clues at the scene

clues at the scene

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Hard to Live With

At left, a small mess of pens from Morguefile. Small mess.

For those of you who are writers, you wish your mess of pens was this small.

Today, hug everyone in the family and thank them for putting up with your antics. I'm not joking.

We are hard to live with. Didn't know that? You haven't been at it long enough. Go write something now, penmonkey! (penmonkey - courtesy Chuck Wendig

We're usually messy.

We might not be filthy swine but we still leave stuff around.

"Those are notes!"
"Those clippings are for research"
"Sorry about the pen in my pocket that went through the wash."

When we don't think we're messy, we're excessively fastidious about our organization scheme. That leads to wandering the house saying things like "Where are my glasses?" and "I left that somewhere?" and the golden oldie "Who moved my X?!"

Try that last one with an air of indignation. Helps jog the old memory, doesn't it?

My favorite thing a writer says? 

"I forgot."

Sure, you don't do any of these things. You never look up at your kid after they told you half of what they had to say and wonder "How long has Julie been there?"

I get the occasional report of talking-in-my-sleep. Luckily, my spouse has pretty thick skin so outbursts of "I'll have him shoot the bastard" in my sleep does seem completely normal.

So, because we live in our heads inside worlds of our own crafting, we do tend to not recognize when our actions stand out glaringly to those who live with us.

For those of us writing crime, it can be worse. We can be oblivious bastards with a strange social perspective not shared by friends and family.

You know you've been at a friend's party and found yourself looking at the fireplace wondering how to stuff a body up there.

Admit it. You know you've thought of it!

Look. We're not right. In Bill Murray's words: "There is something very very wrong with us." [ Stripes] What's worse? Everybody we live with knows it. E-V-E-R-Y-B-O-D-Y.

Does your housekeeper panic if there is a sketch of the murder scene (how far the head rolled mattered to the solution ... pretty cool - really. ) on the kitchen counter? No. She's seen you create worse.

The collection of rubber rats, sharks and alligators ("body disposal units") on the windowsill of your office make it pretty clear you are not quite right.

Oh, the little soaps fashioned like amputated dolls hands in the bathroom off the library are even worse.

Hug the ones who live with you tonight.

You don't have to say anything at all. No jailhouse confessionals. No pangs of guilt. No monologuing (my grandkids love that from The Incridebles and no, I'm not that old. We started family early the old fashioned way: before we could afford them).

Hug them and say thanks.

They'll know what you mean.

Even the dog.

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