Monday, 31 October 2011

MONDAY MAGIC - Jaime Samms

It's Halloween and I'm losing my mind.

 I'm not kidding.

Well. It isn't Halloween quite yet. There are about twenty four hours to go, but as the time draws closer, the decibel level of every word my kids speak goes up. Their attention spans shrink. My nerve endings become hyper-sensitive. My patience dwindles at an alarming rate. And I'm not even the primary parent! I cannot understand how my husband keeps his cool as well as he does.

I would be stark, raving lunatic mad by now. In fact, I might be...

All I can be certain of this minute is that I am desperately glad I have to work all day tomorrow. I have no idea how my poor man is going to get through the day with his sanity intact and both kids complete with all their limbs.

This kind of situation is why I write fiction: No kids, no dirty laundry (unless there's a really good reason to have a scene in a laundry mat) no bathrooms need scrubbing. In fact, my characters don't even use bathrooms, unless they need to puke due to a migraine or hangover (or both). Not even very many dirty dishes, unless ambiance calls for a scattering of empty take away containers. (I do write gay romance, after all. Not all gay guys cook.)

Is this a sanitized version of reality? Hells, yes. Do I feel bad about it? Well. No. If we all wanted to read about the insanity of our every day, fiction would be irrelevant. So in order to make it work, we write things both larger and smaller than life. We distill the act of living down to its bare essentials and expand on the emotions exponentially.

One of my very favorite quotes of all movidome is uttered by Paul Bettany when he plays Chaucer in A Knight's Tale. When Will accuses him of lying, he spreads his arms wide and cries "I'm a writer! I give the truth...scope!"

So right. Someone once said something along the lines of writers being the best liars. After all, we make a living out of stretching, bending, and otherwise torturing the truth to within an inch of bending reality back on itself. And then sell it. There was a time some little part of me thought I should feel bad about that. Then the rent came due, the girl needed ballet pointe shoes and the boy wanted breakfast. And second breakfast. And elvenses. And lunch. And Tea...

You see? Life doesn't end or stop or give us a break. That's what fiction is for, and we all need it: a window that shows reality as it's stretched-out, backwards-bent, crazy truth that finally makes some sort of sense.

"I'll be here all week." (That's Chaucer again)

If you want to find more about me, come check out my website:, my blog: or look for me on FaceBook


Jaime Samms said...

Thank you, Maggie, for giving me this crazy moment on your blog!

Maggie Nash said...

No problem Jaime...I'm glad to have you drop by. I have to say, I love that quote from Paul Bettany playing Chaucer. I mean, what's not to like about Paul Bettany!

On the other hand, I completely agree about writing being an escape. There is nothing better than getting away so I can immerse myself in a story without interuptions :-)

Jaime Samms said...

Ok ow, right? He's a cutie, for sure! I even like his bad guys.
And...without interruptions? does that even mean? Lol,

Paul McDermott said...

"Merely corroborative detail, intended to give artistic verisimilitude to an otherwise bald and unconvincing narrative."

Thus spake Pooh-Bah in my favourite G&S operetta, "The Mikado"

Using 'real life' events & references to daily news items can make your plotline more plausible, give it some "street cred" so I'm all for it!

It's still true, Truth CAN indeed be stranger than Fiction - so why not seize the chance?

C. Zampa said...

I LOVE that...."I give truth SCOPE"...Ah! Perfect!

Lovely insight into writing from a writer who always has such...well...lovely insight into life.


Liz said...

You SAID it sister! I LOVE that I don't have to clean kitchens, bathrooms, or do laundry NOR do any of my characters...all those "rooms" in my fictional world are for sex and are filled with expensive Italian marble, midnight black granite and easily accommodate for said activity.
I'm going to share your post on my Facebook I like it so much!

Lynda Kaye Frazier said...

This was great, and you hit the truth, right on the head.
Writing is my escape,my mental break. My husband knows if he gets ups and I'm already at the computer, he's on his own for the day. :}

Christine Ashworth said...

Awesome post, Jaime, and so very true. I love escaping into my writing. The hard part is when the escape DOESN'T happen, and it's like slogging through a pile of dirty dishes. You know you need to do it, and you can rewash them (rewrite) if you have to!

Jaime Samms said...

Paul, in my house, it can be real tough to tell the difference, some days, that's for sure!

Thanks, Carol. Don't know if I have insights, so much as opinions....but anyway. :) thanks so much for stopping by!

Aww, Liz, you rock, lady! And yay! For the accommodating abodes of your characters. That's awesome.

My husband always snaps awake quick when I'm trying to sneak out of bed on a day I'm not working out of the house. He probably thinks I'm trying to sneak away to the computer. He's probably right.

You're so right, Christine. Some days, the words just don't flow, but you have to put ass in chair and do the dirty work, anyway.

elizabeth noble said...

Awesome, I loved it!

Jaime Samms said...

Thanks, Elizabeth. That remains one o my most favorite movies. :D