To help me get past my absolute and utter HORROR that the end of March is upon us, (just how did that happen btw?) I'm reaching waaaaay back and pulling out the August 2010 post of The Clare and Chrissy Show. And if you think I didn't stop and blink that more than 4 years have passed since we had fun with this, think again. I've removed the images from the original post because so much time has gone by and it's too dang hard to remember where the graphics were pulled from, but the excitment and humor we shared still remains. So grab your coffee and confetti and jump on in. Go ahead and leave a comment, and if you follow the instructions at the end of the post, I might still have some of that festive Clare and Chrissy swag to send out.
Look for more of our adventures as Waaaaaay Back Wednesday continues in the coming months!
Welcome to the inaugural post of The Clare and Chrissy Show. We’re so happy you joined us. If you managed to miss our month-long promo, feel free to discover more about us, and this blog adventure here
Otherwise, all you need to know is that I’m Clare London:, ...and I’m Chrissy Munder, and all our details are below...
Clare: Stop bouncing, Chrissy. You’re disrupting my train of thought.
Chrissy: I can’t. I’m excited. Aren’t you excited? Wait, where’s my confetti? I know I brought my confetti.
Clare: Of course I’m excited, but we’re professionals. We still need to finish the intro.
Chrissy: Ooooh, Lookee! We have another new banner.
Clare: Gawd, writers and their shiny things. *pauses to look at banner* We do look cute with our wings, don’t we? Maybe I’ll go back to being a blonde. Let’s start out with many appreciative thank you’s to our too-modest banner maker for all the hard work. We wouldn’t feel nearly as cool without them.
Chrissy: Hey, did we get theme music this time? I really want us to have some theme music.
Clare: No, no theme music.
Chrissy: I’ve already received a request for an audio version of the two of us together. At least, back when the requester thought we were both British. *Sob* I don’t think they want us now. Or me, maybe they don’t want my nasally Mid-western accent. *Sniffle*
Clare: *hands over a tissue* Are you done?
Chrissy: I’m fine, thanks for caring. *blows nose loudly*
Clare: Anyway, we’d like to let everyone know that...
Chrissy: I can hum.
Chrissy: You know, for background music. I can sit here and hum while we type. Kind of like background music, but not really. Just humming.
Chrissy: You do realize that’s the husbands’ equivalent of the "F" word? The wife makes a comment, and he doesn’t want to answer, so he just says "fine" to avoid an argument.
Clare: How about we save that one for another day’s topic. Today, however we would like delve right into something more writerly.
Chrissy: I don’t think that’s a word.
Chrissy: Writerly. I don’t think that’s a real word. I thought you Brit authors were supposed to be all about knowing grammar and proper English.
Clare: Here's a word. Bollocks.
Chrissy: Mature, Clare. Very mature.
Clare: *coughs* Well, as I was attempting to say before all these interruptions, today’s topic jumps right into the meat of being a writer.
Chrissy: You said...
Clare: Don’t even start.
Chrissy: We do write erotic romance.
Clare: Nope. We aren’t going there. Not on our very first blog post.
Clare: An "F" word, you said...
Chrissy: *zipping motion*
Clare: What we are going to discuss today is that special spark that goes into our writing. (Or sometimes not). We’re calling today’s topic:
Inspiration vs. Perspiration
Chrissy: Let me set my confetti aside and admit that one of the enjoyable perks of being online as an author is the opportunity to correspond with readers and authors across the globe.
Clare: That’s so true. Meeting new and interesting people never grows old.
Chrissy: Awh, sweetie, you do care.
Clare: *blush* Bollocks.
Chrissy: During a recent online discussion I laughed with another author about her latest published work, and her feeling that the story just seemed to write itself. One of those rare cases when the tale was brought forth more by inspiration rather than perspiration.
Clare: And, based on your treadmill addiction, you know perspiration.
Chrissy: Come on, I showered today just for you. While only a small comment in a much larger discussion, lately we’ve spent time (we should have been writing) poking at that thought. Like many authors I’ve had the stories that traveled from my brain to finished product in lightning speed with hardly a hiccup. My BDSM-lite story, Brush with Desire (based on my own late night shopping trip) is an example of this most wonderful of happenings. As is my science fiction short, A Journey Back. Both of those stories were a joy to write.
Clare: Freeman was certainly a labor of love all the way. And the first short story I submitted to Amber Quill – A Good Neighbor – was a delight to write and, even more wonderful, presented itself in a matter of days!
How many of us remember those times when the words just spilled out, and the only problem was how to write fast enough to keep up with them? When the characters speak their own lines, you can hear the sounds of their hometown and family around them, you can’t wait to write the next scene and find out what comes next… Well, it’s like being in love LOL.
But in my experience, that becomes less frequent - not the being in love, necessarily, just the instinctive writing flow! Those moments of raw inspiration become rarer to find than a blue moon.
*frowns* Is that just me?
Chrissy: Ah but no. The more authors I chat with, the truer I think this is. If I use your being in love analogy I could sadly say it’s similar to a relationship - a few months in, the thrill is gone, but the work remains - and only you can feel if it’s worth the effort to continue. This presents in stories where the process of creation seems never-ending. Each word needs to be wrestled and dragged out letter by individual letter. The plot points seem insurmountable, and my self-doubt ends with the work even now languishing unloved, neglected and unfinished on my hard drive.
Clare: Do you really want me to compare your works-in-progress with your ex-boyfriends?
Chrissy: On second thought, let’s ignore that analogy and quickly move on. Most of us have already met Clare’s alluring and aggravating Muse. He emailed me and demanded I put his picture up or else. He sits on her desk and pokes her when she starts to lag. She may deny it, but I think she’s lucky to have him. I’ve yet to decide on just who my writing totem may be.
Sometimes I think he’s an imposing Pacific Islander named Ralph (*waves*, Hi sweetie, Love you! Call me!), other days a rabid hyena comes to visit and I’m all out of fresh meat to toss in his direction.
Clare: I wondered where that rascal had run off to. But there’s not always any sense to it, is there?
Chrissy: What, Life, The Universe, our relationship?
Clare: No, fool. The writing. A novel involves more words (duh), more planning, more structure. Maybe. So will there be more Perspiration v Inspiration than a short story?
Chrissy: Hmmm, that’s an interesting thought. What would the readers say? The obvious answer might be yes, but I would think it depends on the strength of the inspiration, wouldn’t it?
Clare: How far can that really carry a writer? A fantasy story involves world-building and a delicate balance between scene-setting and info-dump. A BDSM story involves the right mix of stimulation, characterisation and respect. Are either of those easier to write or more torturous compared to any other genre? I wonder.
Chrissy: Just promise me those two genres are well-written, and I’ll wonder less and enjoy more. Is that what creates the magic? The WOW factor? The ability to make the perspiration appear as effortless as the inspiration? Do you think a reader can tell? And, if they can, does it mean we haven’t done our job?
Clare: And what about those darned characters? Some of our heroes merely hold out a hand and we know everything about them – and love ‘em.
Chrissy: You’re on a roll now. I have mentioned you worry too much, haven’t I?
Clare: Excuse *me*? But for some of them – even though they’re a main protagonist – it’s agony to guide, or follow, them through the story to what’s presumed to be their heart’s desire. They seem prone to sulk on their best days.
Chrissy: Sounds like your Muse. *whistles*
Clare: And what about the readers’ response to all this?
Chrissy: More, please?
Clare: Well, we can hope. But obviously they don’t see us working hard Behind-the-Scenes and can only judge a book on its own merits. How come the ones I’ve sweated blood over or which kept me awake with plot anguish at night, aren’t necessarily the ones that are taken to the readers’ hearts?
Chrissy: And the stories that flowed like jackpot coins from a slot machine (where’s some good sound effects when I need them *cha-ching*) are often the ones that readers email me to say they loved the best.
Clare: Um. Me. Right. Brush with Desire. LOL.
Chrissy: Yeah. So you’re special. In many ways.
Clare: *cough* We love ‘em all, right? Though a reader might easily assume an author prefers a story of the first type. One that from the moment inspiration strikes requires minimal effort to produce and edit, and trips so lightly from fingers to the keyboard. I have to say, I really like – and appreciate - those stories.
Chrissy: Call me crazy, but as time passes *I’ve* come to appreciate those stories that call for a bit more perspiration.
Clare: Crazy! Hey, you asked for it.
Chrissy: LOL – I said appreciate, not look forward to. There’s a challenge in a difficult story. It’s a battle won and lost in the mind and only the daily discipline of routine will keep me in the fight. I don’t always win at the keyboard. Sometimes the story doesn’t turn out the way I had hoped, or worse, I end up setting it aside for another time. But for those difficult pieces that I succeed in bringing to page there’s an unmistakable satisfaction waiting for me at the end.
Clare: I can find just as much satisfaction in the bottom of my empty margarita glass, thank you very much, but each to their own. It becomes interesting when the result of the battle may not be some of our best work.
Chrissy: That does happen, or at least sometimes we think that way. We aren’t always our best critic.
Clare: Then we struggle to decide if we should put the story out there and let others be the judge. The very thing that gave us a hard time, may be exactly what intrigues and attracts someone new to our work.
Chrissy: Plus, when a reader comments on a line, or a reviewer understands the intent behind a
character’s words we can take pride in remembering the struggle it took to bring that story to completion, and what we learned along the way.
Clare: Or how about when they point out something in the story we didn’t even realize was there?
Chrissy: We could say that if writing is a journey, then every story written becomes a journey of self-discovery.
Clare: That sounds remarkably apt. Who said that?
Chrissy: I said that. Just now.
Clare: Who said it first?
Chrissy: Me. It’s right here in my notes.
Clare: I think I’m impressed.
Chrissy: Heh. I do have my moments.
Clare: and Chrissy: So, to sum up our topic for today: Inspiration is always welcome, but it’s the Perspiration that helps us see a story through.
Clare: Or – Never Mind the Muse.
Chrissy: *whispers* Do you think he heard you say that?
Clare: I hope not. I have deadlines.
Clare: and Chrissy: Let us know what you think. Everyone who comments on this post by Friday will be entered in a random drawing for a free pdf eBook. There will be two winners selected, each will receive their choice of one story from either of our backlists.
Comments welcomed, encouraged and downright loved!
To celebrate our inaugural post we are also going a bit wild with Chrissy’s confetti. EVERYONE who posts a comment and then sends Chrissy an email at firstname.lastname@example.org with their snail mail address will receive some ever-popular (and attractive) Clare and Chrissy swag.
Come on, you know you wanna!
And to learn more about us:
Here's Chrissy! website // blog.
Here's Clare! website // blog.