A group blog featuring an international array of killer mystery, suspense, and romantic suspense writers. With premises and story lines different from your run-of-the-mill whodunits, we tend to write outside the box. We blog several times a week on all topics relating to romantic suspense and mystery, our writing, and our readers. We welcome all comments and often have guest bloggers. All our authors can be contacted separately, too, using their own social media links.

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Friday, June 24, 2011

Birthdays Galore!

It’s my birthday today (thank you, I’ll save you some cake). It’s also the lovely Marcelle Dube’s birthday. *waves madly and sings “happy birthday to you, Marcelle”*. (June 24th is a great day for mystery authors!)

You think I’ll be spending the day slaving over a hot keyboard, don’t you? Well, I won’t. You see, I have a point to prove.

A couple of evenings ago, hubby and I were sitting relaxing. At least, he was relaxing. Me? I suddenly grabbed my iPad, made a couple of notes, and said “What do you think of these for titles?”

He gave me a pained, resigned look and replied “You never switch off, do you?”

I opened my mouth to tell him that I switch off lots of times, like when I take the dogs for long walks. Then I remembered that I use my dog walks for working out plot or character problems in my books.

I opened my mouth again, all set to tell him that I switch off when I’m watching a good film, but then I remembered how he rolls his eyes every time I say something like “that character isn’t very well drawn”, “I’d like more of character X’s viewpoint” or “I’d have chosen a totally different setting…”.

I finally opened my mouth and said “Um, well, no. Not often.”

He has a point. Even when I’m away from the desk, I’m mentally writing, editing, plotting, marketing...

Today, however, I’m determined to show him that I can switch off.

But how? I’ll have to leave the house, obviously. I’ll also have to leave iPad and iPhone at home so I can’t sneak a quick look at Twitter or emails. I’ll repeat to myself every six seconds “I shall not think about books...”. I may go to the beach, but I won’t think about putting a death by drowning in the next book. If I have lunch in a lovely restaurant, I won’t take notes in case I want to include it in the WIP...

It’s going to be a tough day, and I may need lots of glasses of something suitably chilled, but I will switch off.

How about you? Does switching off come easily? If so, please share tips with this woman in need!

(Have a lovely birthday, Marcelle!)


Jenny Beattie said...

Happy birthday to you Shirley. One of the brilliant things about switching off is that you're brain never really does. I love the way it keeps on going even when I'm not thinking of my book. It's so clever.

MaureenAMiller said...

Happy birthday to Shirley and Marcelle, two lovely and talented ladies!!

Speaking with a personal bias, I have to NOT recommend you switching off, Shirley. I don't know what moment in the day may end up triggering your next great masterpiece! :)

Marcelle Dubé said...

Happy birthday, birthday mate! May your conscious brain let go of all things writerly today and let your subconscious brain do the work. Have some cake! Drink champagne! I wish you a lovely day and a wonderful year.

Toni Anderson said...

Happy Birthday, Shirley and Marcelle!!! A great mysterious day :)

Switching off??? Err...well, when I sleep (although not always). Or when I'm being torn between suncream, agendas, making lunch and breakfast at same time, and checking email? Then I'm generally not thinking about stories. The rest of the time. Yup, I'm thinking about stories :)

Shirley Wells said...

Jenny - Thank you. :) Yes, I suppose in a way it's a good thing that the brain keeps going.

Maureen - Thank you again. I didn't really switch off, although I think it's a good idea to do so now and again. Maybe. ;)

Marcelle - Thank you so much and the same to you. I'm having cake later. And something bubbly. I hope you are you. Have a great day and a wonderfully successful year!

Toni - Thank you for the birthday wishes. I don't think I switch off while I sleep either. I know I fall asleep worrying about some plot point and when I wake up, I've sorted it. Strange. :)

Elise Warner said...

Happy, happy birthday Shirley and Marcelle. Have a lovely day. I don't think any of us switch off. Subconsciously, we're like the Energizer bunny--we keep going and going and going...

Kathy Ivan said...

Happy birthday Shirley and Marcelle! How great that 2 of the NYUS authors share a birthday.

Switching off, what's that? I think even when we try to take down time, the creative part of our brains keep chugging along, keeping the ideas coming. That's why we can't not write (even though we can use bad grammar). LOL

Cozy in Texas said...

Happy Birthday.

Shirley Wells said...

Elize - Thank you. LOL, I'd never thought of us being like the Energizer bunny. I'll never look at him (her?) in quite the same way again.

Kathy - Thanks for the birthday wishes. I'm going to tell hubby we're all the same. We can't not write. :)

Ann - Thank you!

Stevie Carroll said...

Belated Birthday Greetings to you both.

I don't think I ever truly switch off either. There's always something I can jot down notes on.

Shirley Wells said...

Stevie - Thank you for the birthday wishes. We just don't switch off, do we? Ah well... :)

Betsy Horvath said...

Happy Birthday, Shirley! (I already sang to Marcelle over on Facebook. It was a moment).

Personally, my problem is not getting my brain to switch off, but finding the time to write everything down it feeds me. Then my brain thinks I'm ignoring it, refuses to cooperate, and stands with its back turned towards me and its arms crossed. Switch off if you want to, Shirley, but don't you dare forget to switch back on! I already know I NEED your next book! :)

Shirley Wells said...

Betsy - You say the sweetest things. :)
I can lie awake for hours trying to recall the really great idea that I didn't make a note of.

Clare London said...

Happy birthday to you both, so sorry I missed the actual day!

I think not switching off is both the joy and the curse of being an author :).

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