Sometimes it's hard to recognize when a story is coming. Other times, it won't leave you alone. I was exercising at the gym when a sentence wouldn't let me be. I was trying to listen to sports talk radio, but the thing just kept growing, insisting upon itself.
I turned off the radio and kept at it. I had plans to get a jog in when I was done with the weights. I had already written for three hours this morning and I wanted the exercise. I didn't want to allow myself an excuse to cut the workout short, but the story kept coming.
Ok, I rationalized, I won't hit the the treadmill. I'll just finish lifting weights and then I'll go home and write it.
The damned story shot straight ahead. I couldn't stand it so I put the weights down and grabbed my bag from the locker room and came home and wrote it.
I like it. It feels like a neat little tale.
It's a fine line with some of these stories. I've had some that I haven't jotted so much as a brief note about. More often than not, those ones float away, lost to me forever. Some knock around up there, bouncing around the cage until you tell them. Some hold on for months and then you start to write them and give up after 2,000 words. Who can tell why that happens?
I've got one story that only exists as a title. I've got two that are pert near baked golden. I have a whole file filled with little paragraph synopses. No guarantee any of them will ever see the world.
There's a pen and a notepad next to my bed. It's filled with ideas, with sentences, with images. My wife gets a chuckle out of it when I read that little sucker to her. I do too, truth be told, because it's kind of a crazy salad.
So let me put the question out there. When the idea forms and begs to be written, what do you do? Drop it all and dash it off? Keep a note of it and get to it later?
As always, comments appreciated...