Friday, January 7, 2011

Oh. THAT'S what I look like to other people.

Because my computer isn't working -- and neither is my car -- I've gotten into the habit of waiting for the bus at the local university library, where I can use a computer to work on my writing stuff. I only live a few blocks from the university, so it works out pretty well.

Today, just as I was leaving my apartment, I thought of a perfect conversation for two of my characters to have. My hands were full, and it was snowing, so I didn't stop to write it down. I just repeated it to myself over and over so I wouldn't forget it before I got to the library.

Let me back up. Walking across town, I was carrying:

-a shoulder bag with writing stuff in it -- pages with my editor's handwriting in the margins, pens that rarely get used but often get lost, notes to self on the back of McDonald's receipts -- and random stuff I need for the day, like a hairbrush and Tylenol and half of yesterday's lunch because I forgot to clean out my shoulder bag.

-Another shoulder bag full of school stuff -- data sheets, random sight word cards, a plastic rhinoceros that I think might have come out of a borrowed testing kit that I've already given back, and pre-test materials for a germ unit (which is annoyingly well-timed, since I'm fighting a head cold).

-a plastic bag with my breakfast and lunch in it (today's).

I was bundled up because it's not a long walk from home to campus, but it's a windy one, and I had these bags draped over me like Christmas tree tinsel. I was taking huge gulp of hot coffee every two or three steps, because, did I mention it's windy and also very cold?

And I was talking to myself. Animatedly. With dialogue. Using at least two different people's names. Saying the same thing over and over.

I don't know why people think writers are eccentric. This all makes perfect sense to me.

9 comments:

Marisa Hopkins said...

Haha, love this post! The other day, I was taking my usual walk to think about my writing and characters (this is after showering and getting dresses, to look somewhat presentable to the world) and a family stopped me and asked if I had a place to stay because they thought I was homeless. I was talking to myself a little... but seriously, doesn't everyone?? :D

Jill said...

Too funny! Didn't someone feel sorry for you and pick you up the other day too??

I can at least take the rhino off your hands, that should help a little :-)

Heather Kelly said...

I'm so glad about this absent minded writer stuff--and that we portray that to the world. Because where I live there is too much concern over what others might think. Yay for eccentric behavior!!

your mama said...

I wanted to say "like" to everything here and a double like to what Heather Kelly said: "Yay for eccentric behavior!"

Tracy Edward Wymer said...

That's funny. I would've looked twice at you and then muttered, "Writer."

MG Higgins said...

Very funny. I don't talk out loud to myself, but I do get highly focused, with a frown and a crease between my eyes. I must look really angry to other people.

Christie Wright Wild said...

That's funny. Are you going to school to be a teacher? I left an award on my blog for you. www.christiewrightwild.blogspot.com

Mary Witzl said...

I talk to myself when I feel like it and always have. One of the nicest things about getting old is that it doesn't hurt so much to get pegged as eccentric. As a child and teenager, I had a real struggle.

Do you have a mobile phone? If you have a hand free, hold it up to your ear and carry right on. It can give you a little street cred.

Indigo said...

You sound like me. I never go anywhere without my messenger bag.

My husband never knows exactly who or what, the conversation is about until after the fact. Half of the time I'm talking about my characters as if they were people we know. (Hugs)Indigo