Six LDS Writers and A Frog

Friday, July 11, 2008

Just When You Were Hoping for a Blog From Kerry

by Stephanie Black

I apologize profoundly for not being Kerry. I know you all look forward to Kerry’s Friday blogs, and when she posted on Wednesday, you probably hoped you’d get a double treat this week from her. So sorry. We just switched days for the week.

Amazingly, I remembered I was supposed to blog on Friday, which is impressive when you consider that I forgot my own zip code yesterday. I was trying to order something over the phone and when the nice lady asked for my zip code, I drew a blank. It was very odd. I finally managed to come up with some numbers, but I wasn’t sure they were altogether right, and while we talked, I Googled my zip code and sure enough, I’d given her the wrong one. So I gave her the correct one and she was very kind and didn’t act like I was a dingbat or anything, but I was unnerved. I didn’t realize I was losing my marbles quite that badly. “I need a vacation,” I told my husband. “You have girls’ camp coming up,” he told me. “Girls’ camp is the antithesis of vacation,” I responded, at which point he wasn’t sure I’d used the word “antithesis” correctly--he was thinking of it in a Hegelian dialectical sense, or something like that, because, frankly, he’s a lot smarter than I am. I wouldn't know a Hegelian dialectic if it crawled out from under the couch and bit me on the ankle. But I am a Word Person, so, confronted with the thought that I'd misused a word, I got out of bed and looked it up. Yeah, it was 11:30 at night, but some things just can’t wait. My meaning (direct opposite) was perfectly legitimate, so I felt vindicated.

In other news, I now have a working title for my work-in-progress, and . . . drum roll, please . . . it came from the list of suggestions blog readers gave me last week. Working title is Picture Perfect—a big thank you to Melanie Jacobson for suggesting it. And Melanie, since I’m using your suggestion, if you’ll send your snail mail address to writetostephanie(at)comcast(dot)net, I’ll send you a copy of whichever of my books you’d like (okay, there are only two choices . . . ).

If the book is accepted, I don’t know what the final title will be, but it’s great to have something to call it right now besides novel4. The title Picture Perfect actually reflects the story on a few different levels, which is cool. I finished the third draft, but still have a bit of work I want to do on it before I sent it to my test readers next week.

That first test read is a little scary. Or a lot scary. Definitely somewhere on the scale of scariness. Right now, feedback is a Big Blank Unknown. The only person who has an opinion on what I've written is me. Soon, that will change, and I'll start to find out how well the story really works. Yikes. What if the feedback is, “Yuck. Start over.”?

Well, better to hear that from a test reader than to read it in a rejection letter from my publisher.


At 7/11/2008 3:31 PM, Blogger Annette Lyon said...

Great working title. I'm of the novel4 working title persusation; it's too hard for me to rename my baby if I've grown attached to my version. That, and I'm terrible at titles.

(Way to use antithesis correctly--and to look it up. See, we WERE separated at birth! I would have done exactly the same thing.)

At 7/11/2008 4:09 PM, Blogger Kimberly said...

I'm a new reader so I've no idea who this Kerry person even is. I'm quite delighted with your post and am experiencing no disappointment whatsoever.

I'm with Annette. I would've looked it up too.

I'm not an author (yet?), so I don't quite know the supreme terror it must be to share your completed work with someone, but I can well imagine. I'm shuddering a bit at the thought.

At 7/11/2008 5:02 PM, Blogger Melanie J said...

Wow! How cool! I'm glad you liked the title. Titles are actually the easiest thing for me....with other people's (peoples'?) work!

This must be good karma for starting Fool Me Twice last night (great opening!). Except for the whole thing about how we don't believe in karma.

So I'm glad I could help and I would love, love, love a copy of The Believer. I'll definitely send you my snail mail info and take you up on your kind offer.

At 7/11/2008 5:08 PM, Blogger RobisonWells said...

What? Stephanie today, not Kerry? Heck with this.

At 7/11/2008 5:20 PM, Blogger Kerry Blair said...

Nor am I disappointed! And half the time I can't remember who I am either, let alone my zip code. I AM wondering how one becomes a member of that elect group of test readers you mentioned. (Must one be born to it, or can you be begged, bribed and/or blackmailed?)

I'm also wondering if Melanie is related to Vivian Leigh. I glanced at her picture up there and thought, "Wow. Scarlett O'Hara reads Stephanie's blogs!" Too gorgeous.

At 7/11/2008 8:30 PM, Blogger Janette Rallison said...

I've forgotten my own phone number on more than one occasion. That's the beauty of being an author. People don't think you're crazy they think you're creative.

At 7/11/2008 8:59 PM, Blogger Jennie said...

Good job, Stephanie. I'm frequently embarassed because I don't remember a name or a number. When I worked at the library my security code that enabled me to enter the building and staff areas were the same digits as my zip code, but in a slightly different order. I never could remember either one at the right time. Most of my life I've done a lot of adlibbing, but now that I'm working at the temple, ad libbing isn't allowed, and I'm counting on a lot of Help in the remembering department.

At 7/11/2008 9:29 PM, Blogger Stephanie Black said...

I just wrote a comment and then hit the button to close the window and deleted the whole thing instead of posting it. I am really losing it.

But I'm relieved to know I'm not the only one who forgets pesky things like zip codes (and I'm glad I'm not the only one who would jump out of bed to look up a word!)

Kimberly, welcome to the Frog Blog! Kerry is our usual Friday blogger and is one of the most delightfully talented writers on the planet.

Kerry, I'm open to bribes :)

Melanie, I'm so excited that you're reading Fool Me Twice!

At 7/12/2008 12:20 AM, Blogger Melanie J said...

Kerry....thank you!

At 7/12/2008 1:31 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

You think forgeting you zip is bad? Earlier I was typing and for the life of me, I could not find the S key on the keyboard. I hit everything except the S and finally had to look down to find the stupid thing.

At 7/12/2008 1:01 PM, Blogger Stephanie Black said...

I could totally see myself doing that . . .

At 7/14/2008 1:31 PM, Blogger Jon Spell said...

I never remember my age. It rarely comes up! So there I am at the doctor's office and asked the fateful question:

Me: "Um, hang on, I can figure this out - this is 2008, haven't had my birthday yet, therefore, I must be..." My age was incorrect on my marriage license for this very reason, except that I figured it incorrectly. (We got it fixed.)

At 7/15/2008 12:36 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Forgot your zip code? Zoiks! I only forget stupid things like my blogger ID when I want to leave a comment, which is why this one is 'anonymous'


At 7/15/2008 2:57 PM, Blogger Julie Wright said...

did your husband really tell you girl's camp is a vacation? I'm all astonishment. I forget stuff all the time so don't worry about the zip code. We aren't supposed to remember numbers . . . just words.


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