Tuesday, May 29, 2007

8 Things Meme

I like being tagged for a meme because it means I'm part of a group. However, because I pretend this is a professional blog, if I take part in a meme, I have to connect it to writing or books. You've been warned.

Camille tagged me with the 8 Things Meme. So did MotherReader! I have never been so popular.

Each player lists 8 facts/habits about themselves. The rules of the game are posted at the beginning before those facts/habits are listed. At the end of the post, the player then tags 8 people and posts their names, then goes to their blogs and leaves them a comment, letting them know that they have been tagged and asking them to read your blog.

(By the way, I'm sure I took part in a meme similar to this a couple of years ago, but I can't find it now. I hope I'm not repeating myself.)

1. We live in a town with poor water quality. Our well is a shaft directly to hell. Periodically, our water treatment system fails us. Thus, over the years I have spent a lot of time in Laundromats. I'm on a first name basis with the Laundromat ladies at my local fluff 'n' fold. I meet people I know there. A Laundromat is going to figure prominently in The Durand Cousins. I'm about to write a Laundromat chapter.

2. We have a friend who owns two self-storage complexes. This is a great source of fun for this guy because he knows I'm a use-it-or-lose-it type, meaning you don't rent space to store what you can't use, you get rid of it. I hear more about self-storage than I need to. So, of course, I've been planning to put a self-storage complex in The Durand Cousins because, as I just implied, I believe in using whatever you've got.

3. I've recently decided to drop the self-storage complex from The Durand Cousins because when writing you have to have a compelling reason for everything you put into a book. I didn't have a compelling reason for that self-storage complex, so I got rid of it. (Note: I got rid of it. I didn't rent space to store it.)

4. As I have mentioned here before, I have taken only one graduate course and the only thing I truly learned there was not to begin sentences, paragraphs, and complete works with the words "It was." I have become obsessed with this. I can barely control myself when I see those words at the beginning of a paragraph or a book or story. I've thought, He won X Award and he started this thing with 'It was?' What were the judges thinking? If "it was" in other peoples' writing was something I could fix, the way you can fix the pillows on other peoples' couches, I would be frantially erasing and reworking sentences all the time.

5. When I was younger, I was always writing stories about women's experiences, probably because of the influence of feminism. Feminism is not a bad thing. Evidently my stories about women's experiences were.

6. When I was in high school I wrote a story for the school paper that a reporter for the local city paper published over his by-line, word for word. My mother's response was that I should cut him a break (to paraphrase her) because he was an old man. Which was true. He was well enough known that we knew he was an old man, and he still stole a kid's article.

7. When I was in either college or soon thereafter, I saw an article in The New York Times Magazine on a bunch of writers named John--John Irving, John Updike, maybe John Cheever, definitely John Gardner. (He was very distinctive looking. Couldn't miss him, couldn't forget him.) This article was way, way over my head. I couldn't understand any of what these guys had to say. I was extremely discouraged. I didn't see how I could ever be a writer when I couldn't understand other writers.

8. I read Roald Dahl's short stories for adults before I read his books for children. I never cared for his books for children, but I liked his short stories a lot. I would call them an influence.

I tag:







I'm coming up short of people to tag, but I'm guessing this thing will get all over the place, anyway.


Kelly said...

You know I've never read Dahl's stories for adults. Put them on the pile...

Lee said...

I'm not sure I ought to thank you for this meme thingy, especially because I'm on your 'short list', but I'll do it because we both seem to have a rather sardonic attitude to life and don't mind saying what we think.

As to plot, there's lots of contrarian stuff to say, starting with the inculcated expectations of our times. Let's continue this conversation ...

Gail Gauthier said...

I worry that some people will think being tagged for a meme is like being hit with a chain letter. I know people who get ugly about receiving those.

MotherReader said...

I love the way you make even the basic meme just so darn interesting. And it's mostly about writing and reading, so you can feel A-Okay about putting it on your blog.