Friday, April 16, 2010

Sausage Fingers and Other Things That Make My Mother Laugh

My stories don't always make my mother cry.

Before she mentioned that my very sad contemporary romance made her cry, Mom told me on the phone that there were several parts where she laughed.

Laughed?

I think I scratched my head. Paced my kitchen. Lost focus on how I should respond. Desperately tried to think of what part of that story could have possibly been funny. I threw out different scenes that were lighter in nature. I tried to dig for information as if I hadn't just been completely befuddled by her comment.

And then...jackpot.

Here's a sentence that made my mother laugh:

Greg Seaward grabbed at the contract from across their table at Denny’s, his sausage fingers quick to flip through the folder in search of Alec’s check.

Apparently the description reminded her of what a melodramatic child I'd been.

Has anyone ever told you that you look like someone you don't want to look like? Have you ever had a contest judge or reader give you a comment that left you puzzled? Were you able to use the opinion to your advantage?

30 comments:

Kristen Painter said...

If I get a comment that puzzles me, I usually figure the reader just didn't get me.

MeganRebekah said...

I always find it unsettling if someone says I look (or worse, act) like someone I'd rather not be compared to.

And I've definitely had comments that make me stop and think. It helps us grow as writers

Wendy Paine Miller said...

It's always so wild to hear or learn how I come across to others. On that nifty My Heritage site my match is almost always Katie Holmes (Cruise) and I don't think I look much like her.

I guess it just makes people all more interesting to me.
~ Wendy

Marybeth Poppins said...

I've been told I look like Mary Lou Retin. I didn't even know who she was before the comment! I kinda think it's rubbish :)

Jessica Nelson said...

Kristen, probably true. For me though... LOL ...I have uneasy niggles that I might be too purple prosey. LOL

Megan, Me too!!! There's one particular actress someone told me I looked like and I've never forgotten because it was NOT a compliment to me. LOL

Wendy, too interesting! Katie Holmes is very pretty, so that's not too bad. *grin*

MaryBeth, isn't she a country star or something? I have no clue what she looks like. LOL So, is it rubbish because you don't want to look like her?

Jody Hedlund said...

Whew glad you found out where she laughed! I think all of us are so different in our humor that what might tickle one person, another might skim over! But, yes, I have had judges give me completely opposite feedback. And I really tried to understand where they were coming from.

Jessica Nelson said...

Jody, I try too. That's why I try to be careful now not to be overdramatic with my words. LOL!
My mom does have a great if somewhat quirky sense of humor. I love her!

Angie Muresan said...

The only thing I've been accused of is being too dramatic, which is then followed by me rolling my eyes.
Have a blessed weekend, Jessica!

Katie Ganshert said...

Yes, this happened with a contest judge last year. I can't even remember what it was. But I remember reading the particular comment and not understanding what it could mean.

I like the sausage fingers. I'm curious (since he's at Denny's). Are his fingers greasy from sausage, or do they look like sausages?

Kristen Torres-Toro said...

If something puzzles me, it makes me wonder what isn't clear. Unless it's someone who doesn't know me really well... but then I have to take into consideration that most of my readers won't either.

Jessica Nelson said...

Angie, you dramatic? I can't see that for some reason. :-)

LOL Katie! I meant they looked liked sausages. Heehee! Good question though!

Very true, Kristen. I didn't mean for it to be funny but my mom got a kick out of it, which makes me wonder if my descr. was a little over the top. *grin*

Julie Jarnagin said...

People always used to tell me how young I look, which I hated. Now that I'm almost 30, I love it.

Keli Gwyn said...

Jessie, I think it's cool that you not only made your mother cry but made her laugh as well. That shows your stories engage all the emotions. Well done!

Sometimes my CP makes comments that leave me scratching my head. If, after pondering them, I'm still unclear what she means, I ask for clarification. Just recently, something she said helped me over a huge hurdle that was hindering my progress. I didn't get it at first, but when I did, a dam broke. I love when that happens.

Jessica Nelson said...

Hahaaa, Julie! I would love too. Unfortunately, that never happens to me. May you have many more years of mistaken age!

LOL Keli! It wasn't a good laughter though, because it wasn't supposed to be funny. *cringing and laughing*
My mom has a lot of emotions too, so it might not be indicative of any skills of mine, but thank you for the sweet words anyway. :-)
That's awesome about your CP!

Karen Lange said...

Love the sausage fingers. As far as puzzling comments about my work - I find it interesting that there are often so many perspectives about things. It sounds one way in my head, but possibly completely different in someone else's.
Have a blessed weekend,
Karen

Warren Baldwin said...

I gave a copy of my book to a close relative. Then, at a family get together recently her 5th grade son came up to me and said, "My mom found a typing error in your book." I spoke to her and she was indeed proud to have found an error. She never said one thing about the book, just that she found a mistake that made it through all the editing process.

I guess she likes the book though b/c she took it some friends has sold close to ten.

But that does create a kind of funny feeling.

Julie Dao said...

Haha that's so funny that she laughed about the sausage fingers!! I have gotten puzzling comments before. I figure if a comment puzzles me, the reader and I probably didn't connect somewhere - either they missed the point, or I did - but I don't dwell on it and move on. I try to get what I can out of every comment, but there's a certain point where it's possible to overanalyze stuff. (Which I'm really good at... LOL)

Elana Johnson said...

I'm with you. I would not consider my writing funny, and yet people laugh. I'm not sure how I feel about that, but I've decided it's okay.

Susan J. Reinhardt said...

Hi Jess -

LOL! Funny, funny line.

I was puzzled when a friend identified someone rescuing my hero as a villain. I re-wrote the scene.

Blessings,
Susan :)

Jessica Nelson said...

Susan, too funny! It's always a good eye-opener to hear how our characters are perceived.

Elana, :-), Sounds like you have a great attitude. As far as I know my mom is the only one who laughed at that parts of that story. *crossing fingers*

Julie, totally agree. If you figure out how to keep the Over-Analyzing Monster away, let me know, okay? ;-)

Jessica Nelson said...

Karen, that's so true about words sounding one way in our heads but different to others.

Warren...Welcome to Authorhood! LOL I've heard tales from pubbed friends about letters they get. People do seem to take pride in finding grammatical errors or typos, then they like to point out their discoveries. :-) Funny, right? I'm sure she enjoyed your book!

Terri Tiffany said...

LOL I loved that line! ANd yes, I've often had some of the people who read my work question stuff and it makes me wonder if I'm not being clear enough.

Maria I. Morgan said...

Great description, 'sausage fingers'! I'm sure your Mom is one of your biggest cheerleaders! Hooray for Moms! God bless and have a great weekend!

Janna Qualman said...

Denny's!

But don't the most melodramatic ones make the best writers? ;)

T. Anne said...

I'm in a contest right now and most of the comments are leaving me puzzled. BTW, I'm suddenly craving breakfast sausage from Denny's....

Glynis said...

I recently had a short story contest critique returned to me. The judge spoke about a guy, the character I wrote about was a woman. He mentioned that Spain was an interesting country. I had written about London.
I think he sent me the wrong one or, didn't read it properly.

Jessie Oliveros said...

I love the sausage fingers description. What is even more awesome about that is that he is at Denny's, and as sausage is a widely eaten dish at Denny's....perfect. I don't want to tell you who I've been told I look like because you will get it in your head and never forget it.

Nancy said...

I think that line might make me smile, too, if I came across it in a conversation. It's all good though. There is gentle laughter in even the saddest tales most times.

Kate Karyus Quinn said...

My mom always accuses me of being melodramatic too... although she doesn't think that I stopped being melodramatic after childhood.

Sometimes when I get a comment or crit that puzzles me, I usually re-examine the part that prompted the comment. Sometimes I decide to leave it, but at other times I'll rework to see if I can get closer to my true intention.

Deb Shucka said...

I love the sentence that made your mom laugh. If I don't get some piece of information that comes my way, I always try to find out more because there's sure to be some great learning in there somewhere for me.