Fiction, Life, Real Life, Writing

This is when you know you’re a writer

First off, this is not the serious writing post I promised last time. I’m still working on that one. But this one does concern writing—in a bizarre sort of way.

That pesky little internal organ known widely as the gall bladder has influenced my life for a month. Did I acknowledge its power and do the smart thing by adjusting my diet? Did I hie me hence and forthwith to the vitamin store to replenish my long-deleted stock of flax seed oil? Good heavens no! Did I pay for my foolishness? Would there be even the tiniest point to this post if I had? So …

Last Saturday night, I woke just after midnight in pain. I mean, PAIN. My immediate diagnosis was heart attack because I’m just melodramatic like that. Then I realized I knew that pain; it was just registering one bazillion times worse than ever before! Convinced the only thing that would relieve the pain was death, I got out of bed to play Bejeweled Blitz on Facebook. Halfway through the second game, just as a supercallifragilistic power gem exploded, it dawned on me I might be in the early stages of fainting.

Somehow, I made it back to bed just in time to realize I was about to vomit. After making my acquaintance with that fine china bowl, I slithered to the bathroom floor. I do not deal well with acute internal pain; I always end in a state of semi-shock. As I lay there semi-conscious and drenched in cold sweat, 90% of my brain frantically negotiated with my gallbladder, vowing to do anything, everything, to pamper it in the future, if it would just stop the pain NOW.

Then, a scene from the movie Braveheart popped into mind. You know, the one where that actor-I-formerly-respected portrays William Wallace’s death. And the other 10% of my brain said, “Hey, this must feel a lot like disembowelment. Take note of your exact physical sensations in case you ever need to write a scene where someone is being drawn and quartered—or is in severe pain and shock, whichever comes first.”

That, my friends, is when you know you’re a writer.

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Fiction, Imagination, Inspiration, Words, Writing

A Tuesday Morning Magical Experience

A couple mornings ago, some words popped into my head while I pruned spent roses. I rolled the words around on my mental tongue and realized I had a pretty good opening line, but no other lines came to me as I worked. When I came back inside, I sat down to research my next poetry form for the Creativity Workshop, but I just couldn’t concentrate. I closed the book and started to get up from the table. Instead, that line came back to me and I reached for my pen and legal pad.

I wrote down that first line and the floodgates opened. Out gushed two whole pages, as fast as I could write. It was spontaneous writing, and not half bad, but I wasn’t ready to look at it too closely yet. I didn’t even know what I had written. Flash story? Some form of poem?

This writing experience felt magical because it was not how I usually work. I didn’t sit down, close my eyes, and wait to see a scene or hear a conversation. I just wrote it down, then set it aside, to get a little distance.  Later that night, as I washed dishes I thought about the piece. I had written from the viewpoint of a woman caught up in a relationship and trying to sort out her feelings. The voice seemed familiar. After I put away the last dish, I re-read what I’d written. Each stanza(?), paragraph(?) started with a you said/I thought statement, and as I read those my eyes widened. Then I laughed.

These words could very well have been a conversation Meredith, a character from my recently completed novel, might have had with herself. I believe, in my subconscious, she did. That’s why it poured out so effortlessly. I just feel a little stupid that I didn’t see this while I was writing it.

I love these little surprise gifts, don’t you?

Characters, Fiction, Imagination, Reflections, Writing

There’s a crowd in my head!

In response to my post How I read from there to here! T.A. Olivia, aka Darksculptures remarked that her reading path might indicate she had multiple personalities. She wasn’t serious, but in a sense that seems logical to me. Fiction writers do have a semblance of multiple personalities, at least temporarily. So do actors, I would think. To write well, you have to “get into character.” You have to think and speak and act like your fictional characters.

The deeper you go, the more life you breathe into your fiction. If my characters don’t seem real to me, I can’t make you believe them. Where do these fictitious persons come from? Why, “out of my mind”, of course. They are a multitude. All ages, all types, all with different wants, needs, likes, hates … stories.

It can get crowded in there, with each character angling to be first in line. And when they begin to gang up on me, insisting on acting out their scenes, reciting their lines, it seems the logical thing to do is release them  … onto paper.

So, yeah, when you look at me, you only see one person, but that’s a lie. There are more people to me than meets the eye. How about you?

Disclaimer: It was not my intention, in this post, to belittle the psychological condition known as Multiple Personality Disorder.

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Fiction, Humor, Imagination, Inspiration, Novel, Writing

Did I just see a monkey?

A couple days ago, as I sat at the computer with the opening paragraphs of my finished-but-not-quite novel on the screen awaiting another edit, I glanced out the window hoping for some brilliant inspiration. It was a gloomy day, nothing much to look at, and my mind drifted. Then, just above my line of focus, I saw something jump from one tree to another. My first thought was Oh … a monkey! My second thought was HUH?!?!?! SockMonkey1

Now, in case you don’t know, I live in central California.There are no monkeys in the wild here. I’ve never lived where there were. So, why would my mind think such a thing? What strange things our minds are … and maybe especially, the mind of a fiction writer. I make things up. I imagine people, places, and events. Why not transform an ordinary squirrel into a monkey?

Oh! Wait … is my subconscious telling me I should have a monkey in my novel’s opening?