So in keeping with the recent theme of referring to my novels as my gorillas (see previous blog on Craig Ferguson’s noveling quote), let’s explore the idea that your gorilla might be with you because it scares everyone else off. Allow me to explain. NaNoWriMo is coming up, which has me prepping what characters will be in my story. I am leaning towards a ghost or demon as the antagonist, but I wanted to bring in aspects of a serial killer to the character as well. To this point, I’ve dug out my reference books and have been researching serial killers and their characteristics the last couple days.
Nothing keeps people from sitting near you at the bagel shop more than you enjoying your pumpkin bagel with schmear, sipping your Autumn roast coffee and flipping through a book entitled The Serial Killer Files. In an effort of full disclosure, it actually disturbed me a bit that I could eat while reading some of those sections. Just a bit. Not enough to stop drinking my coffee. There ain’t much in this world that’ll make me turn my back on the magical bean.
My second scheduled stop (as I am getting into the NaNo schedule early to reduce the shock) was at The Victory – my normal local coffee shop. My reading material garnered less strange looks there as they are kind of used to that sort of thing. It really is one of the reasons why I like going there. Having the book out and reading it doesn’t immediately send up red flags. That level of comfort could only last for so long though.
Parking at work I had a decision to make. My choices were to leave the book out and hope nobody saw it in my truck, or bring it with me and deal with the looks personally. I chose to bring it with me. Which meant that of course someone would be walking into the Field House at the same time as me. They aren’t aware that I write in my personal time. That means I just look like the next person to be described on the news as being a “nice, but quiet guy.” At the same time I’ve been learning how to deal with those looks most of my life – before I even became a writer.
My family has learned to deal with my eccentricities. I’m pretty sure my father didn’t pause too much when I called him up and asked what would be the facilities contingencies at a hospital if the power was to suddenly go out and where would be the likely location for their backup generators. Honestly, I think that probably ranks pretty low on the weird-shit-o-meter readings he’s seen over the years. Which is a good thing.
My next step is to flesh out part of my living will. Which is to say, write up a set of instructions to be carried out in the event of my untimely demise. Or even in the event of my timely demise. Basically a list of “clean this shit up before strangers are let in through my things.”
In this electronic day and age, think about it. Who will close out your Facebook with one final post before deleting the account? Do you really want the account fully gone before backing up the good stuff? (Photos, etc.) Who will post something to Twitter and your blog to let people you interact with know? Mrs. Zombie isn’t really on the “tweetybox” so has no contact with my online friends. And that doesn’t even consider the stuff in your house.
My research shelf should be dealt with by family. They will know I wasn’t a recluse serial killer planning one final spree before going down in a hail of gunfire. At least I hope they will know that. My shelf of goodies on psychological disorders, serial killers, weapons, martial arts, occult, mythology and historical battles/politics will paint quite the odd picture. Add that to my gun safe and collection of survival gear, knives and sword. Yeah, it just screams guy who should be mentioned using a three name string.
I’ll leave you with a final interaction I had on Twitter a year or two back. An author friend lamented about how her husband responded to her question about where the liver was with the answer of not telling her for his own safety (or something along those lines). I replied with a simple, “So he didn’t want to tell you it is about 2-3″ to the left as you are facing someone from the navel, just under the ribs and about 2-2.5″ deep to puncture and cause internal bleeding?” I had to respond with a quick, “Sorry, that was pretty creepy.” Not only did she claim she was used to getting “that look” from talking like that in public, but that was also just what she was looking for. Twisted minds think alike, and I had used the liver thing in the WIP I had been working on at the time.
What would the “normals” think of your gorilla? What parts of your story would seem strange if people came across it in your notes?