Writers are eccentric creatures. For example, I must be the only writer in the world who carries around a stone in her pocket every day. Okay, a pretty, polished coin-size hunk of hematite, but still, one of my stranger habits. I carry the stone for two reasons: 1) it's engraved with a word that reminds me of my purpose, and 2) it reminds me that my purpose is the only thing of mine that I ever want to see carved into stone. I told you it was strange.
My daughter recently bought a Chococat mousepad for me at her school book fair because she knows that I'm the world's oldest Chococat fan. I have a Chococat cell phone case and don't care what the other grownups think of me when I take it out. I think he's adorable. I had a Chococat sunglass case, but lost it or had it pinched from my purse when I wasn't looking two years ago, and I'm still mad about it.
I came up with the title for my next novel while standing in line at the grocery store on Monday. Everyone in front of me had checkout issues (price checks, coupon violations and paying in pennies) and it was taking forever. I started rearranging an old Edgar Allan Poe poem in my head to amuse myself and bingo, there was my title. This is almost as odd as how I came up with the title for StarDoc while in the shower thinking about a photo I'd seen with a newspaper article on a marine biologist (his Jeep had the license plate SEA DOC.)
Yesterday I sent a box of books written by me and other authors to some soldiers stationed in Iraq. I only packed books I've read myself because giving strangers books that I haven't read seems a little rude to me (I will occasionally give friends books I haven't read but I also warn them that I haven't.) I'm not sure why I think it's rude, other than I don't want to waste anyone's reading time on a lousy book.
Other writers' eccentricities always seem much more colorful and dangerous than mine. I don't own any offensive T-shirts, period costumes or black fedoras, and I can't fake a British accent worth a damn. I've never deliberately poured Coke on a colleague's head or grabbed anyone's private parts during an awards ceremony.
But boring as I am, I'm at your disposal today. Any questions for me?