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Saturday, March 12, 2011

Why Sting Makes Me Cry: The Imagination of a Writer

I was on the way to Target on morning - sans kids, thank you, educational system - and bawling my eyes out when...wait, let me back up.

So, I have the coolest car in the world.  It's not the sexiest car, or the most expensive, or even the most fuel efficient (sigh), but it's the coolest for one truly awesome reason:  it has a usb port.  Huh, what?  You read that right.  A usb port.  By the no-such-thing-as-a-cigarette-lighter-turned-power-outlet under the radio.  Fill jump drive with music, insert into usb port, radio says "Oooh, someone stuck a usb in me!" and plays my music.  (Stop with the dirty thoughts, okay?)  Anyway, I don't need an ipod or a cd or, well, anything but a $10 jump drive from Target.  But I haven't come full circle.  I just shop at Target...a LOT.

My trusty jump drive is full of music that reminds me of my book(s) - bits and pieces already written, and those yet to be written - and I listen to it every time I'm in the car.  Remember I mentioned a little while back that I have a playlist?  Yup.  Big chunk of that playlist travels with me everywhere. 

Catching up to the beginning now...I was on my way to Target, and Sting comes on.  The song is called "When We Dance."  I'm listening to this thing, and it's like Sam is talking with me; I'm hearing from this guy that only exists in my head, and he's telling me all about the woman he loves.  It opened up this whole other portion of this world that I've created, and I learned - yes, learned - about another key element in my (2nd!) book.

Because Sam only exists in me, I feel everything he feels, think non-stop about what he's thinking, and often have both sides of conversations aloud...conversations between people who are not real.  I do and feel the same thing with Jude.  With Arch.  With Teresa and Robert and Cameron and Matt McCourt and Richard (you haven't met him yet).  These people don't exist except somewhere between my waking daydreams and my 2 AM bathroom trips.  Oh, and on paper.  Some of them.  Sort of.  But there is so much more you don't get, so much I don't have time or room to say. 

Forgive the spoiler, but in Book 2 Jude takes dance lessons...and so does Sam (from someone famous...and dead), as a way to be close to her.  How do I know this?  Sam told me.  Through Sting.  And I could feel what Sam was feeling as he watched Jude from afar, forcibly separated from her, desperate to be the one leading her on the dance floor.  And Sting sang "...hellfire's a promise away, I'd still be saying 'I'm still in love...'" and I'm hearing Sam defend his own depression to Denise and her heart is breaking for him and...I'm BAWLING in the car.  And I didn't have any tissue in the car, so I'm wiping my face on my sleeve, trying to dry out before I enter Target.

As I walk through the doors of the Target, I am immediately drawn to the dollar section, just like you are.  Don't deny it.  You have to know what kinds of cute junk they're hawking on the cheap, too.  So I'm heading to the dollar section and this cute lady, maybe 50-something, stops me.  "Honey, are you okay?"


Let's see.  Explain that I'm crying my eyes out over the emotions I feel from characters in books I haven't written yet...or tell her I'm fine?

I went with fine.  I smiled.  "I'm fine!"  She must've thought I was insane.  Tear-stained face, swollen red puffy eyes, wet sleeves, drippy nose...toothy grin.  "Good to go!  Thanks for asking!" 

But such is the imagination of a writer that I can go from perfect normalcy to total basket case (over things and people that aren't actually REAL!) and right back to perfect normalcy in seconds.  Okay, minutes.  Still.  Talk about an emotional roller coaster.  But they're not my emotions, so as quickly as I feel them, I can box them right back up and put them on the shelf until it's time to break them out again for chapter 17.

Know what?  My car isn't quite as cool as I thought it was.  If it were, it would have a voice recorder built in to the dash so I could record the conversations I have with myself as though I were two different characters in a discussion.  Yes, I do that.  My imagination is WILD, and when I let it RUN wild, it's all-consuming.

Which reminds me...I really need to get started on [Alt]Life.  HuhWhat?  Yeah, sorry.  Check out my writer site; you'll see where I'm going with this.

It's not just my imagination that is all over the place, by the's my mind, too.  As I'm typing "writer site" above, I'm thinking, "So, when I sell my first book, does that mean I can stop calling it a writer site and start calling in an author site?"  And then "Oooh, I really need to get to work on my series site!"

It's late, can you tell?

And Sting makes me cry, because I have the world's wildest imagination.  But in a good way.  I think.  [Alt]Life will tell...after I tell Sam & Jude's it's conclusion...2 books from now.  Ugh.  I'm going to bed.

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