Tuesday, May 30, 2006

Me, Engraved

You may have noticed that I finally have a photo up. I had been searching for the right one, and finally gave up and drew it myself.

Yes! I engraved this picture of myself, holding a mirror in my right hand. (That's why it's cut off in the picture. Yes, I am left-handed.) This is the only picture that properly captures my wit and boyish charm. A look of amused serenity catches my face as I consider the authorly welfare of my dear friends and Philistines, as the face of Abraham Lincoln upon Mount Rushmore considers the welfare of the country. He's a bit more stern, though, as a fistfighter would be.

I actually write with a quill. I find that the words flow better that way. My copy editor transfers my flowing longhand manuscripts to the blog when I drop them down to him in the dungeon. He's a computer science graduate student whose greatest ambition, bless his heart, is to publish academic papers. He spells and grammerizes [Ed: I'm not going to destroy a beautiful gem like this] as well as could be expected.

No, I am not wearing a wig. I've been working on these golden locks for ten years, and I think they're dead fetching. The last person who made fun of them found his way into a published science fiction novel as a red-shirt who was mauled to death by mutant squirrels. You have been warned.

A couple of my dear Philistines have asked questions about my last Q&A with Hooker Harlitt on writing romance novels. Here they are, in no particular order:

Q. You mentioned L. Ron Hubbard and Isaac Asimov as examples of science fiction romance novelists. What about Robert A. Heinlein? Isn't he at least ten times dirtier than Isaac Asimov?

A. Out of context, sure he is. The problem is that Heinlein's encounters aren't exactly random, in that they actually advance the story, or develop the characters, or at least make the reader think about some sick-but-intriguing thing they've never been predisposed to think about before. Sometimes.

Q. What about Piers Anthony?

A. Piers who?

Q. Hi. My question is about Yvonne and Fabio in your examples. I noticed that they were in a room full of people. Wasn't there an empty room nearby? This being a science fiction novel, couldn't they have put up an opaque force field or stopped time (or slowed it down until it's negligible), or, like, mind-melded everyone around them, or transported themselves or everyone else away first? I mean, in short, couldn't they have been more discreet?

A. No.

Q. Mark here. I want to write a romance novel, but I can't figure out what an "encounter" should consist of. Are they, like, playing Pinochle or something? I think they're playing dirty because you mentioned people throwing furniture and shouting.

A. Yes, Mark, that's right. That's exactly what they're doing: playing dirty Pinochle. Good luck on your romance novel!


At 12:00 AM, Anonymous justchris said...

Dear Mr. Writing Person,

I am very impressed with just how wicked literate you are and was hoping that you could help me with an epic fantasy novel I am writing in the vein of Lord of the Rings. Except without Lords or Rings, as those have, obviously, been somewhat overdone. However, lacking in rings, I find myself in need of something to replace them with. What would you suggest?

At 9:19 AM, Blogger Mr. Writing Person said...

You could always use Great Uncle Abner's Vambraces, or a pair of magical pants. However you do it, if you're writing a fantasy novel, you do need some sort of MacGuffin.

I'll be addressing this in a later installment, actually, along with quest coupons. Stay tuned!


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