Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Whatcha Thinking About?

I think that the absolute worst question that you can ask a writer (or any creative person for that matter) is, "What are you thinking about?"

Now, I don't know about you, but I have a hard enough time explaining the basic schematics to a given story while I'm writing it, let alone explaining what part of the story I'm currently working on. Shoot, I have enough problems just trying to explain what a story is all about after its done, but that's another issue for another time.

Back to the schematics. Most, if not all, of my free brain time is spent mentally working on my latest story "Dandelion Tears", either by thinking about how to move the story further along to its ending or by thinking about how to get from the beginning of one particular point to the end of that same particular point.

Example: In part one, I introduced a particular characteristic for my two female leads, Melanie and Fryja. For Melanie, I introduced the characteristic of bloodsucking, although I have not identified her with any particular non-human species, nor anyone else for that matter except her human husband Jon. For Fryja, I gave her a servant/lover who gets his periodic energy boosts from sucking on her boobs.

Yes, I said, "boobs".

And no, I'm not trying to turn this into a gratuitous sex romp through the park (although everyone here apparently knows me too well). I'm trying to turn this into a legitimate characteristic and sub-plot point.

I'm sure you've heard of breast feeding and lactating, right?

Well, I'm sure you can imagine what a non-follower of my blog's reaction would be:

Them: "Whatcha thinking about with your story?"
Me: "Breast milk."
Them: takes a couple of steps backwards and says, "Ooooooookay."
Me: "No really. One of my main female characters has a lackey/lover who gets his energy boosts by drinking breast milk, so I'm trying to make that character have a condition in which she's always lactating and needs a way to get rid of the excess. Get it?"
Them: takes a few more steps backwards, and says, "Ummmmm....yah."

Yup, that went extremely well.

So as you can see, whenever someone asks me what I'm thinking about, I never go into much detail beyond, "My story. I'm having a difficult time with a particular plot point."

Because trying to explain how breast milk and breastfeeding became a key plot ingredient to a story without making yourself look like a sick puppy dog, is about as easy as floating down the river with cement shoes.


  1. Bloodsucking women and boobs. You have my attention, G.

    My thoughts are running toward promotion these days.

  2. lol! So when you've gone into long explanations in the past (and given responses such as lactating) does that prevent that person from inquiring again? ;)

  3. I think I had ADD before it was popular to diagnose. I'm never thinking the same thing from one minute to the next.

  4. There is nothing sick about breastmilk or breastfeeding.

  5. Well that is certainly a plot twist I've never heard of before.

  6. I've never been asked what I'm thinking about, so assume it's because no one wants to know the answer! I can't blame them really.

  7. Your mind is always working... It would be fun to have this type of conversation with an innocent bystander (non writer). The expression on their face would be priceless. LOL.

  8. That is hilarious. At least they won't ask again.

  9. David: Glad I was able to get your attention. I wanted to keep this story in the same vein as the short story its based on, but as you know, I always gotta throw a good swerve into the mix.

    And yes, I've seen you've been busy promoting...i may just activate my credit card and buy that bad boy of yours.

    Talon: most definitely. I haven't broached the issue of breastfeeding yet to anyone that knows me, but on other types of issues, people have given me extremely weird looks after I've finished.

    Bearman: It was called "hyperactivity", something that I was on quite intimate terms with via Ritalin. And yes, I currently suffer from the same malady of swerving and trying to make the swerve fit.

    Extra O: Not in a non-sexual way there isn't. But some people may consider it to be if it was done in a sexual way. I'm trying not to do it in a sexual way because I don't want to gross people out (although some may become queasy or turned off in the process).

    Lynn: Thanks. I'm a bit unconventional like that. Breastfeeding for this story, a symbiont for my last project, a three quarters completed novel featuring Limbo as a government agency told in flashback mode. If you can't expirement with your writing every once in awhile, then whats the point?

    Joe: I'm always interested on what people are thinking about. I think some of the niftiest conversations I've had over the years have been started by asking someone "a penny for your thoughts".

    Kelly: I've had similar conversations like this with some of my co-workers and sometimes the expresssions are indeed priceless.

    Travis: Thank you sir. Sadly, some have made it a point to avoid asking me about my writing. Which is a shame really, because they would see that I really do have a unique take on the world around me.

  10. Yea, I suppose some people would get grossed out if it was in a sexual context... it could be worse. :-)

  11. I tend to seclude myself when writing, so now one gets to ask that question. When I do get asked that question in other circumstances, it's hard to explain because my train of thought is what I imagine a cat's to be: one thought to the next, to the next, to the next, etc. Right now, I'm thinking about vampires and dinner! Separately, of course.

    Interesting how you mention having to point out that it is a legitimate story - I was reading about Anne Rice last night and she was blown away that people fixated on merely the vampire aspect of her first novel when she was making a point about morality, writing a story about an outcast, and other arcs.

  12. Extra O: It could be....worse? Now I'm curious on how it could be worse. :D

    R: Quite often, I've had to point out to others how some of my stranger story ideas are serious in nature.

    Like this one. I've done a few status updates on FB about this particular point and you'd be amazed at some of the thoughtful comments I got once people realized I was serious about this.

  13. This post reminds me of a time I burst out laughing in line at the grocery store. Not chuckling, mind you, not giggling. Outright belly laughing. As everyone stared, I knew that trying to explain that I was laughing at "Puck Loo" (which a friend had said to me moments prior,) would NOT help the situation, so I just left, certain that they wondered what kind of drugs I was on.

  14. Lana: Very nice indeed. :D

    I've often been on the receiving end of such explanations, and I can tell you that while the other person would be excited over what they were explaining to me, I would be like the person in my post example.

    The beauty of being illogical in the eyes of the beholder I guess.

  15. I just meant there are grosser things than breastmilk to include in sexual experiences... like, I don't know, fecal matter. I'm thinking breastmilk and breastfeeding are pretty tame.

  16. Extra O: I agree that there are grosser things that people find sexually arousing. I'm just saying that from my personal observation, some people would find that kind of thing (adult breast feeding) a turn off, sexual or otherwise.

  17. I would just love to quietly observe one of these conversations!

  18. Mama Z: I've observed a few of these very strange conversations while participating in an overall general conversation. I found that if you're very quiet, you can glean quite few tibits that otherwise would've remain deeply hidden from prying eyes.

  19. I've been very blog-reading-time challenged the past week-
    Looks like I got back just in time to see what you were thinking!

    Not average thoughts, either!

  20. Snaggle: Nope. No average thoughts around here. Average is so....average. But off the wall and off the cuff is what makes my writing go 'round and 'round until I'm dizzy.


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G. B. Miller

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