Shannon Stacey

Mysteries in my life…

??? — Why did it take me almost a week to figure out that my ’67 Mustang’s running a ’66 Falcon tranny? I know that D’s a Falcon and Z’s a Mustang. Hopefully this will make a difference in the nightmare that has been the Great Torque Converter Hunt. The good news—the transmission’s no longer in the trunk. It’s laying in the driveway.

??? — Why am I seeing books written in the first person, present tense?

I walk into the bar and our eyes meet. My heart begins to pound.

They remind me of those old choose-your-own-adventure books from childhood.

If I play it cool and head for the bar, turn to page 5. If I start panting and flash him, turn to page 16.

And sex scenes in first person, present tense? Not my cuppa tea. Ick.

??? — Why am I seeing my fellow WordPressers updating? I don’t wanna. It’s scary. Very, very scary. Rather see the silhouette of a butcher knife through my shower curtain kinda scary. (Yeah, I’m still running 1.5. I start twitching when I see numbers like and Not just the eye twitching. Simultaneous eye and shoulder twitching.)

??? — Why was I thrilled to turn 30, and turning 32 and 32 didn’t bother me, but turning 33 soon has me wicked freaked out? (The husband will be turning 50 in November, and he’s less freaked out than I am.)

I’m not even going to broach the subject of child-related mysteries in my life. It was a full moon recently, no?

22 comments to “Mysteries in my life…”

  1. Karen Templeton
      · August 22nd, 2005 at 11:32 pm · Link

    First person present stories abound, honeychile. Including two of mine. The weird thing was, I really tried to write both in first person past, but I kept slipping into present. I finally gave up. That’s the way it goes sometimes.

    However, I’m toying around with a new story that, dammit, WILL be in first person past if for no other reason that *I’m* the writer, I’M IN CHARGE. :whip:

    (Finally got to use the little whip dude, yee-hah.)


  2. Shannon
      · August 23rd, 2005 at 12:00 am · Link


    *heads for the bookshelf*


    Maybe because Loose Screws opened with past, I didn’t really notice it. And Hanging By A Thread

    *the sounds of crickets echo in the awkward silence*


    You know I love your books no matter what tense you write them in. (Well, not future tense, that would just be weird.) Maybe it bothers me more in a book I’m meh about reading anyway, just like headhopping does. Maybe it works better with some voices than others. But I do prefer past tense usually.

    *I’m* the writer, I’M IN CHARGE.

    :lmao: Can’t. Breathe.

  3. THIS! Christine
      · August 23rd, 2005 at 2:03 am · Link

    In other news… I’ve posted the top 100 British movies if you wanna waste some time.


  4. Anna Lucia
      · August 23rd, 2005 at 3:12 am · Link

    Ooooh Brit movies…..

    Shan, I didn’t flinch (much) for 30, but 31 has me twitching. Not least because I wanted to have finished popping out kids by 28. :hide:

    Karen…. call me chica….:neener:

  5. Karen Templeton
      · August 23rd, 2005 at 3:45 am · Link


    (That was for Anna. Although, for a small fee, I’m sure she’s willing to share.)

    Yeah, future tense would be bizarre. Unless the heroine was clairvoyant or something. Anyone read JEMIMA J by Jane Green? Some of the sections are in second person. And actually worked. Not a trick this gal’s likely to try at home, however.

    Okay, so maybe the “I’m in charge” thing is a reach. Especially since I’ve started four books in the past two months and can’t pull together a cohesive first chapter in any of them. Stinkin’ menopausal brain fog. :crazy:

    Speaking of which. . .HEY. Y’all are young enough to be my freaking DAUGHTERS. So don’t make me sic this guy :whip: on you. . .


  6. Kitty
      · August 23rd, 2005 at 4:55 am · Link

    I loved those choose your own adventure books, hey Shan, hows about writing a Choose your own Romance book, I’d buy it :nod:

  7. Jaci
      · August 23rd, 2005 at 7:01 am · Link

    *Tosses KarenT a big hug on the old enough to have these chicas as our daughters*

    Cry me a river when you’re approaching 50, ladies. :wtf: *sob*

  8. Charlene
      · August 23rd, 2005 at 8:14 am · Link

    Tense has actually caused me to not buy a book. I picked one up browsing that had an interesting story but after a couple of paragraphs I had a headache and I knew I’d never be able to read the whole thing. :???:

    I’m not sayin’ nothin’ about age. :noevil::noevil::noevil:

  9. Steph T.
      · August 23rd, 2005 at 9:36 am · Link

    Full moon was on Friday. :hide:

  10. Walt
      · August 23rd, 2005 at 9:50 am · Link

    If he opens his wallet and pulls out a condom, turn to page 68.

    If he tells you that “since you’re BOTH virgins, he doesn’t need a condom, turn to page 121.

    yeah, I know what happens when you turn to page 121.

  11. Mel
      · August 23rd, 2005 at 10:13 am · Link

    Dooooooo eeeet, I wanna read a choose your own hunky hero romance by Shannon Stacey…. pppppppleeeeeeeeeaaaaaaaaaaseeeeeeeeeee?

    and I had the same *twitch* over 34, so hush up. *gah*


  12. Anna Lucia
      · August 23rd, 2005 at 2:57 pm · Link


    :cheesy: :cheesy: :cheesy: :cheesy: :cheesy:


  13. Ellen Fisher
      · August 23rd, 2005 at 3:31 pm · Link

    How about second person? I recently read a chick lit novella written in second person. Scarily, it was fabulous. I would have sworn you couldn’t do that successfully.

    And don’t come cryin’ to me about turning 33… I’m about to turn 38. Aaaaarggghh.

  14. Natalie
      · August 23rd, 2005 at 4:03 pm · Link

    I didn’t think I’d like Can You Keep a Secret? by Sophie Kinsella. I don’t like first person books, as a rule (some I’ve read are great, and I’m actually writing one–yeah, I know); I don’t like inept heroines; and it was in present tense. Drove me nuts until she started spewing all her secrets, then it was good enough I didn’t mind.

    Didn’t make me want to read any more first-person, present-tense books, though.

  15. Shannon
      · August 23rd, 2005 at 7:41 pm · Link

    I’ve just now gotten to the point that I can comfortably go into a first person without groaning. Second person would be really weird. Totally choose your own adventure. I might try to hunt up that novella, just to see how it’s done, Ellen.

    I’ll write one starring :penguin:, k?

    Humiliating story (and perhaps partly responsible for my birthday hives):

    Last time we went camping we ended up talking to another couple. The guys were talking trucks, leaving the wives standing around. So she decides to use the boys as in icebreaker.

    Her: Cute boys. Are they your grandsons?

    Me: :wtf: :cry:

    I’m used to people overestimating my age a little because my husband’s balding and grey and fifty in November. Aged by association. But I’d be lying if I said that didn’t piss me off just a bit.

  16. Karen Templeton
      · August 23rd, 2005 at 8:38 pm · Link

    Okay, so I’m 53. Hubby’s ten years older. Our youngest is 10. We’re used to the “Is he your grandson?” questions. (And actually, we kid about not wanting to wait for the older boys to give us grandkids, so we decided to have our own.) But the other day we had our TWENTY year old with us, and the Walmart cashier assumed he was our grandson.

    :wtf: is right.

    I’m remember thinking, geez, I must be having a really bad day.

    But Shannon, think of it this way. . .that gal must think you look really, really fabulous for what she assumes is your age.


  17. Rae
      · August 23rd, 2005 at 11:04 pm · Link

    :dance: Didja write it yet?

    I haven’t been asked about the grandson bit. I didn’t take 30 or 35 well. Dunno why. Maybe because when I turned 30, I said I’d be published by 35. Of course, it isn’t over yet, but then again…I’m not even close to having anything to submit yet.

    Back to your regularly scheduled…life

  18. Shannon
      · August 24th, 2005 at 12:41 pm · Link

    If I’d been faster on my feet I could have said “Yup, they’re my grandsons. I can’t believe I’ll be sixty next week.”

    That would have given her something to think about. :nod:

    But you’re fired up again Raecy. That’s an awesome thing, and I’m :cheer: for you!

  19. Cece
      · August 24th, 2005 at 1:05 pm · Link

    I’m with Karen…current wip tried for 1st past but 1st present it is. It’s an artform I think and hard work–at least for me since it’s the first time I did it. Or maybe it’s just like learning any new writerly thing. But after doing it while, switching back to past tense was tough. Michelle Cunnah does present tense really well. there is one author who writes 3rd present (suspense too not chick lit)and it totally doesn’t work for me.

    I read Jemima J!!! i dont remember 2nd tense :doh:

  20. Diana
      · August 24th, 2005 at 2:29 pm · Link

    My book is first past. That’s the way it came out. :shrug: It annoys me when people discuss it as if it’s a new way of writing, like something you only ever see in chick lit or something. But mostly I just :lmao: because David Copperfield is in first person. Moby Dick is in first person. First person rocks. :cheer:

  21. Karen Templeton
      · August 24th, 2005 at 4:46 pm · Link

    I love writing in first person, too — love, love, love being able to give the character her head and let her tell her story exactly how she wants to, in her own voice, no apologies. And with more freedom to use revolving first person POV, the old “but I want to know what other people are thinking, too!” bugaboo becomes a non-issue. No, obviously you cannot headhop in first :crazy:, but lotsa folks switch from chapter to chapter, or scene to scene. If the switches are clear, and the chars have been given distinctive voices, it can work quite well.

    What I’ve found interesting, however, is that a lot of the objections to first person can be equally problematic in third. Like interminable, rambling introspection. Or a character who’s too self-involved. Or too much telling instead of showing. Or authorial intrusion. Those are craft problems, not device problems. :nod:

    In any case, Diana’s right — first person’s been around a loooong time. And nothing can touch it for immediacy and as a vehicle for becoming deeply connected to the narrating character(s). It wouldn’t work for every story, but when it does. . .:thumb:

  22. Shannon
      · August 25th, 2005 at 10:24 pm · Link

    I think for me first person and chick lit have become tied together because I live in “Romanceland” and, while there have been exceptions of course, first person really exploded with chick lit.

    But first person isn’t my personal preference in any genre. And OMG do I hate Moby Dick. I think Ernest Hemingway and Herman Melville could have been very happy together.

    But anyway. I don’t care for first person thrillers or first person historical works. (SAVE me from the Diary Of books.) But I’ve read some pretty superbly done first person books recently, so first person has grown on me. First person in present tense I’m going to have to work on.

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