So I get this email around midnight from a writer buddy of mine and the subject line is "OK, don't hate me..."
I think Cheryl Kaye Tardif, Best Selling Canadian Author and Book Marketing Coach [http://cherylktardif.blogspot.com/] is going to tell me that she's come to the conclusion that perhaps the reason I'm not published after years of trying is because I suck at writing...or something equally as dire.
I open the email (because it is late and if I don't open it, I will worry about it all night and won't get a wink of sleep even if I were to double both my Prozac and my sleepy-time tea.)
"Hopefully we'll still be friends after this..." the first line reads.
Oh. Oh. I'm certain now that I'm in trouble for something. I've been known to bust a few cyberspace codes of ethic in the past--the distant past--like a month or so ago when I was still learning the intricacies of social networking. ("Always be professional..." she has reminded me on occassion--or on more than one occassion. Maybe even on several occassions.)
Thusly, I was totally relieved when I scrolled through the message and saw no "thou shalt not's" or "you must never again's" or "I can't fricken believe you posted that's". It was much too late to understand what it was that she was saying, something about doing a blog post and linking my blog to hers and...well...social networking which sounded fine.
The next day I realized it wasn't quite all that "fine." I had been rooked into a nasty and prolific game of cyberspace tag and I was "it". I was "it" in the 7-things game of tag.
"I want you to write about 7 themes found in your works (novels, nonfiction, short stories etc). I'd like to know what made you explore these themes and what research you may have done...." she continued.
Themes? I don't even fricken know what themes are--at least not when it comes to books. I mean, I know what "Theme Parties" are. Like my 25th wedding anniversary when we all dressed in Fortrel and danced to good music and celebrated the 70's. Or, West Ed's "Theme Rooms". I remember sitting in the hot tub in the Polynesian Suite wishing I'd been able to book the room with the bed in the back of a pickup. (It's an Alberta thing, okay?)
Then there are "Theme Songs" like Hockey Night in Canada. However, none of my books were about hockey, pickup trucks, Polynesia or polyester.
About then in my musings the phone rang and it was my best buddy, Cory, reminding me of Fran's stagette. "We've got a theme going," she says.
"A theme?" I perk up. This for sure will be the key to getting me out from under the "it" tag.
"It will of course be a wedding night theme," she continues. "Patricia will be there with her ForeEverNever Personal Pleasure Products."
"Oh, oh. I haven't offended you, have I?" Cory asks.
Now, although NORAEBANG, my adult novel, has a couple of torrid bedroom scenes, I don't remember there being any mention of things with batteries...or edible lotions...or furry handcuffs, or such. I made a mental note to include at least one of those in my next romance.
Okay. So, like...tomorrow was the 27th. The day I was supposed to read Cheryl's 7-things blog and respond with mine. And so far, all my dream theme schemes had struck out. So I dial up Cheryl. "Whatcha all talkin' about,girl?" I say. "Themes?"
"Well, your adolescent novel, AERDRIE. Those things you told me were in that story. Drug abuse, poverty, gangs, bullying..."
I'm counting on my fingers, hoping she keeps going.
"...divorce..." Yes! That's five. Just two more and...she stops.
"And...?" I suggest.
"And whatever else it was you said..."
"Polyester?" I tentatively query.
Ah, well. There's gotta be enough themes in this blog to satisfy the requirements of the 7-things game of tag. I decide that talking to Cheryl and Cory qualifies as research.
And as for the reasons I've written about these themes...
...to get me out from under this "it" tag, of course.
Now, I get to make 4 people "it" and tell them what list of 7 things they ought to blog about.
Hmmm....How about: The 7 Best Things about Being a Writer
http://www.SarahButland.com Sarah Butland
http://deadfrogontheporch.com Jan Markley
http://alisonebruce.blogspot.com Alison Bruce
http://www.bethgroundwater.com Beth Groundwater
Eileen Schuh,Canadian writer