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I wrote my first novel, Smudge's Mark, in a closet. No joke.
Tuesday, February 24, 2009

The Violence of Ideas

Never know when an idea will whack you up-side the head. Could be

While driving in the car,
While showering,
While putting on make-up,
While stirring a pot,
While reading,
While listening to music,
While throwing up,
While chasing your dog down the street,
While talking on the phone,
While ignoring the phone,
While unplugging the phone,
While unplugging the toilet,
While watching a movie,
While putting a load in the washer,
While putting a load in the dryer,
While thinking about putting a load in the washer or dryer,
While teaching,
While eating,
While sleeping,
While drinking, (although these ideas rarely make sense afterward)
While breaking up a fight,
While starting a fight,

You get the picture. Ideas can come from anywhere, at anytime, from anyone or anything.

And the best kind of idea is one that does just that: whacks you up-side the head. I had that experience this morning and it was just the thing I needed to drag myself out of the writing funk I've been in for... oh... let's see... forever!

The brilliant idea came from one of my offspring; the one who is most like me. He and I have the same, vivid imaginations that often work overtime and land us in the middle of some pretty bizarre dreams. This morning, like many mornings, he said, "Hey, wanna hear the nightmare I had last night?" My husband usually pretends he doesn't hear these kinds of questions and busies himself with... something. Anything. Probably because it's already enough for him to endure MY bizarre-o "Hey, wanna hear about my dream last night?" stories. But I, on the other hand am ready to call in sick and let my son take the morning off school so there's enough time to hear every detail.

But it wasn't until half-way through my class this morning (Yes, I did the responsible mother-thing and went to work and took my son to school. On time. The re-telling was left to be continued... I'm still hanging!) As I was saying, it wasn't until half-way through my class this morning that the idea grew biceps, triceps, and other-ceps and Whack! Luckily for me, the students were taking a test so I grabbed my mini-notebook out of my purse and wrote like mad. Four pages later, I realized that the idea that was birthed from a half-told re-telling of a nightmare, totally solved a plotting problem I'd had; the plotting problem that was so annoying it was the reason for my writing funk. The Zombie-pocalypse saved me! (No, my next book isn't going to be about a Zombie-pocalypse. It was the circumstances surrounding the Zombie-pocalypse that fed the idea that whacked me!)

Now, how to get him to let me leach his creative genius... I'd better check out the bank account. This one's gonna cost me.


Zaniac said...

laughing out loud!

Wow. I have those sometimes. Like when I'm not in block. I might be just looking out the window and WHAM, and idea strikes me.

They're quite fun, seeing how you immediately just think of something even if it was just from looking at your carpet and remembering something.

That's one of the reasons I want to be a professional writer, the ideas and stuff. They just make me so happy and...bliss.

Is that the same with you?

Claudia said...

Absolutely! I love the freedom in creativity. There's nothing like losing yourself in your writing, when the ideas are flowing!