25 March 2012

Are You One of the Seven Lucky Authors of Spring?

Spring Break (how sweet the sound...) has blithely passed with scarcely any bit of quality production achieved.

As the annual celebration of fecundity comes and goes, I always have such great plans only to see them thwarted at every turn.
I had planned to finish a conference paper, edit Book II of The Dream Land trilogy, and other important tasks. I did manage to sit in the local DMV for 8 hours across two days, which is an underrated environment for collecting quirky characters for one's writing (that's a blog entry in itself).

So I was all set to 
moan and complain, which can make for a beautifully self-indulgent blog entry. However, before I could turn my attention to my own world-threatening problems, my writer colleague and fellow blogger Connie J Jasperson has stepped in with a strange activity that harbors deeply alien compulsions and may prove enticingly weird.

To whit:

"I have been tagged by Connie J Jasperson in the Lucky Seven Meme. What is a meme? Okay, not everybody knows--I didn't but Teresa Cypher explained that a meme is an idea, behavior, style, or usage that spreads from person to person within a culture."

(*For more info on this ancient Greek rhetorical device which has recently fallen into contemporary mainstream usage, I refer you to Richard Brodie's book Virus of the Mind [1996]; it is especially relevant in this social media age where every little irrelevant dingle-poo becomes the latest craze ["goes viral"] and is half-a-second later replaced by a still newer morsel of meme. But I digress....)

The rules, straight from Connie’s blog: 
Once you are tagged:

*go to page 77 of your current WIP 
*go to line 7

First obstacle: what exactly IS my current Work-in-Progress? I am working on Book III of The Dream Land trilogy but have not yet arrived at a finished page 77. In that light, Book II might be considered my WIP, although I am also rewriting my Japanese romance mystery, AIKO.

Next conundrum: Is that page 77 in double-spaced or single-spaced version? I usually work single-spaced until preparing the manuscript for sending out or printing. I shall opt for single-spaced, since that is how a reader will ultimately see the text when it is published. (I'm a bit upset that there is no presumption of 777 pages in my WIP!)

*copy down the next 7 lines/sentences as written and post them on your blog or website 

Another conundrum! I have identified the required selection of text but I know it will not make any sense if I share only those lines. We need context; otherwise, they are just sentences bursting from out of the blue. So I shall offer the lines, then offer the context.

“It’s my job, Chuck. I write reports about all of my cases.” [said Dr. Toni Franck]
She began to move around the sofa back to her desk, keeping the furniture between herself and the detective.
“You’re always talking to him, listening to him. I don’t even get your smile. That bastard is here to be punished, you know. And he sees more of you than I do. You don’t even return my calls anymore. You don’t talk to me. You don’t listen. Why can’t you ever listen to me?”
He intercepted her in front of her desk. She held her ground.
“I was listening to you,” Toni responded.
“No, dammit!” He pressed against her, took her wrists in his two hands. “You did not listen to me. You keep talking about that psycho murderer. You never stop talking about him. What, are you in love with him or something?”
“Chuck, I’ve had enough of this.”

[That's seven, but I'll add 3 more as a bonus. Continuing...]

“You’re always talking about him, but when I ask you any questions—like, it’s my frickin’ job, ya know—then you never answer, and say it’s your goddamn patient-doctor privilege. Well, what other privileges does this damn patient of yours have, huh?”
“I can understand why she’s your ex-.”
She watched in horror as his face burned into a deep crimson.

Here is the Context:

The conversation is between Dr. Toni Franck, the psychiatrist of our hero, Sebastian Talbot (a.k.a. the interdimensional voyager known as Set-d'Elous), and the detective Chuck McElroy, who is part of the team investigating the murders of Talbot's IRS service center co-workers two years earlier. After awakening from a short coma, Talbot has been in an asylum for the criminally insane, yet Franck recognizes he is not the usual kind of patient; in fact, she is charmed by him. One of the missing-presumed-murdered people is Chuck's ex-wife, Tammy Tucker, who Talbot insisted when arrested and interrogated (that's before the coma, which was caused by a gunshot wound, which...long story, you know....) is still alive and well, living on that other world which is accessible through the interdimensional portal. Chuck interviewed Franck and developed a relationship; they went out a couple of times for dinner, presumably so he could get more information from her about the patient (Talbot) but Chuck starts to be attracted to her. This conversation occurs in her office; Chuck has arrived to take her to dinner but everything goes wrong.
I put my own spin on the rules by selecting seven paragraphs, since they are short and mostly one liners anyway. I hope that doesn't get me banned or, worse, that I'll die in 7 hours 7 minutes for breaking the thread.

*tag 7 other authors
*let them know they've been tagged

The seven Connie tagged were:

1. Joan Hazel at Momma Joan Explains It All

2. Stephen Swartz Deconstruction of the Sekuatean Empire (Yeah, me!)

3. Kathleen Barker at Dashboard Confessions of an Undisciplined Mind

4. Brooklyn Hudson at Wishbone & More

5. Carlie Cullen at Carlie M A Cullen

6. Lisa Zhang Wharton at Eccentric Asians and Man Eating Pandas

7. Johanna Garth at Losing Sanity 

The difficult aspect for me is selecting the seven lucky bloggers to whom I shall pass on my meme/virus. You see, the seven listed above are the seven I would have sent this to. They do not wish to be attacked again by the same meme, I think. Thus, I shall delve into my list of fellow bloggers and wave my magic wand to determine who the lucky seven shall be. (This list has nothing to do with how dear to my heart they are or any semblance of a hierarchy.)

Rachel Tsoubakos at Rachel Tsoubakos

Danielle Raver at Philosophies of a Young Heart

Gary Hoover at The Author's Studio/Land of Nod trilogy

Dean Lappi at Dean Lappi

Alison DeLuca at Alison DeLuca

Ceri Clark at CeriClark.com

Roxanne Barbour at Roxanne S. Barbour, Author

These are my Lucky Seven. We shall be in touch. If I have inadvertently put you on the list even though you have been tagged by someone else, please smile and consider yourself extra lucky. What you do with that luck is your decision alone, so choose wisely. And be kind.

(C) Copyright 2010-2011 by Stephen M. Swartz. All Rights Reserved. No part of this blog, whether text or image, may be used without me giving you written permission, except for brief excerpts that are accompanied by a link to this entire blog. Violators shall be written into novels as characters who are killed off. Serious violators shall be identified and dealt with according to the laws of the United States of America.

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