Saturday, September 14, 2013
The Nature of Writing with Saint
I've mentioned that I'm finally going to meet my co-author, Eugene Saint – the friend who, two years ago, gave me those Tennessean pups we affectionately call the “Pease Wees”. Saint and I have an almost-completed full-length Tag novel that needs to be finished, edited, designed, etc. and we realized we could do it much easier and faster in person rather than online via emails or over the phone. The internet takes too long and on the phone…well, that comes with its own complications. See, Saint prefers to rattle my cage rather than concentrate on the task at hand. I don’t believe he’s really ADD but he most certainly is “focus-challenged”.
Friends have asked me what it’s like to work with Saint. That stranger. That older person. That guy ‘from away’.
Frankly, it’s hell.
Perhaps you’ll understand what I mean. Here are some typical exchanges between Saint and me.
** What Saint says: “I was reading your stuff…when all of a sudden I slammed into the car dashboard/computer monitor/my desk. Practically broke my neck!”
What Saint means: “You use too many commas.”
** What Saint says: “Hidey Hole? Hidey Hole? What in God’s name is a Hidey Hole? Are you gay, or what?”
What Saint means: “I don’t care for the term ‘Hidey Hole’. Perhaps you can come up with something different, my dear?”
** What Saint says: “Whine, whine, whine…good stuff, good stuff, whine…”
What Saint means: “Your posts are all about feelings. Too ‘girlie’. Luckily, I write stuff people want to read.”
** What I say: “Well, Saint…I’ll let you go so I can grab some supper.”
What Saint says: “That’s right. Go fatten up.”
** What I say: “I wondered if maybe you’d consider reducing the number of times that you indiscriminately use the ‘F-bomb’ in your posts. I really don’t think it adds anything to the story.”
What Saint says: “(F-bomb), no!”
** What Saint says: “So I was thinking… maybe I’ll do something enjoyable this afternoon. Or, maybe I’ll read what you wrote last night.”
What Saint means: “I wonder if I can make her cry…”
What I think: “When hell freezes over, old man.”
** What Saint says: “That’s cool.”
What I say: “You’re kidding! Are you kidding me? You actually LIKE it?”
What Saint says: “Well, not now that you’ve pointed out how dumb it is…”
** What I say: “So… what happens if you don’t like me once you’ve met me in person?”
What Saint says: “Who says I like you now?”
What Saint means: “I can’t wait to meet Kaz!”
** What I say: “So…will you still want to write with me if you don’t like the ‘real’ me?”
What Saint says: “Who says I want to write with you now?”
What Saint means: “I can’t believe how lucky I am to co-author a book with Kaz!”
** What I say: “Saint, you drive me NUTS!”
What Saint says: “Awww…bless your poor misshapen head.”
What Saint thinks: “This is too easy.”
What I think: “Man, is this old duffer in for a rude awakening! Bring it on!”
No, Saint and I don’t have a tranquil partnership, and he's not the type of friend whom I'd consider to be a ‘soft place to fall’. In fact, he says I won’t like him. That he’s a miserable SOB.
Heaven knows Saint likes to be right, so I won’t argue with his assumption or his self-assessment. Too, there's that little 'side-benefit'. If I don't argue with the old goat...it drives HIM nuts. I've gotta keep him on his toes, or most likely his aging brain will atrophy and I'll be stuck pulling his dead weight. So, just this once, I'll let him have the last word.
** What I mean: "I can't wait to meet Saint."