Tuesday, March 02, 2010

You People Are All In My Head...

by Sean Chercover

There comes a point for me, while writing a book, when the made-up world inside my head becomes almost as real as the world outside my head.

Maybe this isn't something I should admit. Maybe I should see a head-doctor.

Or not.

Anyway, this used to happen a lot: I'd be sitting there having dinner with Agent 99, and I'd just kind of drift away... And then Agent 99 would say, "You're writing your book right now," or, "You're in your head," or something like that. I'm not sure of her exact words, because I wasn't really listening. I was busy, in my head, writing my book.

Which didn't make me the ideal husband.

I've curtailed such drifts lately, because I want to be with Agent 99 and The Mouse when we're together, not just in body, but in mind.

Still, something had to go away for me to get the necessary time inside my head.

And I've found that it is the rest of the world that goes away.

I'm now in the home stretch of my current novel (or, close to the home stretch) - well past the midpoint crisis where I become convinced that the book sucks and I suck and everything sucks, and now cruising along happily in my made-up world, which has become almost as real as the real world.

I love that headspace. I also love that I can now leave it behind and spend time with Agent 99 and The Mouse, building snowmen and snowdogs and snow forts, having snowball wars, tobogganing, playing Joe Mannix, watching the Backyardigans and Wonder Pets and Penguins of Madagascar, reading bedtime stories, and so on.

Life is full. So, as I mentioned above, the rest of the world has gone away.

Things I have missed:
  • There was an Olympics (I did see the final hockey game, which was awesome, and the closing ceremonies, which was about as far from awesome as Chicago is from Istanbul).
  • The Democrats seem to have made a complete mess of their mandate.
  • Somebody changed the rules of the Oscars, and now there are 163 movies nominated for Best Picture.
  • I haven't seen any of them.
  • Sarah Palin still exists.
  • Facebook and Twitter still exist (and I am cautiously dipping my toe back in those waters).
  • Toyotas have rebelled against their owners and are now driving themselves.
  • There's a new reality show where people like Madonna and Alec Baldwin give marriage advice. Really.
  • Jay Leno is back on the Tonight Show, and I'll still be watching Letterman.
All in all, I prefer the world inside my head.

Oh, and those crazy penguins...

17 comments:

Dana King said...

You've captured part of the reason I continue to write despite continuing frustration. All day I hear and read about many of the things you mentioned, plus day job frustrations and my occasionally sore feet and politics in general and the media's inept coverage of same. So it's nice when I can shut my office door in the evening and go to a world of my creation, or knock out a few computer baseball games. My time.

FIONA said...

I love the way you put this.

My Dh didn't understand where I was when I was "in my head" until I explained it one day while we were at lunch.

We had been married over 20 years, and it took me that long to find the courage to "let him in my head" and you should have seen the look on his face.

Now he knows why I write.

Cozy Crime said...

I very much enjoyed your first book, Big City. But when I tried to read the second one, I just couldn't get past the part where Mr. Duggand masturbated. I don't think there's anythign wrong with that, but it should be kept in the privacy of the bedroom.

Just an old librarian's opinion.

Sean Chercover said...

Um ... I think you've confused my book with another.

Ray Dudgeon doesn't masturbate in TRIGGER CITY. He does have sex with his ex-girlfriend, twice (page 221 and 227 of the paperback, for those who want to skip ahead), but there's no solo sex in it.

Thanks for reading.

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