Friday, July 24, 2009

Not Delirious, Just Determined

I wrote yesterday's blog post late Wednesday morning, and the day went downhill quickly after that. My body felt like someone had gone at me with a baseball bat, but it was the hot flashes and chills that convinced me to go back to bed.

Most writers (and all creative people for that matter) have a place where ideas come to them. Many claim the shower is their go-to place, while others take walks, talk with their loved ones, or play with their pets. Me? I lay face-down on my bed.

I didn't used to do that -- there were no beds at the ad agency -- but since living in our condo where the majority of our stuff is in the living room, hovering over my desk, I realized I needed to step away from the computer to let myself think. My bed is only six steps from my desk (I just checked) so it's not like I go very far, but the solitude and change of scenery helps me to focus.

The trouble with training myself to come up with brilliant ideas while lying in bed is, well, brilliant ideas come to me while I'm lying in bed. Whether I want them to or not. The short story I linked to last week popped into my head when I was almost asleep, and yesterday was no different.

I've been trying to come up with the "back cover copy" for After the Fall, a one or two paragraph blurb that quickly describes the premise for my book, and wouldn't you know it, the minute I got comfortable and convinced the aches to shut it, the blurb sprung into my head, fully formed. My notebook was already next to me (I'd scribbled a couple notes earlier and thought this might happen) but this time the problem was different:

I was lying on my left side, and I'm left-handed.

As I debated with myself about whether or not it was worth it to roll over and write down my thoughts (you know you're sick when rolling over takes planning) when a brilliant idea occurred to me:

I could write with my right hand!

It took a little longer, but I got the idea down. A short while later Ibis came in to check on me.

"Are you delirious?" he asked, pressing his hand to my forehead.

"No, why?"

He pointed up the notebook, still lying next to me.


Apparently my writing wasn't as clear as I thought and the poor guy thought I'd lost my mind!

24 comments:

Jen said...

*cocks head to the side*

You know, oddly enough, I can still see the similarity between your lefthanded writing and your sickly-righthanded writing. Not bad! At least it's readable, which is more than I can do when I write lefthanded. (I'm a righty)

Hope you're feeling better today, Mel. *hug*

Melanie Avila said...

You know Jen, I noticed that they look similar, too.

I used to practice when I was a kid, so I guess some of the skills have stuck.

Allen said...

One unusual fact about me is that I am ambi... ambe.. both handed, that is I chicken scratch equally well with both hands.

My wife was present when I lost my mind. In fact she was just saying that if my mind wasn't attached to my head, I'd lose it when suddenly, I pulled too hard on my brain and it fell out.

She married me anyway, which should tell you more about her than me.

Melanie Avila said...

Allen, I think I can write better with my right hand. My face was buried in the pillow and half the time I wasn't watching what I was doing...

Just this morning Ibis and I were discussing how your spouse's actions can reflect on YOUR judgment. There's a story about a mayor who was fired because they discovered his wife is a porn star and the debate was whether they were right in firing him. I don't agree with their actions BUT I can see their point -- he's accepting what many consider immoral behavior (porn) by staying married to someone who participates in that industry. As a public figure, he had to know that would have consequences.

(I'm not comparing you to a porn star, btw...)

I'm glad your wife stuck by you!

WendyCinNYC said...

Well, it's not TOO bad, but yes, the handwriting looks a little like evidence someone might use to have you committed.

Not that Ibis would do that.

Melanie Avila said...

Wendy, LOL! At first I couldn't figure out why he was asking me if I was delirious, then I remembered the notebook.

JLC said...

Your right handed writing looks like my normal writing! (I write like a doctor.) I hope you are feeling better!

OH BTW - Its official, my youngest is a lefty too! :D

Melanie Avila said...

Lefties unite!

JLC, I was actually thinking that my handwriting was still better than Ibis' too. :P

sputnitsa said...

Hilarious :) :) :)

Nadine said...

I taught myself to write with my left hand during senior year of high school - I was quite bored. Since my the handwriting on my right hand is terrible, my the writing on my left looks the same, lol.

But being able to write with both does come in handy! (no pun intended)

If I lay facedown on my bed to think of ideas, I'll fall asleep!

Melanie Avila said...

Welcome sputnisa!

Melanie Avila said...

Nadine, I almost put a line in the post about "what bored high schooler didn't practice with their opposite hand at one time?" lol!

I fall asleep when I'm facedown in bed too -- I think that shows my determination!

Natasha Fondren said...

LOL! Well, it does look markedly different!

Melanie Avila said...

Natasha, the notebook is still sitting in front of me and it's cracking me up.

Anne said...

Oh, that's funny! One time I wrote my great idea on without turning on the bedroom light. Next morning I saw I had written over another great idea from another time. Both great ideas--meshed together in unreadable scrawl.
(--stormie from AW)

Pam said...

YAY for Lefties! I also practiced writing right-handed in high school just for fun.

I'm an accountant and use the 10-key calculator, computer mouse, etc. with my right hand. It's a right-handed world we live in. The real dilemma began when I learned to play guitar. I started out playing right-handed then switched to lefty. It's harder to find new guitars, but it feels much more natural.

You did a great job writing "righty." Feel better soon.

Janna Qualman said...

Funny! Well, not the ordeal, but the output. :D I hope you're much better!

Robin said...

At least he didn't catch you writing "Johnny was a bad boy". (The Shining. Remember? Scary Jack Nicholson?)

Wendy said...

My vote is definitely for "dedicated"!!

Melanie Avila said...

Anna, Janna once posted a picture of what she wrote in the dark and it looked a lot like how I imagine yours did. I hope you were able to salvage some of it!

Melanie Avila said...

Pam, I think a lot of lefties are pretty good with their right hand, but I am a mess with a mouse. I have an extended keyboard so I'm also quick with the calculator rightie.

I am pretty good at right-handed sports.

Melanie Avila said...

Janna, I'm FINALLY feeling normal again. Good to have you back!

Melanie Avila said...

Robin, do you honestly think I've read that? I'm a wimp, remember? :P

I do have a vague recollection of that scene from others -- and maybe I've scene that clip from the movie? -- but that's as far as it goes!

Melanie Avila said...

Thanks Wendy!