Monday, November 9, 2009

Lost Keys, CPs and Getting a Clue

posted by Loucinda McGary aka Aunty Cindy

Everyone knows that yer olde Aunty is NOT a morning person. Anything that happens before 10 a.m. West Coast Time is not something Aunty needs to know (unless, of course, it is a flight to a vacation destination)! You can imagine Aunty's chagrin when recently she was awakened from dreamland at 8:30 by someone pounding on the front door.

NOBODY pounds on my door.

First, they must brave Aunty's stalwart protectors the Pug-wa-wa and the Yorkie Unholy Terrier. Should they happen to arrive when said obstacles are not in attendance, they will receive Aunty's Nasty Lecture Number 23B which references the "No Solicitors" sign in plain view on the front gate, IF Aunty deigns to answer at all.

But the other morning at the ungodly hour of 8:30 a.m. someone dared my canine security squad (who were barking like the hounds of Hades) to knock... LOUDLY! Figuring it must be something dire, I crawled out of bed, stumbled to the door, and peered through the security peep hole. I recognized the young man standing there in baggy shorts and flip-flops as my new next-door neighbor who had introduced himself to the DH and me a couple of weeks ago. My protectors nipped at his bare ankles.

I opened the door just a crack and he reintroduced himself and said, "My wife locked me out. Can I use your phone?"

I let him in. I figured if the poor guy was desperate enough to brave my dogs and to see me in my jammies with no make-up and bed-head, he deserved one phone call!

Later that afternoon, I met my wonderfully talented critique partner, Jo-Mama for brainstorming and going over chapters of our works-in-progress.

I've just started a new tale that doesn't even have a title yet. Beginnings are always difficult for me. I never quite know where to jump into the story, and I don't know my characters as well as I will a few chapters in. Plus, I've been having separation anxiety ever since The Treasures of Venice hit bookstores. (Will people LURVE my baby? Will readers "get" me and my story? Will I sell more than a dozen copies?)

I truly was wandering around feeling like the new story had locked me out! Keyless and clueless.

THANK GOODNESS for talented and insightful CPs! I swear, many times they have more knowledge of my WIP than I do. In the course of our discussion that afternoon, it quickly became apparent to me that Jo-Mama had done it again. She obviously had a far better handle on my new characters than I did! Then she made a comment, just ONE LITTLE DESCRIPTION of my heroine that made the proverbial light bulb go off inside my head!

BOOM! The lock opened and I had a lot more insight into my character. (Have I mentioned lately how much I LURVE my CP? That she is worth her weight in GOLD? And no, I will NOT share her!) I went home and made some well-placed revisions on my WIP that I know made it and my heroine so much stronger!

Sometimes the smallest thing can make such a big difference. Ask my poor neighbor, who stopped me yesterday to thank me again and tell me, "You really saved my life the other day." I just said, "You're welcome."

No need to tell him that he provided the inspiration for my blog post, is there?

What about you? Ever been keyless or clueless? When was the last time something small made a BIG difference to you?


  1. Feeling that way right now, AC. Wish someone would find that $%&%!#$% key for me....
    Glad you found yours!

  2. I did lock myself out of my house once.

    A good thing I was twenty and in reasonable shape because I had to...

    1 - Climb a ladder to the second floor, ten-twelve-fifteen feet up (old house, high ceilings, tall ladder).

    2 - Pry open sash window.

    3 - Carefully (!!) lift ancient, extremely heavy air-conditioner out of said window, lean in and gently (!!) place the beast on the floor.

    Oh, and BTW, I was wearing a skirt and heels.

    4 - Climb, exhausted and weak, over it.

    5 - Collapse on floor.


  3. Good God yes. But usually I have a couple of people that do the same for me. Or my mind, which is running all the time on things I'm working on, will decided to have a relvelation when I'm doing something else and can't get to something to write it down. But I've taught myself how to keep mental notes, thank god.

    What a good neighbor you are Aunty! :-) So did you go back to bed? or stay up? Inquiring minds and all that, lol!

  4. Cindy, you always make me smile. What a gift!

    As for CP's-- I say "Cheers!" I wouldn't be without mine.


  5. I don't know. I think there's days I wake up clueless!

    And I hear ya on early mornings. Although lately Barney wants to go out at 6:30 am. Sigh!


  6. All right, it is now 10:23 am on the West Coast, so Aunty is 'officially' awake. Or as awake as I'm likely to get today! :-P

    Cheryl, sorry that #@%&# key is eluding you at the moment. Never fear, you'll find it! Probably when you STOP looking... LOL!


  7. OMG Donna! You climbed all that way THEN lifted the AC unit onto the floor?!?! You were not in reasonable shape, you were Wonder Woman!

    I actually locked myself out right after I moved in here too, so I knew just how my poor neighbor felt (really REALLY STOOPID)! And nope, I have not repeated the forgotten keys again (in 9 years).


  8. Hey Sia,

    I've become a lot better at keeping those mental notes too, because I'll inevitably have a writing revelation when I'm doing something else... like driving. Oh course, I can't remember what I need to buy at the grocery store, OH WELL!

    And since it was 8:30, I actually stayed up. The dogs worked up quite an appetite chewing my neighbor's ankles and they were demanding breakfast...


  9. Amelia,
    I'm glad you are smiling down there in sunny Florida! It IS sunny, right? No more nasty tropical storms morphing into hurricanes, I hope!

    When newbie writers ask me for writing advice, I ALWAYS tell them to find a good critique partner or critique group. They really are INVALUABLE!


  10. LOL Linda!
    Clueless is how I start MOST days!

    And I usually get up and let my dogs out of their sleeping crates between 6:30 and 7. Then I IMMEDIATELY crawl back into bed. Most mornings the Yorkie joins me. I'm glad the Pug-WaWa doesn't because she snores like a buzz saw!


  11. Oh I go back to sleep since the coffee doesn't click on until a bit later. And I have Bogie on one side of me and Barney on the other.

    Barney's way of waking me up is his face in mine with the "areyouawkeareyouawakeareyouawake?"


  12. Aunty Cindy

    I am such an early bird I am up between 5-00 and 6-00 amd every day I just can't sleep in I do wish I could but then I go to bed around 9-30 pm although i do read for a while sometimes a long while.

    I am so glad that Jo helped you get everything going for you it is always wonderul to have a great friend and CP to help.

    Have Fun

  13. My son's finished his exam and now I'm allowed to sleep in till 6:45. But I'm definitely not awake.

    Reading this and wondering if I'm awake now. And wondering if the keys are where I meant to leave them, because I do have a talent for getting locked out.

  14. ROFLOL!
    What a sight to wake up to, Linda! And what would we do without our furry babies?!?!


  15. UGH! Helen, I didn't realize you were such a morning person. But then again, if I didn't stay up past midnight every night, I might get up earlier myself.

    I always get up earlier when I'm on a cruise, because the dining room stops serving breakfast around 9. Amazing what the proper motivation will do!


  16. Sheila, my condolences on 6:45 being "sleeping in" for you. ARGH!

    The only way I keep track of my keys is to always put them in the same place every time they are not in my hand. Occasionally my son or DH will move them and then... WOE IS THEM! :-P