Since this is October, I thought it would be appropriate to post a little something about vampires...but these guys aren't your typical bloodsuckers. Read on and see if you recognize any of them!
With all the excitement over vampires and other paranormal creatures in the literary market these days, I realized that should I desire to write about them, I need go no further than my own home and life for research. It took me years to realize it, but then it dawned on me...
I LIVE WITH VAMPIRES.
Like most of you reading this, I work full time outside my home. At times, The Job is so energy-consuming, I find myself becoming drained and anemic, yet The Job clamors for more, more, more.
Because a day job is pretty much required for those of us who aren’t yet writing for a living and whose households depend on more than one income, I’ve come to accept my lot in life. And, I enjoy the paychecks.
On my days off, however, I try to maintain a balance that will satisfy all the vampires in my life and still leave me with enough energy to sit down and let my creative side out of its cage. Invariably, though, one vampire or another becomes greedy and tightens the tourniquet. If it’s not The Job sucking the life out of me, it’s something else. After much research, I’ve identified and categorized these vampires into four groups. You’ve already met The Job.
The next group I shall call the Needies.
Needies can come in many guises such as co-workers, spouse, children, other various relatives, and friends.
Needies have built in radar that can sense when you most desire--nay, require time to yourself. They then pick that very time to “need” you.
Naturally, being the loving person I am, I stick my neck out, in swanlike fashion and allow them to suckle to their heart’s content. It’s only after, as I lay withered and spent that the resentment begins to simmer. I berate myself for allowing the vampire to drain me, yet I am unable to vocalize that single syllable that would free me. One tiny little word—no.
Refusing a Needy when they come swooping down is like waving garlic in front of old Vlad himself. They might hiss, growl, curse me, call me vile names but one way or another, they find a way to get what they want. The vampires in my life have perfected the art of guilting. I know that’s not a real word, but for these characters, it fits.
Bless their hearts, they don’t even realize they’re vampires…they just do what comes naturally. If I do gather up the gumption to actually say “no”, they proceed to throw one argument after another at me until I relent and give up that precious time or my last little bit of energy reserves to satisfy them.
Another type of vampire is Out of obeisance to the mind control of the Task Master vampire, you go around picking up clothes, toys, dishes, etcetera that you didn’t leave lying around the house, but which you feel an uncontrollable urge to pick up and put away. You’d rather be sitting in front of the keyboard pounding out that incredibly wonderful scene you thought up right before you got out of bed, but you don’t. You do as you’re commanded while time flies past at warp speed. Before you know it, half the day is gone. Your home is sparkling clean, everything in its place, and you’re too tired to write a grocery list, much less a novel.
I’ll admit, I don’t have much of a problem with Task Masters. Years ago, I got wise to their insidious ways and learned to tune them out. When they do show face, they’re usually accompanied by a Needy and then...I’m toast.
The final energy/time vampire I’ve identified is the worst of all. I call her the Succubus of Murphy’s Law.
This brazen, blood-thirsty tart will come at you any time, any where and throw any obstacle she can at you to keep you away from your computer, AlphaSmart or even a piece of paper. Remember all those times you’ve needed a pen to write down a great idea and the only one you can find has vomited its entire ink cartridge into the bottom of your purse? That’s Murphy’s Succubus at work.
Murphy’s Succubus is responsible for those log-jam traffic tie-ups that have you walking in the front door around the same time you’d normally be finishing dinner and heading upstairs to write.
She’s also the one who causes you to spend the one day you’d planned on writing, rescuing rapidly thawing items from the freezer in the garage that died during the night.
The list of her foul deeds is long and I could go on for pages, but you get the idea.
I’ve found that the best way to deal with these suckers is to cultivate a sort of Zen attitude…the Stuff Happens mentality. At some point, the vampires grow sated and ready for a nap. That’s when you can make your escape. So, always, always keep something handy to record your thoughts. I happen to love my laptop and keep it with me 99% of the time.
Just don’t do like me and get caught up in game after game of Free Cell while you’re trying to compose that love scene. Trust me, it doesn’t work.
For you pen and paper fans, neither do Sudoku or crossword puzzles.
Hmm, I’m beginning to think there’s another vampire lurking around here.
RWA PRO member, Cinthia Hamer is busy fighting off the vampires in her life and working on her latest novel. To see how she’s faring, visit her at www.cinthiahamer.com or visit her page at www.myspace.com/cinthiahamer
Fussy? Opinionated? Impossible to please?