The first draft is due very, very soon. Mary and I are writing and wondering how an idea about a blog has become a book. We conceived the idea for Dirty Sexy Ministry at a New Year's Eve party in the French Quarter several years ago. Perhaps all the best ideas happen at parties in the French Quarter. We were looking out over a home where Tennessee Williams lived for some time while he was writing and drinking too much. Both apparently are easy to do in the Quarter. Somehow the conversation about the inspiration that comes from the French Quarter, New Year's Eve, the guy dressed in an evening gown at the party, and our own imagination led to the blog idea.
Writing a blog post is a nice, short term project. Writing a book is quite another event. First, we are both writing about how the church broke our hearts, so it's not all fun and wit, but often deep and hard work putting hurtful events and memories into a narrative. Secondly, writing is fairly solitary work, which easily allows one to find other things to do after getting one paragraph down.
So, when you read the book (tentatively to be published and on the shelves in November), this is what you won't find in the pages, but what did have to happen to get the words on the pages.
1. Pinterest. One of my Pinterest friends said she can tell when I'm writing on the book because there is a flurry of pinning on my account. She's exactly right. There are all sorts of wonderfully odd and beautiful things on Pinterest, and most of my Pinning friends have equally weird senses of humor, so I can take a much-needed laugh break.
2. Fashion Police. Listening to Joan Rivers and company dish about how rich celebrities dress (or seemingly can't dress) somehow produces energy to write about disappointment, grief, and hope. I wonder if she's ever thought about having a couple of priests to help her talk about fashion? We are available, Joan, just in case.
3. Staring out the window. I'm amazed at how, in the middle of a sentence, the grass growing on the lawn across the street becomes fascinating. Oh, and there are bunnies that hop around to add to the viewing pleasure.
4. Friends on the phone. Best way to get around writer's block? Call a friend and chat. Our very close ones will eventually ask us how the book is coming, and get us back to writing. If Mary and I call each other, it's all over for an hour or so as we catch up on the latest episode of Fashion Police.
5. Re-reading old blog posts. Our editor said we could include some of the older posts that fit with the narrative. Do you know what a pain reading what we wrote and realizing that the struggles from that time are still with us? Good grief. By the way, if you have a favorite post, let us know. Your input would help us.
6. Pinterest. Yes, did I mention that astonishingly wonderful time-waster?
7. Figuring out who will play us in the Dirty Sexy Ministry movie. We've never said we weren't slightly crazy. Kathryn Heigel and Tina Fey, by the way. Liam Neeson, Jason Statham, Jon Hamm, and Colin Firth will play our love interests.