Tuesday, December 30, 2014

"Where Do You Get Your Ideas?"

Something is lurking about inside my mind but it hasn’t revealed itself to me yet. It’s hard to explain to people who aren’t creative exactly what this feels like. It may not be the same for everyone but all I know is there is something very slowly pinballing its way out towards my fingers so that it might be written. It’s like the sweat in your body; you know it’s there and you know how to bring it forth, but right now, at this very moment do you know where your sweat is? It’s time to hit the gym, metaphorically speaking.

When I sit down to write there are times I know about what is going to be there. If there is a piece I’m working on or reworking I have a god idea as to what to do and how to do it. This form of writing is a lot trying to put a puzzle together but I have all the pieces and I know what the picture looks like. I know how the story ends. I know the people inside of the story. I know where it takes place and I usually have a good idea who is going to die long before they do. It’s always disconcerting to have someone die when you’ve spent a long trying bringing them to life. They don’t much like it either. Some must die that there is a contrast in life rather than a continuing stream of the same people doing the same story. Life is like that too, I suppose.

So I play twenty questions with this thing in my mind trying to define it a bit. Demons is it? No. Sara? No. Graces then? No, and it petulantly turns away from me and swims into deeper and darker waters. But it is still there, I can see a flash of light against the darkness. It’s like the memory of a name when you have the face but can’t put a label on it. Right now, at this very moment, I feel like a fisherman who doesn’t know if he has something on his line or if there is something that has caught the hook fast, like an old tire or a dead tree.

This helps, you know. Writing about writing creates an attract that other writing comes to like a jealous dog wanting to be petted once there is some other dog being petted on a dog’s head. This is my way of lighting a candle to attract something to the light, whatever thing that might be. It may come to me later, much later, when the light is gone. There are times writing can only slip into your mind in the dead of night, in the stillness and agony that comes with being unable to sleep because it’s there.
I know better than to tell it to come back at a more decent time. This is a creature with an appetite and it brooks little delay in feeding even as it shies away from me. Catlike it springs towards me in the blackness than away again. It’s there, it’s hungry, but it is also has its own agenda. It can’t be simple. It’s can’t be easy. It’s cannot be clear. Feed me! Feed you what? And then the twenty questions begin again. What do you want to eat? I don’t know, you’re supposed to know, and if not, then guess, and you better be right.

Then it’s retreated again, gone down deeper, leaving me with blackness and the red glare of a clock that tells me that sleep isn’t going to get here until the next flight, maybe, if I can wait that long, and even then it will be very close to the time to get up.

Tyger sleeps in a tight ball, curled up tight and hard, next to Lucas. There was a time when I could put my hand on her as she slept and she would jump. Now, my hand finds stillness and she doesn’t awaken to see what has happened. Lilith loves the crate, a Girl Cave for a Pibble Princess, and Sam, still gimpy, is on a comforter on the north side of the bed. Lucas’ face leaks air and but his breathing is steady and deep. Tyger has placed herself so that she has full contact with both of us at all time, a fortress of flesh, and Lucas and I both allow it.
Lilith knows I’m awake. She senses me in the blackness of the room. She stands and shakes herself awake, pauses long enough to sniff the air, and then she’s silently slips out of the room. Tyger, Tyger, has no grace when she’s in a hurry and I catch a toe claw as she leaps out of bed in pursuit of my Warrior Girl. They both slip out of the doggie door and into the night. Lucas sleep through all this and I would like to, too.

Sam, of all people, struggles to his feet, nearly falls, snarls at Lucas for sleeping, and stumbles towards the door like a drunk trying to find his way out or in. I have to nudge Lucas into consciousness and he sniffs the air and discovers the dogs are all gone. Damn. One hundred plus pounds of tame wolf slips off the bed without a sound and he’s gone.

There’s more, of course, but now that I’ve gotten it started the rest will come when it is time and when there is time. The alarm clock reminds me that I have to go to work and writing will have to wait until the bills are paid. Now I know what it was and you know what it is. Mutt stuff, the defining events of my pack life, wants to come forth and it does, it has, and it will.

That is how it works. This is how I know what to write and when to write. It’s there, it comes to me, and then I write it. I have as much control over it as I do the dogs in the night or my dreams.

Take Care,



  1. I usually trip and fall over some toy left in the hallway on my way to the bathroom at 3:00AM. Then, as I remove the Lego that's been pressed not so gently into my flesh I'm either struck by inspiration or an urge to kill. Thankfully, it's mostly inspiration. Last time I had the urge to kill I eviscerated a pillow with a Popsicle stick.

    1. For you, David, pillow talk takes on a whole new meaning, it would seem.