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Writing what you know - Barnstorming on an Invisible Segway [entries|archive|friends|userinfo]
Marissa Lingen

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Writing what you know [Apr. 14th, 2011|11:13 am]
Marissa Lingen
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People thank all sorts of friends, family members, and colleagues for all sorts of things in the acknowledgements of their books.

I'm kind of thinking it would be a little gauche to thank a college friend I haven't seen or spoken to in years, with full name, in the form of, "And thanks to C---- S--- for showing me exactly what Tommy Heikkanen sounds like drunk," though.

At one point at that very memorable physics Christmas party, the hosts had run out of cups. They served him his glögg in a measuring cup. And he brought it back to the couch where Heathah and Jen The World's Best Lab Partner and I were sitting, and he said, "It's a cup--that's a cup! Get it?" And then he laughed uproariously.

Tommy Heikkanen is not nearly that happy in this scene. He is a Finnish boy who has just figured out exactly what horrible magical thing caused the death of someone he knew, and he is drinking rather determinedly as a result. (Note: this is not more helpful with magical problems than it is with mundane ones.) But the diction, the diction is just exactly the thing.
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Comments:
[User Picture]From: chinders
2011-04-14 04:30 pm (UTC)
*giggles*
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[User Picture]From: redbird
2011-04-14 04:48 pm (UTC)
Tangentially, have I mentioned that I really like the tags you use for a lot of these posts? (Mine mostly have very boring if useful tags like "wiscon" and "exercise." And "phenology," mostly for pameladean)
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[User Picture]From: mrissa
2011-04-14 04:50 pm (UTC)
Oh, thanks! Sometimes I'm afraid I'm being frightfully obscure, but sometimes that's okay.
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[User Picture]From: minnehaha
2011-04-14 07:03 pm (UTC)
If you're worried about how C--- S--- or people who know him would react to it, best find out in advance of publication, or just obscure it the way Poe did in his poem titled

To F--S S. O--D

K. [funny, I was just thinking of that poem this morning]
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[User Picture]From: aamcnamara
2011-04-15 01:10 am (UTC)
When I found an item called "Letter to Her R----l H-----s The P---s D--w--g--r of W---, on the approaching peace" at my library work-study this morning, I was entirely too amused to find that the record stated lower down "With half-title".
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[User Picture]From: reveritas
2011-04-14 07:21 pm (UTC)
At least you can shop where? :)
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[User Picture]From: mrissa
2011-04-14 08:28 pm (UTC)
It's a line from Grosse Pointe Blank. Approximately: "They say you can never go home again, Marcella, but at least you can shop there."
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[User Picture]From: redbird
2011-04-15 02:38 am (UTC)
I'd been filling that in as "The past is a foreign country, but at least you can shop there."
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[User Picture]From: mrissa
2011-04-15 03:26 am (UTC)
Close, but when I use it, I tend to be referring to somewhere that was my home specifically--Omaha usually, sometimes St. Pete.
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[User Picture]From: miz_hatbox
2011-04-14 07:38 pm (UTC)
Personally, I would keep it as C---- S----- unless his name is a really common one like Christopher Smith.

A friend of a friend has a really unusual name (we'll call him Fenimore Quack because it is about that unusual and unique).

Apparently Quack had had a conversation with a well-known author at a party, and the conversation had either inspired elements of the plot or changed how something was handled in a book he was working on. So the author said so and thanked him by name in the dedication. Which is a nice gesture. But because the book did quite well indeed, and Quack (whose name is very searchable for obvious reasons) got more attention than he would have liked from fen of said author. They all wanted to know about the conversation. "You met Currer Bell? Wow! What did you say to him?" Apparently it Got Old after a while.
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[User Picture]From: mrissa
2011-04-14 08:30 pm (UTC)
I actually probably won't thank him at all in the actual book, even by initials. There are enough things like that in a writerly life that one doesn't want to hint that the acknowledgments are anything like exhaustive.
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[User Picture]From: sraun
2011-04-15 04:25 am (UTC)
One of the things I really like about the Carter Hall stories is that I grew up with many of those people. And I recognize them!
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[User Picture]From: mrissa
2011-04-15 12:02 pm (UTC)
Good deal; means I'm doing it right.
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