Where I write

Where I write

July 26, 2012

A writer's life....drag queens, picnics, and Bob Newhart.

The things a writer must do! For the sake of my art I had to go to a late night drag show, drink a glass of wine, see some amazing dance routines, admire creative costumes and gorgeous makeup, and have a lot of laughs. It's a rough life being a writer. Above is a picture of me and one of the drag queens (I forgot his/her name!!!) This queen had a wicked sense of humor and could really dance. She also has bigger boobs than me (a friend pointed this out) and knows how to better apply makeup  than me, too. She really was able to pull of that satiny yellow shirt with the big blue roses, don't you think? And she smelled good. I smelled like a kitchen, as I had just gotten off work. He was more of a she than me.

In my novel I have a drag queen whose name I have yet to create. Any suggestions? After attending a couple drag shows, okay I'm a groupie, I truly feel I can create a character who is a drag queen without feeling I'm totally out of my element writing about men who perform as women.

One of the reasons I like to write is it allows me to inhabit other worlds. I like to meet a variety of people anyway, and I'm always ready to pack my bags and go, so it's fun for me to try out new experiences to incorporate into my writing.  I'll tell you a secret... most writers are always taking something they hear or see or do and putting the experience into a mental file system with the hopes they can pull it out some day and insert it into one of their stories. So be careful how much you tell a writer. Except me, of course. I'm the epitome of discretion. Not.

This is me and my friend, Tracy, (a wonderful writer) in Chicago asking advice of Bob Newhart. We're telling, Bob, well a sculpture of Bob, about our writer angst. He told us to get over ourselves and just write. (The old Bob Newhart show was set in Chicago).
I don't set any of my stories in Chicago though I grew up near the city. I don't know why. I'd like for my next novel (yes I will finish this current one) will have a Chicago angle. I want to somehow include this sculpture in a scene. Haven't figure out how yet, but I'm glad I know it exists and one day I'll find a way to use it. Maybe I'll have young lovers kissing on the bench in front of Bob. Can't let such a cool looking Bob Newhart go to waste!
The Platte River is mentioned in my current novel, the one I keep mentioning until you are all so sick to death of it you will never want to read it. Anyway, this is how I always imagined the river, as I remembered it, from when I lived in Denver decades ago. No people. So when I visited Denver recently, and saw how it actually looked, I was surprised!
People were swimming in the river. What the heck! That's my friend Goldie to the right. She wants to go to the river one day and have a picnic with me. I hope we can do that, but if not, I will definitely put a picnic lunch and people swimming in the river into a scene set at this location. I wouldn't have known this if I hadn't visited again. Of course I could look at pictures on line of drag queens and rivers and parks in Chicago, but where is the adventure in that!

Some writers only write about one area or place. I can't think about one of my favorite writers, Laura Ingalls Wilder, without thinking of the endless prairies of South Dakota.  I appreciate those type of writers because I believe they truly love the place they write about. Other writers like to take you places all around the world. I thank those writers, too, because I am able to travel to some places I never want to go...like Iraq. And then there's the author who write Fifty Shades of Grey who took me to places I never want to go again.

I guess in some ways writers are like drag queens. We like to entertain and and become somebody we're not, if just for a little while. Writers march to the beat of a different drum, just like the queens, and they know they must do it with their own one-of-a-kind style.


Stella said...

I was just talking with a co-worker this morning about drag queen names. He's dynamite at them, as he does drag himself. I can't tell you his name here though as it is too nasty. But, here's one: Trailer Swift. Here's another: Aretha Flowers. Heck, just check my facebook page. I'm friends with at least 3 drag queens and they have friends that are drag queens, and on and on. There's a plethora of names out there. You can always modify.

Anonymous said...

Perhaps google "drag queen bars" and see what the headliners have for names. ;-)

SunsetCindi said...

Wow, he is a gorgeous she! I love that Trailer Swift name. Guess you'll just have to go to more drag queen shows! I'd love to go!

Anonymous said...

I like the one we know from Minnie-sota named Taffy DuPont...

Signed, Tracy Tumbles

Expostulator said...

I am having a vision of a slightly crazy man who sits down and harangues Newhart for a couple of hours every day. He is obviously a wannabe writer who believes in acting out his plots to achieve character insight. It seems that after robbing the bank he is intending to move on to torture and murder. Having discovered this what should a socially conscientious writer like yourself do? Do you write a better book or call the cops?

Ask me. I will even suggest a good name for this disturbed writer.

Plots within plots in the name of complexity and richness.