Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Oh so many things

Wow, I do not know where these last few days have gone. I've been working my little fingers to the bone, trying to finish one story and write a synopsis for another, and doing some big reworks of The Black Dragon in anticipation of taking it elsewhere. Selling a book as a reissue is always tricky; I figure if there's a decent amount of new material and changes to the old that can only help. Plus it's amazingly fun for me, because there were a few character issues I was dying to explore but left out of the original version. See, I actually wrote that book about five years ago now, and romance has actually changed considerably in that time. Things that might now be daring or interesting wouldn't fly then. So it's been lots of fun to add it back in, although I've felt terrible for my poor hero because of it. He was fucked-up enough to begin with, now he's got even more issues. And if all goes well you'll all have a chance to see just what I've done.

Also, the hubs and I were, as I said, away all weekend in Bristol. I met Glenn Fabry (fangirl squeee!) and he did a Constantine sketch for hubby & me (he did a Jesse Custer for our friend george, for those of you who are Preacher fans. It was so nice we wanted to keep it for ourselves.) I was touched slightly inappropriately by a semi-drunk Simon Bisley, who told me about the size of his balls (and is enormous in general, seriously. The man is like a tree.)

Am I the only one who finds that as my writing improves my speaking skills get worse? On paper I am witty and concise (in my humble opinion.) But in person, I'm Miss Chattie McMotormouth and I feel all shiny and awful. And the rain didn't help, because my hair frizzed up all over the place. I looked like I had some terrible 80's perm on Sunday.

I didn't used to feel that way. I used to be very confident about my people skills. But maybe since I spend most of my day at home with a toddler, writing and watching Playhouse Disney, people just tend to make me nervous. I used to like crowds. Now they make me itchy. I used to love meeting new people and felt confident I was a charming, likeable kind of chick. Now I'm convinced they think I'm an idiot.

I've also spent a lot of time researching profanity, because I wanted to use "fuck" in Black Dragon but couldn't find out for sure just how old the word is. (I'm using it, because I found convincing enough evidence that it was around then). Point is, my research took me to The Uncyclopedia's "Fuck" entry, which is very funny. I think my favorite example of the word is under "Lust": "I'll fuck you with a rake." Because nothing says lust like garden equipment. (I think you can all figure out that an entire webpage about the word fuck is NSFW, right?)

All told I had a great weekend and couple of days. Good news all over the place. Tomorrow I will make up for the relative lack of content of this post, too.

But do reassure me and tell me I'm not the only one who walks away from meeting new people--especially people one would like to impress in some way--feeling like they shouldn't be allowed to interact with other people without medication?

****PS Check out the fantastic review Mrs. Giggles gave my new friend Rebecca James!****


Sam said...

I don't ever feel very confident in a crowd, but I always figure that the person in front of me is as uneasy and feeling as out of place as I am, so that helps.
I envy 'social butterflies'!

Bernita said...

I can do the "cocktail circuit" flitty-thingy for about half an hour...

Anonymous said...

I've always been a hide-in-the-shadows wallflower.

If you met me in person, you'd find it hard to believe I'm the same smart-ass big mouth that plagues your blog. -V95

December Quinn said...

See, Sam, that's just the type of healthy attitude I would expect from you. Thppt.

You know, Bernita, I'm great at work functions for the hubs and at parties too, mostly. It's when people are, say, very important editors I'd kill to work with, that I get all wierd and freakish.

V95, you? A smart-ass big mouth? Nooo. :-)

Robyn said...

OMG, December, you're me. I was quite eloquent at one time. Then I started writing. On paper, I can describe a pencil nine thousand different ways, but speaking? "Bring me the...uh...(pointing uselessly) thingie."

BernardL said...

It is the exception, rather than the rule, to interact well with strangers when away from familiar surroundings. We all wish to be fluent and entertaining with strangers; but the truth is, we seldom are. Unfortunately, some handle their awkwardness as Mr. Bisley, with liquor. The rest of us shoot for civility and a little confidence. Sometimes we achieve them. Other times, it rains. :)

December Quinn said...

Lol, Robyn, exactly! My problem is I walk away thinking, "I talked too much I talked too much oh my God did I even let them talk I talked waaay too much..."

Yep, it's that fucking rain, bernard, that's what did it. (Although I will say Mr. Bisley could charm the birds from the trees. I suspect the drunkenness is just fun for him.)

Serena Joy said...

Nope, you're not the only one who shies away from meeting new people. I find that the older I get, the more I dread and loathe crowds and new social scenes.

I had no idea there was so much research info extant on the "f" word. LOL. I seem to recall that "fuck" is an old Anglo-Saxon word, so I'm guessing it's been around since at least the 11th century.

Rebecca said...

I think the staying home, writing and having kids thing certainly doesn't help. Social interaction can become such an effort.

I have always felt like a bit of a social retard - always worried that I have put my foot in my mouth or offended someone - and it reached a bit of a low point when I had four babies under four and I really was a retard -with vomit on my shoulder, grease in my hair, bags under my eyes..... I really became afraid of people at that point - and could see how one might become agoraphobic!

It is much better now - but I am certainly not the life of anyone's party!(until drunk he he)

And in your case being an American in England couldn't help - the English can be so reserved - I lived in London for a while - and often felt like I had foot-in-mouth disease.

As I get older I've realised it's just easier to admit to feeling a bit awkward - and its surprising how many other people then admit that they feel exactly the same - and , personally, I tend to gravitate towards those who have a few social anxieties themselves - then you can laugh about it together and totally forget about yourself.


(thankyou SO much for the link to my review - the first I knew about it was your 'bounce, bounce' comment on my blog - and - see - I can tell that you are a generous and kind person who is genuinely happy for others' good fortune - and THAT is one of the best attributes a person can have, I reckon!)

Anonymous said...

Talking to people in an intelligent manner used to be my job. Now, as I ponder returning to work (apparently I have to pay for the renovations to my new house) I'm contemplating grocery store clerk.


Anonymous said...

I'm always afraid I've made an ass of myself. I am verbally challenged. I make up words, say things wrong, laugh in the wrong places... and further more I don't want to seem like a kiss ass just because I compliment something/someone. I don't want to be one of those people who tries to get and in by kissing rear. I like honesty and would like to earn my way in, thank you very much. A leg up would be nice, but I don't want anyone to feel they owe me, or I expect such things from them.

Colleen Gleason said...

Oh, God, no. No, no, no on the last question!

And as for the use of the work "fuck," according to English Through the Ages, my "bible" for historical usage:

fuck, as in "I don't give a fuck" was in use by 1930....

fuck (verb) was in use by 1500, but in usage to mean "destroy and/or spoil" wasn't in use until 1970....

fucking (slang)(adverb/adj) was in use by 1570....

Does that help? Let me know if you need more info and I'll see what else there is.

kis said...

I always just try to come across as a charming, likeable idiot. Especially since my third kid. I think it's more a function of the old "maternal lobotomy" than a side-effect of writing. In fact, if it wasn't for the fact that I exercise my brain with daily writing, I'd likely be a gibbering moron. That and the waitressing job, which, BTW, is much more lucrative than any grocery store clerk position, Seeley. Even on the North Island, where tips are the shits, I usually gross between $16 and $30/hour (tips plus wage).

In a small town, you can get away with saying the most outrageous things about people, as long as you temper it with a smile and an innocent, "oh, did you hear that? I suppose there'd be no point in saying it out loud if you didn't." If you have the right bearing, it's actually pretty hard to go too far.

I'm never really worried about looking like an idiot--looking like an idiot is just part of my charm. I'm not even bothered when I know people don't like me. Everyone's entitled to their opinions. I do occasionally worry about hurting people's feelings, and the few instances where I know I've unintentionally offended someone can still make me blush. But I'm too busy to be uncomfortable in a crowd.

I'll take the medication, tho. Just for fun, eh?

pacatrue said...

Hey, December.

As you research the word "fuck" make sure you try to find some examples of its usage, and not just that the word existed. My understanding as well is that it's a really, really old word, even older than the references that Colleen dug up. However, I don't know if it's always been a noun, a verb, usable as an adjective, etc. As a supposed linguist, I should be able to find this sort of stuff out for you, though in truth, I don't study words or their meanings or the history of English. Still, I should have access to a large research library if you need it.

December Quinn said...

Thaks Serena, I'm glad I'm not alone! Yeah, I get a lot of conflicting stuff on "fuck"--I tend to gree with you though. More at the bottom.

No, Rebecca, the staying home doesn;t help, and the living in a different culture doesn't either, at all. The nervous awkward thing actually seems to have really become a problem not long after we got here--I feel so out of place.

Congrats on the review!!

December Quinn said...

Lol Seeley, I know what you mean. I worked in customer service, for a bank, on the phones for hours every day, and I was good at it. Customers liked me. Now...I feel like everyone thinks I'm an ass.

It is so hard, Michele, isn't it? When you feel like anything you say will be taken as ass-kissing or just being desperate or odd? Sigh. I hate that.

December Quinn said...

Hey there, Colleen! Thanks for the comment!

It does help, thanks. My book is actually set in the early 13th century. I've decided to use the word regardless (that's what author's notes are for, IMO :-)) and I've already had to explain my decisions to use "bitch" and "bastard" in a derogatory way (Bastard might have been used that way sort of, bitch wasn't for a couple of hundred years)--but having as much info as I can about the real usage and origins so I can put it in the AN is muy helpful. I figure if it's a matter of a minor anachronism with maximum emotional impact, I'd rather use it instead of a historically correct phrase that sounds weak or silly to modern ears.

Counting the days until Rises the Night!

December Quinn said...

Kis, you so make me laugh. The image of you (or my mental image of you) wandering around town with a sort of idiot smirk on your face all the time...tee hee.
I'm usually bothered when people don't like me, sad to say. Not always, but often enough.

Thanks, Paca. If you feel like doing the research, by all means I'd be interested! As I said I am using it, but the more info the better. Everything I've found indicates the usage hasn't changed much over the years, but why not learn all I can about one of my favorite words? :-)

Bernita said...

The Penguin Dictionary of Historical Slang notes that the dates given signifies "the earliest discovered record; it is well to bear in mind, however, that in slang, cant, colloquialism, catch-phrase, and solecism, the first use goes back generally a few, occasionally many, years earlier."
You should feel free to use it. Too many people take dates literally and absolutely.

December Quinn said...

Thanks Bernita!

I do agree about the dates--you know I've had issues with that--but in this case it felt a little jarring to me, to have a medieval hero say "Fuck you" to the villian. Maybe "Go fuck yourself" might feel less anarchonistic?

I don't think it doesn't work as written, but I did feel the need to say something--largely, perhaps, because of my good friend Everybody Knows, which is determined I'm wrong no matter how many facts I throw at it.

Kay Richardson said...

I AM a crowd. I am.