Tuesday, February 28, 2006

EILEEN: Sisters, sisters, there were never such devoted sisters....

There are two really funny things for me in doing Miss Fortunes(well, okay, there are more than two, but these I can print). One, that Sister Krissie actually called me a hoyden. I may put it on my tombstone. Irish girls are rarely called hoydens, after all. It's a word that gives you a certain cache. Irish girls are more likely to be called Little Mother or babysitter. Even better, being called a hoyden by the Superior Mother of Holy Hoydens herself.
Which brings me to the funny of the second part, which ties in nicely with the first. What Krissie said about how she's the moderate one? Here's the giggle. She really is! Who'd a thunk it? Now, I've known since Krissie and Jen and I did a fairly slanderous(and wildly funny) sketch at RWA one year, that both were sister iconoclasts. I knew we could each claim quite a healthy respect for our own opinions. I never realized we really could have been family.
Here we were setting up a novel about three sisters, and each picked the one she wanted. I gravitated toward the eldest, Jen picked the youngest, and Krissie said, "Yeah, Okay. I'm stuck in another manuscript at the moment. You guys just let me know." So, we fleshed out our ideas, and started crazy quilting them all together. Which was when we met in New York to brainstorm. It all became clear that week.
I admit it. I'm very happy writing the oldest sister. I have a life's worth of experience being an oldest sister. In fact, I'm the oldest sister of a large Irish Cathollic family(and have been the--ick!--matriarch since my 31st birthday). I think the AKC has registered us as a herding group. So, I may have had....definite opinions. I may have done a bit of guiding as to my recalcitrant sisters. I do wish to make this clear. I was not a shillelagh. At any time. I'm much too sweet and demur for that(kind of the way Sister Krissie is). And Jen, not having a strong opinion on anything herself, stood toe to toe with me when she felt she needed to(when she wasn't tossing around words like "matrix" just to see my eyes bleed, anyway)
First of all, let me say that it was brilliant. I know we'll be talking more later about the rush of real collaboration, when you're sitting in a small room spinning concepts and characters like plates on a stick to see if you can keep adding more without them falling, but, since I've never done this before, I have to say here how surprised I was. Three women with definite personalities, ideas of our own, fighting for the veracity of our characters as we stitch together plot, and I have to tell you, I can't remember when my brain fired so fast. It was, and is, exhilerating.
But the funniest thing I kept thinking that weekend (besides the fact that Krissie actually said, "does it have to be erotic?" before spending the rest of her time obsessed by how her Lizzie would get the chance to have hot monkey love out on a hill in a thunderstorm), was that we really did fall into our characters' birth order. I set up my idea, Jen shot it down(or vice versa), and Krissie found the compromise. Like I said, who'd a thunk?

eileen

3 Comments:

Blogger Holly said...

So does this collaboration come under the heading of "triple threat?" In the best possible way, of course?

In any case, we'll enjoy every minute of the ride, and thank God(dess) you guys were just joking about the well-behaved thing.

Best Wishes.

February 28, 2006 4:34 PM  
Blogger phenila said...

Oh my god! Do I understand right? You are the author of one of my all time favorites: The Ice Cream Man? Criminy, i just re-read that one again last week (original copy, getting a teeny bit worn). I need to get out more....

February 28, 2006 4:46 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

It sounds like you three are gonna have a blast, and I truly can't wait to read what you ladies cook up together!

mrs.mj

June 26, 2006 2:05 PM  

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