Tuesday, November 20, 2012


Riddle:  You do not want to have it.  But if you do have it, you do not want to lose it.  What is it?

Thanksgiving is on the immediate horizon.  We’re going to a friend’s house – they came to us two years ago – but I have bought a turkey breast to roast on Friday because we love leftovers.

We’re not big shoppers and avoid Black Friday sales – but the Minneapolis Institute of Arts has opened an exhibit of some of the Chinese Terracotta Warriors and is offering free admission to the exhibit on Black Friday – between the hours of six and seven am.  I get up extra-early three mornings a week to do water aerobics, so it wouldn’t be a stretch for me to get there, and my husband has agreed to come with me.  What would you get up extra early to see or buy?

To those of you who are writing a series:  Do you ever go back and read earlier numbers?  Do you resurrect characters from back then?  I’m enjoying reading earlier stories from my series and thinking to bring back some of the people I invented.  I also wish I’d started a list of characters both occasional and running, because I sometimes forget how old they are or what color eyes they have or some other pertinent thing and have to rummage among the books to find them.

This past Saturday we went to a play, “84, Charing Cross Road.”  I loved the book when I read it years ago, but wondered how they’d stage it, since the book was just a collection of letters between a New York woman and a London book store.  A charming and wonderful collection, but still.  And they pulled it off perfectly.  They divided the stage in half – the theater is “in the round,” so the audience is sitting on all sides – with the New York apartment on one side, and the bookstore on the other.  The woman would begin typing or dictating her letter and about halfway through her contact at the book store would pick it up to continue reading it on the other.  They would be opening packages or getting them read to pack up, putting on coats and hats, going out to the mailbox, closing up, etc., all the while.  Clever and effective.

Answer to riddle:  A lawsuit.


Linda O. Johnston said...

We're having Thanksgiving a day early, Monica, since our older son, d-i-l and baby grandson head back to Chicago on Thanksgiving Day. And, yes I do re-read some of my earlier books, even though I keep careful notes about all aspects that could carry through the series like the notes you wish you'd kept! Reading them again helps with details and tone--and it's also fun.

Monica Ferris said...

Linda, I'm glad I'm not the only one to think my books are fun to read. Nice to know not every author is as dumb as I am and is keeping notes!

Betty Hechtman said...

I keep thinking I should make a list of characters with their physical attributes, but so far haven't done it. But I often base a character's looks on a real person, which makes it easier to remember things like eye color.

Anonymous said...

There really should be a computer program that can do what you and Ms. Hechtman wish you could do. Like a database, you could just enter in the physical traits either during or after you've written the book, and then you wouldn't have to worry about it -- you could just consult the database. But, alas, I have no idea if such a useful program even exists.