Addendum, January 5, 2012:
I've been getting a lot of hits on this post from people searching for that brilliant song that Mavis listens to obsessively in her Mini Cooper (including the refrain, "I didn't want to hurt you, ohhh, oh yeah"). Just to set your minds at rest, it is The Concept, by Teenage Fanclub. And yeah, I love it, too.
On Saturday, I went to see the film Young Adult - starring Charlize Theron - with three other authors and a future filmmaker. We figured it was our obligation -- to see how close to the truth the film came. Plus it was a good excuse to get out and talk books and nonsense.
Here is what struck us as true:
1. Sitting in front of the computer, staring a screen completely blank except for the words Chapter 1.
2. Listening to conversations in public places and holding onto choice snippets for possible use in a present or future novel.
3. Stealing moments at coffee shops and bus stops to get the novel written.
I was delighted that the author in the movie didn't "see the light" at the end of the film and become a "real writer" - for adults.
But I was very, very uncomfortable with how close her deadline was and how far she was from finishing the book. It ended up giving me a stomach ache, worrying about her deadline. It was my worst nightmare - to be on Chapter 1, and have the book due on Friday.
There were a lot of other things about the movie that made me uncomfortable. Theron's character, Mavis, was not an easy character to like. But I loved the brave choices the screenwriter and director made. And I loved that even the stunning Theron wrote in her Hello Kitty jammies and stayed up late eating New York Super Fudge Chunk (and drinking Maker's Mark - but you'll have to see the film to understand the significance of that.)
For me, however, the best part of the evening was hanging out with other writers afterwards. Talking about books and plotlines, ridiculous Christmas gifts and legendary holiday photos. That was the whole point, after all. Because we all need time with writer friends. So thank you, ladies, for a good night out.