I don’t know why it is that people (that would be non-writers) always stumble into the questions that you probably shouldn’t ask a writer on a fast-drafting binge.
And I don’t know how they manage to sound so utterly clueless while they’re doing it.
I mean… there can’t really be people out there who are unaware of the high holy
day month that is NaNoWriMo, can there? I’ve invited a couple of people to join me in the excitement, and having some strange fascination with sanity, both of them have declined. (Whilest backing away slowly, and removing any sharp objects from my immediate reach.)
Nonetheless, co-worker has decided that today is a good day to ask me “What’s new?”
This isn’t someone I know well. And maybe if I hadn’t been right in the middle of trying to think of how a cannibalistic alien and a time traveler find common ground, I wouldn’t have found it so annoying.
And he does tend to hover.
So, of course, when I said there’s nothing new, rather than accept that, and move on, he pointed out that he hasn’t talked to me in six months. (Which may be literally true) and something must be new.
Not a thing.
There are times when I’ve answered the same kind of question from the same person with a real answer. Being a non-writer, though, he doesn’t really want a real answer. For a second, I actually thought I’d killed him last year, when I informed him that my nano book was about a family that is caught in a quantum entanglement with another family who died at Hiroshima.
I could actually not think of a single “new” thing in my life that would interest him.
Or a lot of people.
Perhaps I should have children. Then, when someone asks me a question like that, I can go into detail about potty training, and how little Herkimer is making poo-poo in the toilet. (And by the way, we’re talking about the most beautiful, trumpet-shaped dumps you’ve ever seen in your life.)
This question is, of course, still topped by the guy who asked if I didn’t think I should finish the first book, and revise it, and get it published before I start in on the next one.
Uhm, no, and by the way… don’t you think you should raise the first kid… get him through school… and medical school before you start in on the next one?
If I didn’t need to work on my revisions over my lunch hour, a lot fewer people would know that I am writing a novel, let me tell you.
I’m not sure there are any good questions to ask about someone else’s novel, particularly if you don’t know them well, and are not working on something, yourself.