by Savannah J. Foley
The other day I was looking up character names in a baby names website (something we all do, I’m pretty sure), and I got to thinking about how what I was doing could be misinterpreted by my boyfriend. Afterwards, I came up with the following list of scenarios that a boyfriend unfamiliar with writers might encounter with his new writer girlfriend. It’s mostly silly, but maybe you’ll laugh at one or two. 🙂
1. You leave your computer up on a webpage of baby names.
Misinterpretation: OMG she’s pregnant! Or she wants to have my children and is already planning out their names. Is this a hint? Was I supposed to find this?!
What Really Happened: You were using the list of baby names to find the most awesome name ever for your new character.
2. You talk to yourself out loud, in different voices.
Misinterpretation: You just went into full-blown metal disorder mode, a la A Beautiful Mind.
What Really Happened: You were just plotting really hard and accidentally vocally acted out some of the characters you were working on. It’s normal, really.
3. He catches you mock-strangling, -stabbing, or -shooting an imaginary victim.
Misinterpretation: You’re homicidal and you’re practicing for killing him.
What Really Happened: You were -again- acting out a scene in your book to get a feel for the actions and emotions. Totally normal.
4. Your browser history shows searches for “the perfect murder” and “poisons without antidotes.”
Misinterpretation: Surely this time you’re out to get him.
What Really Happened: Nope. Still figuring out plot details for your murder mystery subplot.
5. You stock up on chocolate.
Misinterpretation: You’re PMSing.
What Really Happened: Not this time. You hit a tricky part in your manuscript, and need some chocolate to get through it. Or you submitted something and are anxiously awaiting a reply.
6. You stop showering and suddenly avoid spending time with your S.O.
Misinterpretation: You’re trying to convince him to break up with you because you’re too chicken to do it yourself.
What Really Happened: You’re working hard on a deadline and literally forgot to shower/spend every waking minute working on your project.
7. You suddenly start spending more time “at the library” or “at a coffee shop.”
Misinterpretation: You’re cheating on him!
What Really Happened: You were just trying to give him some space since apparently your every action means you’re insane and trying to cause harm. This was your way of getting out of the house and having the time/space to, once again, focus on your project.
8. You start visiting thrift stores and “alternate fashion” stores.
Misinterpretation: You’re becoming a dirty hippie. You’re an artsy person, it had to happen sometime, right? This would also explain the no-showering thing.
What Really Happened: You’re researching styles of a particular decade.
9. You ask his cop uncle a lot of complex and detailed questions about law enforcement.
Misinterpretation: You’re considering a career change into law enforcement.
What Really Happened: Absolutely not! It’s just research! It’s ALWAYS research!
10. You change your degree from English or Creative Writing to something more mainstream, like Business & Management, or Computer Sciences.
Misinterpretation: Surely this time it’s a sign of giving up the dream, right?
What Really Happened: No, you just realized you don’t have to have the degree to be able to write well, so what’s the point? Might as well have a backup.
11. He catches you practicing your smile and posing in the mirror.
Misinterpretation: You’re an imaginative person, and so therefore you were pretending to be a movie star, for research, right?
What Really Happened: Actually you were just practicing for your author shot.
12. You sneak into your room on tiptoe, not making a sound.
Misinterpretation: He’s with the program now. He concludes you’re pretending to be a cat. For research. And there’s absolutely nothing wrong with that.
What Really Happened: …Actually, you were trying to see if your leftover toys from childhood move and talk when you’re not in the room. What? Writers never truly lose their inner child! Plus you saw Toy Story 3 recently, and, well… it was worth a shot.
Savannah J. Foley is the author of the Nameless (originally known as Woman’s World) series on Fictionpress and is signed with the Bradford Literary Agency. Her website is www.savannahjfoley.com, but she updates more frequently on her livejournal. She is currently working on editing Nameless to go out on submissions. You can read an excerpt from Nameless here.