Wednesday, May 23, 2007

It's a Personal Problem

Things are getting desperate when I start to annoy myself. DH has always said that watching TV with me is irritating because I tend to pick shows apart. I love CSI (Vegas only), but I have to admit I'm either guessing the ending or commenting on motivation and the convenient placement of evidence (come on, if they were to run a vacuum over my rug, there would be a lot more in it than one suspicious white fiber and a strand of the suspect's hair complete with follicle so that they can run it through DNA). Where is the ground up popcorn and pieces of bark that the dog is constantly bringing in from outside? Where are the stray retainer rubberbands or chewed up pencils? But I digress...

I'm starting to annoy myself because I can't seem to read like a reader rather than a writer. I love to read and I can still read adult books without much trouble. I'm reading the 6th No. 1 Lady's Detective Agency book by Alexander McCall Smith and Lisey's Story by Steven King. I enjoy the stories and it goes smoothly. Not so with YA or MG books. I was trying to sit back and enjoy a MG last night, but I found myself constantly editing it and thinking what I would have changed. At one point a relatively minor factual discrepancy got the better of me and I had to put it down. It's not that this book has any problems - its actually a great book that my son recommended. It's just similar to my mom - who was an O.R. nurse most of her life - watching any kind of hospital show. It drove you crazy because she was constantly critiquing the show (and I loved Emergency! - Randolph Mantooth anyone?) and nobody could enjoy it. The only hospital show which apparently bore any semblance to reality was M*A*S*H - which in itself is a bit frightening. I'm not sure what to do about this - I'm not sure that I can shut off the internal editor.

On a side note, the little kittea pig just came to sit in my lap. I'm sorry but she really is adorable. It's pretty impossible to have her scoot by you and not give her a shnuzzle.

On this date: In 1934, police kill Bonnie and Clyde.


debi in holland said...

Oooo, I was TOTALLY into Randolph Mantooth (of course, I think I was something like 7 or 8 when that show was big, but who cares?).

I know what you mean about that internal editor taking over when you try to read a good book. Very annoying. Maybe they have something at the ACME stores that will take care of it for awhile . . . a big black hole that we can drop on the floor, then pick it up, fold it and hide it in a drawer? . . . a rocket on a sling shot that we can tie it to?

Must. Stop. Watching. Looney. Tunes.

Linda D. said...

I have the same problem when I'm watching tv. I drive my husband nuts with all my comments. I'm usually really sarcastic, too, like, "Oh sure, she just accidentally on purpose left out that important piece of information so they could figure it out on their own."

I'm not there with books yet, for the most part. It's only the really bad ones that stand out to me.

My sick kitty says to send little kittea pig a nice juicy piece of salmon. My healthy kitty says to come live here where there's an endlesss supply of shoelaces and pipe cleaners to play with. :)

*bribe bribe* Heeeere kitty! Heeeere kittea pig pig pig.

Editorial Anonymous said...

My sister hates it when I deconstruct things. She gave me such a look when I pointed out that the watch in Stranger Than Fiction was a metaphor for the main character's heart.

Cynjay, is there something I could do to help authors with contracts? It really shouldn't be as stressful as it seems to be for many people.

cynjay said...

Hey EA - glad to have you by!
I can only speak for myself, but I think the stress of signing the contract is part of the job. Like I said, there's so much that is confusing, particularly the first time around. I had a great relationship with my editor for my PB, so I just checked with a few published authors I knew who said the contract was pretty standard and signed it. I think that is pretty common for PBs. When I started writing MG and YA, things got much more complicated and I focused on getting an agent. When you're talking about foreign rights and all sorts of things that are involved in selling a novel the author really feels like they need to have someone looking out strictly for their interests. I totally trusted my editor, but in the end she works for the publishing house and I couldn't ignore that. Having an agent frees me up to have a much better relationship with editors because I don't have to worry about it. I guess I'm saying, no, there isn't much you can do about it except answer whatever questions come up. It's all part of our respective positions in the pub world.

Hey Linda D.-thank your kitties for kittea pig (now renamed Peep).

Deb - I think I was about the same age at the height of Emergency! Randolph Mantooth was the first TV crush I ever had. Hubba.