Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Sock Monkeys and Stegosauruses -- Eve

I’ve had a hideous headache since Friday. For me, this is rare and can only mean one thing. No, not a hangover. I don’t even drink (that much...on Mondays…in the summer…during months that end in 'gust). No, I’ve self-diagnosed a Writer’s Blockage. It’s not that I’m at a loss for ideas for my YA romance-in-progress. Problem is that there are too many ideas swimming aimlessly around my brain, clogging up the place. It’s more like a Writer’s Clot, a literary aneurysm, if you will. The pressure is building, causing my head to feel like it might, at any second, explode Scanners-style all over my white carpet.

Believe it or not, a random blog comment from Lisa Yee led to the most bizarre of cures. She said, and I quote, “One time I couldn’t write until I had a sock monkey. I know it sounds weird now, but I swear the lack of a sock monkey shut me down.” Hmm. Sock monkey. Sock monkey. Where on earth could one get a sock…? Then I remembered that last time I was in Florida visiting my family, my 8-year-old nephew gave me…wait for it...wait for it…a sock monkey! (Dressed as “Heidi” with yellow braided pigtails and, for some odd reason, a lasso…but, hey, a sock monkey nonetheless.)

When I put Heidi sock monkey next to my computer today, strange things happened. A sense of calmness took over. Ideas began to flow and make sense. I took copious notes on my main theme. Just as I was staring at the ceiling trying to figure out how to weave this theme with the others, a link to a random Salon article popped up on my computer…and it was perfect! It pretty much summed up (in a strangely scientific way) my main character’s belief system and motivation for acting the way she does, which hadn’t occurred to me before today. Soon, I could feel the swelling in my aneurysm shrinking.

While writing my first book, Kidz In The Wood, I suffered a severe three-month blockage. One day I woke up and felt better, and the story began to unfold and write itself like buttah. In retracing my steps to figure out what changed for me back then, I remembered Robin’s son, Luke, brought me a rubber toy Stegosaurus and left it on my dining table one day. If I remember correctly, it wasn’t until that rubber dinosaur appeared that I actually got a firm handle on what exactly I was doing with my book. Sock monkeys? Stegosauri? Who knew??

As I’m proofreading this post, I realize how outlandish it sounds. But, on the other hand... whatever works, man. JK Rowling has her Potter-ites. John Green has his Nerdfighters. And I got my sock monkeys!

- Eve


Anonymous said...

That's because I mailed you my spirit into my likeness doll!!!

(Who sold her novel SEA to Putnam this week! Did I tell you guys yet??? Well, that might expain the whole DOLL thing!)

Anonymous said...

I can't talk right now, I am on my way out to buy a sock monkey!

wait, where does one find a sock monkey?

Disco Mermaids said...

Apparently, my 8-year-old nephew knows where to find them. He's my dealer. I don't think he's the Kingpin, but I'm sure he could hook you up for the right price.

CONGRATS, Heidi!!! So excited for you. Your book sounds fantastic, and I know you've been working on this forever. Well, deserved!!


Disco Mermaids said...

That was supposed to be "Well deserved!" NO comma. Sorry...caffeine has not kicked in yet.

(who can't stand commas, in, the, wrong, places!)

Anonymous said...

Thanks, Eve--yep. Two years to write it, eight months to sell it. =)

I hope sock monkey Heidi continues to inspire you...
(i gotta get me one of those.)

oh, and NEVER worry about commas with me.
*not a sock doll, heidi

Anonymous said...

WOO HOO - we knew when we saw that freaky, cheeky monkey that it had your name written all over it. And, for the rest of y'all who are jonz'n for a sock monkey, you gotta go through me, and use a lot of commas, in your request, for a hook-up. Lamy

Lisa Yee said...

Behold the power of the Sock Monkey.

Kelly Fineman said...

It put me in mind of Laura Ruby's book, The Wall and the Wing, which included wind-up monkeys that kept secrets. It turns out (in that book) that people just have a need to share their stories with monkeys. Your Sock Monkey escapade appears to prove that what I thought was fiction, may be truth.

Lisa Albert said...

Sock monkey tattoo.

From ABer to another, you go, Eve!

Disco Mermaids said...

Seriously, I think the sock monkey is my new "thing"...I'm so freaking superstitious that I'll have to tote it everywhere with me...airplanes, cafes, grocery store, to make sure that I don't lose the inspiration.

Kelly F, I think there's some truth to that book, too!

Amy, you are the funniest sister ever!

Lisa Yee...Goddess. 'Nuff said!

Lisa Albert, sock monkey MERMAID tatoo...are you kidding me? It's perfect. Thanks!


Anonymous said...

I suddenly feel desperate for a sock monkey.
Just hung the Da Paola Code, framed of course, over my desk. My 11 year old neice saw it and said, "I think we studied this in school." I told her she probably studied it in the Jay-Robin-Eve biography!

Look.... you can wear it and take it EVERYWHERE!

Does a small sock monkey bring small inspiration? because I might need an XL!

the clay lady!

HipWriterMama said...

Yay for sock monkeys!

LindaBudz said...

Are y'all familiar with Cece Bell? Who writes Sock Monkey stories?

Her husband (also a kids' writer) blogs about her on his site. Check it out:


SamRiddleburger said...

Yep, Cece was not only inspired by Sock Monkey, she was inspired to write 5 books about him. And emblazon him all over our house...

Anytime you need a little Sock Monkey action in your life, use the flash MakeASockMonkey game. Design your own monkey then watch it dance as Cece plays the piano.

what'sinyoursoul said...

Maybe a sock monkey would help me, too. I'm on book #2, and it's slow going. Why did I think it would be easier this time??

Now...where to find one...

And woohoo for JoanMarie's recording!