I'm over my lover's quarrel with my own writing.
I am not even close to being a legal expert, but I have friends who are. On a novel I'm working on (stand-alone, not Thomas O'Shea), I was into my 11th chapter and hit a roadblock. The protagonist reports seeing two men commit a murder. Then he asks the sheriff, "Are you going to arrest them?" And up jumped the roadblock. Could a person be arrested on heresy? If so, then what? When does the District Attorney get involved, would the men be jailed, how much would bail be? And more questions.
So I contacted a friend of mine who's been a county prosecutor and is now a defense attorney. Invited him to lunch and sat down, munched out, and the questions flowed. He cleared up several key details to keep me from sounding like an ignoramus. The novel is not going to be a legal thriller, but I did need to know a few important facts before I could move on. He supplied them, we enjoyed lunch, and he said he'd be glad to help anytime. Roadblocks blown to pieces.
So, let me encourage you writers out there to be sure that the writing ground you're standing on is not shifting sand. Don't hesitate to tap into the expertise of your friends. You might be surprised to see how eager they are to help you. Just don't forget to acknowledge them when you're published.
Recently, I took my 12-years-old Honda Accord to the dealer to have a dead headlight and a failed brake light replaced. The technician said it would take about an hour, so I just turned over the key, and retired to the customer waiting area, which had comfy sofas and chairs and a big screen TV. I took with me some writing materials because I wanted to work on a few details for my fourth Thomas O'Shea novel, Of Mists and Murders, details I hadn't ironed out yet, in my iron head.
An older woman soon joined me, asked if I would care if she turned on the TV. I was fine with that. The lady, who looked like an octogenarian Hobbit, settled into a sofa and began watching "The People's Court," a show I had never seen before. It was distracting, but I worked hard to ignore the peculiar people on the tube. What was even more distracting was that the local advertisers for the show looked like twenty-something blondes with Barbie figures enhanced by implants. And they were advertising for personal injury local lawyers. Every single ad had the same kind of woman, whose feet never get wet in the shower, promoting one lawyer or another who really, truly, cared about me.
The aging Hobbit had zoned out, staring at the screen, mouth slightly open, nearly catatonic, taking it all in. I fought off my tendency to be judgemental, ignoring the court cases, sneaking a peak at the commercials. If I ever need a personal injury lawyer....
GOOD NEWS ALERT! I now have my very own website! From now on, you can catch my blogs and lots of other information about my work, and me a little, at www.johncarenenwrites.com.
For that, I am entirely grateful to my Book Concierge, Rowe Carenen, and David Garrison, genius website guru. Come see!