The Canadian Writers' Collective

Writing, and writerly tangents

Tuesday, December 02, 2008

Notes on the space between my ears

I wrote this post at work today. Why? Well, because I didn’t have anything prepared for the CWC, and I figured something might come to me between peeling onions and burning the toast. Why not. It’s happened before. I’ll be toiling away and the brilliantest most complete sentence ever in the history of humankind will appear out of nowhere, like a speck of dust on the eyeball – you blink and it’s gone. But today, I had my notepad out and my sharpened pencil. I’d capture everything. Nothing would escape me. I’d take notes all day long. In fact, I had the post title ready to go even before I finished my first cup of coffee: Notes on the Space between My Ears. I figured it would be something like a Seinfeld episode, full of little comedic connections to make the reader go Hey! That’s true! Or, Hey! I hadn't thought of that!

Well, here’s what I learned about myself through this little experiment, because it was an experiment, kinda. I didn’t know what to expect, really. Would I even come up with a post, in the very least? Would my intellect shine just as an actor’s range and ability might shine through improvisation? This was important to me as a writer. Lately, I’ve been thinking of those in between thoughts we rarely see on the first draft, those details that add texture and believability to the story. Kinda like the conversation Seinfeld and his cohorts enjoyed at the coffee shop – about nothing, but everything at the same time. Was there anything we didn’t know about George? You get a good sense of this in between stuff listening to stories being read on the radio. There are no pauses to go and get a glass of water, or to go to the washroom, or for looking up and away, perhaps to grumble. In my case, I’m always trapped in the car waiting for someone, NPR my only companion. Listening to these readings, I often find myself wondering if I even know how to write or if I’m only faking it, a strong gust of wind and my house of cards never was.

So how did I perform in this little test of myself? What did I hear as I eavesdropped on the space between my ears, besides the dozen fuckyous, a couple of ouches, and that steady whirring of the ventilation system that doesn’t stop until I hit the kill switch at the end of my day?

This is what. This post.

2 Comments:

Blogger Tricia Dower said...

You did it! I like what comes out of the space between your ears. (I like burnt toast, too.)

Tue Dec 02, 04:31:00 pm GMT-5  
Blogger T. Lee said...

Nice one, Tony!

Wed Dec 03, 01:34:00 pm GMT-5  

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