Last week hubby and I made a quick trip out of town to see family. When I leave home—my messy office, my books piled in every corner, the creative atmosphere (and dust) I breathe on a daily basis—I’m about as far away from writing as I can be—mentally and emotionally. It’s as if I’ve entered another dimension, one that drains me of my life blood. That sounds melodramatic—even to me—but it’s exactly the way I feel.
When we travel, I usually drive. Hubby can read, write, text, sleep … I can’t do any of those things without getting car sick so it makes sense that I drive. I can think.
There’s a specific anthology I want to submit to but the deadline is looming—April 15th and I haven’t had a pinch of an idea. On the way back to Louisiana, it hit me: my characters, the plot, the dialogue and the ending. I used to get all kinds of ideas while driving but never like this—never a complete story. I could see their faces. I could hear their voices. I could smell the flowers—wisteria— growing on their property.
I wrote it over and over in my head for four hours, listening to what the characters had to say. Watching them move. Four hours–that’s how long the trip is. The moment we unloaded and I settled onto my favorite corner of the sofa, I grabbed my laptop and captured the story. I couldn’t afford to lose my momentum. I wrote it in its entirety, then put it out of my mind for several days.
Would I like it when I went back to it? Would it make sense? Are there holes I can’t see? Is it too sparse?
I’ve tweaked, added a few things here and there, but I’m finished. I’ll be emailing it later this week.
I can’t help but marvel at how this story came to me, almost perfectly intact. What made it different from other trips and other stories? I haven’t a clue.
Tell me how you write—where? Do you write your short stories in snatches of time or all at once? Do you think about writing constantly or am I just obsessed? Do you ever put writing out of your mind? Tell me how and when you’re able to do that?