So, a co-worker today asked me how my weekend had been. I confessed that while I had made progress, I hadn’t gotten as much writing done as I had hoped to, which is sort of always the case, really.
She stared at me. “Are you writing another book?”
Well, yeah; that’s what I do.
“When’s it due?”
“Do you feel under pressure?”
Not so much pressure as I would just like to get the damn’ draft done so I can see what I have and what I don’t have. Right now, it’s all sorta roiling around in my head and I can’t really see what’s missing.
“How do you do that? Write, I mean. Do you just make it up?”
Well, mostly. I mean, the characters have history, and you have to respect that, plus it’s a complex book because it’s the elbow book that joins two parallel tracks of story. Some of the setting’s been used in a previous book, so I need remember where things are, and I have an idea of where it’s all going to wind up, but most of the time I’m wrong about that, so I expect that’s the case this time, too. . .
“But I mean, how do you do it?”
Damned if I know. How do you not do it?
She laughed, and I did and we got on with the day.
But that got me thinking about all those things that other people seem to master so easily, which make no sense whatsoever to me.
Minesweeper, for instance.
Sudoku, for another.
Any arithmetical function higher than simple bookkeeping.
How to figure out how much will fit in what space. And how.
There are more, but you get the idea.
It occurs to me that everybody must have these mental twitches; these easy, everday things that make no sense.