Why writers don't (usually) turn into serial killers = Carolyn

I made the grave error of looking at my horoscope in the paper this morning. I generally avoid it like the plague, but today I accidentally allowed my eye to glance over it to read that from a possible five stars (good), I was down to two. It said basically that although I thought I might finally have a handle on things, I was dead wrong. Things were still a mess, as I would discover as the day went on. Thanks a lot. Everyone I know is having Karma problems these days, largely because of technology. Things break, nobody cares and nobody will come fix them.
At my Malice in Memphis writers group meeting on Saturday we were all commiserating. After two and a half months and nine visits from the repairman, I still had no icemaker. Then Friday the entire refrigerator (still under warranty) stopped cooling, and when I requested a repair, they offered next Thursday afternoon. Seriously?
Then the driver’s side door in my Expedition broke, so that I couldn’t get out of the car by myself. Does that really happen to normal people? I left the water on overnight in the barn again—very bad for both environment and the well—because I seem to be functioning at the level of semi-competent nutria. 
Our Malice group decided that we would write a book about a list of anti-repairmen, either incompetent, uncaring, or actually destructive.  Owner and manager of said list would be our serial killer, someone who has had one bad experience too many and snaps. The deaths would be a la Mikado—the punishment would fit the crime. The auto mechanic who punctures the air conditioning hose would find himself locked in a black SUV on the hottest day of the year in Death Valley. The man who did not repair the swimming pool robot would find himself shuttling endlessly, face down, in green slimy water while the robot trundled happily around the pool. You get the idea.
The good thing about all this is that because we are writers, we don’t have actually to do any of these things. We can get our revenge by envisioning the worst that could happen, writing about it, then letting it go.
Although that idea about the pool robot does have some appealing points…


  1. Carolyn - how constructive of all of you to take such an exasperating set of events and turn it into something positive! I think that's the serious up-side of writing for a living - everything is grist for the mill! I was once called to the Post Office because a ms. I'd paid a fortune to send to New York on time hasn't made it. They handed me a padded envelope so destroyed by black tire tracks that the 300 some pages were coming out one end and, mercifully, the only thing visible on the envelope was my return address. Stupid question - but I asked what happened. Our Post Master said to me very seriously, "Looks like a plane ran over it." So maybe you could add a mailman being done in by a low-flying airplane.

  2. Carolyn, You didn't say what you had in mind for your refrigerator repair man. Locked in a walk-in freezer no doubt. I wonder if there are no competent repair persons any more. Seriously, everything is so complicated with computer boards that run what used to run on rotator force. But I do hope your day improves. And stop reading your horriblescope.

  3. Hi Carolyn,
    I was just saying the other day that from the front yard, people looking through my office window could totally misread my Brookhollow storyboard as a murder plot lol. Pictures of people linked together and a map with pins for different locations...lol.
    You are right, we get to put our fictional friends through so much that we'd never be able to do in real life:)

  4. Carolyn, In Corrales, (Tiny town) you get to know people. (Actually, you can't avoid it. )I've got a gentleman out back fixing my ceiling - some of the ...I don't know...white stuff... sheetrock? Well, it was peeling and falling on people, so he's out there fixing it for me. When the dishwasher went up, one of D's former students came up and fixed it - saving us a ton of money. I highly recommend small towns. They can't be beat. I still remember a neighbor coming over with a baseball bat cause he saw an unknown car in the driveway. (It was my plumber)LOL!!!

  5. I was at a writing conference in Dallas a couple of years ago, riding in an elevator with other writers when one of them asked, "Anyone know how to poison someone without leaving any evidence?" The non-writers present got off on the next floor. LOL


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