Getting a little loud there, Nic
I once read an interview with the delightful and talented Jeffrey Combs (horror fans will know him from Reanimator and other Stuart Gordon films; SF fans will know him from Star Trek:DS9, Voyager, and Enterprise. I may also have a small crush on him, never mind, moving along) where he talked about preparing for his one-man play Nevermore, which is an imagined lecture/performance by Edgar Allan Poe. The play includes a great deal of Poe’s poetry, and apparently Jeff spent a lot of time walking around his neighborhood quietly reciting to himself in order to memorize all that verse. He joked that his neighbors probably saw him wandering around talking to himself and thought he’d gone nuts.
I mention this because actors aren’t the only people who talk to themselves a lot. Writers do this, too, only we come up with dialogue as we’re walking/driving/making dinner/whatever. Or in my case, cleaning the pool. See, we’ve been having problems with the little algae eater that connects to a hose on the side of the pool and runs around the bottom merrily sucking up algae and small leaves. Basically, it stopped doing that. And since our pool cleaning company hates us because our neighbor’s trees badly overhang our yard and shed leaves into the pool every time there’s a hint of a breeze (yes, we’re getting that fixed next week, but you need the background), they don’t really bother to do anything if the algae eater fails.
Which means that the bottom of our pool is a disaster, and it’s up to me to fix this. Luckily I am descended from engineering and DIY gods, so I can do this messy and time-consuming task by myself, which includes snaking out the cleaner pipe and breaking up any blockages, running a hose down it to flush out said blockages, checking to make sure the suction is back up to snuff, re-priming the pool pump, burping out all the air, and running a hose-driven vortex cleaner to get the big crap off the bottom while the now-working algae eater starts puttering along.
Oh, and I did all this in 95°F heat, because this is Texas and spring don’t last long ’round here. Anyway, to distract myself from the fact that I was melting and desperate for a shower, I started developing dialogue for Olympic Cove Book 3. Why Book 3 and not Book 2, you ask? Well, because my subconscious dropped a beautifully juicy subplot on my head last night for Book 3 that literally made me spin in glee, it was so wonderful (I will give you a hint — it involves snakes). However, this subplot requires a lot of discussion between Poseidon, his consort Amphitrite, and Geoff Gordon, who will turn out to be the gods’ agapetos (if you don’t know what that means, for God’s sake go buy Storm Season, it’s all explained in there). There will be much angst, recrimination and shouting going on while the three of them work all of this out, and since it’s dialogue I started trying it out verbally to see how well it worked. After all, if dialogue doesn’t sound right when said aloud, you’re doing something wrong and you’d best start over.
It was only while I was running the vortex cleaner that I realized I was, er, kinda yelling. At myself. As different characters. I have no idea if anyone heard me, but the neighbors are close enough that if any of them were in their back yards tonight, they were treated to me doing two different accents and genders as I diligently worked out what my characters would say to each other. So, yeah, just in case any of my neighbors ever stumble across this blog and wonder why I talk (and occasionally yell) to myself in the back yard, now you know.
But damn, Book 3 is going to tear your heart out and stomp on it with hobnailed boots. I cannot wait.