Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Mandy's Motherly Musings

I haven't paid homage to Monty Python lately, and that's just a darned shame, so I thought on this fine (read: too freaking cold) Tuesday, I would offer up some words of wisdom and see if I might twist any of them to be applicable to writing.

Who the heck is Mandy?

The Life of Brian, second best movie ever (to The Quest for the Holy Grail) is about a case of mistaken identity. So if the world has mistaken Brian for Jesus, that would make Mandy... erm... the holy Madonna... An unlikelier person for the job could never be found. Played by Terry Jones in his repulsive, cross-dressing best, Mandy is a trollop who does sexual favors for the Romans in exchange for... erm... a luxurious life... (read: slum apartment and enough chump change to buy a fake beard and rocks to throw at Stonings.) [Probably not surprising it was banned in several places at the time for being blasphemous, but to me that just adds to the appeal]

“Myrrh? What Kind of Gift is that for a Baby?”

Indeed she has a point. Wikipedia describes it as a resin from the sap of several trees and it is used in embalming. What about a nice rattle? But for us writers, I think the point is, what is perfect for one baby... erm... agent/publisher/audience, might just go rudely unappreciated by another—there is no pleasing everyone. And even if Brian might have liked a nice embalming, the gatekeeper just couldn't seem to appreciate it, so Brian would never even know...

Cross Dressing Might Help Your Cause

Women aren't allowed at Stonings... It's unseemly... so you know who goes to Stonings? Women dressed as men (disguised by nothing more than bad fake beards). My recent request for a partial was addressed to “Mr. Hart Johnson”. I recognize Hart as ambiguous, and take no offense, in fact, there is a part of me that KNEW Hart was ambiguous and it might help my case. Hart Johnson is my pen name, two of the parts of my real name, but I've dropped the feminine first (mostly because in my scientific publications I'd prefer to still be taken seriously, and I don't know where this road of fiction might lead). Anyway, JK Rowling, in interviews, has said that her publisher suggested she drop Joanne and use initials because it sounded more 'blokey'. So there you have it... I am effective cross-dressed except when announcing tartism all over the place. (Are there male tarts?)

“Huh, sex, sex, sex, that's all they think about, huh?”

I suppose this is just a note to keep things exciting... a little intrigue, mystery... erm... sex? I'm told it does sell...

“He's Not the Messiah, He's a Naughty Naughty Boy!”

Lesson: no matter how high you rise, there will be somebody who has always loved you who is willing to tear you back down again.

“Go Ahead. Be Crucified. See if I care!”

Our loved ones can be great cheerleaders... or not. My husband can say a nice thing now and again if good things are happening, but honestly? He doesn't want to hear me grumble and complain. He feels like he's already DONE his job, just by keeping the complaining to a minimum that this writing business is cutting into chores, family, and brain time. (you see, my memory is shot, or rather, I think, my brain is full).

So there. I guess in conclusion... if you can find something useful in Mandy's advice, you can find it ANYWHERE...


M.J. Nicholls said...

Seeing "40 Years of Monty Python" in the media throws me somewhat, seeing they disbanded for good in 1982.

But there's always time to pay homage to Python. That's what it's all about. And milking the cash cow.

Welease Bwian!!!

Elizabeth Spann Craig said...

Great writing tips from Mandy! :)

I'm getting some of the same treatment from my husband as you're getting from yours, I think--he doesn't want me to complain about something I allegedly enjoy doing! And, of course, he wants to spend more computer-free time with me. Good reminder! I'll think about Mandy next time this crops up.

Mystery Writing is Murder

Terry Odell said...

Great post. When I started writing, hubby thought it was 'cute'. Now he encourages me, reminding me that I have fun when I write.

Elspeth Antonelli said...

Great post! The wisdom that can be found in Monty Python boggles the mind. I shall ponder this for some time...


Watery Tart said...

Teehee--Thanks everyone! I didn't want to get up today, and only the thought of some zany Monty Python style wisdom really did it for me, so I'm glad the rest of you are giving it a giggle too.

Dan Berger said...

I only have one protest: "The Life of Brian" is in no way second to the Holy Grail business. Splitter! Mucho gusto el posto.