Karen gave me a sonic screwdriver for my birthday.
That was a couple of months ago, and I’ve been carrying it around zapping things that won’t work ever since. When I have an obsessive compulsive issue and begin worrying that the door isn’t locked securely, I’ll use the sonic screwdriver, because everyone knows that when the Doctor fuses a lock with that gadget, it stays locked.During the move, Karen shook her head at one point and referred to it as my security blanket.
This isn’t a reality distortion field, it’s just letting my imagination run a bit. It’s healthy, I think, letting yourself engage in the “what if” sorts of fantasizing that leads to good storytelling.
Over the weekend, I drove by a dark green Hummer that was parked on the curb. In true Bostonian fashion, the license plate indicated that it was a “Green Monstah.” I glanced at it in my rearview as I drove by, and pretended that I could hear it rumbling, the monster beneath pawing the ground to be let out and wreak its havoc at its master’s bidding. Or, perhaps it was a Decepticon-like evil transforming robot that would morph into its true shape to leave collateral damage in its wake as it carried out the mission known only to itself.
As I said, I don’t permit myself to become absorbed in these fantasies at the expense of reality. I will let myself dwell on them when I have some downtime, or when I’m laying in bed trying to fall asleep. This is the stuff from which good writing is born.
What I don’t do is let myself run with it enough. Part of that is a timing thing, but part of it is that I tend to get so bogged down in the tedium of finishing a project that I’m stalled on (like my novel), that I get stubborn and won’t let myself take a break to write other things. The truth is that letting those creative impulses flow uninhibited for even a little while flexes the creative muscles. Just writing this stuff down, without structure or a plan, just to see where it could go, is an excellent exercise, and could turn into an excellent story in its own right at some point in the future.
Being observant of what’s around us is part of what makes a writer a writer (or, for that matter, makes an actor an actor). Letting yourself do something with what you observe, though…that’s where the discipline comes into play, and its that discipline that I’m hoping to cultivate in the coming months.