Don’t worry. No fatalities…though running that highway cop onto the median wasn’t my finest moment.
And then there was the burrito cart guy who…well, anyway, yes, making a drive up north and a notebook is on my lap and I’ve gotten pretty good at writing without looking. It’s almost as if I look forward to slowed traffic so I can decipher a few items where the pen [or the mind] went a bit astray.
Some mid-trip observations:
1. The reach-for-popcorn instinct is irrepressible.
2. The reach-for-popcorn instinct while driving and writing is dangerous, especially for those humans with only two hands.
Just read that 10,000 polling sites could be hacked because they’re still using Windows 7. How about if they cross up the Russians and backslide to Windows Vista? Windows ME, anyone? How about if we use Apple Newtons as the sole voting device?
Skipping sports [who cares about players holding out for more millions and the latest Vegas odds anyway?] and head over to DearAbby…
One writer signed her letter as ‘Not Pregnant in Texas’. So, if she crossed state lines, would she then be pregnant?
Then there was the concerned mom who wanted to know the proper etiquette on how to end a phone conversation with her son serving overseas in the military. The ol’ ‘night time on her end, the next morning on his end’ quandary that at one time or another has vexed pretty much everyone…okay, perhaps no one.
“Sir! Yes, sir! Failed to properly inspect munitions dump, sir! Confused by mother’s wishing me a good night at 0900 hours, sir!”
And really, why nettle poor overworked Abby with that question? Send it straight to Congress and, after months of wrangling, mud wrestling, and filibustering, she’ll have her answer.
I try to get in 500 words in the morning, but even if I only generate that first hundred, that’s usually all the momentum I need to finish the additional 400 later on.
Also, because I can forget a topic I want to address, I have lately found myself jotting them down at the top of my page, almost as if they’re agenda items…bullet points and everything. Pretty sad, isn’t it?
Rather than go to the trouble of buying and administering tranquilizers to skittish pets on July 4th, how about we track down and tranquilize the mouth-breathers who set off fireworks in the late night?
Not enough? Partial lobotomies or personality transplants come to mind.
“No need to pay a fine, you guys. Just step right in for a quick noise abatement orientation…”
And while I’m at it, how many of the folks who slap together those fireworks stands for a quick buck are also owners of skittish pets?
Do you listen to music when you write, or do you prefer silence, or something else on in the background?
“…70 percent of the time I will listen to music with headphones so it’s right up in my ear. I will usually make one or two playlists for a book and I will listen to the same playlist over and over and over again…if I find a playlist that I kicked into a flow state with really early on in my process and was very successful I will keep using it because it will keep driving that flow.”
When you’re staring at the screen at 4:00 AM, do you just start clicking away? What’s going through your head at that initial moment?
“Even if the day before was a terrible writing day, I am so fired up to go at it again. I can be an absolutely miserable writer sometimes, but I wake up every day so fired up to do this.”
And finally, to put me to shame with all my finger pointing…
“When I wrote West of Jesus I had spent three years in bed with Lyme disease and I needed to tell that story to open the book, but I thought, ‘I spent three years in bed with Lyme but who cares? Compared to getting cancer or losing a limb, so what?’”
What’s your favorite music to carry you through your writing sessions?