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Monday, April 30, 2012

How Can I Write Like You?

Q: I want to write books like you two do. How should I go about it?

Anne: First of all, you can't write like us, nor should you want to. Writing is an individual accomplishment. Find a story you want to tell. Learn the mechanics of writing a novel or novella or whatever format and genre you want to write. Read a lot of those kinds of books so you know what sells and how to go about formulating a good story. There are all kinds of Internet sources and workshops that will help get you started off right. Then write, write, write. Ask for help if you need it. Ask for someone else who writes to read your material and give you feedback.

And write.

Dee: Think of a story you want to tell. Make a brief outline—without a lot of details—of what the beginning is, what the ending is and what is going to happen in the middle. Write out characteristics about your main characters: their looks, their siblings, if any, their jobs, what they want to do in life, why they haven't already done it, and something they as characters would never do (somewhere in the story you will make them do it). Read all kinds of advice on how to write, including what Anne and I have said here, and throw it in the trash, except for the parts that feel right to you.

And then, to parrot my dear sister, write. That's the only way you learn what works and doesn't.

Monday, April 23, 2012

Half-Baked Ideas

Q: I want to lose weight. My knees are bothering me and my cholesterol is high. But my husband is retired with time on his hands and he is spending it making cookies and all kinds of other goodies. He has diabetes, so he makes a lot of things sugar-free but that doesn't mean the fat is low. I don't want to dissuade him or harp, but I have asked him to stop. He thinks he's pleasing me. I wish he would go out and get a part-time job.

Anne: Show him your weight and cholesterol reading. In fact, if it's not too embarrassing, post them on the refrigerator. Whenever he makes something you shouldn't have, wave the note under his nose and tell him once more why you shouldn't be eating that kind of food. You could also post job listings on the 'fridge…

Dee: Tell him that baking cookies = no sex. I've never known a man to ignore that message.

Monday, April 16, 2012

Bed At 8, Sex Never

Q: This sounds sill, I know, but I have a problem. My wife gets up early to go t work, so she goes to bed at 8:00 PM or sometimes earlier. I can't go to sleep that early, so I go around 11:00 or sometimes midnight. She complains the next day if I wake her up for sex when I go to bed. She doesn't want to wake me up at 3:00 AM when she gets up because she says sex makes her sleepy and she would want to roll over and go to sleep again. How can we resolve this?

Anne: Can't you go and have sex (when the two of you are interested) when she goes to bed? Then you can get up again.

Dee: For God's sake, she doesn't care if you sleep, just that you fuck her when she goes to bed once in awhile. Make it a cuddle time every night until she falls asleep. What—you got something better to do? Or TV to watch? That's why God invented DVRs and TIVO. Now, go have sex with your wife and stop screwing around.

Monday, April 9, 2012

Q: My partner in life wants me to go sky diving. I am not a risk taker. Up to this point, opposites have attracted with us—he rock climbs, hang glides, and explores underwater caves. He says he wants us to dive together and experience a climax in free-fall. My idea of high excitement is reading about someone who climbs Everest, not doing it. He's been pestering me for months, but now he is pushing me into it by making the appointment. I do not want to go. We screw plenty enough on the ground; I don't need to fuck at 25,000 feet while watching the Earth approach at lightning speed. He says I'm a pussy and that if I don't start doing things with him, our relationship might not last.

Anne: Don't go. It's as simple as that. Tell him you will not go whether he makes an appointment or not and then stick to that. If it's a deal breaker for the relationship, you have to be ready to accept that.

Dee: I have one question: how much sex is "plenty enough?" I've never reached that point I guess. Please send the answer in return e-mail.

Now, ask yourself this—what if. What if you go up in the plane after packing your parachute under strict supervision? What if you're given a crash course (no pun intended) in how to jump and land safely? What if you take lots of deep breaths and go out of that plane of your own free will? Finally, what if you two hook up in free fall and you have the best fucking orgasm you've ever had in your life, an orgasm you won't forget for the rest of your life? High emotion, like fear and breathtaking thrill tend to enhance other experiences, like sex.

Worth the risk? Only you know. Supposedly sky diving is safer than driving to the airport. But if you don't want to do it, you don't want to do it. It's as simple as that.

Don't forget to send me that magic "plenty enough" number.

Monday, April 2, 2012

Old, Unexpected Friends

Q: A friend has popped up out of the blue after six years. Says she needs help but when I spoke with her on the phone she sound loopy—like she's on drugs. Turns out, she is on medications for some undefined illness. She has a project she wants me to work on, and she wants me to drop everything to do it. I have a full-time job and two part-time jobs just to keep my head above water. I'm willing to help, but on my time schedule, which she's unhappy about. Now she's bugging me with emails and phone calls. I almost feel stalked. What can I do?

Anne: Is her illness serious? If she's on meds you can't necessarily trust anything she's telling you. Advise her to get back to her doctor and call you again when her health problems—and the medications—are straightened out.

Dee: If she's a friend, I can see why it's hard to turn her away. But it also sounds as though you have enough on your plate. Tell her in no uncertain terms that she needs to keep with her doctor. Also tell her that you have other things to do and that her project has to take its place in your schedule. It might be hard to do since she's obviously not quite the person you remember, but tell her that if she doesn't give you time to work as you need to, that you won't be able to do anything for her at all. I'm not saying to tell her to fuck off, but after this many years, her problem is not your problem—unless you let it be. Good luck!