There is this thing that happens to me sometimes. I’m going along with my normal life. Everything is wonderful. And then…
The “thing” starts. I don’t know how to describe it, but this little wiggly feeling gets going at the base of my skull. After a few days, it gets into my heart and starts to stir. And before I know it, my fingers are all twitchy and itchy for a keyboard.
No, it’s not some weird disease. It’s this thing called story. (Then again, some would argue that writing is a weird disease. We talk to people in our heads. Sometimes you have to say something to us nine times to get us out of whatever world we’re in. Our characters–the ones we type out on the page–have been known to take over our stories and take them places we weren’t intending without our permission. So, yeah, you could make the case…)
The thing is, sometimes I don’t know what the story is. Like right now. There is no scene formed. No setting. No time period. There is no character talking… yet. I know she’s in there though. She’s rustling in the bushes getting up the courage to knock on the door and start talking. She’s got something to say, a story she wants the world to hear, and she’s waiting for me to sit still so she can tell me what it is.
Seasons like this are when I find myself humming Tobymac’s “Getaway Car.” For me to unlock my brain and shut it down enough for the characters to talk, I need an iPod full of good tunes and a full tank of gas, a back country road and no traffic. That’s when my brain says, “Hey. This is story mode. Character lurking in the bushes, why don’t you come in and have a cup of coffee?” Because, sooner or later, a song will spin up on the iPod and it will be her song. That’s when she’s set free to give me words.
Yep. I have a strange muse.
This is my plan for the weekend. Me. My iPod. My Explorer. (There’s a metaphor in the name of my car. I just noticed it.) The backest back country road I can find. God. And this new character who is on the verge of using her voice for the first time.
I can’t wait to find out who she is.