Friday, December 24, 2010

The Puppy I Didn't Plan On

The other night I dreamed that someone gave me a puppy.

Now, I would love to have a puppy. If MJ gave me a puppy, I would love him forever and ever (I know he thinks he is entitled to Forever and Ever anyway, but all I promised in our wedding vows was Til Death Do We Part. Forever and Ever is the kind of crazy romantic love that leads to, like, Wuthering Heights and YA paranormals).

But in my dream, I was a little distressed. You see, I've been volunteering for pet rescues for years. I am a firm believer that Adoption Should Be Your First Option.

And I grew up with big dogs - labs, golden retrievers, huskies, rottweilers.  I like to have 90 lbs of dog on my side if a passing burgular decides he wants my TV, soda maker and seal-shaped lamp (I have a sense of style like no other). I like to have 90 lbs of dog climbing onto my lap when I'm trying to watch Bridezillas on the couch and disrupting my breathing with a big blocky head on my chest.  I like big dogs.

But while I had been dreaming of an older, less "adoptable", big dog from a rescue - the wiggling puppy in my arms was a pet-store small dog. Not what I'd expected at all! And in my dream, I debated giving him back for a dog who needed me.

I couldn't, though. Because that puppy was looking at me with big sad brown eyes like he did need me. Needed a home. And damn it he was my puppy.

I have the same thing lately with a story. I had a plan for December and January:
  2. Rough draft what is now imaginatively titled YA MYSTERY1.
Then, as I was painting my office, I had an idea for a short story. YA post-apocalyptic. Feminism and zombies. A teenage girl caught between two guys - who are willing to fight for her, but never ask her what she wants.

Quick and simple. After I finished (and washed the paint out of my hair) I sat down to write. I knew it would be a longer short story for me, probably around 5k. But I knew I could bang it out in a day or two.

Folks,  we're now around 15k. Things keep happening. Characters keep popping up.

"Oh, hai, I'm the brother, I'm going to do something interesting now!"

"I'm the dad. Did you seriously think you were going to write about the patriarchy without the patriarch getting a say?"

"I'm the random zombie who is supposed to stay off-screen, your MC's unspoken fear. But yeah. I want to eat her brains. So I'm in it to win it, beotch."

*Bangs head into keyboard*

This is not the story I wanted, not when I wanted it. But like the puppy in my dream, it's here, and I just can't give up on it.

So if I'm not around  much, it's because I'm experimenting with vegan gluten-free cookie baking (food allergies are a PITA), entertaining a motley collection of relatives, and writing my little heart out as fast as I can so I can get back to my plan!


Helena said...

I love that about writing- when the story just won't listen, and does what it wants. It's crazy and frustrating, but I can't help but love it.

And that story? Sounds amazing. Please let me read it someday.

Jamie Burch said...

Good luck with your new story and all your writing/revision plans!
I so love your book title!

Creative A said...

Hey! Thank's for commenting on my blog. Shiny new ideas are awesome, and it sounds like you're having fun (albeit unscheduled fun. But that is the best kind, right?) Good luck! I have big editing goals this month, too.