Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Voices In My Head

I spent several days last week with people who have voices in their heads. It didn't worry me too much, though, because I have them too. Now before you log off my blog and start researching exorcists, let me assure you I'm completely sane. Well, mostly sane. I went to the American Christian Fiction Writers' Annual Conference in Minneapolis last week. Most writers will tell you that their characters occasionally talk to them. Usually when you're trying to get them to do something that's not true to their character or personality. Sometimes when you write the characters just seem to take over and go in directions you never planned.
Fiction writers tend to be a little odd. They like to eavesdrop and people-watch because it gives them fodder for their stories. They also like to brainstorm. There were some pretty interesting conversations to eavesdrop on this past week!
It was so much fun to be with people who don't think you're weird when you ask for a good resource for poisons. Not only do they not look at you in a funny way, but several will offer their favorite websites and/or books on the topic!
Of course, it's not all fun and games. I heard about one conference where writers were spinning a plot to kill off a husband. A maid overheard and thought they were talking about real life. She called the police and turned them in. Fortunately, the hotel staff last week seemed to get the "fiction" part of our conference.
I got a whole lot of good ideas from this conference, had a good meeting with an editor and an agent--the editor already has my manuscript, the agent asked for a proposal--and now I'm home, all fired up and read to write. Well, I will be as soon as I catch up with my kids ... and get around to unpacking ... and finish submitting my proposal ...
Anyway, I noticed something odd about the voices in my head. It's actually one voice, and it sounds annoyingly like my husband. See, I tend to be kind of quiet and shy at these types of things. I'd much rather hang back and quietly observe all that's going around me. But I can't. My family really sacrificed so that I could go and I need to make the most of every opportunity. So I constantly find the voice in my head prompting me to get out of my comfort zone and take advantage of the networking opportunities before me. It's always asking me, "Why didn't you follow up on that? Are you going to speak up here? Surely you're not heading back to your room yet." Yep. it's annoying and it sounds just like my husband. I hate it when he's in my head.

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