I have this thing, it’s an affliction called writing. I tend to do it all the time. In my head. On the computer. On a sheet of paper. But lately, I haven’t done it at all. Okay, well the in-my-head kind of writing has been happening, it just hasn’t made it past my tentorium, or the blood-brain barrier, or my cranium.
Recently, we went on a little family outing to an area nestled in the southeastern corner of Wisconsin not far from my suburban Chicagoland home. The rule was: no laptops. I brought the dang thing with me anyway. It sat in a pretty Vera Bradley laptop bag against the dresser in the hotel room unopened, unused the entire time.
No one said anything about not bringing a journal.
Or my brain.
And so I used both.
I people-watched. I pocketed details and observed architecture. I listened for strange-but- -true-trivia on the boat doled out by the tour guide, and also the tourists. I cataloged what they wore, how they wore it, how their legs languidly draped over their beloved’s laps, and how the tiny bean of a baby curled up under his momma’s shoulder.
And when my husband tentatively asked, “So if you–my writing wife–were to set a novel here, what would it be about?”
Okay, that’s a loaded question. Was he just making polite conversation, or did he really care?
I knew–but not really–what the aforementioned novel may contain. Something about child snatching. I know, macbre. You see, all of these vacationing families are so damn happy, their hair casting off rays of the sun, their children sticky with ice cream and kissed by the sun, their dogs galloping alongside of them and I got to thinking: what horrible, terrible thing could happen to shatter this image?
So, back to the hubster: did I indulge my writing brain to satisfy his curiosity? And was it really curiosity? Didn’t he know that by asking, he was opening up a can of worms?
He had ideas. They supplemented my own. Some clashed, like plaid and polka-dots but that’s often the difference between men and women. “No, no, no…that would be a boy book,” I corrected.
The thing is, writers never stop writing. Sure, the laptop may never have gotten used, but I thought about writing a lot.
Doesn’t that count?