Not Writing

The Hunt for Snotsquache

You ever pull out a really big booger and find a hair in it?

Me neither.

820298517_1395116947Digging in your nose, that’s a disgusting habit. So disgusting, in fact, that people only do it when they’re locked in a room, all by themselves, and no one can see them. . . Or when they’re stuck in traffic.

What’s the rationale behind that? “I’m alone in my car. No one will ever see me here. I’m practically invisible. I’ll go knuckle deep after a nose nugget. As long as I don’t make eye contact, the hot blonde in the car next to me won’t see me through this thin layer of glass separating us.”

So, you go for it, tentative at first, with just the tip of your finger — maybe just your fingernail if you haven’t clipped them in a while. But it’s a slippery little booger, and it squirms a little deeper.

You check the blonde. She’s texting someone. Probably her boyfriend. Probably sending him a picture of the ogre picking his noes in traffic. You don’t care, this is war, and you’ve got a cliff hanger on the rim of your nasal cavity, so you go for it.
If successful, Budweiser will probably make a Real Men of Genius commercial about you. So you keep going until you scratch the inside of your eyeball, all the while, hoping like hell you don’t hit a bump and shove your finger through your brain and kill yourself.

 THAT would be embarrassing. Can you imagine that conversation between your distraught mother and the Emergency Room doctor?

Between deep sobs, you mom manages to gut out the question. “Doctor, how’d he die?”

The doctor shoves his hands deep into his pockets and sighs. “I’m sorry ma’am, it was a severe NPA. We did all we could, but we were too late.”

You mom peers through teary eyes, and a look of confusion washes over her face. “NPA?”

“Nose-Picking Accident. One of the worst I’ve ever seen. The force of his finger against the inside of his skull dislocated his second knuckle. That must have been on serious snot drop.”

Then, all of your friends would have to read that in your obituary the next day. Sad.

boogerBut right there, in traffic, not even the threat of eminent embarrassing death can deter you on your hunt for Snotsquache. When you extract your digit, victorious, you admire the green goo on your fingertip. The way it glistens in the beam of oncoming headlights. How could something so big come from such a small opening? And it hits you.

Now what?

It’s not like you can wipe it on anything. You’re in your car. If you were at a restaurant, you could scrape it off under the table like an old piece of gum. Or if you were in bed at your girlfriend’s house, and she was, oh, I don’t know, in the bathroom, you could smear it between the mattress and the boxspring. But you’re in your car. So you just wipe it on the sole of your shoe and try not to step on anything until you get out.

Disgusting habit. That’s what I think about when I should be writing.

Advertisements
Categories: Life Or Something Like It, Not Writing | Tags: , , , , | Leave a comment

Wanted: Muse

muses morgantownI told you I wasn’t writing. So, why are you here?

I didn’t write a single word in November. “No big deal,” you say. But in writing circles, November is like two-a-day practices during football training camp. November is National Novel Writer Month. A frenzied dash to spew words on a page. Any words. As long as you get 50,000 consecutive words that make any kind of sense and tell a story, no matter how lame it may be.

I wrote zero.

It’s not that I didn’t want to. I couldn’t.

You see, I’m two-thirds of the way through a story now, and my muse has abandoned me. I don’t usually freak out over writer’s block. The words come and go when they will. But most days, I can at least force out a few paragraphs worthy of deleting from my laptop. I haven’t added one word to this story in more than two months.

Shame too. This story has it all. A hero, a villain, a double-agent, murder, intrigue, drugs, politics, back-stabbing co-workers, cops, robbers, drug dealers, technology, plot twists, lies, love, sex, hints of lesbianism, lions, tigers, and bears.

The hero was just about to find the crucial piece of evidence that would send him on his sprint to the finish when my hussy of a muse walked out the door. She has left me to my own devices to solve this mystery, and I have no clue: no smoking gun, no deep throat, no documents through the transom. Not even a cryptic dream where Elvis karate chops treasure chest of Scoobie Snacks and finds the mask Old Man Swanson was using to scare people away from the amusement park so he could buy the land for cheap and turn it into pot emporium.

So, what’s a writer to do? Well, not write . . . again.

Categories: Not Writing | Leave a comment

Wing Girl’s Man, Nic Tatano

A couple weeks ago, I blogged about Nic Tatano‘s new book Wing Girl.

9780007548583For years guys have cruised bars using the “wing man” as a divide and conquer weapon designed to liberate a gorgeous woman from her not-so-beautiful friend.

Meet Belinda Carson, Wing Girl.

She’s a kick-ass, take-no-prisoners investigative reporter fighting for truth, justice and higher ratings. But while her fame draws in the hotties, it’s unfortunate that you can’t buy a new personality at Bloomingdales!

Because up close and personal these unsuspecting suitors get fried by a snarky attitude that’s sharp enough to slice a stale bagel…
which leaves her grateful friends to swoop in for the delectable leftovers!

Only enough is enough – isn’t it time for Belinda to stop taking one for the team and land her own Mr Right?

And while it may be odd for a guy like me to read something like this. I find it more odd that a guy would write it. So I just had to pick the author’s brain. And it gives me yet another excuse to not write. Please welcome to the blog, Nic Tatano.

I’ve gotta admit, it’s a little intimidating interviewing another journalist. So, I guess the first question is an easy one. Say and spell your name so I make sure I get it right.

This reminds me of a time I asked that question of a teenager and got Y-O-U-R-N-A-M-E.

Anyway, Nic Tatano. Nic is short for my middle name, Nicholas. I’ve got too much journalism stuff published under my first name, Randy, so I needed something else. My late father was named Nick, and I can hear him saying, “You’re using my name? To write chick lit?”

You have to admit, a guy writing chick-lit is a bit of a novelty. Where’d that idea come from?

I went to a two week writer’s boot camp and we were assigned to read twelve books of different genres. One of the books was The Princess Diaries. I dreaded reading it but discovered it was hysterical and the author had a snarky voice I could relate to. I figured I had been around enough sarcastic women over the years and heard enough sex talk in newsrooms that I could pull it off.

Flipping the dating world on its ear makes this story a whole lot of fun. Watching Belinda (Wing Girl) Carson shoot down prospective one-night stands is a breath of fresh air in a romance novel. I’m sure someone as debonaire as yourself was never spurned, so where did those scenes come from?

First, I didn’t go out on a date till I was nineteen. When you’re a Star Trek fanboy with no money in Connecticut and drive your mother’s station wagon, you’re not exactly a chick magnet. (By the way, I never owned a pair of Spock ears, but have been to several conventions.)

As for those great lines to shoot down guys, I’ve heard a lot of them in newsrooms on Mondays when women were recapping their weekends. (Most of this was before political correctness, when the world was actually fun.)

Your main character, Belinda Carson is a newsroom hot-shot. I’m sure some of her inspiration came from your years working in news. Ever meet anyone as tenacious, yet socially unaware as she seems to be?

I’ve met a lot of people like that, though most of them were guys. It seems like a lot of people in the news business think they’re bulletproof because they’re on camera, then find out it doesn’t mean much in the real world when it comes to relationships.

In my mind, the characters are what really stand out in this story. (My favorite was Roxy. The mouth on that woman.) How many bars did you have to hang around to find them, and how many drinks did you have to buy before they let you into their secret cougar meetings?

I’ve never hung out in bars. But if you dropped by any of our Italian family gatherings, you’d meet a bunch of Roxannes. You should hear my cousins from Jersey. They’re all loud, spunky, talk with their hands, take no prisoners, have no tolerance for men who misbehave and have no qualms about kicking their asses if they do.

As for the “secret cougar meetings” I was once invited by a women’s fiction author to dinner with her writer’s group, of which all the members were women. Once the wine started flowing I think they forgot I was there and the sex talk was off the charts. It was like a living version of Letters to Penthouse.

How much trouble did this get you into with your wife, and how expensive was the make-up gift? Kobe Bryant proportions?

Here’s the deal: when you’re married to a spunky redhead with green eyes and freckles, you write your main character as a spunky redhead with green eyes and freckles. Then you refer to her as “hot” during the entire book. Problem solved.

Also, if you look at the book cover, you’ll notice the silhouette is of a woman with red hair. Originally it was all dark, but I asked the cover artist to add the red. Now my wife points at the cover and says, “That’s me!”

Seriously, she had no problem with it and thought the book was a lot of fun.

When you distill this story down to its essence, it’s about relationships and preconceptions. What literary preconceptions did you have to smash as a man writing romantic comedy for women?

It was really important that my critique partner for this book was a woman. In fact, I’ve always had a female critique partner. No matter what kind of book you write, you’re going to have characters of the opposite sex, so it helps to have someone of that sex review your work.

But when I sent the book out to editors and agents, I was careful not to say anything that would lead them to believe I was a guy.

I could easily see this story on the silver screen. Have you give any thought to who would play any of the characters? (Please say Marissa Tome as Roxy. I’ve got a thing for her.)

Yeah, Marisa Tomei’s voice from My Cousin Vinny was in my head when I was writing Roxanne’s lines. A lot of actors try to fake a New York accent, but hers is perfect. (And a lot of guys have a thing for her.)

As for the Belinda, Amy Adams or Sarah Rafferty (Donna on Suits) would be perfect. I think Hilarie Burton (Sara on White Collar) would be great as Ariel while Serena could be played by Rachel Nichols (Kiera on Continuum.)

Any final words for men trying to land a Belinda . . . or in my case, Roxy?

If you’re going after an independent woman from the New York area, accept her independence, but don’t forget to open doors for her. She wants to be able to take care of herself, but appreciates old fashioned chivalry.

But if you forget her birthday, you’re a dead man.

Are you the least bit worried, that now that you have laid bare women’s secrets that, there may be a squad of nimble but deadly ninjettes in black yoga pants trying to take you out before you can tell the stories of Belinda’s wing girls?

I think women still have plenty of secrets we’ll never figure out. As for the ninjettes in yoga pants, sounds like a superhero movie that would probably break records at the box office.

Wing Girl

Tatano’s Blog

Tatano on Good Reads

Nic’s Facebook Page

Categories: Authors, Not Writing | Tags: , , , , , | Leave a comment

Wing Girl

I knew Nic Tatano before he was Nic Tatano.

He and I were colleagues during my formative years as a television storyteller. The dude’s got a dry wit and a sarcastic tongue sharp enough to shave with. (Now there’s an image you want while eating your bagel.) It helped that we were both trapped in television news hell. We both knew he wasn’t long for local news.

Now the dude I used to snicker at has the whole world laughing at him . . . or at least he hopes to. See, NIc has taken all that stuff he knew about the whack-jobs inside the newsroom and the New York bar scene and turned it into a romantic comedy . . . with a twist, of course.

9780007548583Wing Girl turns the dating world on it’s head. Belinda Carson is a hard-nosed investigative reporter by day and an attention magnet by night. Her fame attracts men like moths to a flame. Her lack of style and biting wit guts them like a hunter field dressing a moose. Then her friends swoop in to pick up the pieces — the classic wing man in reverse.

When Belinda decides it’s time to settle down, her friends, three stereo-typical New Yawkuhs, take their wing girl to charm school. With a makeover that sends her from frumpy pup to top dog at the bar, and a quick lesson in what not to say, Belinda soon becomes the target of every swinging dick on the street. But how will it effect her hard-nosed image? And with which of her many suiters will Wing Girl eventually settle down?

I literally laughed out loud while reading this book. Belinda and her friends are a hoot. Tatano serves up a sarcastic blend of romance and comedy in a story that’s as easy to read (I read it in 2 nights.) as it is sweet.

Don’t come here looking for newsroom dish. If you press him, I’m sure Tatano will tell you he took some liberties with the news scenes, but those are few, and not the main focus of the story. Where it shines is in the bar room where the Belinda and friends, all strong, independent, and successful, dish on the do’s and don’ts of dating in the 21st century.

The fact that this was written by a man should scare the bejesus out of women. Yes, we’ve figured out your game, but have no fear, we’re still too dumb to use it against you. Wing Girl could easily transition to the big screen — a sort of Bride’s Maids of the Barroom — starring Maris Tomei, Tina Fey, Isla Fischer, and Christina Applegate as Belinda.

If you’re in the market for something light with a lot of laughs give my piasan Nic a read. You’ll never look at a barroom full of women the same again.

Categories: Not Writing | Tags: , , , | 2 Comments

What Are You Looking At?

Photo0504What are you looking for? I told you I wasn’t writing.

See, that’s the trouble with any kind of writing — news, blogs, fiction — it’s all the same. It’s hard.

You sit yourself at the keyboard and demand that words flow from your mind, through your fingers, to the screen. Then —

Ooh, there’s a text message.

I wonder what’s in the fridge?

Ah, yes, writing. I think my headphones are broken.

See, I’m not one of those people who must wait for inspiration to strike to put pen to paper. Inspiration is lightning-fast, a flash of brilliance that rushes through the cortex as your fingers race to capture its essence.

Looks like rain.

No matter how nimble your digits, they will never keep up. Better to sit and type endless crap, rip it to shreds, and start over. Those little scraps make great mulch for the hamster cage. Which, incidentally, is a more appropriate place for most of my writing.

Touchdown!

Seriously, who can write with all these distractions.

Categories: Not Writing | Tags: , , | Leave a comment

Create a free website or blog at WordPress.com.

the warble

the official blog of Karen Ullo, author

Todd Rossnagel

My phone calls me "Horse Nail"

Ubiquitous Bubba's Blog

Books, Characters, Alien Poetry, and Ponderings

Foul Mouthed Hooligans

Stories so good, you'll need to wash your mouth out with soap.

Live to Write - Write to Live

We live to write and write to live ... professional writers talk about the craft and business of writing

The Life and Times of Nathan Badley...

just like Moby Dick, but shorter and less whale-oriented.

Model Husband

This is not a relationship blog

THE RIVER WALK

Daily Thoughts and Meditations as we journey together with our Lord.

TNcoonass

A Louisiana boy finds a home in Tennessee

baton rouge music studios

225.769.6225 | contact@brmusicstudios.com

R. D. Harless

That's a hot box of cereal

live apartment fire

Confessions of a grey-headed reporter