Tuesday, December 7, 2010

The Gift of Words and Magic

While spending quality time yesterday wrangling dust bunnies and pine needles in preparation for our up-coming Whoville Whobilation complete with Roast Beast ( prime rib), I found myself doing what I often do when doing such chores: getting lost in various nooks and crannies of my grey matter; sundry thoughts of a meaningful and meaningless nature. 

First up was the brief note to self on how good our life is, how blessed. My little fam is healthy, happy and financially stable even in this economy. We've given generously to charities we feel passionate about, and I love that we are able to do so. 
The house is festive and sparkly, the liquor cabinet is well stocked, and Santa's bag is chock full of wish list goodies for all. 
And, most important, our home is love-filled. 

As my brain in December is wont to do, I began thinking about the last 12 months and my dreams for the next 12 months. 

Somewhere between scooping the cat box and rearranging faux snow around a tablescape, my thoughts begin to meander. 

I wonder if that toad my husband accidentally weed-whacked (we used cornstarch to stanch the bleeding before releasing) lived? Did he make it back to his little toad abode and make toady love to his toady lady and make toady tadpoles?
I hope a hawk didn't swoop down and eat him. 
I wonder if hawks think toads taste like chicken?

I really need to get a pedicure, this polish has been on since Halloween.

Silly dogs want to go outside again. I know they only want to go out so they can come back in therefore earning a treat. They've trained me well.
*lets them out*
*digs in box for two treats*
I bet these taste nasty. They look vile. 
Then again, they eat 'treats' out of the cat box. 
*gags a little*
*calls them in*
They scramble inside. The little one is giddy and cannot control her wiggling and spinning in angst over getting her choppers on her treat and hopefully, if she's fast enough, the treat of the other dog.
She trips me in her madness as I close the sliding glass door. 

I almost fall through the glass.

Hmmm. That would be an interesting way to die. I mean, I'm home alone... the dogs don't have opposable thumbs, they can't call for help. 
My daughter would come home from school and find me on the floor. How would she handle that? How would that affect the rest of her life? Man, that is so sad. What would Husband do/feel? What would the cops think? Would they think someone pushed me? 

And so my thoughts go. 
Thoughts stumble their way to the spark of a story idea. Some random trail of thoughts and questions compels you to follow, to head down that path and see where it leads.

One minute you're scooping cat poop and the next you have a spark of an idea to explore. Suddenly you are scurrying for a pen and paper, or your laptop, the need to write is urgent.

Twisty magic, that. 

Where do you get YOUR ideas? 
Are you getting ready for the holidays?
Have I frightened you away with my sometimes morbid thoughts? 
(you do know I'm a positive, peaceful, loving person, right?)
Talk to me.



Linda G. said...

I shop at Ideas-R-Us. ;)

Nah, my thought processes are actually a lot like yours. Just random streams of internal commentary on life. Every now and then a shiny new IDEA floats by, and I grab it.

Carol Riggs said...

Haven't gotten our Christmas tree yet; probably this weekend.
I get ideas everywhere, but I totally relate to your brain wandering and landing upon ideas that way. My WIP idea came about late at night as I was getting ready for bed, and I got this feeling that something was out in the living room....and I thought What If.... It's good to have a pen and paper or Word doc nearby!

Carol Kilgore said...

I'm laughing...you've been in my head!

Teri Anne Stanley said...

That is EXACTLY how my story ideas crop up. Except mine usually start with "I wonder what would happen if my husband fell through a sliding glass door."

Tere Kirkland said...

So funny! When I start to think too much, I always gravitate toward the worst case scenario. I guess that's the writer in me, always looking for conflict!

Daydreaming is usually how I get my story ideas, but sometimes I'll just see something and it'll spark a premise.

Great post!

Julie said...

I loved that little walk through your thoughts. And yes, my ideas come about the same way, just from random musings and the possibilities that follow.

Sounds like a wonderful holiday is before you... enjoy! :)

Tricia J. O'Brien said...

Ha! You can't frighten me with morbid thoughts, I do that quite well myself! My brain works just like that, skittering along, making leaps from one point to another. Love this post. I feel so normal now.

The Words Crafter said...

....hang on a sec, I'm still laughing at the dogs eating treats from the cat box!!!! *wiping away tears*

Okay, first, this was completely fantastic and funny.

Second, how in the world did you remember all your thoughts?!!

Third, I used to have panic attacks. Way back in my early 20's. Once, while mopping, I had one and couldn't get past the thought of the paramedics finding me face down in a bucket of Lysol and I began laughing...the attack went away.

Fourth, like you, they come from random places, but your random is much more interesting =P

Thanks for making my day!

Laura Marcella said...

My thought processes are like yours! It just takes one seemingly mundane thing to happen and I'm asking all kinds of questions and wondering.

I've been decorated for Christmas since the weekend after Thanksgiving. I love this time of year! I still have a little more shopping to do, but I really enjoy Christmas shopping. The stressful part os waiting weeks until I can give presents to my loved ones!

coffeelvnmom said...

Same though process for me, too. Random things are always flying in and out of my mind -- some are good ideas I'm able to catch amidst the mundane, odd ones, others I (sadly) forget about before I can write them down. And no, I don't believe you've frightened anyone away;)

Love "our home is love-filled", and the dream quote is a great one as well. =)


Falen (Sarah Ahiers) said...

my ideas pretty much come about the exact same way yours do. And they are often morbid as well, so i don't think you're weird at all

Heather said...

LOL! Awesome. This is similar to how I get my ideas. I let my mind wander and see where it takes me. That's the best part about being a writer, something brilliant can come out of something totally random.

JEM said...

My dog has molasses and peanut butter cookies as treats, and every time I open the box I want to eat one. I'm sure they're full of crude protein and cat intestines, but they SMELL so good.

Believe me, you could weird me out with random thoughts, I'm right there with you :). A lot of my ideas come out of childhood thoughts/dreams I had that I never understood I could make happen by my own hand. I'm definitely a dreamer.

Summer said...

I think you know more than enough about my weird ideas and thought processes. Also, I believe I just might wear the black spiderweb crown of Queen Morbidity.

Thanks for the chat today! :)

The Golden Eagle said...

I have a fairly scattered thought process--I think most people do. :P But I often (at least roughly) get my ideas from people around me, what's happening with them, and how they're reacting.

Lola Sharp said...

Whew! *wipes brow* I feel understood. I was slightly worried y'all might think me a freak. (well, I am a freak, but, you know, a FREAK.)
I love that you guys get it. :)

Simon C. Larter said...

I want a picture of Summer wearing the black spiderweb crown of Queen Morbidity.

Also, can I come over and hang out? My liquor cabinet, unfortunately, is woefully depleted.

Merry Christmas or whatever you celebrate, good lady!

Lenny Lee* said...

hi miss lola! yikes you got me scared til you got past all that going from one thought to a more worse one. ack! im glad it gonna be a story and not for real. i like how you talked about getting ready for the holidays. me and my brothers and my sister didnt do any decorations yet. im gonna get a small little christmas tree for in my bedroom and im gonna put little animals on it. i been looking for some animals but yikes they cost soooooo much money. so im just gonna get only 2 or 3. im thinking im gonna maybe hang some of my hotwheel on that tree to. ha ha.
...smiles and hugs from lenny

Melissa Gill said...

Oh Lola, what a fun post. That's pretty much how my mind works when I'm cleaning as well, just one random thought after another. Sometimes they blossom into a great story.

By the way, now I want to write a story about a toad who got weed-whacked and then covered in corn starch...

Lola Sharp said...

Melissa--have at it. What's toady's name? :) What's his motivation? (hehe ;)

Lenny--Hot wheels are heavy, I wonder if the branches can handle them? I love the idea of animals and hot wheel ornaments...very Lenny. :) I'll be in touch for the holidays, my young friend. *hugs* (oh, and sorry I scared you.)

Everyone--Thank you for taking the time to stop here, read and comment. I appreciate you all and adore your comments.

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Now I wonder if the toad I caught with the weed whacker last year lived...?

My ideas tend to spark when I'm watching a movie or the TV.

Jai Joshi said...

Those random thoughts are hilarious, aren't they? I love them.

I get my ideas at the oddest times, while doing the dishes, watching tv, walking to the library, reading a book. I never know when they're going to strike. Then, just like you, I grab a pen and paper and start feverishly jotting things down.


Kimberly Franklin said...

Sometimes I think that random ideas that just pop into you head and take over. It's the best!

Kelly said...

Hilariously wonderful post.
My favorite sentence being:But somewhere between scooping the cat box and rearranging faux snow around a tablescape, my thoughts begin to meander, bounce, frolic.

And my toenails haven't been painted since Halloween either. Very chippy.

Carolyn V. said...

So super true! I love the spark from cat poop.=)

Getting ready for the holidays here too. Love this time of year!

Angela Felsted said...

Folding laundry. Always folding laundry. Speaking of which, I need to do some laundry today.

Misha said...

Hmmm... that is an intriguing idea...

Anyway. Anything gives me ideas. Reading a singel random word can trigger a flood of thoughts that leads to ideas.

Mostly though, characters walk into my head and insist that I tell the story...

LTM said...

omg--LOL! The mind just runs all over the place, yes?

I get ideas from the most unusual places--sometimes the color (sepia) a particular television show was filmed in... ;p

holidays? huh???

Elana Johnson said...

And this is why we must remember to live as writers. When our minds wander, it's wonderful.

PS. Hope the toad lived!

Shannon Whitney Messenger said...

My mind totally wanders like that. But that's usually when I get my ideas.

The best place is a road trip. Just me, music, and the open road. I usually fix all my plot problems. :)

Colene Murphy said...

Ha! Been there, every day. My mind wonders like it needs a leash. Not often to good ideas but I love that little bit of magic when it does come. Congrats on your new spark!

Sarah said...

I love this post. :) My ideas come from watching/interacting with other people. I am fascinated by humans...I think about them later and gossip about them in my head.

Liza said...

I get my best ideas during a fairly regular stint of insomnia that hits at 4:00 a.m.

Susan Gourley/Kelley said...

I'm having a little trouble getting in the Christmas spirit but your post gave me a little nudge.

Vicki said...

I get my best ideas late at night when I'm lying in bed trying to fall asleep. By this time (around 3 or 4) my pesky perfectionism and/or my logic has worn itself out and my creativity/muse is given free reign. Thus, I have been forced from bed on a couple of occasions so that my fingers could type out the ideas before they were lost. If only there were a way to staunch my over-analyzing side at normal hours of the day...

Lorna said...

Haha, I loved reading your thought process! I get best ideas when I'm pacing up and down trying to think - the pacing definitely helps me plan stuff! My best "spontaneous" ideas come when I'm just dropping off to sleep though.

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Old Kitty said...

I wish I coul remember my scattered thoughts so coherently!!! I forget them the moment I think them! Yikes!!

I love your stream of consciousness and how you pluck an idea just like that - yay for your doggies and kitties for helping you!!!!

Inspiration?!?! Daydreaming sure helps!!

Happy Christmas!! Take care

Marieke said...

Everywhere around me, really. :)

I love the dreams quote!

Lisa Potts said...

I think our dogs went to the same "How To Train Your Owner" finishing school. The funny thing is, she really believes she deserves that treat for doing nothing and since it's been colder than a toilet seat in an igloo, I usually cut her some slack.

Jemi Fraser said...

My ideas tumble and crash around into each other when I'm doing other things too. I don't know if I've ever come up with a story idea I've used on purpose. Most of them just kind of pop up. :)

Carolina Valdez Miller said...

Oh, I love when that happens! The trick is just to let your mind do what it wants to do, and if you're lucky, it'll land on a perfect little thought, a brilliant little idea. Yahoo!! Run with it, girlie. Hope it turns into something amazing!

Su said...

Nice. I'm so glad to know I'm 'normal' in the way that I come up with story ideas. :)

Pk Hrezo said...

You do a Whobilation too??? We always pick a Holiday Cheermeister. :) I can relate to your digression of thoughts.... sounds very familiar. Inspiration hits me all the time... driving, watching movies, shopping. Honestly, I can't keep up with all the ideas for stories I get.. so I weed around the ones that really speak to me.

Susan Fields said...

I think my ideas mostly come to me while I'm walking the dog. For some reason I do my best thinking walking through the park. :) I often think, too, about how blessed our family is.

M Pax said...

I enjoyed reading your inner thoughts. Very entertaining.

No, I have done nothing to ready for the holiday yet. I do have the gifts. That's about it. Probably this coming weekend I'll spruce things up around here.

Abby Minard said...

My mind wanders a lot too, and I often find myself wondering the same type of things- if I fell right now, would my daughter be able to call 911? Or I imagine a scenario in which Hubs gets in an accident and is on life support and the tragic decision I must make, and the life I must go on without him. Many of my daydreams are kinda dramatic and morbid for some reason... the mind of a writer, right?

Jan Markley said...

Love the randomness of your thoughts!

Hart Johnson said...

*giggles* nice little tumble through your train of thoughts there, Lola! It was good of you to try to save the toad--I bet he's very popular with the lady toads now because he has good war stories. Makes me wonder though, why I give the wildlife I run into genders... all the toads are Mr., aren't they? But do I ever really check? No. The bunnies and racoons are female, the skunks male. Why is this?

Meredith said...

Haha, love your thought process! That's totally how I think, too. And then I get crazy ideas that may or may not turn into a new WiP :)

Talli Roland said...

Exactly like that! Well, not exactly like that but same process - totally random. For my next book I was really struggling and then POW! An idea came, I wrote the blurb, and that was it!

Jon Paul said...

Yeah, you nailed it. In terms of idea generation, that's exactly what happens.

The funny thing (at least funny to me) is that my wife still hasn't gotten used to it. So, I'll hop up in the middle of a conversation, mid-sentence, and trot off to dig out a notepad or write three lines on my laptop.

She thinks it's infernal. I think it's magic. But isn't that what makes the world go round? :D

Julie Hedlund said...

Funny and genuine post!

I agree that ideas come from everywhere - the trick is harvesting them as they come.

Yesterday as I was driving home, I almost ran over a squirrel that was crossing the street so slowly that I nearly couldn't stop in time. This squirrel was more the size of a sewer rat, fat as it was. It gave me an idea for a PB with a fat squirrel that decides to lose weight. Hires himself a personal trainer. Lays off the acorns, etc.

Lola Sharp said...

Oh Julie, I LOVE your dieting squirrel idea!! SO cute.

Y'all make me feel so normal. :)

Kathi Oram Peterson said...

Thanks for the chuckle and for making me feel as though I'm not alone. (My dog has me trained well, too. Her pouty sniffs hint for me to get her a treat. Then barking follows. Finally, I relent.)

Great post!

DL Hammons said...

I get my ideas in the hot tub. It's like an idea broth, and I just have to soak them in. :)

Elliot Grace said...

...yes yes, my dogs also prefer the "KittyBox Buffet" to the bag of treats stored in the pantry...which of course leads to canine potty mouth...love it!

Great post, Lola. You're a treat:)


Lisa Ricard Claro said...

Great post! My dogs do the same "out-then-in-I'll-wag-for-a-treat" routine. I am also well trained in that regard. LOL

My ideas come from all over the darn place. Sometimes they seem to sprout on their own. I'm just happy that they show up to the party.

Anonymous said...

My ideas jump out at me randomly because I can never remember when or where I got them. :P

Ugh, the holidays. I love the holidays of course but I still have so much shopping to do. I'm a poor planner, I know.

Evelyn J. Quinn said...

Trim up the tree with christmas stuff! haha yay for The Grinch! I'm working the Grinchmas event for Universal Studios, I will post lots of grinchy pictures for you.

Morbid thoughts are a normal part of life. It's when you spend too much time with them and only them that it becomes a problem.

Lola Sharp said...

Happy Weekend, lovely friends!

Looks like a bunch of us have been trained by our dogs. *sigh*

Tara said...

Me too. Yep. Scary.

Hey, new puppy has already figured out that he gets a cookie as soon as he pees or poops in the yard. Of course, it hasn't yet stopped him from doing it in the house, too.

TechnoBabe said...

Moving from subject to subject is just keeping the juices flowing. I like that you gather ideas in a way that could be called wool gathering or daydreaming. Isn't life wonderful and brain weaving is better than dancing. I for one am delighted that you are in a good place.

Dorraine said...

I think you're quite normal, Lola! At least a lot like me in the thought department. So nice to meet you.

Sounds festive over there. Rock those holidays!

Sharon K. Mayhew said...

It must be a writer thing...I pretty much had the same day. :) I got a SNI when two squirrels ran across the road in front of my SUV...one did NOT have a tail!

alexia said...

I am so glad to hear that other people go down totally random thought trails that end morbidly! I guess its a writer thing? Or maybe a mommy thing? I never worried about stuff as much before I had my son. But I did think of random stuff, so that's a writer thing for sure.

This cracked me up!

Kazzy said...

I love that your random thoughts took you to a place of gratitude. That is terrific! I hope your holiday prep is coming along well.

Samantha VĂ©rant said...

Sadly, I've had these episodes too. And did I just admit that on a public forum??? Zut alors!

Ann said...

Having read your post, I am very relieved to know someone else's mind carries on like mine. I am not alone. There is a certain comfort in that. I am just getting into my Christmas preparations. It has kind of snuck up on me. Where has the time gone.....

Lola Sharp said...

I feel very blessed to live in a time of blogging. (and that blogger is free.) (I try to remember that when it's being buggy)

Because, blogging has brought me all of YOU.

It's brought me all of your delightful, thoughtful, brilliant blogs. I enjoy reading them greatly.

And that y'all take the time to visit me here and leave comments...well, it is beyond lovely. A gift.

I appreciate every single person who sops by here to read my random posts.
Thank you. ((hugs))

Anonymous said...

My mind wanders so much that I think nobody will understand my daydreams and random ideas.

Well, maybe some in the blogosphere will. :)

Tracy said...

That is way too funny! I love it...I stopped by to visit and think I will stay! Actually I am at work and can't click on the follower button so it'll have to wait until I get home but I'm here! thanks for the laugh~

L'Aussie said...

Hi Lola, what a lovely honest post. You've touched our hearts! My mind never stops and that is how my story ideas flow. Your farm sounds lovely. Have s splendid, shiny time this Christmas!

Julie Musil said...

Your path to ideas sounds as glamorous as mine! That's so funny. I sometimes think of ideas just as I'm waking up. Drives my hubby crazy when I bounce out of bed to write it down.

Melissa said...

Reminder: Be Jolly By Golly Blog fest on Monday! Jen and I can't wait for your entry!

Melissa's blog.

Jen's blog.

May your pen be mighty

May your pen be mighty

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Lola Sharp
My name is Lola. (I'm not a showgirl) Yes, L-O-L-A Lola. It's the least of my worries. Let's move on, shall we? This blog is mostly about my misadventures on the journey to publication and beyond. My passion for lush prose, quirky characters, art, music, literature, performing arts and anything creative will be a major theme here. This journey of mine will not always be pretty. Much like rubbernecking a train wreck, I know sometimes you just can't help but look at the carnage that is often my life. So strap on your neck brace, helmet and 5-point harness and come along for the ride! Licentia poetica.
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