“I know what we can do,” Glynn said, trying to sound all Barry White but coming across more like Barry Williams.
“I just made the bed,” I told him. I wasn’t about to unmake it with someone who couldn’t manage a better sex growl than Greg from the Brady Bunch.
So Glynn went to Redbox and checked out I, Frankenstein, a 2013 floperoo that was rated 4% fresh on Rotten Tomatoes. He did this on purpose. Ben Sachs from the Chicago Reader didn’t hate the movie and that was recommendation enough for my guy. Ninety minutes later, I scratched Ben off of our Christmas card list, and then I looked for something else to do.
“Let’s take a walk,” Glynn said.
“We’ll work on the next novel.”
We already have the title of our next effort and a vague outline of how things will go but this idea fell squarely into the “NOT a distraction” category. I told him absolutely not. Then he looked all Barry Williams-sad and I agreed to take a stroll downtown as long as we didn’t discuss anything that had to do with writing. Or I, Frankenstein.
So we were walking and talking about nothing in particular until I noticed that a local art gallery was open. I pulled Glynn inside. Unfamous artists (“unfamous” is, too, a word; I am among the unfamous) fascinate me. Their work can be terrible, it can be wonderful, and it’s usually somewhere in-between. Kind of like most books I’ve read. When the gallery door settled shut, I was distracted, at last.
Inside, I was drawn to a mixed media piece called The Magpie Lives in My Heart. Glynn liked it too, so we brought it home. The real thing is so much more striking than the picture, I have no camera skills, so you’ll have to trust me. When I contacted the artist, Brenda Diller, asking if I could post the image on my website, she was gracious. She also wrote, I hope you enjoy the Magpie. I do need to tell you that the beads and sundry tend to fall out of the nest but then, they do in real life, too. I just pick them up and drop them back in and hope you do the same. Also, feel free to add your own baubles since I’m sure the Magpie would be adding also.
This relaxed and generous approach to her work reminded me of how Glynn and I plot stories. I’m anxious when a new story comes out but not while we’re writing it. Some ideas go in, some ideas fall out, we often toss in unexpected bits that shouldn’t fit but sometimes do. Even when we do a tight chapter-by-chapter plot, we never know quite how a novel will turn out. That’s part of the fun. That’s part of the joy.
Sunday evening, we did a real walk-and-talk, working on the first chapter of our next story. On the day that Runaway releases, we'll have the first draft of Chapter One in place.