Tuesday, April 27, 2010


For those of you who desperately wanted to be at the Storymakers conference this past weekend, I put together a sweetened, condensed, cliff-note, van-down-by-the-river overview of the top three most insightful thoughts for writers.

I hope it makes you feel like you were there.

If you don't think my version is pointed enough, go read DeNae's version, which isn't as sweetened or condensed (and basically boils down to this: Writing is uber HARD!!!!)

(btw, this list doesn't include the tips about botox and hair transplants needed to avoid frightening our fans at book signings, (applies particularly to romance writers). It also doesn't include the tips on letting your pregnant wife mow the lawn or locking your toddlers in the kitchen while you finish your manuscript.)

(For what it's worth, did you know that Anita Stansfield doesn't read AT ALL?)

(Not gossiping, just saying.)

(It's not 2nd hand information either. I heard it straight from the horse's mouth. Unless that horse was lip syncing, I can safely say that her famous-author eyeballs have no patience for reading.)

And now to the list:

1. Writing is our way of screaming.

2. The harder you work, the luckier you get.

3. If you want to get struck by lightening, you have to be standing in the path.

If that doesn't make you want to drink raw eggs and run up the steps of the Philidelphia Art Museum, maybe this conference kick-off video will.



Braden said...

I am first

Braden said...

Crash, this sentence may be one of the finest sentences ever written on a blog anytime everywhere: "drink raw eggs and run up the steps of the Philidelphia Art Museum,"

I think you should charge the organizers of Storymakers a fee for that kind of publicity.

I am intrigued to know that Anita Stansfield doesn't read. Did she say why?
I've always been worried about reading something and inadvertently/subconsciously using or drawing from it years later. Or, being accused of doing so.

Thanks again for the nice letter the other day. Traffic was way up.

The Crash Test Dummy said...

Braden, she said she doesn't have the patience for reading. She can't focus on it.

I have two thoughts about it. On the one hand it seems crazy not to read because, well, it's so much fun, and as a writer you learn so much. On the other hand, it does mess with your mind a little. It can lead you to become a mimic and it can also make you feel like you feel like you'll never measure up and also inhibit your creative process because you're trying to follow all the rules. Maybe that explains her success.

So glad your traffic went up. You deserve it.

Alyson (New England Living) said...

I think that's pure craziness! Doesn't read? Very strange. Doesn't reading just get you in the mindset of writing? It always inspires me and gets my mind going.

wv: plitle! As in "people who don't drink mountain dew pee little."

The Crash Test Dummy said...

ha ha ha Alyson. You make me laugh. I can't wait to meet you.

Yes, I feel the same way about writing and reading.

But even as a non-writer reading is just sooooooo important. It's like traveling without the jet lag. So enlarging to the soul.

The Crash Test Dummy said...

It's like school without the exams and research papers.

It's like church without the guilt.

It's like being in love without cheating.

Heidi Ashworth said...

I'm no Anita but as Ricky Ricardo says, "let my s'plain". Once I heard I was going to have a published book, I stopped reading fiction. I just couldn't enjoy it anymore. It was almost impossible to suspend my disbelief. I was so plugged into the publishing aspect of things and the fact that I was going to be one of those god-like authors (me! ME!?!?) that it just dropped the bottom right out from under me. I just didn't have the patience (like Anita) to go along for the ride unless it was something really really really good. I couldn't read in my genre AT ALL (still can't) and part of it is what Braden says--I don't want to pick something up from someone else and end up putting it in my book (as if that can be avoided--but still!) That was almost two years ago and I have managed to read about four books since then. I actually even enjoyed most of them including one in my genre that was a hoot and a holler and I loved it to death (naturally since it was recommended by Jami). I, who was once an almost all fiction reader is now an almost 100% non-fiction reader. Blogs, news, magazines, etc. but no books. BTW, I have been told that this is not uncommon. So, get ready for your future. :)

Sandi said...

MMMM I love me some Michael Jordan. Thanks for that Crash :) And keep on screaming okay!

Barbaloot said...

Gosh-I LOVE reading!! How could you just NOT read? Good thing I don't want to be a writer, eh? But I sure am grateful for all the people that do want to be---cuz I'm the one who benefits.

See you on Thursday!

Melanie J said...

That little tidbit about reading from Anita Stansfield just about shocked the pants off of me except I wasn't wearing pants so it worked out okay. I think that's so weird to not read. ESPECIALLY when you're a writer. But whatever. She sells. I'll shut up. No, I won't. It's still super weird.

DeNae said...

I read. And I'm not published. Maybe Anita and Heidi are on to something...

And I thought my blog post boiled down to "circus animal cookies are served in the Celestial Kingdom". I guess we all get something different out of what we read.

Unless we don't read. Cuz we're too busy being famous.

katie t said...

LOVE the quotes...

LOVE the video...and can i brag for a minute?!? in college, when i was a basketball player, i PLAYED ON THE SAME COURT as michael jordan at UNC!?!?!?! ok. that's all.....


Nutty Hamster Chick said...

Okey dokey, I am going to be nosey because if you and Barb are meeting up on Thursday, it turns out that through an unexpected turn of events, I am going to women's conference after all and will be in Provo, but I might ditch if it were for a really good cause. Just sayin.

I used to read but not very much any more and I am not published but I haven't written a manuscript either, hmmm what does that say.

Oh except for my self published BYU stalking book, I do have that to show.

IWA (e - va) said...

So Ive actually never even heard of Anita Stansfield....

At first i thought i was lame for not knowing her, but then googled her and saw the never ending list of Romance novels that she wrote and guess what? .... didnt recognize any of them....

so ditto on everyone else who expressed their concern for a writer that doesnt read.. but if you see that list of 10 billion books she wrote you quickly understand why theres no reading in her life!

The Crash Test Dummy said...

Ha ha I'm laughing that everyone is talking about Anita Stansfield except Sandi. Sandi is loving her some Michael Jordan. ha ha ha

The Crash Test Dummy said...

Miss Heidi, I'm so glad your took the time to s'plain cuz seriously, that made sense. I still think it's weird and sad and disturbing, and yet I can kinda understand.

I just went grocery shopping with my laurels tonight and my adviser said she LUBS Anita Stansfield, and read her romances constantly as a teenager.

Is it bad to want to read a romance book so you can judge it? I think I did that with Twhylight. And now I might do that with Anita.

But at least I don't judge people. ;)

Nutty, I can't believe you're going to Women's conf. SIGH! Me and Barb are going to my niece's wedding reception. She grew up in her neighborhood and my sis-in-law was her YW prez. You can totally come and crash with us if you want. I would LUB to see you. I can also squeeze in some other occasion to see you too. Do you need someone to help you stalk. hee hee

Katie, that is amazing. You really are one of the most amazing people I know. I don't think anyone in here understands that, but I'm going to post about it sometime, if you don't mind. I'd love to introduce you to my blogging world.

Barbaloot said...

I vote Nutty comes to the reception!

Nutty Hamster Chick said...

That's right. I forgot about your incestous relationship with Barb. That is awesome. You guys have fun Thursday night. I will be fighting it out with 20,000 women for a spot on the service lines in the fieldhouse. Good times I tell ya. Although Barb I loves me a good wedding reception, especially if I get to help in the kitchen. There is nothing like working in the kitchen at a wedding reception or girls camp for bonding experiences.

Deb, I would love you to help me stalk, althoug you didn't even get your picture with Anita. Sheesh. So your stalking resume doesn't look so good. You do have jack johnson and his underware. I have to give you that.

Sadly I don't have many holes in my wish list of people to stalk. I will be able to get a picture of Dallen Oaks, but I doubt I will get to shake his hand or flash my camera two feet from his face. Do you think I should switch over to trying to get pictures of their underware? Just kidding.

Nutty Hamster Chick said...

I would like to recind my previous underware joke on the grounds that it may incriminate me and I am under the influence of the late hour and my allergy medicine.

The Crash Test Dummy said...

Oh Nutty, I've never read any Anita Stansfield so I didn't get the needed adrenalin rush to stalk her, I s'pose. ;)

Ha ha about the underwear joke, followed by the recinding of the underwear joke.

I remember thinking I should recind my own JJ underwear joke as I hit publish all those many days ago.

Hey, and guess what, knock on wood, cross my heart, hope to die . . . I haven't had any allergies yet. I used to suffer ever so greatly from hayfever when I was growing up here in Utah.

katie t said...

i'd be lying if i said "i'd hate that!" lol

no but really. i would love that and would be 100% honored beyond honored!

i LOVE meeting new people, whether it's in "real" life or in "blog" life!


Martha said...

Wow, what to say. I dug the MJ video too. I need to forward that to my Joshy. I commented on Z's facebook the other day because he was saying that he beat his dad in 1 on 1. Then T wrote that Z cheated.

So the house is ours now. We have a key. We go over every night and think about what we will do. Perry wants me to wash the windows. I think that's the last thing it needs.

Anyway, today a plumber is coming over and we're going to knock out the bathrooms. Yeah, he finally made a decision. I'm going to look for some paint and start painting I think.

Josh is going to states next week. Rong is going to hit with him today. Cody and Tyler are back so he has lots of people to practice with.

The Crash Test Dummy said...

Katie, it's on my list.

Martha, I have missed you, but I know you are super busy with your new project. I remember how the Kimballs fell off the face of the earth when they bought their Laie house. Laie houses are a special breed.

We had Tyler over for a BB-Q last night. He will fly back today and I am so worried about him. He is in a great deal of pain. They figured out that he has an extra joint on his sternum that never fused. There is nothing they can do about it and he will have to live in constant pain. He played tennis with Tatum last week and said she is improving. There is a part of her that wants to go back to Hawaii and work with Porter and get really good. I saw Ann Allred yesterday. sniff. I miss you all so much. And yes, Zach fouled Alan illegally. Over and over. At least that's how half of the story goes around here. But Zach is getting super tall. It's very weird to see him growing up.

Good luck with your house.


Nutty Hamster Chick said...

Mrtha I love your postlike comments here. It is like BOGO every time you comment.

Deb, ok ok on the Anita thing. I can see it if you don't care anything about who you are seeing. I have never read her either, but there is a girl in my sister's book club that will read nothing but Anita Stansfield books when it oomes to romance. A little bit odd I have to think.

I can't wait to get to know Katie crash style.

I am so happy for you about the non allergies. Mine are pretty much sucking my will to live and my ability to live a depends free life. How is is possible to sneeze so hard your eyeballs pop out at the same time you loose control of your bladder.

The Crash Test Dummy said...

Nutty, ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha That is so true. I remember the days. I think you need to move to Hawaii for 18 years. That will cure you, maybe.

You will lub Katie. She is amazing.

I hear Anita Stansfield is clean-fix romance so I'm guessing that's why someone would prefer it. Particularly a religious someone. I don't really read romance, but I've skimmed a few and they can can provide some extremely pornographic evidence. YIKERS! My MIL says she just skims over those parts. She also skims over the swear words.

She told me this just the other day.

"I don't even see the swear words anymore, just skip right past them."

"But how do you skip past them if you don't see them?" I said.

That's what I want to know.

Am I right or am I right?

AS Amber said...

It was so fun to finally meet you in real life!!! You're every bit as darling as DeNae says you are! Can't wait for CBC!