Talking to Myself… and Answering

There’s an old joke that talking to yourself is fine until you start talking back.  Whoever said that clearly was not a writer!

I remember being in college, and I’d gone home to visit my parents.  I was working on the first draft of what would ultimately become The Desolation Trilogyand I was working on a section of dialogue between two characters, working out the phrases and testing how I thought each character might sound …. and suddenly I got jolted out of my skin by my father’s voice.

“What the Hell is wrong with you??”

I turned around and realized he was standing behind me as I sat at my desk, and looking at me with an expression of bemused horror which clearly illustrated that the thought in his brain at that moment was: “my son has lost his ever-loving mind!”

I couldn’t help it; I started laughing at the look on his face.  Once I’d gotten myself composed again I explained to him what I was doing and even let him look over my shoulder at the screen on my computer.  He promptly started laughing too, and I tried not to be offended at the obvious relief on his face.

Over the years, I have found myself having to explain to more than one person why they heard me grimly having complete conversations with myself.

It’s a constructive kind of madness, and I’ve grown to enjoy it immensely.  At least my wife understands.

Or, at least, she says she does!

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Jack, J. R. and Jacqueline Winton circa 1976

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