19 January 2009

Just A Second, Let Me Write That Down


Like most writers over the years, I’ve forgotten more ideas than I will ever get on paper—and I get more than my fair share on paper—which lead to the ever-present notebook, (that is somehow never quite ever-present enough). From the inside, it feels as if I am ever chasing down an idea and not quite making it to pen and paper in time to retain it all. From the outside, apparently, I am forever writing, barely making it through a chapter of any book or a scene of any show without stopping to gather a thought I’ve been reminded of, or a new one I’ve been inspired to pursue. This has led to the often heard phrase in my house, “just watch this with me”.

I don’t know how to do that. I don’t know how to just watch something, anymore than I know how to just read something. The entire world is one big “what if?” to behold. What if the ever-empty, but somehow thriving, dry cleaners I pass on my way back and forth to work is really a front for a preternatural community center? What if the bus driver I always recognize, but who somehow always looks a little different, is a skin-changer that never quite comes back all the way from each change?

What if I’m not just tired and that tree really used to be on the other side of the road and no one else seems to remember? What could it mean? What would happen next? And why am I the only one to notice? These are the things that flitter through my mind and leave behind the seeds of stories to come. If I can’t make it to work without needing notes, how I am supposed to make it through an entire show with new things to see and new places to theorize about?

Admittedly, every rush to the notebook is not a new idea. Sometimes my subconscious has been working on a plot hole for days and suddenly a turn of phrase, an outfit, or a song will bring it all to the forefront and lead me to frantically scribbling down a solution long coming. How do I turn away from that? How do I just watch? I didn’t even make it through this blog without having to stop and take notes about the preternatural dry cleaners. *grin*

Some things you can’t help. Some things just are, like gravity and taxes. Oo, a tax on gravity at a space station around Mars. Just a second, let me write that down…
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