Thursday, July 25, 2013

Working in Your Head, Working Outside

Writing can be very lonely. We sit at the keyboard, inventing characters, plots and settings within our heads, and then enter what we’ve come up with into the computer. Those who indicate their characters speak to them may not find this endeavor lonely. But it might be a very congested place inside a brain with all this dialogue going on.

That’s why I like the balance of writing in the morning, getting out to exercise in the middle of the day, and doing other stuff in the afternoon. I typically write until eleven or noon, and then either play racquet sports or take a walk. In either case, this gives me a chance to decompress from the writing, see some scenery and interact with real human beings.

Likewise, I enjoy giving presentations. While not naturally an extrovert, I’ve learned to give humorous and entertaining speeches and like meeting new people. The best part of a talk is the questions and answers session. There are the standard questions such as where do you get your ideas, how did you start and what’s your working day like. The first time I was asked the question, what actor would you want to play your protagonist Paul Jacobson in a movie, I had to pause. Now I would answer Clint Eastwood. I also get a kick out of stories and sayings that people share with me.

Here’s one of my favorites: A grandfather and a grandson go out in a crowded marketplace and become separated. The little boy begins crying. A kind woman comes up and asks what’s the problem, and he says he’s lost his grandfather. The woman asks, “What’s he like?” The little boy looks up at her and replies, “Wild Turkey and wild women.”

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