Thumbing It in

I did get some writing done while on vacation, but it wasn’t the ‘sit down at the keyboard with a furrowed brow’ kind of writing.  Noooooo, my Muse was in a mood last week, striking when I was not in the optimum position to receive her inspiration.  You know what I discovered?  As long as I have a way to get the words down, it doesn’t have to be optimum.  And, given that illness and general malaise have been blocking her of late, I was more than happy to do what needed be done to take advantage of her attentions.

For example, I was with my family, sitting in the co-pilot seat as my wife drove us up to Daytona for a day trip.  The Muse slid her sparkly-nailed fingers up my spine and dove into my brain right then, while I was spacing out on signs for fishing camps (with baitcasting reel) and the occasional remnant of hurricane damage.  Freckles, she whispered, freckles and sex…

For a few moments, I just let the story roll around in my brain, steaming up my inner space with its sexy funk but then I grabbed my iPhone and began to write, opened up the Notes app, letting my thumbs fly over the keyboard.  I drafted the story on that drive and finished it later before posting.

It happened several times like that.  Though I brought my laptop and my Kindle, my phone is my most constant electronic companion and over the course of the week, it was the tool I used most to capture the Muse’s transmissions.  On Monday, early in the morning when insomnia struck and I was battling a fever, Buddy was telling me stories to console me and keep me occupied (the alternative would have been to cry and be depressed about being sick AGAIN).  I sat up in bed, picked up my phone and thumbed out several paragraphs on his stories about the girlfriend he had when he moved to the city.  I think that happened a couple of nights, actually.  Yesterday, on the drive back up to Orlando and the flight home, I started thumbing a review of Brace Yourself by Alysia Angel.  In contrast, when I opened up my laptop with the intention of writing, when I made space for it, I was stymied by distractions and lack of inspiration.

There’s a lesson in this somewhere.

One, the Muse will come when she’s good and ready and doesn’t really give a rat’s ass what you’ve got going on.  She’s an ‘in the moment’ kind of magical creature.  Also, all I need is a way to get words out of my head onto something more permanent.  Paper will do, but so will any electronic device.  I also learned that I can thumb-type hella fast, much better than I can do on my Kindle.  If I want to write with my Kindle, I’m gonna need an external keyboard.  I wrote a review of Wool by Hugh Howey, which I finished on this vacation, via the Kindle and it was kind of torturous.  Not only am I totally awkward on the keyboard, the auto-correct functions are sufficiently different from iApps that I had to re-correct almost half of it before I was finished.

In a more serious vein, though, I don’t think that insomnia writing sprees and road trip thumbing sessions are gonna get the job done with regard to my novel, so I will need to insert some discipline into the process.  Maybe I need a writing top, someone to crack the whip a bit and toss me cookies when I do well.  Maybe I need a writing group for sharing and encouragement.  I can do this alone, but it would be much more fun if I didn’t have to.

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