Monday, February 27, 2012

Liz's Lair: What Do Monster Trucks Have To Do With Writing?

You'll be surprised to find out. But here's another question for you? What does a library appearance, a soccer game, a book signing, and monster trucks all have in common?

I did them all in three days!

Most of you know I'm in between books right now, having just finished book 3 and waiting to begin book 4. I love this time in my writing journey when I'm not stressing out over what to write or finding time to actually write it. I call it my recharging time. Like all of you, I give so much of myself to the written word, and I'm left exhausted when I write "the end."

I know. I know. Most of that exhaustion is because I am the queen of procrastination and have to write like a maniac to make a deadline. Still – – I've wrapped up the latest adventure of Jordan and her gang. and they need a break, too.

So for the past month I have not written a single word on CHICKEN CACCIA-KILLER. Oh, I've done a little plotting, and I've come up with names and character profiles of some of the new characters, but that’s it. Fortunately, I’m part of a group of talented writers who call themselves the Plotting Princesses. (Come visit our blog sometimes.) They have really been instrumental in my last two books, helping me come up with great plots from just a title and a blurb. Can you imagine being in a room with 10 or more women who talk to people in their heads playing "what if?"

The bad news is that our next retreat isn't until the end of March, and I cannot sit around and do nothing until then. I have to get my butt in gear.

But not just yet!

Thursday, I was invited to the Duncanville, Texas, Library by a group of readers called The Damsels. Mary Musgrave and her band of voracious readers wanted me to do a reading and whatever else I cared to do. There was a group of about 30 people waiting when I arrived five minutes late. (Totally Mary’s fault since she kept me at dinner too long!! LOL) Now, those of you who know me know that I need oxygen to speak in front of a group. So, I was as nervous as a hooker in church.

The first thing I did was ask how many had read my book. Two thirds of the crowd raised their hands. I was in shock. After that I felt like I was among friends and sailed through the ninety minutes, barely stopping to breathe. I have always said I could BS with the best of them. There was talk of my being the guest of honor at a big Friends of the Library fundraiser.

Oh no! Let’s not get carried away.

On Saturday, I went to my grandson's first soccer game of the spring season. The weather was gorgeous, and he did fantastic, scoring two goals in the win. That afternoon I signed at Barnes & Noble in Denton, Texas, with Misa Ramirez and Diane Kelly. The proceeds went to help a local school that had lost a lot in a recent fire. It was one of the few times I haven't sold out, since traffic was slow at that time of the day. In hindsight, we should have signed earlier in the day when they had several activities going on in the store.

Directly from the signing I went with my daughter, hubby, and two grandsons to the Monster Jam at Cowboys Stadium.


I only went because I had nothing else to do and wanted to be with my family. I figured I could daydream or plot during the show.


First off, I'm not sure I will ever be able to hear right again. The noise level was unbelievable. And I was so caught up in the monster trucks in the competition that time flew by without any daydreaming. I was reminded of the Saturday afternoons as a teenager when my father and I would plop in front of the TV and watch wrestling religiously. I know now that most of the action was staged, but you couldn't convince me of that back then. My guess is that monster truck races are simply wrestling on wheels.

Now, I'm a college graduate who is also a published author. These kinds of things only appeal to the beer drinking, cussing good old boys who want to let off steam after a grueling week at a blue-collar job, right?

Wrong! There were more young kids there that at a public school! And you know what? This "professional" woman was hollering so loud when the trucks turned over that I am a little hoarse today. I tried to post a video of one truck who lost a wheel but kept on thrilling the crowds until he rolled over and caught on fire, but Blogger wouldn't take it. So I found one for last year's jam to give you an idea of what goes on at those things.

Anyway, I've decided one monster truck jam is probably all I'll ever need in my life, but I'm really glad I went. I did discover one thing, though. Unlike the young, good-looking, slender race car drivers on the NASCAR circuit, monster truck drivers are over 40 and chunky – – kind of like me.

So now I'm left with trying to convince my six-year-old grandson why he shouldn't grow up to be a monster truck driver. And I'm back to enjoying another couple of weeks of recharging until my deadline for book 4 sneaks up on me and I shift into panic mode.

So, to answer the title question, monster trucks turned out to be a heck of a way to recharge for me. Now my question for you is have you ever been to a monster truck jam? What do you do to recharge?


Kari Lee Townsend said...

OMG this video is perfect! I have never been to one, but I put one in my book :-) Now I have a visual to go with it!


Glad to hear you're recharging. I still have to finish!

Anita Clenney said...

Liz, you're just all over the place. I've seen these monster truck shows on TV but never in person. I bet it would be fun. I went to watch my nephew race cars a year or so ago, and although it's not my thing, I was hootin and hollerin too. Have fun with the rest of your recharge time.

Sasha Summers said...

I have been, in High School. My teeth were rattling - but it was fun! Enjoy your recharge time. Can't wait to read book 3 :)

Vicki Batman said...

Hi, Liz! And I am so pround of you for going to the truck rally. I've never been. AND I can't wait to help with plotting-hehehe.

Barbie Jo Mahoney said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Barbie Jo Mahoney said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Barbie Jo Mahoney said...

I went to one a loooong time ago with my ex-BBF. WE had a blast! At least he brought us headphones so my hearing was spared!

Recharging for me would have to be catching up on some chick-flix or favorite blast from the past movies, and reading for enjoyment!!

So enjoy your down time, Liz, you deserve it!!!

Tiffinie Helmer said...

I've never been to the Monster Trucks but I've been to the Derby where the cars try to mash each other up into scrap metal. Loved it! My hearing was impared there too. I also grew up with a race car driver for a father. So every Friday and Saturday we were at the races. It's a wonder I can hear at all.

For recharging, I read and do something else creative like pottery. I also go to Alaska and go fishing. :)

Liz Lipperman said...

Welcome home, Kari. I hope you got recharged with all the fun you had. I'm going to put the actual one I saw on Facebook.

Liz Lipperman said...

It was a riot, Anita. Everyone should do it at least once on their life. So, you guys all need to put it on your bucket list.

Liz Lipperman said...

Hey, Sasha, the noise was really teeth-rattling. And what about book2? Don't you want to read that one first LOL? And I hear you will be a part of plotting book 4 with me. Yay!!!

And remind me that I need to talk to you about pseudonyms. I'm changing mine, and I'll tell you why if you email me.

Liz Lipperman said...

Vicki, I hate that I always pick everyone's brains for my plotting, but I can't help it. You Princesses are so good at it. Can't wait.

Liz Lipperman said...

Ah, Barbie, when did you become a perfectionist?? It took you three times to get your comment right, and I got to see all three of them. They were all good. So what was the problem??

Let me know if you've seen any good chick flix lately.

Liz Lipperman said...

I love fishing to recharge, Tiff, although isn't it a lot of work??

I never knew your dad was a race car fan. Like I mentioned, I watched wrestling every Saturday with my dad.

And I've seen your pottery. It's gorgeous.

Marilyn Sue Shank said...

What a fun place to take a grandkid!

Love the titles of your books!

Glad you are getting some R&R!