S.G. Browne

Lie To Me

So there I am, sitting in the front row at the Warfield Theater, waiting for Bon Jovi to take the stage, when Eddie Murphy walks up in drag and asks me for a light.

Okay. So it’s not Eddie Murphy. But he looks enough like him to pass for the real thing. I quit smoking two years ago and stopped carrying a lighter a year after that. You never really quit smoking until you give up the lighter. So I can’t oblige Miss Eddie, who saunters away looking for someone else to hit on.

Did I say I was in the Warfield Theater? My mistake. I’m at SFO, Gate 33, waiting to board United Flight 4117 to Boston. And Bon Jovi’s not about to take the stage, though several of his songs are on my iPod, so I’m sure he’ll show up sooner or later.

Did I mention I’m a professional liar?

Prevaricator, actually. Professional prevaricator. I get paid to tell lies. To husbands. Wives. Children. Accountants. Nannys. Athletes. Doesn’t matter. I’ve lied to them all. Well, most of them. I still can’t lie to my urologist.

Eddie Murphy in drag? That was the truth. Dead ringer. But he didn’t ask me for a light. He didn’t even walk past me. He’s sitting across from me, applying another coat of lipstick. It looks like bubble gum.

And I never smoked cigarettes. Or owned a lighter.

Filed under: Random Fiction — S.G. Browne @ 8:54 am

Fate and Taxes

After three months of staring at my computer and writing new pages and tossing them out (well, not literally…they just become electronic garbage in my file folder) and wondering if I was ever going to come up with re-writes for my new novel that I was happy with, I finally finished them and sent the manuscript off to my agent yesterday.

FATED.  The title of the new novel is FATED.  And that’s all I’m sharing for now.  Okay, no, it’s not about zombies.  But that’s it.  No more.

I don’t know about other writers, but when I’m near the end of a project and I have a deadline, even if it’s self-imposed, I tend to stop taking care of the List of Things To Do that aren’t writing related.  Like doing my taxes and buying a new area rug and getting my shoes re-soled.  I just can’t justify taking time to run errands and deal with the nagging problems of daily existence when I can’t figure out how to solve the problems of the characters in my book.

I’m sure there’s a cosmic parallel between the two, but I’m not going to go there.

But with FATED sent off and hopefully ready to be pitched to my publisher, I have sense of relief that I can finally deal with my own crap now that I’ve taken care of my characters’ issues.  And I a sense of freedom that allows me to finally start up my next novel or to write some short stories or to play some golf.

But first, I should probably think about taking care of my taxes.

Filed under: The Writing Life — S.G. Browne @ 1:11 pm

How To Break Up With Your Novel

I can’t seem to figure out how to re-write two chapters of my next novel.  I’ve been working on these two chapters for three months, which is about two months too many.  Just can’t seem to find the pulse of the characters in the chapter.  It’s frustrating, especially since I feel like I can’t move forward until this is done.  Until I have closure.  King of like ending a relationship.  I have to get this novel out of my system before I can be free to start courting my next novel.

So I thought, maybe I should write a scene with an author who is trying to break up with his novel.  And this is what I came up with:

“We need to talk,” said the writer, opening the novel’s file and leaning back in his chair.
“About what?” said the novel, her characters glowing on the monitor.
The writer pursed his lips, started to say something, then closed his mouth.
“What?” asked the novel.
“This just isn’t working,” he said.
“What do you mean?” asked the novel.  “What’s not working?”
“You,” he said, gesturing toward the screen.  “Us.  This.”
“I don’t understand,” she said.  “I thought things were going so well.  I thought we were having so much fun together.”
“We were,” he said.  “That’s the problem.  We were having fun.  Now it just feels like work.”
“What happened?” she asked.
The writer shook his head.  “Things just changed.”
“Is it something I did?” she asked.
He looked away, not wanting to admit the truth.
“What?” she asked.  “Tell me.  What did I do?”
“You stopped making sense to me,” he said.  “You stopped inspiring me.  You became a burden.”
The novel just sat there, too stunned to reply.
“I’m sorry,” said the writer.
“I’m sorry, too” she whispered, her words barely audible.
They sat in silence, neither one of them knowing what to say.
“I wish things would have worked out,” he said.
“Me too,” she said.
The writer reached out and clicked EDIT, then clicked SELECT ALL.
“No.  Don’t do this!” she pleaded, her words highlighted in black.  “Can’t we give it one more shot?”
The writer shook his head.  “I’ve been trying to make it work for the last three months and you haven’t changed,” he said.  “I can’t keep going like this.”
“Please,” she begged.  “I know we can make it work.”
“I’m sorry,” he said, then he hit the DELETE key.

Filed under: The Writing Life — S.G. Browne @ 6:30 pm

Breathers Contest

To celebrate the upcoming publication of Breathers less than two months away, I’m throwing a contest on undeadanonymous.com in which I’ll be giving away a personally autographed Advanced Reader’s Copy of Breathers: A Zombie’s Lament by yours truly as first prize.

In addition, I’m offering a mass market paperback of the winner’s choice for the first and second runners-up.  Kind of like Miss America, only without the flowers and the tiara.

To enter, all you have to do is promote the contest and Undead Anonymous and comment on Andy’s Diary with a link to the site or the blog or the group where you plugged Breathers and you’ll be entered to win.  Yeah, it’s that easy.

Winners will be selected by a random drawing of all entries.

The contest is open in all time zones and closes Sunday, January 18th at 11:59 PM, PST.

Good luck and thanks for the support!

Filed under: Breathers — S.G. Browne @ 5:03 pm