A few things that just make my head hurt

Poor Colleen is suffering from the mother of all migraines this week. My heart seriously goes (very quietly) out to her. One of the glib little expressions that oft crosses my lips is, "That just makes my head hurt," and while I will be a little less cavalier about tossing that very relative phrase around for a while, I thought I'd share a few of those things people say that just flog my noggin with a 2X4.

"Everybody has a book in them."
No. They don't. Writers have books in them, and sometimes getting that book out is only slightly less effort than gestating and giving birth to a walrus. Other times it comes out like the toothy little creature that bursts from the guy's abdomen in the movie Alien. My standard response to this one is, "Everybody has a spleen in them, too. Only on rare occasions should it be taken out and displayed on a shelf."

"I'm writing a fiction novel."
Ow! Ow! My head! I can't even think of a scathing response. Usually, this is followed by "Would you be willing to read it and recommend me to your agent?" What can I say? My agent only reps nonfiction novels?

"No one can see me or hear me but you."
I was stunned to hear a variation on this iconic elk turd of exposition the other night in the much ballyhooed series Saving Grace starring Holly Hunter. I love Holly Hunter. I think she's twelve shades of fabulous, and this show was being talked up like it was the greatest writing since Exodus. I was looking forward to it, but I'm sorry, the script was just plain dumb, and when the dude on death row launched into his explanation of what a "last chance angel" is (because he is inexplicably knowledgeable about "last chance angel" codes and policies), tossing in the duh, ya think detail "No one can see him but you" -- oh, my little turtle ears...OW! My F#@%ING HEAD! How many dozen ways are there to show and not tell this factoid or any other factoid for that matter? Why, why, why is that writer's car so much nicer than mine? I swear by Holly's opening scene body double and all else that is pure and holy in the universe, I will not ever type those words in any manuscript. Ever.

Meanwhile...praise God and pass the Advil. Every time I get off on a rant about one thing or another that makes me nuts about the shuffling of words, I quickly remember how lucky I am to be doing what I do for a living. My head is generally a pleasant place, pain-free and full of ideas, for which I am grateful.


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