Monday, September 21, 2009

Mommy, Where Do Ideas Come From? The Book Store, My Husband's Birthday, and a Wedding!

Mommy, Where Do Ideas Come From?

How many times have you been stumped for an idea?

Well if you're keeping a writing journal like I told you to (look back a few posts, you'll find it!), then this shouldn't be a problem. But maybe you're thinking, "Okay, Viv, babe, I've got my writing journal. Now where do the IDEAS come from? 'cause I've really just got a lot of blank pages."

Well, I can't tell you exactly. But, what I CAN tell you is where MY ideas come from. Sometimes they come from dreams (ala "Running Away" on my site). Sometimes they come from a real life experience (like when my friend told me that his girlfriend went to a race with another friend while he was racing home from hanging out with his friends to be with her... ouch...). And sometimes they come from good old-fashioned movies and TV.

But Viv, you say, you can't steal someone else's idea! That's plagerism!

Well, I don't disagree. I'm not telling you to steal the idea. I'm telling you to take the idea and make it your own. Everyone says that, but it's confusing, huh? Never fear--I have examples.

Take, for example, the movie "Doubting Thomas" (which I thoroughly enjoyed, because I am in love with Annasophia Robb). The movie is about a boy--Thomas--who loves to spin extremely tall tales. And by tall tales, I do mean complete and total lies. And then, as cliche as it gets, he finds out that the president daughter is going to be kidnapped, so he tells the truth, and no one believes him. (And if you can hear that plot and think no one in Hollywood steals plots, you're crazy.) But, in an interesting twist, there is an undercover CIA agent at the school, who the boy thinks is one of the kidnappers.

You may be wondering why I'm telling you about this children's movie. Well, number one, Rider Strong is the undercover CIA agent, and he's hot. Number two, Annasophia Robb (that's enough of a reason). Number three, I started thinking... "Wouldn't an undercover CIA agent be cool?" And, since I'm a YA writer, "He'd have to be guarding a girl just a few years younger than her... And her life would have to be in danger."

And, suddenly, there was my idea. The hot Rider Strong inspired a story in my idea journal about an undercover CIA agent whose mission is to protect a teenage girl--not fall in love with her. (Harlequinn Teen, I'm coming for you!)

I have other examples. I think I wrote down twelve in the span of ten minutes. I'll share them later, mostly because this post is getting REALLY long and I have more to talk about. I'm so long-winded!

The Book Store

On Saturday I was mailing a package to Anna over at Booknerds. In it was a copy of my book and a press kit, and I had the whole thing all put together before I went over there, addressed and in an envelope, so I was pretty happy. I'm never that on-the-ball.

Right by the mail place is this used bookstore that I've always thought would be a great place to stick my book. Not for consignment, mind you, though that would be pretty sweet. I just thought it would be great to have my book in a bookstore, and I could monitor its progress, and if it moved off the shelves, I would be happy and know that I could push something out of a bookstore.

As soon as I walked in, the woman behind the counter greeted me and asked if I had ever been in there before. I told her no, so she gave me a three-minute talk on the store, and how it's all laid out, even though I could clearly see the labels above the shelves. I listened patiently, sensing immediately that in this damaged economy that she had taken a hit. (I admit... Walking into that bookstore, knowing everything was going to be ridiculously cheap... it was going to be hard not to purchase something. But I held my ground.) When she was done, I explained that I was an author, and before I got much further than that, she started shaking her head.

"I don't do that," she told me, firmly, albeit slightly apologetically. "I don't put self-published authors in my store. It doesn't work. It's too much work for me to keep track."

"I don't want anything--" I tried to object quickly, trying to explain that I was willing to just give her a couple of books.

"I understand that," she interrupted firmly, then went on about a friend of hers who is self-published and whose book she's selling out of a favor to a dear, dear friend, who's trying to earn money for a library in his daughter's dedication. I just sat there, stunned. "Have I heard of you?" she asked, then.

I smiled weakly. "Probably not," I assured her. "Anything I've done has been online."

"Mmm. Because I was going to say, you're no xxxxxxxx."

I stared blankly at her.

"xxxxxxxx," she repeated. "She lives in this area. Writes xxxxxxxxxxxx. Really good books. You should check them out. They're so good." She leaned forward and looked me right in the eye. "They. Have. No. Resell. I don't get any copies of them. People won't part with them. You should read them."

By that point, I'd very much had enough of being insulted, no matter how subtly she thought it was. I understand I wasn't dressed like someone who was trying to get my book into a bookstore--I was, afterall, wearing jeans, my hair wasn't done, and I was wearing a Disneyland t-shirt--but I certainly didn't deserve to be insulted to my face over my dream and my life's work.

I thanked her politely for her time, and she faintly wished me luck, and I bolted from that store, hurt and angry.

But I'll show her. Somehow. I'm not quite sure how, but I will.

My Husband's Birthday

Yesterday was my husband's birthday. :) It was fantastic! We literally laid in bed all day long, except to get up to make food. We watched seven movies, in a row, I got a zillion ideas, and it was all-in-all an amazing day. Perhaps one of the best days ever. He kept thanking me for a great day. Maybe I should be thanking him (even though I was the one who had to cook...).

A Wedding



I have ALWAYS wanted to be a maid of honor. ALWAYS. They get to do all the fun stuff! They get to throw the Bachelorette party, the bridal shower, gather up the ribbons from the bridal shower to use as a bouquet during rehearsal, keep the bride sane during crunch time... I didn't have a bachelorette party (at request), or a bridal shower (at request), and I didn't go crazy during my wedding--just kind of went with the flow until the morning of. (Oh, except the one time my dad said he wanted me to bring my bouquet from a flower store instead of getting one made at the hotel we were getting married at... I sobbed for three hours, but in my defense, I told him all I ever wanted in getting married was a lot of pretty flowers everywhere.) The morning of was pretty bad, but that's a COMPLETELY different story and off-topic anyway.

So, one of my best friends, the same one I was with when we both met our soon-to-be and current- husbands while they were together at the Penny Arcade Expo, asked me to be her maid of honor. I'm ecstatic, I'm honored, I'm delighted, I'm giddy. I'm all of those super-happy emotions. The guy she is marrying is one of my husband's best friends, and has been for like, seven years, and he's an amazing guy who just loves her to pieces. I am so happy they're getting married. It's a wonderful, WONDERFUL thing.

That's all for now. (That's plenty, I know!) Until next time! <3


Southern Princess said...

How fun the wedding activities will be!
As for the spinning your own ideas - of course Hollywood knows how to do this :o) - it is weird where some inspiration comes from.
On the bookstore - you will show her! In a way you have - your book is on for goodness sakes & as a NEW book not just people selling used copies! Barnes & Noble can order one for people. She should know of you! The audacity though to outwardly compare/insult you vs the other author is horrendous, no matter how subtle the context was. Maybe she should forget about your or the other authors books and purchase one on tact & etiquette! It amazes me how some people make it through the day without a light pink handprint on their cheeks...but then again a lady & princess would never put someone in their place... ;o)