Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Twofer Tuesday -- The Write Hat for the Job

It was nagging at me for quite some time, but I was unsure what to do about it. I felt the need for a hat. Not just any hat either. It had to be a fedora. The question was, where does one go to get it?

The nagging grew more intense late last week as I got stronger pulls to work on all four of my novel mss. even the one that is unlikely to ever see the cold light of day.

Then we went to Red Deer last Friday ( a central Alberta city 50 mi. to the east) and as we approached the feeling intensified. I must have a fedora. Now.

I was walking through a mall when I passed a hat store that always seemed to be overfilled with ball caps. But this time as I walked by a shelf display teeming with fedoras threw itself at me.

I'm pleased to report the fedora and I are very happy together. I wear it as I take chapter notes on A Fly on the Wall. Stray scenes from other mss. flow into my mind with suggestions on just what I need to do to satisfy them.
The hat keeps them in check, corralling my thoughts and organizing them into a chute for later launching. It's a good hat, and it's helping me write.
I still have the chew toys as needed and pick out a tune or two on the guitar as needed, but the hat is helping me get it done.

As I said earlier I'm taking chapter notes. This is my way of finding all the times I was repetitive, or contradictory, or simply made no appreciable sense. I also see more mistakes and have the sense to fix them as I find them.

Here's a bit from A Fly on the Wall:

She moved her head in closer to his. "I think she's got a drop or two of the blood in her, that's what. I studied Cryptozoology, you know. Crosses and half-bloods and miscegenation, if you will. Happens all the time."

I'm currently reading some Philip K. Dick. Why, oh why didn't I get to this man sooner? Science fiction is my first love and I'm just now getting back to it after years of straying.
We went to a bookstore during our trip to Red Deer and I bought two of his books: Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? ( the inspiration for Blade Runner) and A Scanner Darkly.

I had a quick look at both before consigning them to the TBR pile, but the second one called me. I had to read it.
Here are two sentences :

" 'The receptor sites in his brain are what I've read usually goes first,' Donna said placidly. 'Someone's brain where he's gotten a bad hit or like that, like too heavy. ' "

-A Scanner Darkly by Philip K. Dick (Vintage Books 1991, copyright 1977)

Twofer Tuesday is the brainchild of the Women of Mystery. Go on over and say hello. You'll be glad you did.


David Cranmer said...

I love hats. I'm constantly buying them for my wife and myself. And you look terrific in yours. All writers should wear hats (especially fedoras).

messymimi said...

So glad the hat is all you wanted it to be.

When your book is published, wear the hat in the back cover photo.

Love the lines.

Leah J. Utas said...

David, good to meet another hat fan. Thanks, and I totally agree about writers and fedoras.

Messymimi,that's a great idea. Glad you like the lines.

the Bag Lady said...

Messymimi is correct - that photo of you in the hat is the perfect photo for your book cover!
Love the hat, and the fact that it is helping you write!

Leah J. Utas said...

Thanks, df Bag Lady. It's important to strike the right balance with hats.

Clare2e said...

I also applaud the hat! And PKD!

I don't have any doubt about your mss, now that you're properly armed (hatted) for the show down.

Hilary said...

Hats off to you! You look great and I'm glad it's doing its job. :)

Leah J. Utas said...

Clare, thank you for your confidence. The fedora and I appreciate it.

Hilary, thanks so much.

Writing Without Periods! said...

How lucky to find the right hat. I'm still looking. I agree with messymimi, use the photo on the back cover copy.

Leah J. Utas said...

Open your mind and heart and the hat will find you, Mary. And thanks.

Barbara Martin said...

You have a hat and I have a 2008calendar from Bridgewater Bank in Alberta: has photos of various aspects of ranching: horses, cattle, foothills, mountains, rivers, pastures. cattle dogs. It inspires creativity well.

Leah J. Utas said...

Glad you have something, Barbara. Where is Bridgewater Bank?