You know how it is, when you are doing something that doesn’t require much brain-power, your thoughts clangity-clang around. Like while showering, or washing dishes, or driving until you realize that you’ve gone five-ten miles and have no idea how you went five-ten miles completely unaware that you’d been driving—of course I never or rarely sometimes only just every so often do that driving thing. Um. Yeah.
Sixty-five percent of my errant flippity thoughts are tossed out as trash. Twenty-five percent are sucked, disappearing, into the black hole in my brain—that cavernous mysterious pitch-black waiting room that provides when it feels like providing. Two percent is what I talk about in polite conversation; twenty-three-point-three percent is what I won’t talk about in polite conversation. And lastly but not leastly fifty-two-point-five percent goes into appropriately-tabbed folders for writing, life, work, and what-a-knot. Yeah. That’s more than 100%. Welp. Let’s move on and not examine all my chaos, ‘kay?
Folders for work-related stuff. Folders for family and friends. Folders for health, food, fun. There’s the folder marked DO NOT OPEN! that I do not open but occasionally that folder is so full of gooey green gaseous putritude that out explodes the negative crapity-doo-dah-day. Imagine Pig Pen from the Charlie Brown comics but instead of dirt and dust it’s a swarm of every bad thought and decision and failure—perceived or real—that you’ve ever experienced, and each little globby stinging hornet has a big fat stinging mouth that sounds like someone Not Good For You. Dang!
Then, there is that lovely multi-colored sparkly shining dazzling Writing Folder. And it is there that I will lovingly tuck these flashes of a character. I’m sure many of us have this happen, you know, the character and a tiny scene so shiningly exceptional that you just can’t WAIT to begin what will surely be the Novel You Have Always Wanted To Write. For example, this character who so flashed in my head one fine day:
She named the child Praline, pronounced it Pray-Leen. What got his goat was how stupid a name that was. And how that name could be pronounced in two ways according to where a person lived: Pray-leen could just as well be Prah-leen, and that shot to hell her idea that the kid would have “pray” in her name, all come to Jesus-like, wherever she may go. That woman did other things to get a hold of his goat, things that sent his spine straight up and his fingers to curl into a fist, a fist he never used on her of course even when he wanted to since she was a hellfire bitch. A fist that tightened all the way up to his jaw and caused his teeth to clench and grind. His thoughts stomped on his brain as he pushed the bullets into his gun. “Me or her,” he said, “which it’s gonna be, me or her ….”
Ohhhh! Golly Gee! I was all excited about that man, and what’s he going to do with the gun? Ohhhh! And who is the hellfire-bitch, and really, what’s going to happen with Pray-Prah-Leen? Ohhhh! I rushed home from my errands, forgetting I was driving for like thirty-three miles and once home I skipped to my laptop with glee and wrote out that scene, sat back with a grin, and then something shiny caught my eye. That was about five years ago. Haha! Where’d that character with his gun go? And the woman, and Pray-Prah-Leen? In a file-folder? Nope. They went off to . . . [Read more…]