JUST WHAT IS COMPLAINING, ANYWAY?
To be fair and also to defend myself, I most often complain when hunger strikes me. Maybe I have low blood sugar or something, but if I'm hungry, don't push me. All my friends know this. "Uh-oh, feed her so she'll shut up."
As a general rule, I'm not a complainer...much. Most of the time I do it out of boredom or to make conversation or some other inane reason.
IS COMPLAINING A CREATIVE ACT?
I learned that complaining, though, is not all bad. It can actually be a Creative Act. The more you complain, the more you summon your creative energies to attract something to complain about. Maybe the complaints seem fully justified, but realize that whenever you complain, you set yourself up for more of the same. Just remember the part "complaining is a creative act", and you might find yourself writing a novel. Hmmm.Complaining is the act of reinforcing what you don’t want. Is this bad? I think not. Perhaps it's therapeutic.
Warning: Complaining is also addictive. The more you do it, the more it becomes an ingrained habit, making it more difficult to stop.
Some people complain too much about their own lives. This is a trap that gives the person a constant source of something to complain about. "Bad luck follows me; Life is too difficult; Why can't I get a break?" The complainer may tell you their reality is causing their complaints, but it’s more accurate to say their reality is reflecting their complaints.
"If you have time to whine and complain about something then you have the time to do something about it." ~Anthony J. D'Angelo, The College Blue Book
DO I COMPLAIN?Yes, but after analyzing myself, I believe I complain about trivial events that really have nothing to do with me. When I fully realized this, I honestly tried to keep my mouth closed and push the ugly thoughts away.
We have a neighbor who refuses to mow his property, so the tall dead grass is a permanent fixture. I say something about that every time we pass the house. It has nothing to do with my life, it just annoys me. So, why do I persist in complaining about it? The time has come for me to ignore it.
Bad parkers/drivers really make me complain. You who know me understand I sort of go ballistic over a vehicle parked somewhat diagonally in a straight-in space, a driver in front of me who sits at a green light because he/she is on the phone or texting, or someone who throws litter out a car window. I really don't think I can stop complaining about these....sorry.
Do your characters complain?
Do you dislike characters in a novel who complain?
Hmm, I don't know. I suppose it depends on what the person is complaining about.
I try very hard not to be a chronic complainer...but sometimes...I must or I'll throw a fit.
Excerpt from A Christmas Wedding
(offered in the VTP Anthology “Have Yourself a Merry Little Romance)
In my Christmas novella titled “A Christmas Wedding,” Kailey Lovelace has plenty to complain about—her blonde frizzy hair, her six-foot frame, her boring boyfriend, and the worry that the Best Man for her brother’s wedding—which she would be paired with as Maid of Honor—would be short.
The arrival monitor showed all flights on time. From Denver to Austin: Flight 303, Gate 6, 12:30 pm.
Taking one more quick glance at the monitor, she strolled back to sit across from her brother and her boyfriend. Neither man looked at her. She was only good ol’ Kailey, best sister in the world and so-so girlfriend. She laughed to herself with a little derision. They sure noticed some buxom, prissy young woman, though, if one happened to walk by. Neither halted his conversation but continued talking with his head swiveling until she was out of sight.She snorted to herself. Men.
“Hey, Kailey,” her brother Sam said. “Here’s an empty seat by me now. Come over here.”
Hoisting her dark blue leather bag on her shoulder, she moved to the empty chair, sat, scrunched down, and crossed her arms as well as her long legs covered in black leggings. Her boyfriend, Martin, on the other side of Sam, gazed away studying other passengers. Seemed to her he was always scouting out the females, but with him, she never knew for sure what he was doing or thinking.
Probably, if she looked as good as those cuties prancing by, he’d look at her that way. Why did he go out with her, anyway? Why did she bother with him?
Sighing, she turned to her brother. “Tell me again, Sam, how tall is he?”
He shrugged. “I dunno. Tall. Like you.”
She flinched. “As tall? Or taller? Oh, please don’t tell me ‘not as tall.’”
“Stop complaining, sis, he’s a good guy. Just have a good time. Don’t worry about a thing. Shelley met him once, and since he’s to be my best man and you’re the maid of honor, she told me you two would make the perfect pair.”
“Yeah, I bet. When he learns his partner is a giraffe, he might back out.”
“Ahh, don’t be so hard on yourself. Martin likes you.” He jabbed Martin with his elbow. “Don’t you, buddy?”
Martin turned to look at both of them, his face bland, and his eyes blinking. “What? Did I miss something?”
Kailey wanted to hit him over the head with her bag. At least he possessed good looks, he had brains, and he was almost as tall as she was. And he was nice to her. When he noticed her.
Sam jumped to his feet. “There he is! He’d headed for the luggage area. Let’s go.”
The three scrambled to their feet and pushed through the mass of people, rode down an escalator, turned a corner, and entered the huge cavernous space filled with people and a high noise level. Sam led the way with Martin hot on his heels. Kailey trailed behind, knowing she wouldn’t lose them, really hoping to see this Alex Dunn before he saw her.
Please, Wedding Angel, let Alex like me enough to smile as we walk down the aisle. That’s my only wish.
Since Martin didn’t know Alex Dunn either, he hung back, too.
Kailey reached up with both hands and tried to smooth her frizzy blond hair. Why did the Hair Gods curse a female with thick locks that did not obey one rule of beautiful hair? Hers hung well past her shoulders, and in cold weather, it crackled with electricity that made it bush out even more. Today, she’d parted it in the middle, brushed it back, and secured the mass with a silver clasp at her nape. Just to get it away from her face turned into a battle.
She heard her brother call out over the din. “Hey, Alex! Alex Dunn!”
A young man stood next to a rotating luggage carousel, watching the baggage tumble by. He lifted his head, grinned and waved. Then, he jerked his gaze back to the carousel and began moving down the line very quickly. He stepped between two people, and with one long arm reached in and grabbed a U. S. Army duffel bag, lifting it over everyone’s head.
“Sorry, ma’am, sir. I hope I didn’t step on anyone.”
Kailey watched the older couple look into his face and smile glowingly as if he had done them a favor.
And why not? He was gorgeous, with his short military haircut, square chin, and wide mouth with fabulous white teeth. When he walked toward her brother, she couldn’t keep her gaze off his George Clooney eyes, except Alex’s were blue. Her knees felt a little weak, a completely foreign feeling.
And Alex Dunn was quite tall.
LINK TO THE ANTHOLOGY:
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