Thursday, February 6, 2014

Untimely Muses, There's An App For That.

Do any of you have this problem?

You’re working on a project, it’s flowing and moving right along and everything is going fantastic. You’re typing away, chapter by chapter, when out of nowhere a great idea hits you that has nothing to do with the project you’re working on. Now most of the time, I’m surprised at what my characters do anyway, I’ll read a section of text and think, “what the hell just happened? That’s not what I plotted!” But when completely separate ideas pop into my head I have to stop and switch gears, open up a note and try to get everything written down before I forget it, it’s almost inconvenient. Unless, of course, it’s a good one.

I always have ideas that come and go, and I know some of you will point fingers and yell, but I could never bring myself to carry a notebook and pen (even though I have bought more than a few). So either, I needed to be sitting in front of the computer or it was lost…most of the time it was lost. Now, however, with smartphones—nothing more than a handheld computer with a phone “app”—I have a notepad everywhere I go. Different phones have different apps, but I like to use Inkpad Notepad. It is available on the Google Play Store, and automatically sync’s between the app on your phone and the app on your computer. Now all I have to do is copy and paste into a Word document and I’m ready to go to work.

I haven’t written very much at all over the last year, planning a wedding and honeymoon and now having a pregnant wife have pretty much taken up all my time. Recently though, I’ve been able to pick the pen back up and start living with my characters again and now that I’ve started I don’t want to slow or stop again! I’ve always enjoyed living with my characters and experiencing their lives and worlds, but lately they have been doing some inappropriate things. Especially the ones I’m not ready to live with yet! Wait your turn damn it! But they don’t listen.

In the last three weeks, this has happened at least a handful of times and most of the time it involves inspiration on a story and characters I’m already working on. But twice now, and quite involuntarily I might add, I’ve been pulled into worlds and have walked next to people that I have never met and they’re all like, “Hi, nice to meet you. Look at this crazy stuff right here.” Next thing you know I’m furiously typing notes into my Galaxy S3, trying desperately to keep up with what is going on around me.

The last time this happened I was sitting at work, having a completely normal conversation with a co-worker and BAM lightning struck and I was standing next to a serial killer…who has just learned that he is a serial killer. Are you kidding me? I’m already neck deep in my other project--and LOVE it--and now you want to come along and jump in the mix! 

So now, I’m sharing my time between worlds, and I actually rather enjoy it. To quote my friend, Stan Finger, “Better a vibrant if sometimes untimely muse than a flat line for creativity.” I couldn’t agree more. I just send “The Watch” off to my editor for a final read through and hopefully will have it back in a couple weeks. I plan to have Pan done this summer and this new story, well, I didn’t think it was going to be anything bigger than a short story…but we’ll see.

I do want to say that I’m very thankful for my wife, Jamie, who not only reads my scribbling’s, but also gives helpful advice and criticism. Without her support, my efforts to jot down notes about the worlds I see around me would be for not.

It’s only February and this year is looking very promising for my worlds and I. I will share them as I experience them and hopefully you all will enjoy the ride as much as I do.

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