Like all writers, I jot down my brilliant thoughts when and wherever they come to me. Okay … I jot down my not-so-brilliant thoughts too. I’ve written these thoughts, of whatever degree, on scraps of paper, napkins, page margins, magazine subscriptions cards, even a mirror. I’ve yet to buy one of those nifty waterproof notepads for the shower, but I do keep a notepad in the drawer of my bedside table.
Unless this is your first visit to this blog, you probably know I’m in the final stages of editing my next novel, An Illusion of Trust. The task has become so intense that I also edit—symbolically or literally—in my dreams almost every night. It’s not restful, but I think my nocturnal editing has produced a good idea or two subconsciously. It’s also produced one bit of maddening frustration.
Remember that notepad beside my bed? Well, I woke from one of those editing dreams the other night and got up to use the bathroom. Fully awake, I thought about what I’d been dreaming and when I got back to my bed, in the dark, I pulled out that note pad and wrote a note to myself.
See the photo in this post? You can read “description” in the second line, right? Any clue what the first line says? Well, since I’m a little bit familiar with my chicken scratching, I think the second word is “thing”. But I’ve looked at the first word for three days now and I still can’t figure it out. And even if I read the note it as “blah-blah thing description”, I can’t imagine what I meant. Then again, maybe the two lines are separate notes. Aaarrgh!
So, I’m haunted. Obviously, I thought this was important at the time I wrote it. What if it’s the key to a brilliant edit? What if that edit would pull every element in the book together? What if the future of my writing depends on this notation? I’m not sure I can move past this.
How will I prevent the recurrence of such a horror? Any future middle of the night notations will be made in the notes app on my iPhone!
BTW: If you decipher that first word, let me know and I’ll send you a signed copy of Illusion after it’s published.