Writers often ask themselves the questions, “what?” and “why?” Why do characters say what they say and do what they do? What is their motivation? Why did we name them Helga and Maurice? Does anybody know what the heck happened at the end of chapter eight?
Daily I do I ask myself, “I wonder what those rascally characters, Kathleen and Gil, are up to?” in our quasi-steamy WIP romance. But nearly every weekday morning also I ask the burning question: Who will be picked from the New York studio audience of Live with Regis & Kelly to win the random prize drawing?
You see, Regis Philbin and Kelly Ripa are part of my morning routine. Everyday they have a trivia contest, but I could care less who wins or doesn’t win the fabulous prize-trip. What I do care about, desperately, compulsively, insanely is what number will be picked or drawn to give the corresponding audience member a much lesser prize.
I know what you’re thinking: Isn’t Lisa supposed to be in the shower? Rest assured, in our area Regis & Kelly goes off-air at 10am, leaving plenty of time to shower before noon. But thanks for asking.
So what is this obsession over who wins a prize ranging from cookware to perfumed soap to mail-order meat, you ask? It’s all about details. Pick a number between 1 and 143. Seven, you say? Don’t pick seven! Everybody knows why seven – it’s the only odd number between six and eight, obviously. Sheesh.
Is the contestant picking twenty-nine because that’s how many years she’s been married? Divorced? Number of children to whom she’s given birth? Why twelve? Why forty-four? Why, why why?
What number would our story character pick (character being a thinly veiled euphemism)? Would she pick number one, because she’s feeling on top of the world? Not likely. Would she pick 143 because she’s always late and frequently last? More likely. Would she pick the same number tomorrow as today? Does it mean she loves her children? Her mother? Her ferret?
Do I care too much about weird details? Did I not warn you this was quite possibly the World’s Strangest Preoccupation? Did you read it anyway? Let’s see: Pick a number between 1 -143. Which number did you pick and most importantly, why?