I sound absolutely, 100%, balls-to-the-wall* insane when I write. I put up a decent semblance of normalcy for a while (though if I’m anything like my sister I mad-dog my computer screen – seriously, it’s terrifying to hand her any of my stories because she’ll read it with her eyebrows drawn together and a fierce frown on her face, only to hand it back with “it was good” or “I liked it” or “It was kind of boring;” she doesn’t mince words, my sister), when suddenly something will pop into my head, and I’ll laugh.
That doesn’t do the visual justice. I mean I cackle, suddenly and loudly, like a witch who has just noticed Hansel and Gretel nibbling at the door frame of her gingerbread house. I have sent my cat running from the room before.
This is only slightly less terrifying than when I seemingly start laughing without provocation or reason. I spend a lot of my waking hours just thinking about my stories while away from the general proximity of my computer, so I don’t actually have to even be in the act of writing for this to happen. A piece of dialogue, the imagined expression on a character’s face, a sudden brilliant idea – I live in this world, sure, but I simultaneously live in several others.
If I wasn’t so determined to write for a living, I’d give it all up and just be a paranoid schizophrenic.
*This is not, in fact, as dirty as it sounds. I checked. “Balls to the wall” has piloting origins, “ball” referring to the throttle lever which is pushed against the wall when going full throttle. I’d change it anyways, just for sounding dirty, if I could come up with another phrase that rhymes**.
**Though I did, unfortunately, miss the chance to use the phrase “rats in the attic,” one of the best idioms for going crazy. This is only slightly less fun than my Danish friend’s favorite home-grown expression, “Gå agurk!” or, “Go cucumber!” I thought this in itself was insane until someone in my family (I’d give credit where credit is due if I could remember; I’d straight up pretend I remembered if I didn’t think that would lead to a lot of finger pointing when I see everyone this weekend) pointed out that Americans use the phrase “go bananas.” Mind you, I’ve never seen a monkey go crazy over a cucumber, but I’m sure there’s an animal out there who does. Besides my mother.
(Also: my postscripts are officially only eight words short of being longer than the actual post. Have I mentioned lately that I’m very good at talking at length about nothing? Because I’m great at talking at length about nothing.)
(And a final addendum: did I just pull out the calculator for that math? Yes. Yes I did.)