My father was an intelligent man, however, he lived in his own little world. Each year at tax time, he’d have to ask me what my second name was and just when was I born so he could fill out the forms. Really not very reassuring questions to be asking your little daughter. Fortunately, he smoked a pipe. That might seem like a non-sequester but it’s simply explained. In order to get my father to remember anything we’d leave him notes in his tobacco tin. Unfortunately, at the age of sixty my dad decided to give up smoking and any long term communication with him ceased.
This tendency to vagueness alas seems to be genetic. As an author of both fiction and nonfiction works, I often find my mind travelling down unexplored paths when it would be much better employed in the here and now. My family’s favorite story is about me setting off with some pop bottles to return to the local store and some letters to mail. Lost in my own thoughts I mailed the pop bottles and handed a very confused store clerk my letters. I did think at the time that the letters seemed to have hit the bottom of the mailbox with a rather heavy thump.
My friends have got used to me phoning to explain that I will be late because I got thinking of other things, put the car on automatic pilot and ended up in the wrong place. Cars can be sneaky that way. They have taken to saying that Anne was in her “happy place” using those annoying finger quotation marks.
I wonder if other writers suffer from a similar problem or if absent mindedness is unique to my family. I think what it does show is the amount of effort I put in to working out any piece of writing whether fiction or nonfiction before I actually start writing. Stories can percolate for months, sometimes years, before I make the commitment to actually start working on them. Writing is fun but it also is hard work. A lot of preparation, thought and planning has to go into a story in order to develop something worthwhile. I think time spent planning within one’s imagination establishes a good foundation for any story. My advice is don’t be too quick to put your fingers to the keyboard, instead, ponder in your happy place until the story starts to take form. Being vague has provided endless amusement for my friends and considerable frustration to my colleagues, but I’ve found that living in my “happy place” has some advantages. For example, I can zone out while waiting for delayed planes and frolic in my imagination until my flight is eventually called.
Anne Azel’s Award Winning Novels:
Encounters, Seasons, Three Doses of Murder, Murder in Triplicate, Gold Mountain, Iron Rose Bleeding, The Little Book of Big Christmas Stories, Journeys, America, Tides, and coming soon, the Dark Matter Corps.
Contact Anne at firstname.lastname@example.org.