Squawk Radio

Wednesday, April 19, 2006

Just after SQUAWK took flight I began writing a book; I finished it to weeks ago. Thanks so much for joining us this year. We've had a blast!


EXCERPTS FROM CONNIE'S WRITING DIARY --first published May 2005
Everyone knows that the beginning of a novel is the most wonderful, creative, juiced up time in a writer's life. So, since I am beginning a new phase in my writing career, I thought I'd shared those first few days of magic!

DAY ONE 9:33 a.m.- I crack my knuckles and types the words, "The little kid hit the glass window of the refrigeration unit with an audible splat." Damn. That's good. Visceral. Intriguing. I can work with this. I go and fix myself a mimosa to celebrate the dawn of a new writing day in my career.
10:17 a.m.-I've been on the phone listening to my great-uncle describe his impetigo, but now I've returned sans mimosa (I poured it out halfway through Phil's description of erupting blisters.) I stare at my sentence and make a little change, "The brat hit the refrigeration unit's glass wall on a dead run." Hm. Better. This is a more concise image. You understand that this isn't a "little window," it is a "viewing..." Hey! "The brat hit the viewing window on a dead run." Nah. "The brat approached the refrigeration unit on a dead run, hitting the viewing window with an audible splat." Shit. Shit, shit, shit. I raise my eyes to heaven imploringly. Look at that. Time for lunch.

DAY TWO 11:11 a.m.- Yesterday was just a test run. TODAY is the day I am really starting that novel. I am in a celebratory mood. This may have something to do with the mimosa already in my hand, but I'm willing to go with the general festive and confident mood it has inspired. Besides I already see the problem with that first sentence. I fix it. "The brat darted from the crowd surrounding the National Butter Association's revolving Butter Sculpting Studio on a dead run and hit the glass wall with an audible splat." That's good. I'd been missing that 'splat.' So good in fact, I call a friend to read this fabulous first line and bask in her approval. She responds, "Kids, even brats, don't splat." Shit. She's right.

DAY FIVE 3:40 p.m. -Okay, Okay. I've been busy. But is it any wonder I haven't been able to really invest myself in this process when I've had things like dry- cleaning the winter coats and setting up this blog and drawing chicken bodies hanging over my head?! But now everything is under control. I can really concentrate on my writing. "The kid darted from the crowd surrounding Butter Sculpture Studio and hit the window on a dead run, shaking the refrigerated unit from its two by four foundation."
Argh.
"The kid shot from--" The email rings and a window pops up on my desktop. It's yet another note from Eloisa demanding, again, a new head for her chicken. Drat Eloisa.

DAY SIX 6:55 p.m. -Screw the kid and screw the refrigerator. I'm going to make a cheesecake.

DAY NINE 10:48 p.m. -I finish the last of the cheesecake. Thus revitalized, I plop myself down in front of the monitor... " 'And you were once a Butter Princess,' the judge whispered in a theatrically lowered voice." or maybe, " 'And to think,' the judge shook her head, 'you were once a Butter Princess.' " Yes. Yes, yes. This is a much better place to open. I am pleased. But if I changed..." 'And you call yourself a Butter Princess.' The judge's eyes narrowed--" "Hold the phone. This is not a historical romance novel. My characters eyes do not 'narrow' anymore. Or do they...?!The phone rings. It is Eloisa. She is most strident. She insists she be given a new chicken head. I am going to bed.

DAY TEN 9:00 a.m.-I have worked on my new novel for ten days. I have written one sentence. Normally this would motivate me to write, but it is Sunday. I shouldn't really be working on Sunday. God wouldn't like it.
I turn off the computer, wondering if this rationale is going to come back and bite me in the ass. Right in front of the Pearly Gates.

My first contemporary book HOT DISH will be available November and I'm delighted to be able to unveil the cover for the first time here, for you, my little squawking friends! (And below that is how the original sentence ended up!)




"A bang shook the freezer as a fat little cheek smashed into the Plexiglas window like a bug hurtling into the windshield of a VW. The cheek stuck, glued there by equal parts sweat, syrup, and sunscreen. Above it, a kid’s single visible eye rotated in its socket like a gecko’s, coming to rest on the hundred pound, head-shaped block of butter inside. "
Connie Brockway, 9:51 AM
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