I sit back. Exhale deeply, a shot of wonder pumping through my writer being, and I’m convinced every word was perfection. Then I read back over what I have written, and my mood fades with the same sudden mystery of its onset.
Oh, no, it’s that thing I hate, the bigger part of my brain (I’m being generous) that screams rule worshipping acquiescence over creative risk taking. It seemed such a great idea at the time. And yes, I did it again. I wrote myself into that … that writers’ corner: the one that requires more, not less from me.
I turn rational, logical, backing out, backing down. It’s as simple as the delete key. Oh, but it felt too good to be wrong. Maybe I’ll do the half-assed thing I think of as writer compromise.
“Get up, Sass. We’re going on one of those ramblings you hate. No, we’re not taking the Jeep. You know perfectly well that writing inside my head while driving can be—is dangerous.”
Disagreeing dog moves off her bed, stares up at me, a bigger frown on her seriously wrinkled mug. She consents to the collar and trudges bulldog slow toward the door, her grumbling audible in her deep grunts.
“I could … no, no forget it, dog. That would never work. Too damn weird.”
We take the forbidden path across the manicured golf course. Old guys in brightly colored pants look up and point toward the no trespassing sign. Their collective outrage passed back and forth. Then our business here is of a serious nature, so I shrug and we walk on.
“What do you think about … ? What do you mean: Small? Flat? Lazy? Predictable? Unimaginative? Takes the story absolutely nowhere a serious reader wants to go?”
“Okay, let’s just say, I’m thinking. But no, that’s completely out of character. He’d never do that.”
Dog sits. Sighs deeply and stares at the ground.
“Really? You’re serious? Make an unlikely decision; one I’d have sworn my beloved protagonist incapable of making?”
Dog is unmoved.
I watch as a fat man pounds the ground with what I expect is an expensive club, his ball, that’s his golf ball, having dinged of a tree and plopped into a puddle-size pond of green water.
“Then you do know that takes the story in a totally different direction? One I’d not imagined.”
I think I must get this writer’s happy look, because Sass gets onto her all-fours.
“Okay, by God, I’ll write it, but I’ll be yelling, ‘No, no, don’t do that. It’s certain to lead to shame, misery, heartbreak, and danger.’ Some of my favorite emotions—to write about, I mean.
Dog turns back toward home. Her bed has barely cooled.