I’m a writer. I turn my thoughts into other people’s thoughts, my feelings into other people’s feelings. I write about things I hope will and will not happen to me. About things that have happened, or didn’t. Mix the right things together and fiction comes out, the characters live, I write down what happens next and make it read pretty.
Writing is fun. I like to put words on the screen real fast, then move them around ‘till they’re perfect. I like to make an imaginary place in my mind, and describe it well enough that other people can go there. Then I get to show them things. Anything I want to show them, as well as the things that turn up, uninvited, on the page, making the story something new, something deeper, something more interesting than what was planned.
I’m focusing on conflict now, on plot, on putting my characters in more danger. So I am working more closely with Ted, my imaginary friend. I realized his gift for storytelling a few years ago when he regaled us with a tale of intrigue. He had been in Seattle and his boyfriend had gotten him pregnant. He ended up hitchhiking across the country trying to find him, but failed to do so. He was vague in regards to the outcome of his pregnancy, but the ease with which he came up with the entire scenario impressed me.
So I’ve enlisted his help in my endeavor to become an Even Better writer. Just now I asked him for ideas, then interrupted him, and he said
“What was I talking about? A grocery cart? A tutu? Mother’s milk?”
That’s the start of a story right there, and I would never have uttered the phrase “mother’s milk” without Ted’s assistance. Pregnant homeless person? Little girl shopping in a huge grocery story with her mother, or with someone else? Who knows where these ideas could take me, what kind of a story I can create when I blend them with other ideas, bits of thoughts I can develop on the page for your enjoyment. Here’s hoping the tutu will be a minor story element!
Edited to add:
I have been reminded that the outcome of Ted’s pregnancy was not vague, I just blocked it out. He had an abortion.