And How Does That Help You….?

That awkward moment when you get sage life advice… from your characters.

I was working on my WIP when my lead character brought it to my attention that she’d obviously left some information out of her backstory… like a possible Psychology degree. I wonder what else she’s been holding back. The relevant portion of the scene was this:


I accepted the bowl of ice-cream with a small smile. The smile was more for Miranda’s benefit than anything else. It was silent assurance that I wasn’t going to be bursting into tears any time soon.

She handed me a spoon and grinned, “There you go. There’s nothing in this world that enough Ben and Jerry’s can’t make better.”  

Despite myself I laughed out loud, “Ever tried telling the Facility that? Maybe this whole thing could be sorted out if we shipped the Tristles twenty truck loads.”

Miranda pulled her afghan closer as silence fell between us. I didn’t have to bribe her with pennies to know we were thinking the same thing. If only getting rid of the Tristles were that easy. But then again nothing ever was. Tears pricked the corner of my eyes as I remembered why I was having this pity party. I stabbed the ice-cream with my spoon.

“Easy tiger,” Miranda said with a wry smile. “Karma has always been a bigger and better bitch than Gretchen could hope to be.”

“That doesn’t help me.”

Miranda raised an eyebrow. She reached over with her spoon and took a big scoop of Dublin Mudslide. She closed her eyes and sighed in the exaggerated motion she always made when she took her first bite of Ben and Jerry’s. I rolled my eyes at her but I couldn’t stop the myself from grinning at her.

“I don’t get you,” she said when she finally regained her composure. “One of these days Karma will bite Gretchen so hard on the butt she’ll be looking for the dog. How can you say that that won’t help you?”

I shrugged, “It will make her miserable but that doesn’t really make my life any better or worse does it?”


When I read it over I thought to myself… woah Gabriella when did you get so smart? Did I plot you that way? And if I did, how did I go about plotting characters with higher levels of emotional intelligence than I have! But I’m never the one to shy away from learning a particularly useful life lesson… no matter where it comes from. I’m definitely guilty of secretly hoping that persons who’ve done something bad to me would get their bad Karma. In fact I really like the way Karma is dished out in the Wiccan religion… in threes :). I’m thinking about it and Gabriella has a big point. I mean, let’s say someone steals a lot of from me. Then several months later someone steals a lot of money from them. It might be poetic justice but the misery that they might’ve found themselves in wouldn’t do one iota to help the fact that I’m out of the money they stole. I’d be better off spending all the time I might have spent hoping Karma got them hoping that I’d win the lottery instead :). Now, THAT would definitely make my life better. 😀

In fact asking myself, “And how does that help you Rilzy?” should be applied to every thing I do. If I can’t come up with a proper answer then I probably shouldn’t do it. I’ll call it my ‘action screening protocol :P’

So right now I would really like to grab a bowl of ice-cream from the fridge (reading that scene always does this to me).

“And how does that help you Rilzy?” I’ve asked myself.

Hmm. I got nothing. I think I might put this screening plan in action after that bowl of ice-cream!

Photo Credit: “Questions Man” by Danilo Rizzuti




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