The first post of 2010 should definitely be more New Yearish, but at this point in my antibiotic-laced brain, the only salutation I can muster up is this:
Greetings, everyone, from the land of tonsillitis!
It started out as a rather peaceful Thursday, the last day of 2009, with just a slight difficulty in swallowing to tell me that the peace wasn’t going to last. It didn’t. Two highly feverish days later of foretelling my impending death to my mother, who knew better, yet still — mother-like — teared up at my babbling, the crisis passed and I survived.
Too sick to work, I spend most of my time in a half-asleep-half-awake state, and find myself daydreaming.
Predictably, it is only when I am too exhausted, busy, or not-quite-awake, that all the really good ideas related to one of my writing projects float lazily by in my mind… so slowly, that I can visualize the words, and then the sentences start forming themselves into tidy little paragraphs that suddenly, by a leap of brilliant imagination of the unconscious, are somehow neatly fit into a previously gaping hole in my plot… so slowly do those ideas swim by smiling and waving, that the few conscious or rational or idle cells in my brain (depending on my state) start hyperventilating and run around trying to reach the Code Red button that would alert the rest of my brain and make me GO WRITE IT DOWN, ALREADY!
My exhausted, or busy, or not-quite-awake mind tries — usually successfully — to bat away those few panicky cells, preferring, instead, to smile back at those floating swimming brilliants and murmur love-sick endearments. Oh my, but you are a brilliantly formed piece of plot beauty. You are so breathtakingly lovely. You are the embodiment of all that is beautiful about language. Where did you come from, so perfect, so stunning? Do you have any relatives?
And so on, and so forth.
Panicky Brain Cells start arguing their point, usually in upper-case letters, GET UP AND WRITE IT DOWN AND TREASURE IT FOREVER!
Shhhh… you’ll scare them away… Love-Sick Brain Cells whisper.
LISTEN, YOU FOOLS, YOU CAN EITHER DROOL OVER THEM NOW AND THEN WAKE UP AND FORGET THEM IN THE CONFUSION OF YOUR DREAMS AS YOU ALWAYS DO–
Oooh… just look at that one!
OR YOU CAN JUST BE A TINY BIT INCONVENIENCED NOW AND WRITE THEM DOWN AND BE INFINITELY HAPPIER THAN YOU CURRENTLY ARE!
Love-Sick Brain Cells don’t really mind being called fools, but they do get annoyed at all the shouting, which distracts them, and they can see parts of the floating ideas starting to blur a bit at the edges. This gets them in such a state of agitation that they — who said love was peaceful or merciful? — start to viciously attack the vastly outnumbered Panicky Brain Cells and beat them into silence.
That is what usually happens.
Every once in a while, Panicky Brain Cells manage to bully Love-Sick Brain Cells into tardy action, and the result is an exciting one or two or three or more pages of good writing, or perhaps an entire outline of a subplot or major plot point.
I have never ever regretted getting up from that dazed sleep and capturing those ideas onto paper. Or if I had been driving or otherwise engaged, repeating at least the key points of the ideas to myself until I could record them.
I should listen to the whiny, annoying, high-pitched voices of Panicky Brain Cells more often.
But like the sirens of Greek mythology, Love-Sick Brain Cells have such lovely sweet voices…