Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Peas Porridge Hot

My brain will not back off and leave me to rest. Sleep is interrupted by scenes and settings and locations and character development. Sure, I get up in the middle of the night and hastily scribble notes but the holiday season is no time for any meaningful stretch of writing and then there is, well you know, life!

The creative portion of my brain wants to align the crookedness of a Babylonian world gone narcissistically wild by waving my magic pen and poof! No more injustice. Meanwhile, a very annoying logical segment of my brain is calculating the folly of pursuing unattainable goals. Fortunately, the creative brain often tells the logical brain to shut up and go see what's shakin' in the verbal memory neighborhood of the left temporal lobe. Those cells always need a visit from the logic fairy, particularly if I'm trying to spell "narcissistically" which, by the way, those irksome little guys are saying is not a real word.

What? Because yes, you are irksome. It's not a bad word. It just means... Oh. Right. You know what it means. Okay, I'll be with you in a minute. Let me just finish this.

No soul within my realm of daily acquaintance relates to the peculiarities of my tormented mind. They just think I'm nuts.

It is too a word. Is there no dictionary in there? Well send somebody to borrow one from the right temporal lobe.

Only a writer knows...

Duh. They're a bunch of liars. That's what creative cells do. They lie.

Only a writer knows what my brain puts me through.

Excuse me. Can't you see I'm talking here? No. I don't know what color his eyes are yet. Go ask somebody in the occipital lobe how to describe Paul Newman blue.

"Why do your eyeballs have muffin lids?" is not a question I want to answer with "Because I'm getting to know my character's idiosyncratic responses to cheese."

Wait. You know what? I like "Paul Newman blue". Let's run with that.

And then there are the migraines and cluster headaches which are not so much a result of a story plaguing my brain as they are my body's signals that (1) I have nerve damage from a teenage face injury (2) I no longer possess a uterus and (3) I really do need bifocals.

Huh? Tell them higher cognitive functions develop personality in the prefrontal cortex? What does that have to -- NO, I DID NOT SUSTAIN AN INJURY THERE!

Some of the most creative geniuses in the world have been lunatics. Is it any wonder that many writers endure a touch of real or perceived madness?

I know I yelled at you. I'm sorry. Sometimes those parietal lobe guys just blurt things out.

Folks, I'm under a lot of intercranial pressure here. I'll finish this later.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Nobody Knows Anything (or else I wouldn't plagiarize this title)

I blog so rarely now that I was stunned to see on Sitemeter that I still get regular visits. The most visited posts? The Death of the Protagonist posts and the Purpose of Battle Speeches posts. Many of these hits originate from college campuses. Geez, I hope these kids don't think I actually know something!

Thursday, November 04, 2010

Can You Hear Me Now?

I've pretty much given up on trying to write in the library -- ANY library. I can't hear myself think. How's that for a tired old cliche'? But libraries are LOUD!

Borders or Starbucks is quieter than the public library. The place that once held silence so sacred that I was afraid to use my pencil eraser for fear of getting evicted is now louder than a McDonald's playground where, at least, you can drink an ice cold whatever while you're writing.

It must just be me. Nobody around me ever seems to mind all the chatter. People talk. LOUD. Using their outside voices. No, no, not just any outside voice either, I mean the "at Ranger stadium trying to be heard over drunk and screaming fans at the ALCS Yankee game five " outside voice. They joke with the librarians, argue about genealogy, talk about their degree requirements and all the while let their kids play hide and seek and shout across the aisles.

The kicker? If I covertly text on my phone to my ride that I'm ready to be picked up, I get a firm tap on my shoulder with a "take it outside, please." Really? The tapping on my touch phone is disturbing the dude with the iPod so loud that I can not only hear every word of his gangster rap through his ear phones, but I can also hear his ear drums rupturing like Jiffy Pop?

A silent place to read and write is so rare now that I think silence must no longer be golden. It must be something more precious, rare, and difficult to find. Silence must be -- silent.