It’s cloudy and dark out of one window and there are blue skies out of the other window. This is not unlike my emotional state.
Everyone has been all up in arms about the study that found that people would rather shock themselves then think. Although I’m just as concerned about people’s attention spans as the next book-loving, ADD copyeditor, I am not worried about the report. You know how when you tell someone not to think about pink elephants they can’t get pink elephants out of their head? Go in this room and think.
The human reaction is I don’t wanna think. Where’s my smartphone? Why didn’t I bring in the crossword? I’m hungry. Where are the windows? What’s this button, ow!
But stick a person in a car and send her out to [place redacted], and she’s going to think. I was hoping to solve my schlock novel on the four-hour drive, but my thoughts were too meandering. Who needs silly things like plots anyway? I got a couple good ideas about The Fucker on my way home. I spent some time wondering why the only books by women in the science section of my favorite used bookstore in [location redacted] were gift books and one study about rocks.
Unfortunately driving took up a lot of the narrative in my head. I invented a couple of new curse word combinations to describe left-lane bandits and various cars that pissed me off for no reason other than that they were on the road as the same time as I was. (Let’s just say I was glad to get home.)
What do you think about when you drive? How do you remember your story/book ideas without writing them down?