Monday, November 28, 2011

The 42 year Old Virgin

It isn’t often one finds a totally honest person when it comes to the subject of virginity. It’s the reason my daughter Kimberley and I decided that anonymity was the way to go when we began collecting stories for our book The Virgin Diaries. It’s a personal subject and most people don’t want to go on record talking about what in so many instances was an awkward and sometimes embarrassing event in their lives. In my instance, I really didn’t care but needed to be mindful of the person who was my first. After all, I may not care but it’s possible that he wouldn’t want the whole world to know about his deflowering of me.

Recently my daughter started corresponding with a gentleman who found our book online and was overjoyed to find something of this nature. Why? Because he’s a 42 year old virgin. Hard to believe but true. He’s written a book about it and wanted to participate in our blogs and so Kimberley, that Mistress of the Questionnaire, came up with some questions and he answered. His entry is thoughtful, well written and honest. I am impressed!

In the course of going through and editing his piece (I did very little—didn’t have to because it was so well written) I couldn’t help but feel compassion for this man who is now experiencing regrets for having waited so long. I’m certain that fear is also a part of the equation because after having waited for all these years, there must be feelings of inadequacy. I just want to tell him not to fear. Don’t be afraid that women might think you’re weird. Well, perhaps they might but then again, you may find a woman who will be happy to show you the ropes. For you, Anthony, are that rarest of creatures: an adult male who has never engaged in sex and therefore, carries absolutely no threat of transmitting a venereal disease. In this day and age that is SUCH a plus!

Although Anthony is an arch conservative and I am a proud liberal, there some things that transcend politics and this is one of them. I commend him for his honesty and sincerely hope he finds that Sarah Palin loving, pro-life Tea Party woman who will rock his world.

Saturday, November 19, 2011

The Serial Killer In My Head

I am currently rewriting a novel I completed about a decade ago. It's about a woman who has begun to achieve success only to be stalked by a nefarious character who remains unnamed and mysterious for a good part of the story. The killer decides that not only should the object of hatred be killed but tortured in a most unusual way, that being to kill people who look like her as a prelude to the main event. The character is loosely based on a person I've known in the past but who is not, at least to my knowledge, a serial killer.

When I first wrote the story, it was titled The Happy Face Killer and it was fun in a bizarre way to have the killer leave a bright yellow Happy Face with the inscription "Have a nice day!" at the scene of each murder. You can imagine my dismay that after spending a year writing and polishing and paying for a professional edit, I found out there was a real Happy Face Killer and someone had written a book about him titled The Happy Face Killer. I bought the book and read it, recalling that I'd actually heard reports about the guy on the news. He was a long distance trucker who picked up women who hung out at truck stops, raped and murdered them, then left little scrawled happy faces in restrooms along the interstate system.  Not a very imaginative fellow, nor was he very smart because they caught him and he's in prison now, but wow! Was I ever bummed. So I put the story aside and thought perhaps I'd drag it out again after a few years had gone by.

So they've gone by and I'm doing the rewrite and it won't be titled The Happy Face Killer any longer because I don't want my novel to be confused with the true crime story. In doing research, I've had to read about real killers but I do things ass backwards sometimes, so I did the research after I'd finished the story - just to check if my killer is believable. I found that my fictional killer was just as much of an egomaniac as real killers are. My killer sends missives to the news media. So do real killers. The Happy Face Killer did and so did the Zodiac Killer. Zodiac was smarter than Happy Face because they never found him, although I recently read they think they know who he was but now that person is dead, so the authorities will never know for certain.

I gotta tell you, it's a pretty weird thing to find out that the serial killer living inside your head mirrors the real ones out in the world. In one way it's a great feeling because you know the character stands up to the test of reality and is, therefore, believable, or at least as believable as a crazed manic can be in an ordered world. But on the other hand, it's scary to know that a character like that is back there, lurking somewhere in  the nether regions of your brain, just waiting to get out.

It makes me grateful that writing about it is all the thrill I need rather than the screwed up soul who has to act on those thoughts.

So I'll get back to work and try to get this done by the end of the year and then all you people who like to read mystery-thrillers can pick up a copy of Crazy and get a glimpse into the mind of my serial killer. More than a glimpse, actually but I'll leave that for later. Don't want to put too much on the table right now!