Writers live with multiple personalities in their heads. It’s no secret that writers are outside the norm anyway, but all writers I know have characters, scenes, and story lines running through their minds. This all starts with daydreaming, usually beginning in childhood. It never stops. As a child, I could make up stories with which I could terrify myself and my best friend, Kathi. She didn’t make up stories but she would convince her mother to drive us to the local theater where we would see horror movies that only fed my already vivid imagination. These caused nightmares that sent me scurrying into my parents’ room to sleep with my mom while my long-suffering dad took my bed – where he inevitably caught a cold. And he had to go to work the next day!
Eventually, those nightmares turned into daydreams of the ‘what if’ variety, and that’s where it gets fun, as in, ‘What if an ordinary situation, like a dog bringing in something he’d found, turned out to have sinister or hilarious consequences?’
In yesterday’s blog, Cheryl Harper wrote about the ‘gifts’ her dog Jack brings her. I had a dog who did that. Monty sometimes brought in birds, which were, thank goodness, still alive. When he placed them at my feet, thinking praise and treats would follow, the birds would fly up, flapping their wings while I ran around, flapping my arms, and trying to head them toward the open door. All of this was accompanied by Monty’s barking as he tried to figure out why I didn’t act more appreciative. What if he had brought in a lady’s old-fashioned evening glove with a fabulous cocktail ring on one of the fingers and a diamond bracelet at the wrist? Now, there’s a scenario that could keep a writer happily plotting for days or weeks.
I guess what I’m saying is, be gentle with the writers in your life. Remember that even though their brains are very crowded, they usually function pretty well – for someone who’s lost in a daydream.
Patricia Forsythe's next Harlequin Heartwarming is At Odds With The Midwife, which will be a November 2016 release. She got the idea while daydreaming beside a lake.