I’m not sure how it works with other writers but I want to preface the story I’m about to tell by letting you know upfront that when I’m writing a character (or characters) I tend to take on a part of that persons persona for a bit. Take it with a grain of salt.
These days I happen to be writing a character who is completely and utterly NUTS. And it’s funny how my mind sometimes confuses my thoughts with the ways the various characters in the story think and that can feel rather shocking when it catches me off guard and/or comes out of the blue.
Which is exactly what happened this morning on my run as I was running down the list of all the things I have to do today…
One of those things being helping my six-year-old print out pictures of Mockingbirds for her Texas project that is due at school tomorrow.
And then it happens…I actually see one. I know it’s a Mockingbird because now that I’ve assisted with the plethora of research a six-year-old must to do in order to give a five-minute presentation on said research, I’m well versed in Mockingbirds as of late.
Anyway, so I see the Mockingbird and I think wait a minute… Hey! A) Who needs pictures when one could have the real thing? B) I pause and consider how crazy that sounds and C) I ponder just how much time and tears (hers, or mine I can’t be sure) it would save this evening.
And for a quick minute I stand there and seriously contemplate what it would take to capture the thing and haul it into their class all triumphant like … and all of a sudden there’s a movie running in my head (Christmas Story style) and I picture the kids faces, but mostly their teachers. ;)
I imagine myself looking at her, shaking my head, shrugging, and announcing, “This is what happens when you assign projects like these. It should be known that they induce unnecessary craziness upon parents forced to undergo the painstakingly slow torture of understanding how little the term research means to a six year old. I JUST WANTED TO MAKE IT FUN. SEE!”
But, no, I realize that sounds crazy and I snap out of it and consider that perhaps I’m standing in the street pondering what the best way to actually capture a bird would be because I’m writing a character who is crazy and tends to take things one step too far…and I think sure, that could be it…
OR it could be because I’ve considered all of the times in the future my daughter will try and one up me by telling me that so and so’s mom got them this and so and so’s mom got them that— and I know in that moment that so much of my work in the future could be satisfied now.
For I would forever more be able to look her in the eye and say “Yeah, but did so and so’s mom ever get them a Mockingbird?!?”
And suddenly it doesn’t seem that crazy at all. ;)