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Printed from http://www.writing.com/main/newsletters/action/archives/id/9320-Where-Characters-Never-Seem-to-Go.html
For Authors: January 09, 2019 Issue [#9320]




 This week: Where Characters Never Seem to Go!
  Edited by: flu-fyn
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When a child is locked in the bathroom with water running and he says he's doing nothing but the dog is barking, call 911. ~~Erma Bombeck

I've dealt with a lot of couples over the years, and most cite the battle for closet and bathroom space as one of the most frequent causes of marital discord. ~~Candice Olson

I have a little bit of an addiction to work. So I'm always hiding in the bathroom with my Blackberry to work when I'm on holiday. ~~Penelope Cruz

In a house where there are small children the bathroom soon takes on the appearance of the Old Curiosity Shop. ~~Robert Benchley

I do like to read in bed, but because I have two kids I'm often forced to read in the bathroom. ~~Eoin Colfer







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While some folks seem to be of the opinion that fictional reading is all escapism, personally, if I want to escape into fantasy, I read fantasy. But if I am wanting to read for entertainment or to relax, I tend to want some real in the equation. Super svelt women running around in mile high needle-width heels while running off to six-figure jobs in a major economic capitol of the world is not really in my wheelhouse.

I do not wear heels. Nor would I, in any economic strata I might find myself in, even consider paying five hundred dollars plus for a pair of shoes designed as a torture device. I am not now, nor have I ever been, svelte, slim, slender, skinny - I am from the Rubenesque school of genetics, and I'm okay with that. The only size 2 I wear is … oh wait. I don't. Why do these women have acres of designer-wear clothing in closets the size of my living room and somehow, miraculously acquire it without ever going shopping? And then, and then, they never, ever, do the 'shimmy-shimming, gassssp, wriggle, balancing on one foot dance trying to squirm into a pair of 'got-to-have-them' jeans when the only pair available is a size down from what fits and is comfortable?** Oh wait, I forgot, these characters don't, can't exist in a real, relatable world. **Shoutout to Mara ♣ McBain for not only the idea, but for using this concept in "Write Time for Love

Breakfast is eggs and bacon or cereal, maybe a bagel. Something I can sink my teeth into and requires chewing. Same for other meals. I've 'tried' smashed avocado on toast - epic fail for my taste buds--the screw your face up getting down that gulp of medicine--sort of fail.

I work in my jammies - because I can. I clean up just fine, thank you very much, when I need to do a meet and greet or have production meetings. I intersperse work with loads of laundry, finding dining room tables, endless dusting, vacuuming and taking care of my VIPP. (Very important publishing pooch!) I run to the 'gasp!' bathroom on a regular basis and have to go food shopping because I prefer eating to starving.

I blather to a couple of select friends when my hubby walks in the room talking and I'm trying to write or he goes to Home Depot for a furnace filter and comes home with a new leaf blower and no filter. I listen when their mother-in-law gets defensive if you dare to want at least a taste of salt on something or to eat a roast that should instead be used for shoe leather. We witch and moan, groan and complain and then have a good laugh and forget it. We stress over book titles, if scenes work or any number of things. We plot killings, plan destruction, lay out grids for earthquake damage and occasionally act out scenes with hubbies eager to stay on our good sides. All in a day's work.

When I read an entire book spanning several months and no one ever goes to the bathroom, it strikes me as odd. Oh, there might be the 'girl-confab' in a powder room at a restaurant or a sexy shower scene, but no one goes to the can, the john, the loo, the necessary, the little girl's (or men's) room, the lavatory or the outhouse for that matter. Bathrooms, once one has children, are the place to hide for a few moments of peace and relative (aside from the voices screaming mom on the other side of the door!) quiet. They are a place for a quick (usually hushed) discussion with your other half. They are also the 'middle of the night, in the dark, hard as frozen ice and an inch and a half lower drop when he forgets to lower the seat' booby trap. Real stuff. And, often, in retrospect, funny stuff.

Descriptions abound of glorious lofts, apartments, mansions with the aforementioned closet the size of Montana and the kitchen. Where, there always seems to be exactly the right ingredients for that midnight, after sex, starve-fest. Or the impromptu horde showing up at the door. Always the right wine, always that perfect meal for whatever the occasion. The fresh (!) Italian bread, the fresh tomatoes for the salad (including orange, yellow and red tomatoes, I might add.) Now, I do tend to have the tomato variety, but most don't. Most of us slog to the grocery store every week or two. The food doesn't just appear courtesy of the kitchen elves.

I like it when real stuff is in books. The stuff that actually happens, the epic fails and the meal where it all comes together perfectly. Like laundry. No one ever deals with baskets full of dirty jeans, jammies, undies and hoodies. No one searches for that one comfy sweater or those leggings with the flowers on them. Their clothes come off to be tossed on a chair or flung mid-passion on the ceiling fan, but they never deal with having it get from point A to point B. It simply vanishes from their pristine rooms.

These little things are the stuff life is made of. It's the laundry tossed on the couch because it was still in the dryer when someone else needed to dry their work jeans. It's the dishes going in and out of the dishwasher...the driveway getting shoveled, the leaves getting raked and the plants getting watered. It's the running out of milk, the coffee grounds hitting the floor or the noise of the coffee grinder going at o-dark-thirty to make coffee. It's trash days, dog walks and kid conferences. Glasses. The whole world doesn't have perfect eyesight or contacts that stay in for three months straight. It's the fumbling around for the glasses in the dark, the not hearing what he said because you didn't have your glasses on or not being able to find your reading glasses. A healthy sprinkling of real goes a long way towards making a book relatable and real.

Just saying...







STATIC
The Library Lady  (13+)
A passion for the written word brings two like souls together and life comes full circle.
#1721033 by Mara ♣ McBain


 No Room in the Bathroom  (E)
Four teenage daughters. One bathroom. Madness? You got it! Writer's Cramp, November 2.
#1491304 by Rivolta Silenziosa


STATIC
DEUX-MILLE MÉMOIRES  (13+)
a poignant peek at the cultural evolution of closely-knit family ties
#1935024 by DRSmith


 Laundry on the Floor  (E)
hehe, the prompt is: mouse, imagination, horror
#1339465 by D. Palmer


 Of Clothes and a Cat  (18+)
Do the laundry when it's due, do, dude.
#2161482 by Thankful Sonali WDC POWER!




 
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Just an insanely awesome quote I found...

Through the small tall bathroom window the December yard is gray and scratchy, the tree calligraphic. ~~Dave Eggers




Sand Castles Shopgirl 739 writes: Such a lovely and vivid recollection. I could almost see the house in my minds eye. I lived with my grandparents for a few years in a house built in 1863. It was heated with an old coal furnace. I remember the trucks coming to deliver the coal through a chute to the basement. Your trip down memory lane called up memories of my own. Just as yourself, I loved that old house. I was so sad when the house was finally deemed uninhabitable. The furnace system started emitting coal gas and the cost to replace it was too much. The place was eventually torn down....a link to the family history...and the town...lost to the ravages of time.


DRSmith says: Just read your newsie and once again its a prime example of FYN... a NATURAL personality, deliverance, and style so unique to Fyn that draws one in and captivates them; making itimpossible to escape while savoring every word of entertainment. I could picture that house; my curiosity intrigued. I wanted to (go) there tonight. Then the let down; an embedded memory. You brought me back to my own nostalgic remembrances. This IS YOU... ever so real and engaging with the reader. This is your style; it's
you. There, I've said it again. Follow that quill tip, don't try to steer it and let it flow, let it flow, let it flow.

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