Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Good Material

Dear Sir,

There's a reason writers say "Be careful or you'll end up in my novel," and here it is: We like to take truth, and real-world experience, and put it to good use. Sometimes we even embellish it. (We like flair, especially in prose.) This means I'll, somewhere, tuck an impolite government-office employee like you into a book I write.

You should know that, to explain this character's consistent and unsettling attitude, I'll build him as such: A 40-year-old and (always) single man who lives with his overbearing mother, finds himself gelled in the center of a mediocre career--wherein he treats his customers as if he's doing them some grand favor, when in actuality it's the whole of his job description--and who leads a sad and unsatisfactory life.

This is the kind of picture you paint. Or, at the very least, it's where you point my imagination.

Sir, would you have guessed you are good fiction fodder?

I do feel for you,
and I wish you the best (even though I cringe when I see it's you at the counter),
might even offer a holiday prayer for you,

Janna Qualman
and human
who only wants pleasant respect
but also a good story on paper


Liza said...

Storing this memory and using it later is the ultimate victory, right?

Terri Tiffany said...

I think that same gentleman worked in the Orlando airport last week. It was a tough sell to get a smile.

DL Hammons said...

I was under the impression that all goverment employees received extensive training on belligerence and high-mightyness??? :)

Wendy Paine Miller said...

I wonder if anyone in my life will recognize themselves in my books one day. I've done my best to dice and splice--to mix it all up, but still I wonder.

Happy Thanksgiving.
~ Wendy

Roz Morris aka @Roz_Morris . Blog: Nail Your Novel said...

Genius, Janna. Officials, bullies and ratbags, do not cross us. We will have our revenge.

Melissa Amateis said...

I have a shirt that says "Be careful, or you'll end up in my novel." Hey, people have been warned. ;-)

Rhonda Schrock said...

Love it. Apparently, this unfortunate character has siblings in far-flung counties across this fair land.


Diane said...

There you go, there is a purpose for everything and you found yours with Mr. Grumpy Pants. :O)

Melissa Sarno said...

hey, you have to take inspiration where you can get it...

Anonymous said...

That will show this person...bwahahah!

myletterstoemily said...

you should wear that on a tag around
your neck. :)

my kids frequently say, "mom, don't
put this in your blog." oh bother.

Karen said...

Oh, I do think that all the time! Great response!

Have a Happy Thanksgiving!

Jessica Nelson said...

Too Funny!
It's nice to know that even Grumpy People have a good purpose. *Grin*

Have a wonderful day, and the next time you enter that building may you meet someone else. LOL

Jill Kemerer said...

It's a nice consolation to tuck away characters, isn't it? :)

Have a great Thanksgiving!

septembermom said...

There are characters all around :) Happy Thanksgiving Janna!

Patti Lacy said...

Oh, Janna, this is SO GREAT! Better yet, slip the note under his windshield wipers!!!
I love you.

Deb Shucka said...

Too bad you can't show this to him. Perhaps he needs a bit of a wake up call.

Great writing here. :-)

Susan J. Reinhardt said...

Hi Janna -

I was blessed to meet a couple of salespeople last week, who gave me the ultimate in customer service. They were super nice, and are tucked away in my character file.

On the other hand, I encountered some people who turned their noses up at my coupons. Ahem, a couple destined for my villain file.

Susan :)

Heather Sunseri said...

The first book I wrote, my mom tried to name every character with real life people. She thought for sure every character I wrote was based on someone real. I didn't confirm, nor deny.