My Mom is a writer, so she says. I’m a cynic about it because I never see her pick up a pen or pencil, hardly ever anyway. She’s always in front of a computer, “writing” stuff on the screen with many letters, too small and too hard for me to understand. I watch her doing this, she’s almost obsessive about it.
She once said it frees her unconscious mind. I don’t quite understand that. I guess it means that sometimes she loses her mind, especially when she’s writing. I hear a lot of writers do that. I don’t know how they get it back. Maybe some of them never do. Maybe they should put their minds on a leash, like Mom does me. She says if she didn’t I would take off for parts unknown. I don’t know about other places or parts unknown but that little schitzy poo down the street would be the first I visit. But that’s another story.
Sometimes it’s really weird. There is a lot of ritual to her writing behavior, she says it’s caused by something she calls creativity. She sits there in front of that computer, sometimes for hours, other times for five or ten minutes. It all depends on ideas she can generate,. She told me they come from her mind which I guess is in her head although sometimes I think it goes on long walks. I like long walks. They help me focus, even when I’m marking new territory in Buster’s (bulldog down the street) yard. She says our walks help her focus too.
Mom is always complaining of writer’s block. I don’t see any blocks or bricks around here. I suspect it is just imaginary, coming from the same place in her brain as all her ideas. She says that the writer, Stephen King, described a metaphor where the unconscious mind was analogous to “boys in the basement” meaning that the ideas of a story already exist within one’s subconscious, even before they begin writing.
Mom says there are no “boys in her basement,” just “howling dogs”. She describes them as ideas that demand to be expressed. Now I’ve never seen them so I can’t talk to them. She thinks there are at least five of them, she’s even given them names. Apparently they act up at all times of the day or night. I feel sorry for her, it must be very hard to have five very vociferous canines in your head. I know I wouldn’t want them in my house or yard, not even one.
Last night Mom tried to collar the big dog she calls Vagary. He kept popping up from nowhere bringing with him Ghost who was drooling memories of the past. Mom stays up at night when this happens. She says another dog she calls Insomnia is prowling the house. Mom is always thinking of ideas at night, they must be pictures in her mind, a lot of which she makes into metaphor. I think metaphors are crawling in her mind like fleas.
Mom works hard to paper train her ideas. And she is always looking for the bits of paper she wrote them on. Most of the time they sit in a drawer or lie around in piles which get bigger by the day. Now piles and paper are things I do understand because sometimes I leave piles of my own around. On paper, too. If she doesn’t write things down, she forgets and another big dog, Frustration shows up. I think a lot too, but I don’t need to write things down because I think there are only three important things to really care about: eating, sleeping, and finding a good place to mark.