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!

Jack, J. R. and Jacqueline Winton circa 1976

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