But a weird thing happened. Last week I also put the finishing touches on a Christmas novella and sent it out. A couple of days later I started on my next mystery which as it happens also takes place at Christmas. The beach idea flew right out of my mind.
I was in word count mode and my imagination was full throttle. I had to set a timer so I wouldn’t forget to go to the gym each day. Now here’s the weird part. Do you ever get lost in your book, whether reading or writing so that you lose track of time, or place or . . . the weather? The timer went off. Time for the gym. I finished my sentence and headed to the closet for my coat.
And stood there. There were no coats in the closet. No scarves, no winter hats, no gloves.
Because I had put them all away several weeks before. I’d forgotten because I was so immersed in snow and good cheer (No I was only drinking black coffee all morning.) that I had totally worked myself into thinking it was winter outside.
That’s a great thing to happen when you’re reading and writing. It makes fiction seem so real. But it’s just a little scary when it doesn’t stop when you close the book or when your lap top switches to sleep mode.
I’ve pretty much successfully trained myself not to plot while driving. I’ve been known to arrive at a destination that wasn’t intended. Or look up at a light and wonder how I got there. But that was in years past and needless to say, not in a high traffic area, for instance midtown Manhattan, but in those places where your full concentrations wasn’t needed. Regardless, I decided that plotting time would have to go during driving time. Now I listen to music as I drive and keep my eyes and mind on the road.
Which means my mind has to take over other noncrucial moments to play out a plot line. Which has led to the charred dinner rumor my kids passed around. Let the record show, I do not burn everything I cook. In fact, I hardly ever, well, not often, not too often . . . It was just those grilled sandwiches that I wandered off to look at my email and forgot until the smoke alarm beeped sending me running back to the kitchen. Now if I cook, I stay in the kitchen. We eat a lot of takeout.
They say a mind is a terrible thing to waste. It’s also pretty funky when it wanders off like a misbehaving child. But what adventures it has.
I hope you’re just like me nad have learned to coral those pecky ideas. Where has your mind wandered lately?