Some writers are totally organized; they know exactly what they are going to write about, how many chapters etc, they have time allotted for writing each day, and they even have word count down to a fine art. As for mé-fein, well now, though organised for the main part, I am also what one might describe as a spontaneous writer. I spend most of the night hours scribbling what won’t leave the poor braincells of my memory bank alone.
Summing up who you are as a writer is not an easy task, and on answering that question I find myself replying:
“Who am I? A 60-year-old widow with an overactive mind and an addiction to a keyboard might be the quickest answer!”
Although apt – I blame my fingertips for that one, as it’s definitely not something anyone writing from the intellectual left side of the brain would come up with.
But, officially speaking, I am a writer as far as career is concerned. Or, perhaps I should say I am one of those insane people privileged to write for a living. It’s definitely my passion in life, and I simply must write every day, whether published or not – even if only growling to myself about something in my diary. It’s my Raison d’etre, and how I make sense of this crazy but wonderful world we inhabit.
I feel the high voltage energy of all the info and thoughts would fry my brain otherwise. For me, BFF does not mean, “Best Friends Forever,” it’s “Brain Frigging Frying!” Oh yes, I have my own lingo for most things, for example, BMW is not just the make of a car, it’s Bloody Magnificent Wheels, and when asked by my Hyundai dealer if I knew what SUV meant, I smiled sweetly and replied “Some Unfortunate Vehicle.” It’s a Sports Utility Vehicle by the way.
Anyway, back to the brain stuff here.
You know the way kids talk about “brain freeze” from eating ice-cream too quick, well, I get “brain fry” if I spend too long away from my adorable little black box of technology. In a worse case scenario when parted too long from my keyboard, I whip out my phone and send some text messages, or write a quick verse and save it to notes. That’s my quick fix to ease the withdrawal symptoms somewhat.
Should anyone have the audacity to accuse me of having an addiction, it would definitely be with my laptop. The tempting curvature of the magnificent O, or the tantalizing straight lines of the capital T. I tread carefully eyeing up the W for it can play havoc with my vertigo, and how the mind boggles with the mere thoughts of the Z’s moves. But playing with all 26 of my adorable little friends, boy what a party, I run amok!
You know you’re a writer when you get up to use to loo at 4AM and spot a spider in the black bra you’d left out for the morning. Now – don’t get me wrong – I’m as fond of my ration-of-passion as the next woman, but, having the crown-jewels nibbled by a spider is not quite what I’d envisage as fun in that department. Grabbing the broom from the kitchen I dismantled his body and threw what was left of him outside the door- just in case he by some miracle, survived the attack. On returning to bed, I spotted a second one, but the shagger was too quick for me and escaped the onslaught. I spent the next 4 hours straight writing what it was like from the spider’s perspective to see his brother slaughtered by a psycho with a broom. Well, considering the spider to human ratio, imagine how traumatising that must have been for the spider. That’s a story called, Maltie that I will definitely finish at some point. Oh, and I have never put a black bra on since without shaking it first.
Seriously though – that’s truly how nigh time is for me. I spend endless hours caressing the alphabet during the wee-hours when I should be recharging my batteries in happy-snoozy land – sometimes even battering my letter friends with frustration when things don’t go right.
Divorce for me would never have been on the grounds of, “sorry darling I’ve got a headache,” but more like, “oh please darling just a few more minutes to finish off this piece and I’ll be there”– knowing full well that I intended finger tapping my way into yet another awesome daybreak.
I start most days with raw fingertips, stiff neck and numb backside – and, certainly not from any bedroom activities. Yet, back I go every night for more of the same insanity. The highlight of dark-hours for me is propped up in my bed writing, and when I do fall asleep it’s with notepad, pens, pencils, erasers, books, diaries and laptop at hands reach on the bed should something dawn on me during my slumber. I kid you not. ‘Tis a sight to behold. And, I regularly wake up, write, and go back to sleep again – total addiction! However, on the bright side, during my marital years, it was great contraception! 100% guaranteed – and short of dying, there’s little in this life 100% guaranteed.
I remember on one occasion asking my beloved husband, (in the midst of hanky-panky I might add) if he could hold that thought for just one minute while I scribble down the few words that had come to me. Well, it was a great line, and, I have a disastrous memory – and every writer knows it’s a cardinal sin to lose a line of thought that can lead to a great story.
Yes, he was a very patient man to say I didn’t end up with the headlines – Woman divorced – Husband, Children, and Home neglected, and all for the love of the alphabet!
(c) Ita Roche
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