Tuesday, November 6, 2007

Where Does Inspiration Strike?

Muses are fickle beasts. Inspiration flies in when I'm least expecting it. I have no quarrel with its frequency. I'll never run out out of ideas for the next book or story. The problem is that it flies into my head when I have no computer or pen and paper handy. Must I keep a waterproof notepad in the shower? Bring a clipboard when I'm out walking the dog?

I still haven't gotten into the habit of keeping a notebook by the bed. And I'm usually too stubborn and comfortable to go get one. My poor brain being a sieve, I concentrate on the ideas that arrive when sleep eludes me; I dwell on them and spin them this way and that. Then I hope that something sane survives my eventual slumber. Not terribly effective.

I have written down ideas on napkins (not very original, I admit), on the back of grocery receipts and even a few cryptic words to jar the memory on the back of a business card. Of course, if these scraps sink to the bottom of my purse for too long, I'm not be able to read my writing or decipher what my clever key words meant.

My last plot idea got dashed less than 24 hours after it came to me. It hadn't come to me first. It was a two-timer. Or maybe a promiscuous little so and so. The very next evening I found it woven through the plot of an upcoming movie. Bummer! I'll have to sit on it a while now, and make it different enough to get by as an original idea or at least an original way of weaving old ones together.

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