Authors note: I have been on hiatus since July, with the competitive fueling of the idyllic writers retreat of Camp NaNoWriMo coaxing and challenging me to eke out 25,000 words of my manuscript between July 1st and 31st. I started putting the ideas for my literary fiction novel together (The Stories We Tell), sketching complex character arcs, assigning personalities and quirks, and pretty much falling in love with the characters that I started dreaming up. Sometimes a powerful idea would come to me, startling me, and therefore, I learned to be prepared for whenever the moment might hit. Sometimes ideas flowed in during a conversation at work, at home, while driving; sometimes I’d have to pull my car over, put my hazards on, and jot down the stream of imaginative thought that was feeding into my fatty-fatty-twobalatty corpus callosum pipeline.
When I crossed the finish line on July 30th, 72 pages later, flushed with pride and satisfied with the completion of a personal goal, my inner writer emerged and per the urban dictionary, I’ve been feeling el fuego (spell-check prefers el fudge…which is fine by mean too). Or, loosely translated, “my writing ideas are on fy-ah”.
The sources of many ideas arrived in neat little packages. I started gathering interesting snippets of dialogue from my stepsons, the radio, from a panhandler chasing after a co-worker and I through the streets of Baltimore. I dutifully learned to always keep a pad of paper*and pen nearby to catch the conversational thread before it dropped, curled inward on itself and rolled out of reach.
*Note: see my future blog post (to be published 9/12/2018) entitled, What the Heck is an Idea Book?
Once, when Ron and I were doing an After-Dinner Walkabout, I grabbed my Idea Book and a pen, because a constant stream of ideas were feeding in at that moment, and I wanted to remain receptive to the ripe inventory that was available for the pickin’. We laughed as we quasi-jogged down the quiet country roads because we envisioned that vehicular passersby or anyone catching sight of us hastening by their home probably thought that we were a couple of ambulatory evangelists or survey-takers, Ron walking ahead; I was trailing behind him, scrawling notes as I race-walked to keep up.
Things got really exciting when we crossed a busy road, I dropped my pen, Ron ran back to rescue it (I was mid-scribble, hurrying across the yellow lines of the pavement when the pen hopped to the asphalt), and saved the ballpoint from the crushing tires of an SUV that came hurtling around the corner. I can now add the moniker “travel writer” to my bio*.
My Camp NaNoWriMo bio:
“I’m a dormant writer nestled in the body cavity of a CPA. As a young girl, I became a voracious reader, my parents were concerned that I wouldn’t develop normal social skills since I preferred books and animals over relationships with other children. As a young girl, I would write corny short stories for the few friends that I had. Recently (last month, while waiting on an appointment) I found out that my childhood heroine, Carolyn Keene, was a mythical creature. I think I’ve handled that news rather well. In March 2018, I launched my blog, EQHigh5.com as a way to exercise / exorcise (!) my inner writer”.