We writers can be a strange lot. We live in our heads, we talk to imaginary characters, we rejoice when we think of horrible things to do to said characters, and we plot out perfect crimes, alien invasions, and the end of the world.
But even beyond all that, writing affects our life in other ways. Maybe we make a new best friend in our critique partner. Maybe our neighbor thinks we’re awesome because we’re a writer. Maybe we people-watch more closely for character ideas.
And then we have the ways that writing can make our life just plain strange. Like when we stop a conversation in the middle of a sentence to jot down a story idea we just had. When our Google search history would make a government agent flag us as a potential threat. Or when we ask our significant other, “If you were going to kill someone, how would you do it? Would murder by knife or by shotgun be less messy?”
I had two close encounters with weird this week. Other families might talk about politics or play “I Spy” during a long drive. Not mine. (Heh. I love my family. They’re crazy like I am.)
There we are in the car and the conversation somehow lands on the subject of zombies. I honestly can’t remember how—no really, I can’t—but we were talking about this T-shirt with zombies on a tractor yelling, “Graains.” (Instead of “brains,” get it? *smile*)
We then spent the next 45 minutes of the drive coming up with other zombie sayings. What’s a zombie construction worker’s favorite piece of equipment? Craanes! What does a zombie driver pay attention to? Laanes! What does a zombie plumber love to work on? Draains!
By the end of the drive, we were laughing about how other families probably don’t have conversations like this. But I’ve always followed the motto, “Why Be Normal?” Luckily, I have the perfect family to indulge me. *grin*
My second run-in with weird has more of a Twilight Zone vibe. This past weekend, I was editing one of my stories and added two sentences to the very first paragraph. I hadn’t changed this paragraph in almost six months, so it was a big deal to make this edit.
I added one sentence about a bent prong on a ring, and another sentence about a loose gemstone. (Trust me, it makes sense in context.) Less than two days later I discovered a broken prong on a ring and the stone missing. Seriously. (At least I did find the stone right away.)
This is a ring I wear constantly, and I’ve never had any problems with it. (In fact, I’ve never had this issue before—with any ring.) Yet, right after writing about a jewelry issue, I had the same exact problem in real life. Is that strange or what?
Should I be careful of what I write in the future? Or is that a sign I need to buy a lottery ticket? Ooo, maybe I should write about a character winning the lottery. Yes, that’s it! Regardless of the chances of me winning the lottery, I thought it would be fun to compare stories of how writing has made our life cool, weird, and/or interesting.
Have you ever met a new person and they reminded you of one of your characters? Have you reconnected with an old friend because of your writing? Have you done something unusual for story research? What’s the strangest, craziest, most intriguing thing to have happened to you because you’re a writer?
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