten minutes went by in a blur – my friend Mary Kate still alludes to the dazed look on my face when I came out of the M&G – but the memories will linger forever.
#6: I am head-over-heels in love with the idea of having a beach wedding one day. What could be more perfect than saying “I Do” with waves splashing against the sand and the sea breeze twirling its fluttery ribbons through the air? Just thinking about it makes me smile. So, um, future groom, if you’d like to make yourself known sometime soon … that’d be great :)
#7: I was in a soap opera in college. Claire Scwhartz, journalist extraordinaire, that’d be me. I conspired with my best friend Valerie McBride to take over the paper. Oh, and there were vortexes (vortices?), evil twin brothers, and the complex, criss-crossing relationships that any good soap opera has. An actress I certainly am not, but filming that show was a ton of fun and one of my fondest memories from the Arcadia days.
Were those random enough? They were fun to think about and share – and, you know, they also reminded me of something. It’s the random little details that make it especially fun to be a writer. Sofie being in love with musical theater. Her brother always wearing his Georgia Tech baseball cap to home games. Her sister never capitalizing anything in emails. Her husband having a penchant for photography and videography. Her best friend tapping her nails together when she’s nervous. Sometimes I plan these quirks out ahead of time, but they usually just come about naturally as I’m writing. The words are on the page before I can even think twice. It’s like the characters just take on lives of their own: instead of telling me who they are, they show me. And I love it. A lot. So maybe randomness isn’t all that random, after all. Maybe it’s just a way of learning more about ourselves.
So, please, leave a random fact or two so I can learn more about you!