Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Writer's Brain: there is no cure

On Monday, Kari Lynn Dell blogged about writer's brain: you know, when your brain is so busy thinking about characters and story arcs that it shuts down all other non-essential functions (like the ones that would help you not mail random un-stamped, un-addressed pieces of paper just because you happen to be in front of a mailbox). Well, here's my writer's brain story.

A while ago, I boiled a batch of eggs for a recipe, and also to have on hand in the fridge for snacking. In order to save space, I put the hard-boiled eggs back in the egg carton, but I cleverly labeled each shell "HB" with a permanent marker to avoid confusion.

Yesterday I was running late for my evening writing class. I was thinking about the story I'd just revised that I was going to hand in, and also was pondering some related story themes. I was also hungry. So I reached into my fridge, opened the egg carton, carefully removed a non-markered egg (I wanted the cooked ones, after all), cracked it against a stool next to the garbage can in the kitchen, and was genuinely surprised when it collapsed dramatically upon cracking and then started to leak a clear liquid.

Right. "HB" for hard-boiled. Those were the eggs to take, not to avoid.

On the bright side, at least I didn't decide to just toss the egg in my purse to eat in class, like I did (with a fully-cooked one) last week!

Let's hope my condition doesn't become life-threatening.



  1. Too funny! But it would have been even funnier if you had cracked it on your desk!

    As for me, I do lots of DUI - driving under the influence. I have to make the school run in the afternoon, usually when I am deep into writing. Sometimes, I'll arrive at my daughter's school without any real recollection of how I got there because I'm so caught up in thinking about my story.

  2. That TOTALLY HAPPENED to Ramona Quimby except she cracked the egg ON HER FACE. So I guess you're lucky? haha.

    The main dumb thing I tend to do is not eat. I'll be like, "wow I'm starving," and my friends will be like, "when was the last time you ate? should we get food?" and then I'll be all, "nah, we can wait, I SHOULDN'T be hungry, I ate... wait I skipped dinner because I was writing... oh and lunch..." at which point and I am dragged to a place with food.

    Good thing I have friends, no?

  3. I once stopped in the middle of a busy Boston intersection -- actually stopped walking -- because I was so surprised by a character revelation. I stood there, mulling it over, completely having lost the ability to move, until an MBTA bus honked at me.

  4. I once put a load of laundry in the washer and put all the soap in, but didn't start it.
    I also threw away a fork for no reason 'cause I was busy clarifying to myself in my head what my villain's motivation was to become evil.
    One time I spent an extra two hours getting to work before I realized I had missed my turn-off and was way further south than I had meant to be. Yeah, that was an interesting day.
    I had been playing through several scenes in my head and was happy as a clam to just sit mindlessly like I was watching a movie.

  5. Ooooh I have lots. Like Reesha, I love to drive past my exit or bank or grocery store or wherever I'm going while I compose stories in my head. One day I was so excited about an idea I had driving that when I got home, I stuck my purse in the fridge and left my groceries on the table while I ran to work at the computer for several hours. And when I'm in a daze from writing, I often leave the house without combing my hair or changing out of my slippers. Haven't gone out in my pjs, but that's only because I make sure I'm dressed before I start writing, on account of that almost happened once... Oh dear, I'm not sure I should confess any more.