It's Friday night as I'm writing this, and I'm sitting here in the midst of a sleepover for my middle child who just turned 12. How do you turn this aging thing off? Seriously! I'm tired of them getting older. Once May gets here, we're going to lose our last single digit child, and that's... very upsetting.
Anyway, I'm sitting her in the midst of this... well, there's no better word for it than chaos. Maybe cacophony. Actually, I really like the word cacophony. It just has such a cool sound to it. See, it's hard to stay on track with all the noise Noise NOISE and the constant distractions.
"Even better than the real thing... child..."
"Oh, my gosh! You guys are so premature!"
And, um, a lot of video game babble that I don't understand and can't repeat although the words "Mario" and "Zelda" are common.
And there seems to be an outbreak of wet willies.
But all of that is beside the point. If there even is a point.
Well, no, there is a point.
"You're on the road, but you've got not destination..."
The point is that middle school boys, possibly all boys, are pantsers. Other than the fact that I bought some pizza and that they had cake, there is no plan at all involved in any of this. At all. In fact, if there had been a plan, a plot of any kind, it wouldn't have worked, because you can't get all of them onto the same thing at the same time unless it has to do with food, and there was no way that I was going to plan a sleepover that totally revolved around food.
"Through the storm, we reach the shore. You give it all, but I want more."
But, see, I know this about boys. They are kind of easy that way. You invite them over and make sure they have video games available, and they are totally self entertaining. Maybe a movie when it gets late. Actually, yes, a movie when it gets late otherwise they just keep playing video games until they become comatose. That's another word I like, by the way.
You want to know some other words I like? Sure you do. And, if you don't, well, that's too bad.
"Is it getting better, or do you feel the same?"
I like "adamant" and "belligerent." I like the sounds of both of those, too, and I especially like them because they sound like what they are.
"Did I disappoint you or leave a bad taste in your mouth?"
I mean, if I didn't know what adamant meant, I could almost guess it just from the sound of the word. And belligerent sounds like someone itching for a fight.
Did I mention the wet willies?
See, boys, they don't need the plots. They just do their thing. Sometimes they're doing it together, but never are all of them doing it. There's always one or two off on the laptop or some iContraption doing something completely separate from everyone else and being completely fine with it.
"But I still haven't found what I'm looking for."
"No! No pillow lights!"
"Wait! No pillow fights! Turn the light on!"
And now it's time for Mad Libs. With poop. Seriously. Every single one of them has to have the word "poop" or some variant at least once. Unfortunately, some of them are really funny:
"What big poops you have!"
You see how difficult it is to stay on track with all of this... this... stuff... going on?
I'm quite sure this must be what it's like to pants a book. See, the thing is, the boys, they're okay with what's going on, but no one else has a clue as to what's happening or what they're talking about.
My daughter got bored with them. She went off to practice her accordion because she didn't have anything else to do. The boys never noticed she left.
It's completely different from when my daughter has a party. Those things have to be planned. Plotted. Completely. They want things to do. Activities. A time frame. It's an entirely different experience. Okay, true, my daughter's not quite a middle schooler, yet, but I'm pretty sure this isn't gonna change. And the boys have always been like this.
What I do know is that if I were to try and introduce a few girls into this party and make them play by the boy's rules, they'd drive me crazy with how bored they'd get. And, during one of my daughter's parties, if I were to try and put some boys into it, they'd just wander off and not participate.
I don't really know what all of this really has to do with writing other than that different types of people like different kinds of things. Some people like books that don't have a distinct plot where things just sort of happen. Some people like books where only things that matter to the story happen in the story. What I do know is that the two types of people don't mix very well.
I won't be planning any co-ed parties for a while, that's for sure. Wait, what's that I said about halting that whole aging thing?
Oh! Also, don't forget the Great Chocolate Contest in which you could win the greatest chocolate in the world (that I've ever tasted)! Seriously, this stuff is as good as Russel Crowe's ego is big!