|"We hear you!"|
Now I am pretty sure the rest of you writers hear voices too. If not, oops, I didn't say that. But if you know what I'm talking about, then you certainly understand. It's those voices that we hear that help us write those novels that plague our nighttime dreams ( or nightmares) and our daydreams. When we sit down to write, those little critters, writer-elves, whatever, start yammering big time. Sometimes they're all in agreement and the words flow so fast your fingers can barely keep up on the keyboard. Other times, they argue incessantly. "No, you can't kill her. Not in chapter three." "What about chapter five?" "No, no, no, you can't kill her off at all." "Maybe just maim her a bit?" "Sheesh, scrap this book and write something else, anything else." "Hush, we're working here." "Yeah right, you call this work?" Do you all have those kind of voices?
Sometimes, maybe it's just a fluke, but I wake up and the whole story is right there in all its glory. Those writer-elves (yes, mine are writer-elves) dictate and my fingers fly across the keyboard. Then I read it back and go, "Wow! Where did that come from?" It always amazes me when that happens.
Other times, lately for example, those voices are mute. Where do they go at times like this? I swear they're in there somewhere? Is there a door I can knock on so we can have a talk? Is there some secret password or code that I have to give them before I can enter? Did I offend one or all of them? I swear I've been nothing but kind to those little elves. Hey, maybe I need to dedicate my current work in progress to them? Would that get them talking again?
If I described all this to a doctor I might have those men with white coats knocking on my door. So I'm very very careful to say, "Nope, no voices at all." Of course, I don't have a doctor these days so I needn't worry about that aspect.
As a child those voices were a bit worrisome. I'd be sitting in class listening to the teacher drone on and on about something boring, like algebra or geometry, and the next thing I'd know, wham, I'd be tuned into their conversation. Often it had to do with pioneers, covered wagons, cowboys and Indians, adventure, pretty much any subject other than what the teacher was discussing. The next thing I'd know, said teacher would be standing over me, glaring down and saying, "Teri, what is x minus y x 3 squared?" Honest, I remember zilch about algebra and geometry, so I don't even know if that's a real question. Anyway, I sure I'm not the only writer with those kind of memories.
My dream back then was to be an author and illustrator of children's books. If I wasn't daydreaming and listening to those voices in my head, I was doodling. In grammar school I was known for my "Wanted Dead of Alive" drawings of classmates and teachers. I'd doodle an incredible likeness and make it a part of a wanted poster. My classmates loved them. Well, one day in 6th grade, my teacher caught on and was standing over me as I finished his wanted poster. This guy had a great profile, a big nose, big lips, big ears. As I finished with a flourish the teacher reached out and snatched up my drawing. Oh my gosh, you can imagine my horror. I was certain I'd be sent to the office, my parents called and my report card would once again say, "Daydreamer." Only this time, my teacher said something like, "No more doodling in class, Teri." He tried to look very stern, but as he turned away I saw that smile on his face. To this day I wonder if he still has that wanted poster. I'd like to think that he does.
Now see what I mean about my voices going off on tangents? This post was supposed to be about voices and writing and somehow art popped into the picture. You see, I have absolutely no control over those little writer-elves.
I'm really looking forward to the rest of you readers/writers/authors adding your comments to this post. Come on, I need you all to kick in and say something. Don't let me be the only one admitting to hearing voices.