“ Thinking like a writer is like getting new glasses with a stronger prescription. You could see before, but your world seemed fuzzy, a tad out of focus. Now things appear brighter, clearer, sharper, more interesting, and they make more sense.”
– Lou Willett Stanek, PH.D.
The airport is a breeding ground for stories. Characters easily make their debut. My mind is a notepad racing with ideas and questions.
Why is she with that guy? He totally dated up. Does she feed that kid pixie sticks for breakfast? That is some good birth control. An elderly woman sits amongst a mass of travelers with undeniable beauty, unaffected by wrinkles that plague others her age. Was she a model, celebrity or maybe married a plastic surgeon?
This is how my brain ticks. Fascinated by people’s choices in lifestyles, partners, careers or even clothing. My focus drifted at a recent amusement park trip, as I learned the 80s are back and unfortunately heavy weights in tube tops never left.
I’ve pondered being ADHD, unable to focus when out in a large group of people. Now I’ve come to see it as having a writer’s mind, a creative toolset embedded in my brain. At the ready to create, be curious, judgmental (though I like to think of it as sarcastic wit) and find the humor in life’s little jokes.
Recently, this “writer’s mind” backfired on me, getting carried away and creating a scary tale woven so craftily, I, the creator, almost believed it.
Sitting in Dallas International airport, I see this priest waiting in line. He wore a modest suit adorned with a clerical collar. Being fairly young with a muscular build and scruffy facial hair, he didn’t present as your typical clergy. These inconsistencies about his appearance made me believe he wasn’t an actual priest, but instead just masquerading as one.
I, or should I say the writer in me, pegged him to be a hit man or terrorist posing as a man of God to pass more easily through security and be under the radar of others. He carried no luggage or carry-ons, just a book. What if within that book he carried some sort of transmitter? Oh yeah, he totally fit the profile of bad guy. With in minutes of creating my terrorist, he was gone.
I had been teasing my husband earlier that boarding a plane with him was a bad idea since everything mechanical my husband has come in contact with has failed lately (car, boat, phone and garage). Pondering out loud if it would have been prudent to fill out my last will and testament before getting on a plane together. We’d laughed it off and continued on.
Once on the plane, I sat with a very caffeinated businessman to my right and an empty seat to my left. Unable to get seats together, hubby was in the row behind me. It was when the plane had just about finished boarding that I spotted him again. The Priest. My anxiety climbed instantly. I knew I made up the story, but what if I was right. He was a bit suspicious looking. He kept walking closer until he found his seat, to my left.
This literary wonder created herself a little panic attack. Bravo!
I reassured myself that it was ridiculous to fear this man because of a scenario I conjured. He probably was very nice Priest who was on his way to help some needy children. Yes, that option was less alarming. Crisis diverted.
However, two minutes later, my brain switched gears again. If he was in fact a priest what could be the purpose of him sitting beside me?
Ding, Ding, Ding, it was a sign! This man of God was here to protect us from my husbands’ run of bad mechanical luck. Relief established.
I closed my eyes, having accepted this option, and waited for take off. As the jet engines rumbled for take off, my eyes sprang open. I gave a sideways glance at the Priest. I thought, “What if he is here to pray with us, give us last rites as we go down in a fiery crash!”
Man! Only I could make boarding a plane mentally exhausting. I needed a switch to turn off the internal monologue.
Creative thinking apparently can lead to paranoia and lucky for some they are not plagued with it. I turned around in my seat to see hubby casually looking out the window. I envisioned his internal monologue to be “ Oh look a bird.”
**This post dedicated to Jeff Goins. He instructed me that at some point you have to start calling yourself a “Writer” otherwise you will never believe it yourself. Take heart, believe in yourself and dedicate yourself to your passion. Then things will start to happen.