I think one of the most difficult things that I have to deal with on a daily basis is jumping back and forth between the various worlds that I inhabit. Mind you, this is outside of the various hats that I wear. I would imagine that most people have to change hats multiple times per day – spouse, sibling, parent, worker, customer, etc. – I know that flipping between work and home and house can be quite trying at times. No, I am referring to the reality in which we all live and the various realities in my head. Before you start dialing the funny farm for me, regardless of how good and accurate an idea that would likely be, I can explain in terms that will make me seem less schizophrenic. Maybe.
Within each normal week day I rise at the crack of dawn and prepare myself to meet the public in my bill paying job. I also must make sure my progeny are awake and moving themselves in a forward motion that will eventually land them at their respective environments of education. There is breakfast and lunches to consider and fret about. There are pets to attend to and last minute whatsits as well. All the while, through each task, especially during the shower phase, my mind drifts to at least one of the other worlds bouncing about in my head – by that I of course mean various books that I have in production. Sometimes it’s just a matter of which one needs marketing and which one is coming up to some sort of advertising thing that I need to remember to double check. However, more often than not, it is an unfinished novel that I am writing (apparently even when I’m not actually typing on it, since I often wake up in the middle of the night with parts playing in my head like my own personal movie) that dances around in my brain bringing characters together in interesting scenarios.
I have on more than one occasion been working at my desk (or in the shower or pulling weeds in my garden or making dinner or or or) when a character happens upon me and starts talking about things with me. They can be quite demanding in their conversations, throwing out what they want and expect me to do for them. They even argue with me that I am not giving them the stage enough or telling their story as they feel it should be told. Thus, one minute I am dead-heading flowers in the backyard and the next I’m speaking out loud to Cassie, explaining why she has to deal with William despite how terribly unpleasant he may be. I have noticed that the neighbors are giving me strange sideways glances now.
This can be particularly trying for me at work when I’m plowing through the payroll and Zeb taps me on the shoulder. “Wait until my break” I tell him, but ultimately I am forced to stop what I’m doing, switch gears, and write down what he wants before I can finish that paperwork. So, hop out of this reality, hop into that one, make some notes, hop back into payroll, when break time arrives hop back into my favorite reality, but only for a few minutes because someone needs something in the other reality. Hop, hop, hop, oooo, I’m feeling either like a bunny or Dr. Who, I’m not completely sure.
One day I hope to be able to spend my days over there, talking with my friends, telling their stories and not have to bounce around like a rubber ball, but until then I need to make sure I’m focusing on which world I’m in at the time so that I don’t talk to someone from one that people from the other cannot see. Know what I mean?