tongue in cheek, I think . . .

And then there’s the point where I really get cooking on the rough draft where Guy starts to make himself invisible, sliding chi tea across my desk and making sure I don’t answer the phone or door.  It’s not that he’s protecting my writing time.  He’s trying to keep the neighbors from knowing I’m temporarily nuts.

I wasn’t writing when we first met, and in fact, he had several years of normalcy with me before it got bad, but there is a definite but subtle shift in the head when you spend so much time with “what if,” and it comes to a point when writing rough draft and the brain has a naturally elevated level of creativity running through it.

It’s not an obvious change, and most people won’t even realize there is a shift in persona if they meet it casually.  Editors recognize and dread it, knowing that they have to deal with the crazy to get to the good stuff. Agents haunt the halls of conferences looking for it, hoping the woman muttering to herself in the corner might be “the big one” and not a homeless person in a suit.  Other writers recognize kindred sufferers without realizing it, often meeting in informal groups called “writer workshops” which are thinly disguised self-help meetings where, in a moment of lucidity, we might come to grips that we can’t kick the addiction, but perhaps we can learn to live with it.

Those who knows us well recognize the hints of the changes that signify a relapse and will take pains to keep us separated from normal people lest we embarrass them and ourselves.  There is nothing sadder for our loving caretakers than to find themselves in a coffee shop ordering a cup to go and having us blurt out, “I had such a great day yesterday.  I finally figured out how I can kill him!”  Do they ignore us?  Edge away like the guy standing behind us in line?  No, they smile and pull us closer, beaming as they say, “That’s great!  I knew you could do it!”  Such understanding, though, only makes makes our insanity all the more obvious.

So be kind when you see us, standing at a street corner, analyzing the way the shadow from the cross walk seems to make a interdimensional portal as the cars race through it, because after all, it’s all just make believe until someone puts it on paper.




Filed under Drama Box

53 responses to “tongue in cheek, I think . . .

  1. Jenn

    Thanks for sharing, Kim! I can just picture Guy walking into your office (and I’m sure that he doesn’t even have to be quiet at this point) and waving your tea under your nose. Does food get delivered the same way? The tea shop picture that I have in my mind of the two of you is very sweet!

    And how much snow do you have or are expecting? Ours is already up to my knees & we are expecing another meter in the next 24hours! School is closed, but of course I have a 4×4 Jeep, so I’m already in the office for the day! I hope the view out of your office window brings you peace & lots of ideas today!

    • Hi Jenn.

      We just got a dusting, but I like watching it fall, even when I have to get out in it. Wow, you got a lot!

      Mmmm, occasionally Guy will bring me a sandwich, but unless I’m very focused, I usually remember to eat before he does.

  2. SeattleRobin

    Hahaha! I laughed all through reading this post. Having just lived through my second NaNoWriMo (and still currently in the throes of finishing the rough draft) I can totally relate! Thankfully my best friend is into it too, so we just enable each other in our craziness.

  3. Your blog reflects the inside workings of just about any writer who is passionate about their craft. Other writers understand; those who don’t write simply nod their heads in pseudo agreement for fear of unleashing our bad side.

    I recently took over the Networking position in the local writing organization with the hopes of opening up fellow writers to conversations about what we do and how we do it. The rewards are watching members who discover that their outlook on the world is not cause for mental health concerns; they’re writers – they can’t help themselves.

  4. Yap. I know what you mean. Know what?
    I just love to read your daily post. I sometimes see Rachel in it.
    Do ya know, why I know what you mean?
    ‘Cause I am the woman muttering to herself. ^^
    I treid again to write a story and I hope this time I will find an end. I have so many half-written storys but never finished them. Pity. They’re actually good storys.

    Sooooo. ^^ It is late 2010. How long do we still have to wait?

  5. Mel from OR

    I read a quote at a Writer’s Conference last summer and it said something like this:
    “Writing is a socially acceptable form of schizophrenia.” I can’t remember the author.
    It’s good to know I’m not the only that experiences the madness.

  6. Frederique

    Hahaha that was brilliantly stated! Have a wonderful weekend.

  7. I enjoyed the look into a writers so called off-time. I’ve always been considered a quiet person even as a child. If they knew half of what goes on behind the baby blues they would know why I can sit for long periods of time without needing some one to talk to. The good thing about being half crazy is you have plenty of characters in your imagination to keep you entertained. Have a great weekend, and be nice to Guy, he sounds like a wonderful helpmate.

  8. My loving caretaker hasn’t quite figured out how to deal with my literary insanity. I spent days and days and days laboring over a plot point that was giving me literal and figurative conflicts.

    He kept trying to inflict his bothersome reality into my world!!!

    I am forwarding him a link to this post so he sees that I’m not the only one out there!

  9. Mudepoz

    You mean that ISN’T normal?

  10. Stephenie

    Omfgg… That is so hilarious… and true. I try to sequester my ramblings to inside of my own head, but then it streams out like word vomit; and I watch people’s eyes glass over and I just can’t stop! My fiction writing class is like a therapy group…
    I have really great friends though. They’re always sending me stickers and buttons with sayings like “Don’t anger the writer, she’ll put you in a novel and kill you;” they get me, and in return I try to limit my ramblings as much as possible. 😀

  11. JanisHarrison

    I’ll be chuckling all day. The scary thing is that it all makes sense to me! I may forward this entry* to my daughter’s Mother-in-law (Does that make us Sister MiLs?) because she’s a writer, too — not sure if she’s published but she surely has been nibbled by the muse. I think that’s one of the reasons my DD and SiL are so compatible: both of them have Scribble-wits for moms.

    Nah, I’ll send her to the site!

  12. Marcie

    I just loved this post. Not only did it make me smile and laugh, but I realized there are “others” out there too. Now I’m not a writer by any means, but I am a digital scrapbooker and designer. I am often seen taking the oddest pictures for my books or designs. I have taken photos of rocks, trees, sand, leaves, plants, etc and not from far away. It is always up close and personal. My husband looked at me funny the one day I took a photo of a rock and said “Oh that is the bomb! I’ve got the perfect ribbon, now.” (It was to be texture of the ribbon i was designing.) I’ve been seen laying on the ground and looking up and under something to get that “shot”. Now don’t get me wrong, I take tons of my photos of my kids too. In a months I will have well over 1000 shots of them alone plus another 100 to 200 photos of my oddities. Did you know that the holes in bricks and graffitie make excellent textures? Bark and wood are good too and the fine parts of a leaf. Oh yeah I’m definitively mentally disturb. 🙂 So the next time you see that photographer, yell oh wait this is perfect and get in real close to that bench your sitting on to photograph it, just smile and say she’s a designer. There is nothing wrong with her at all. 🙂

    In fact this morning, I found the white fluffy part of a goose or duck feather on the ground while putting the kids on the bus. I grabbed it and held on to it until I got back inside. (it was only 20ish out this mornng so no camera). I put it on the table on top of a piece of black cloth, braced the side of the cloth with a book behind it. Placed the feather on top of the cloth on the table. I photographed it from above straight down, the front, and I them macroed it to get those little nuances in the feather itself. The last will be used for texture and the other two on one of my pages.

    Us nuts must stick together. Enjoy your weekend as I’m waiting for it to snow and stick for my next shots. 🙂

  13. Sebrina

    This made me laugh so hard: “There is nothing sadder for our loving caretakers than to find themselves in a coffee shop ordering a cup to go and having us blurt out, “I had such a great day yesterday. I finally figured out how I can kill him!” Do they ignore us? Edge away like the guy standing behind us in line? No, they smile and pull us closer, beaming as they say, “That’s great! I knew you could do it!””

    Why? I have had many similar moments. G-Man (my boyfriend as we’ll call him here) has dealt with having stood in line at a packed coffee place to get our coffees (and cake lol) only to have him approach the table with our order, and have me tell him something like, “I know how he’s going to kill those people!”

    Last weekend we laid in bed as it snowed and he helped me name my serial killer. Now *that* is love.

  14. Niko

    Lol I know exactly what you’re talking about! I’m a creative writing major at the University of Cincinnati, and a good portion of my day is spent muttering to myself or in workshop groups. Its fun to see other people’s faces that aren’t in the know. 😀

  15. chelikins

    LOL! You do have one heck of a Guy. Tell him thanks for taking such good care of you!

  16. Hope

    Oh man, I hope that means Nick is a gonner. I’d buy chai for a week in celebration.

  17. Nancy H

    This really made me smile. You are so great with words and know just how to express a thought. I am not a writer and tend to be very concise with words when I do. But I thoroughly appreciate people that are great story tellers. I belive you are one of the best!

    Have a great weekend!


    Well said. 🙂

  19. Hahahaha! Brilliant post! All the craziness just means great reading for the rest of us! It is what makes all the readers go bonkers when we find ourselves not being able to respond to anyone and ignore all that is around us as we are very deep into the story that we read. “What…there is a fire?…hold on I will just finish reading this chapter…”

  20. Brian

    I. Love. You. This should be a theme shared at the Sigma Tau Delta convention.

  21. Antonio

    HaHaHaaaa…I LOVE this post today–one of my favorites. 😆

    When I was young my mother and I were both big readers. We would both be kidded about being “scatter-brained” and having ‘our heads in the clouds.’ When I was a teenager, I told my mother that “when people say something to me, or even when i speak, it’s almost like being interrupted from my thoughts…daydreams, conversations, ideas…” She said she was the same way. My father and sister thought we were nuts. I’ve found out since then, that most people do NOT think like this(laugh!). While my brain is having a debate between fictional figures, other people are thinking about dinner, or errands, if they are thinking at all.

    I have a group of online writing friends and sometimes we post things on our chat page…”I need a base-line scent for a werewolf, got any ideas?” I have a female friend who is a doctor and when we ask each other how our days went, I’ve learned to be “brief” in describing these conversations…I just know her brain is thinking “what would be a polite amount of time to listen before I can change the subject.” 😎

  22. Hello Mrs. Harrison,
    Your post made me smile today. A friend and I were discussing it during NaNoWriMo. We go jogging every afternoon (or plotting as we call it) and during that time discuss the plot holes in our writing, our challenges, our triumphs and sometimes our inevitable failures. On one particular day we were talking about how get words for NaNoWriMO and I stated that torture scenes are great because instead of writing “Aaaaaah!” You can write: “Ah, ah, ah, ah, ah… (and so forth and so forth and so forth).” We laughed about this for about a mile and, sobered up because we realized we had stepped into the realm of crazy that only those who puts words to paper can understand. It’s daunting, but good. I luckily met my partner while writing (it was my writing that drew us together) so, Other Half knows when just to smile and nod and go make another cup of coffee…

    Have a great weekend ma’am, I hope the break leaves you refreshed and ready for the next week of plotting. Regards to the family and the patient Guy.


  23. Tami

    They probably think its the caffeine,snickers!

  24. I’m sure my family can attest to the insanity! I just finished NaNoWriMo this last month, and they’ve been telling me how nice it is to have “Me” back.

    Well, sometimes, anyway, because even though I hit the goal of 50k, I’m still not done writing. So when they see the fog sock in, they just go on about their business, and let me get to mine! Love the family!

  25. Vampyre

    Howdy ma’am,

    What you say may be true but there is more to it. i think he does it because he loves and respects you so much. He knows that getting into that ‘special” place isn’t something you can just switch on and off like a light switch. I bet he’s never bored. 🙂

    My carpet is laid. The wall is panelled. All we have to do now is some minor spackling and touch up painting and moving the furniture back in there. TYPO and Fuzzy seem leary of the new carpet. 🙂

    Have a great weekend

    • JanisHarrison

      We recently recarpeted (and painted, and put down new kitchen vinyl). We moved out “for the duration” and I took the kitty to my apartment. When I brought him home, he didn’t seem the least fazed by the new paint-new-carpet-new vinyl smells, but his claws were a little overgrown, so he kept sticking. My daughter and I trimmed his nails, and that was the end of it. I think he was so happy to be home with “his” Daddy (my dad) that he ignored the smells. Especially if Typo and/or Fluffy is/are feline, try a little pedicure…

    • Thank you, Vampy. He does. 😉

      Very cool on finishing the redecorating! I bet that feels good!