Shannon Stacey

Never look under the bed sober

I mean, of course, the figurative “under the bed” where manuscripts go to die. Although, having a few drinks before looking under one’s literal bed isn’t a bad idea, either. That way when you find out the cats used those three rolls of wrapping paper to reenact General MacArthur’s ticker tape parade, you’ll be too drunk to catch them.

But anyway…yesterday, while stowing some post-tax-season papers, I got to rummaging through my writing boneyard again—and I’m talking stuff from way back in high school. I’m starting to think I only should only do so when highly inebriated, or as they say around here for some inexplicable reason, cocked’r than a mink. Why?

* I once named an extraordinarily spunky western heroine Sapphire Jett. (Yeah, I know, but I was a late 80’s teen. I couldn’t help myself. Getting a book cover with that flourescent blue eye shadow would have rocked my Poison-loving heart.)

* I found the line: She was swept away on waves of passion. (In my defense, I was a virgin when I wrote that one. While I had no idea what the hell it meant, I knew it was something that happened to romance heroines on a fairly regular basis.)

* I was tempted to again start rummaging through boxes, still looking for that hilariously bad poetry I wrote in high school so I could mock it on my blog. (It was that bad. Corny. Srsly.)

* I was slightly startled to find myself reading through a charming, if rough, scene only to find the couple gruesomely murdered at the end of it. I’d forgotten about the “next Stephen King” phase.

* I laughed my ass off at my hero, who I named Captain Hazard, having a spirited swordfight on the deck of his pirate ship with the extraordinarily spunky, stowaway heroine during which his expertly inflicted strikes slashed away at her puffy white shirt. (Pre-Seinfeld.)

I’ve decided that under my bed is like Vegas…what’s under the bed stays under the bed.

6 comments to “Never look under the bed sober”

  1. Charlene
      · April 2nd, 2008 at 2:34 pm · Link

    You know, I have half a book I really need to set fire to so it never comes back to haunt me. My husband actually asked if I had anything I could haul out for my next book, and I practically screamed, “Noooooo! It might sell!” And then, God help me, I’d have to FIX it…

    Pirates are fun. I think you should finish the pirate book. :groucho:

  2. Patti
      · April 2nd, 2008 at 2:46 pm · Link

    Okay, cous, I read your blog for the comedy! You are wicked pissah! First of all, step away from David Cook because he is mine. Secondly, please check out my lastest reviews on and remember I am doing your review in June or July for hot steamy beach reading (Devlin Group) so I’d love to include a quote from you, too. Also, there will be a link to buy your book. Lastly, I am reading a book called the Artist’s Way which includes stream of consciousness morning writing for about 1/2 an hour. Have you ever heard of this? It is truly enlightening.

    I’ll be thinking of you during AI tonight…

  3. Melani Blazer
      · April 2nd, 2008 at 6:32 pm · Link

    Gotta love…and hate….those old stories. Ya know, for as crappy as they are, certain ones just really hit sparks and more often than I want to, I think about hauling them out…sometimes I do, just to remind myself how much freaking work it would be to make it even remotely…decent.

    But it’s good to look back and realize that while we’ve been making crap up, running around pulling our hair out, doing all those things authors do (bon bon anyone? :write: ) We have grown in our craft. :groucho:

  4. Karen Templeton
      · April 2nd, 2008 at 7:46 pm · Link

    I pulled out one Desire wannabe that got sent to Temptation and rejected there, too (which was a good thing, since I’m so not a Temptation type of gal) thinking, hmmm, now that the word count for SSE is shorter, maybe…?

    Oh. My. God.

    I actually let people *read* that? And H/S didn’t laugh me outta the building?

    Not that there weren’t good bits — there are always good bits — but the story was so…silly. And the premise was so….improbable.


  5. Emma Wayne Porter
      · April 4th, 2008 at 1:43 am · Link


    You liked Poison?

    And you know, I went digging under said bed for our editing test. I found over a hundred partials in my doc files, and I declined to use any of the old complete stuff for fear people would swear off editing for life after reading that schysse :hide:

  6. Shannon
      · April 4th, 2008 at 10:19 am · Link

    Patti, I’ve gotta check that out. I also meant to make a little button thing for my sidebar.

    Lastly, I am reading a book called the Artist’s Way which includes stream of consciousness morning writing for about 1/2 an hour. Have you ever heard of this? It is truly enlightening.

    I think I tried to read it once. I didn’t really connect with it. But you’ve read Stephen King’s On Writing, right?

    My morning stream of consciousness:

    coffeecoffeecoffeecoffee wherethe :censor: isthatlunchbox coffeecoffee keyskeys coffeecoffeecoffee whyarethedoritosgone coffeecoffeecoffee

    One thing that really stands out to me when I’m peeking under the bed, so to speak, is that I can almost pinpoint the exact moment in my…writerly evolution?…that I discovered

    Excuse the melodrama, but accidentally tripping over that community was one of the most profound, life-changing moments I’ve ever had.


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