I’m going under (between?) cover(s).

I’ve come to the conclusion that if timing is everything, then I’ve got nothing.

Which is to say I usually get the best ideas to start something new at the worst possible time. But I also believe that if you wait for the “right time” to do something, you’d never do anything at all.

So in the midst of working full time at a fairly demanding job, consulting some on the side, two physio appointments a week and beginning a run up to surgery—along with all the usual stuff like housework, dentist appointments, getting Team Z to various vet check-ups, making sure we eat, have clean clothes and prepping for tax time—I’ve decided it’s time to start working on a book.

Actually, it’s not my decision. The story won’t leave me alone. It interrupts my showers, my commute and my sleep. My handbag is stuffed with scribbled-on index cards. The main character keeps downloading strange books for me to read. She whispers to me when I think I’m alone in my head. She tells me jokes. Normal people would make immediately go see some sort of specialized healthcare professional to make these encounters stop. But if you’re a writer, this is what passes for normal. And it means you might be on to something good.

So for the next year or two, whenever I have a spare half hour, I’ll be crawling into the skin of my narrator, a “(wo)man in black” who works for a covert government agency that investigates conspiracies. She also happens to be psychic. And figures out that we’re all in big trouble. Yeah, she’s got a hard row to hoe and a lot of evil to tap down. But I like her a lot and I’m looking forward to spending time being her. Or at least being along for the ride.

Problem is, when you travel in my circles, “I working on a book” can be one of the most joyous lines you hear. It can also sound like one of the most pretentious, depending on tone. And intent.

I’m a big believer that you get more writing done when you actually write, instead of talk or write about writing.

Which means entries to this blog may get few and far between at times.

What I will do though, is once I’m far enough along that the story makes some sense if you’re not me, I may share a sneak preview chapter or two. Could happen. Might.

For those of you who know me personally, if, in the near future, I start a serious discussion about Area 51 or the Illuminati or our reptilian alien overlords, remember, it’s not me. It’s my character. But never forget, Fox Mulder said “the truth is out there.” Or I could just make it up for a good yarn.

And yes, for the skeptics among us, I do think I’d look quite fetching in a tin foil hat.

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3 Comments on “I’m going under (between?) cover(s).”

  1. Tony Hall says:

    Joy, haven’t seen you since high school. All these years later I am very happy and excited to know you’re creative juices are still simmering if not coming to a boil. I wish you much happiness and success with your writing. Conspiracy theories are a huge deal, specially to the younger generations I find. Some of it is very eye opening (and ear opening) while others don’t deserve the time. Truth be known, after my level headed, fun loving, kind hearted baby boy ( he was 20) took his life one quiet early Monday morning, early 2011, we read the letter he left that we eventually received from the police (“eventually”, because if not for a twist of fate we would have never known there was a letter due to police and coroner not preforming their duties). There were no signs of dark areas in his soul or “the world will be better with out me” statements. What he did scribble was how much he loved his family and friends but couldn’t live in a world full of lies and goes on to list the “9-11 incident, Illuminati and the Mayan New Year” as the reasons he wants to move “to the next life”??
    He took his life because he feared and was disgusted with things that couldn’t hurt him!
    Yes, he was obviously ill but he believed these theories to be real and they would eventually devour him.
    I only open up and write this so as to show you Joy, you’re writing on this topic is ripe. The younger ones on facebook for instance (age 18 – 25 ) will stammer on about a conspiracy theory story for days, flipping it, stirring it, what ever it takes to almost want to make it real. Why they do this, I have no idea. Reality sucks maybe and they wish to bring a new dimension to it?? Possibly,
    I really don’t know. But, now that I have this all off my chest, what I really want to say in ending here is, Joy, you have what it takes to roller coaster a reader. I can’t wait for the end product and when it’s published I expect an autographed copy in my hands the first month. Shoot for the moon girl and land among the stars!

    • Joy Parks says:

      One of the often unsung rewards of writing is that sometimes if you’re very lucky, you inspire others to tell their story. I think you’re very brave to have shared this and I can’t tell you how moved I was to think my blog post brought this about.

      Nothing will ever be able to comfort your sense of loss or explain the reasons behind your son’s decision. But I have my own theory of why these conspiracies appeal. I think we’re all on a search for the truth. And I think most of us, in greater or less degrees, feel powerless in the face of the institutions that seem to have control over our lives—schools, companies, governments, other institutions. I think conspiracy theories give their believers a sense of power over the feeling of being controlled. It’s a way to get back at these untouchable powerful people and institutions that lie to us and control us with the idea that we’ve somehow called them—that we know the truth, that they can’t pull one over on us. That we’re too smart for their games.

      I think younger people—milennials—feel that sense of powerlessness much more than we do. They’ve been handed the short end of the stick. They don’t have the opportunities we had; their futures are a lot less clear. That’s why the Occupy movement happened. More of these protests will–and should come. They’re frightened, with good reason, and that kind of uncertainly and powerlessness makes them perfect targets for conspiracy theories.

      While the book is meant to be entertainment—first time I’ve tried my hand at popular fiction, I’ve been published before, but nothing you can buy off a rack in the grocery store—the power struggle between those who hide the truth and those who fight to uncover it will be an underlying part of plot.

      Thank you so much for the wonderful things you said about the potential of this book—means a great deal to me and I aim to live up to it. Consider that signed copy already yours.

      • Tony Hall says:

        Thanks for the kind words Joy. I’m really not an avid reader in all honesty but I know what you are capable of and look forward to that day where I can crack the cover on this story you are about to lay to paper, so to speak. Without the great words of inspiration that bellow like a church sermon, let me just simply say, “you can do it, I know you can”!


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