Wednesday, November 18, 2009

I Prefer Lyin', Thanks

by Sophie




If you were to write a non-fiction book, what would your topic be?




Well here's the thing - I already wrote a non-fiction book. Actually, come to think of it, I wrote two! Only one was published, though, because right around the time the second one was wrapped up and ready to submit, I went a little nuts and wrote A BAD DAY FOR SORRY and I haven't looked back.

Remember I was telling y'all about my Dad a while back? Well, back in the bad old dot-com era, things were kind of grim around here. We went from being paper millionaires to paupers overnight, like so many folks. I was a merry housewife at the time, but as I cast about for ways to make a little extra scratch (I have promised Dan that I will tell him the worst job I ever had over a beer at Bouchercon next year; it happened during this little interlude in our lives and I swear you will never, ever guess what it was), my Dad had a great idea - that we could collaborate on a book. And so, Oliver Wendell Holmes Jr: The Supreme Court and American Legal Thought was born. I think I made $1500 and, for a matter of a few months, knew all there was to know about that Supreme Court bad boy.

Then I promptly forgot every bit of it.

The other book I wrote was on quilting. I created all my own patterns and sewed in the evenings. You would be astonished to know the depth of my quilt knowledge; I bet there's not a single technique I haven't tried or written about or researched - no notion I haven't owned - no fabric I haven't put into service, no fiber or embellishment or batting I haven't experimented with. I made wedding gowns and drapes and baby clothes too, but my quilt madness reached such heights that I started filling notebooks with my designs and notes.

But...the other day I went to fix a hole in Junior's jeans, and I'd forgotten how to thread my machine.

The point here is that I'm a fiction writer now, in the blood, and nothing else will ever hold my interest the same way. I think the stories in my head have shoved all the actual fact-type knowledge into a far corner, where it's piled up carelessly and I can't reach it. There will be no further non-fiction books from me. I tell people I'll turn back to quilting one of these days when I get a spare moment, but the truth is that I probably won't - I'll just keep writing stories. In fact, I finished a book the other day and since then I've written nothing but emails and blog posts and workshop proposals, and if I don't get to start lyin' and carrying on soon I believe I'll just about lose my sanity.


Speaking of a loss of sanity...yes, I really did once sew these fabric chickens

17 comments:

Pop Culture Nerd said...

Sophie, did your worst job involve a certain phallic medical doodad?

While your non-fiction books were undoubtedly very good, I'm so glad you're now a compulsive liar.

Jen Forbus said...

You have to go back to quilting, otherwise I'll never get this quilt put together. I made the top, but the actual quilting part...no, just lining up and pinning the top, batting and bottom gave me fits. I put it away and it's still away. The top is stunning - it's a shame! :(

I made doll clothes for my niece one year: a shirt, a pair of overalls and a night gown. I also made a diaper bag for her doll. And that's the extent of my sewing. The sewing machine and I, we just don't see eye to eye! Ha!

Now give me a crochet hook and look out, baby! :)

Shane Gericke said...

Those quilts are gorgeous, Sophie. You really know your way around a sewing machine.

As for writing nonfiction, I'm glad you choose not to. It would be a waste of your tremendous fiction talents, as CruStella DeVille clearly shows ...

Shane Gericke said...

PC Nerd, I've never heard that there medical-thingy called a "doodad." But I'm willing to learn ...

Love your website, by the way. I cruised it the other day whilst looking up other things--ah, links!--and it was tres cool. (If that's spelled right.)You are a gifted writer. So don't go into thrillers. I don't need any more competitors for readers ...

Pop Culture Nerd said...

Oh my goodness, Shane, you rendered me momentarily speechless with your generous words about my blog. Thank you hugely for reading and liking. On days when I'm mentally constipated, encouragement like yours keeps me going.

Are you sure you want to learn more about the thingymabob? It might hurt extra for men. Or maybe that's why you want it?

Hard Boiled Mysti said...

all this speculating about speculums makes me nervous.

Sophie, glad you stuck to the dark side.

I agree -- tech writing just isn't as fulfilling as it was before I started writing stories :)

Mysti

Hard Boiled Mysti said...

By the way, I'm guessing Avon, which means I may have to give back both my San Francisco residence and my noir street cred for having too clean an imagination :)

Sophie Littlefield said...

OMG PNC!!! Circle of trust! Circle of trust! I can't believe I forgot I spilled all....

Rebecca Cantrell said...

OK, Miss Littlefied. You are no longer allowed to mock Kelli and me because we are "smart historical writers." Anyone who publishes a tome on Oliver Wendell Holmes is far too smart and geeky to pull that off.

Loved the chickens. My sister collects chickens (not live ones, that's my other sister) so I've seen more than my share.

Glad you're sticking with the fiction and not the phallic medical doodad that Shane's so curious about.

Pop Culture Nerd said...

Sophie, the Circle of Trust is unbroken! (I sound like a Hobbit.) I haven't shared details (or pics) with anyone.

Shane, I re-read my note to you and it sounds so rude. I was just jokingly wondering if you like pain because I know some men who do. They think it makes them better artistes. I only like inflicting hurt.

Shane Gericke said...

I don't wanna be an artiste that badly, PC, and mama didn't raise no fools anyway, so I'm not a fan of pain, doodadded or otherwise. Except maybe spanking my woman whenever she gets too ...

Ahem. Uh. Never mind ...

Rebecca, can I mock you for being a smart historical writer, now that Kelli can't?

And Sophie, your Circle of Trust, if I may be so included in that, now demands all the juicy details of your secret life.

Also, since you're in California, are you attending the Men of Mystery conference in Orange County this weekend? I'll be there! One of the 50 Guy Authors they bring in to entertain the 500 readers who show up. Really dragging the barrel, asking me, but hell, I'll do it, need the props ...

Kelli Stanley said...

OK, Soph, the secret's out. We understand the darkness inside Stella much better, after seeing those quilted chickens ... ;)

LOVE the post, love the fact that your creativity is solidly wrapped in fiction, and love you!! :)

xoxo

Kelli

Rebecca Cantrell said...

Kelli can't mock me, Sophie can't mock me, but you can, Shane! Who doesn't want to be mocked by a Man of Mystery?

Good luck!

Kelli Stanley said...

Hey, can I be mocked by Shane, too? He's one awesome Man of Mystery!! :)

xoxo

Kelli

Sophie Littlefield said...

Wow, I drive 3 hours to Santa Rosa and 1.5 hours back (must be some sorta physics thing) and you guys get all *zesty* on me. Must be something in the air, because there was naughty talk over on pens fatales too. But you know what the common thread is....nerdery....geekism...in all its glorious forms! I still maintain that I'm historignorant, but I was never mocking you my darlings, only awestruck. Shane, someday before I am dead I am going to crash men of mystery in a full disguise, but this year I will be helping out at Cornelia's conference. You will give a full report, won't you???? g'night everyone - it got kinda late there

Shane Gericke said...

Thank you, Rebecca, consider yourself mocked. And, all right, you too, Kelli.

As for zesty, Sophie, I blame PCN. She's a rabblerouser.

Shane Gericke said...

Men of Mystery is a cool conference. It's a one-day at the Irvine Marriott in Orange County, CA. Organizer Joan Hansen invites 50 male mystery writers and 500 readers to spend the day together talking books. There's a one-minute-per-author introduction session, then a morning speaker, a two-hour lunch (author and ten fans per table), an afternoon speaker (who this year is Michael Connelly), an autograph session where readers (hopefully) buy our books and we sign them, and a cocktail party to wrap it up. I've atended the past couple years and love it. Joan sponsors a similar kind of event in the spring for female writers, but I don't know anything about it.