Monday, October 16, 2006

On Writing, Reading and Men

As promised – the ‘guy’ thing.

The stipulation of the Wild Rose Press contest was that a garden had to play a central role somehow. I posted about how I dealt with writing the story on my website ( at “Behind the Scenes” but this is a little bit more for you.

I slaved over the research, because it's set in a real place in LA, and I haven't been there in decades, although it was a very special childhood place, and he couldn't remember a lot about it either. I found maps and diagrams of the rose garden at Exposition Park, but the museum wasn't well represented on the internet, so I emailed their 'info' address with questions. The PR lady at the natural history museum nearly set the cops after me, I think when I tried to find out if a visitor would have his backpack checked, and what the menu was in the cafeteria, and what the diorama hall looked like now (and I think this was for 3 paragraphs in the story, but I'm anal!) She finally said she had told me everything the legal department would allow.

Since I was afraid to bug her any more, my husband gave me a colleague's name who worked near there and he took pictures for me. After much angst, I finished the story. Someone a contest was scarier than just submitting it, because with a submission, it only has to come “close” and they’ll work with you to fix it. For a contest, it’s a one-shot deal. I had my husband proofread it, because he’s got a good eye for glitches that I don’t see after numerous editing trips through the manuscript.

When I told my husband that my garden story won, he said (of course) congrats. He didn’t sound all that excited (but unless I get a three-book deal with a six figure advance, I don’t think he ever will). I asked if he remembered reading it. He said he wasn't sure--so I reminded him of all the problems with the museum, and he still wasn't sure. So I said, 'it's the one where they had sex on the couch," and he goes -- "Oh, yeah -- and they went for walks in the garden and there was the dog, and she made lasagna......yeah, I remember that one."


Marty said...


Nicole said...

teeheehee. Woohoo on the contest! way to go mom!

Terry said...

Thanks, Marty,

and Hi, Nicole. Nice to see you're still around :-)

Jessica Odell said...

Well, it IS Dad. I mean, come on....shouldn't you know better by now?

Terry said...

I keep thinking he's the 'exception' but a fellow CFRW writer said she showed her husband her story, and he got all the way to page 20 (where the sex was) before he remembered reading it. They're hard wired that way, I think.