my kid is drawing her imaginary friend, eric

The other night, I met a drunk Englishman at a house party. (No, this isn't the start to a joke.) He asked me what I do, and I said I was a writer and and editor. (The whole mommy gig was"understood" in this crowd.) He said, "Ah, interesting, that," and didn't ask me another question about it. I felt a vague relief. What writer hasn't been put on the spot in a social situation? Sometimes it's like an interrogation in a mystery novel, only with beer.

Most folks look at me and guess "Children's books?"

"Uhhh," (my stall to gauge whether they can handle the truth) "No."

"What do you write, then?"

"Dark fantasy and science fiction, the occasional horror piece."

If the husband is nearby, he'll chime in with, "Ask her what her favorite sniper rifle is. Go ahead, just ask her." Something about my interest in guns really turns him on. I guess he thinks it's phallic or something, I don't know.

Anyway, one of the most common questions, given my genre, is "Where do you get your ideas?"

"Prescriptions cold medicines (To Stop a War), old English pubs (The Ternion Archives), bad-ass guys at the gym (Hinterland), and parties just like this one." And then I smile.

They make polite excuses and avoid me for the rest of the night.

No actually, I'm witty and hot and loads of fun; they hang around me. But anyway, speaking of ideas, I just got my first idea from a dream. The other night I dreamt about babies. Babies babies babies, little clothes and wee fingers and strollers and diapers and when they sleep on you... I woke up nostalgic for all things baby. Well, that being a physical impossibility, I figure I gotta write a story about one. I've had this female assassin protag waiting in the wings for a while now, and her life is about to get a whole lot more complicated. She's preggers!

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