Thursday, July 17, 2008

Have You Forgotten Something?

Do you ever get that feeling that you've left a half-finished cup of tea lying about somewhere? Or at a party, when you've put your glass down, moved away from it, and taken another glass? You never quite lose that feeling that there's something, somewhere, waiting for you.

I do it with shorties too. I think them up in my head during the school run (or whenever else I have no means of committing them to paper/silicon), and put them down somewhere while I wait for the chance to write them. I forget, of course, everything - the characters, the plot, the dialogue. The whole lot vanishes somewhere between thinking how brilliant it all is, and realising I can't remember a word. Just to make it worse, I never quite lose that feeling that I have forgotten something important. It is very erksome, and somewhat distressing.

Well, yesterday, I did it with chocolate. I put two squares of Dairy Milk down somewhere, and forgot where I left them. All afternoon and evening (school run, shopping trip, cooking, kids' bedtime, cinema) I could hear them calling (but not loudly enough for a positive location).

Well, having finally given up on them, I went to the fridge for some more, and you know what? There they were.

Some (admittedly, very small) part of my brain was actually working: I'd put the chocolate where the kids can't reach it, where it was sure not to melt, and where I'd be certain to find it again later.

If only I could be that clever with my missing shorties...

11 comments:

JJ said...

Is it the same feeling as when you go out without your handbag? I get that a lot with lots of things. My mum asked me this morning what I was going to say before the phone rang ... I said, 'what were we talking about?' and she said 'I can't remember but you started to say 'It breaks my heart ...' but you didn't finish. What breaks your heart?' I said 'I don't know, I can't remember...' It's sad isn't it? I can't even remember what breaks my heart.

Did I ruin your morning with my text? So sorry - it was all doom and gloom. I'm not coping very well with it. Still off to Manchester tomorrow.

JJx

Leigh said...

No, of course you didn't. It all got a bit manic after that, and I only got the chance to sit down half an hour ago...

Roll on tomorrow, eh? Have a great, great time - and give my love to the Apple shop, won't you?

Sarah*G* said...

The day I lose a bit of chocolate will be the day I lose my mind! I know where every piece of chocolate is in my house. Now where my car keys are is another matter!

KAREN said...

Often happens with shorties....would NEVER happen with chocolate. Never, I tells you :o)

B said...

Loosing? Chocolate?

*shakes head sorrowfully*

;o)

You do realise that this is why writers are supposed to have notebooks everywhere, right? Not that I can talk. I carry two notebooks everywhere and have various others at home but after getting into the habit of writing in them daily while I did the OU course, I now never write in them.

Hey - thinking about it, between us, we're sorted! :o)

HelenMH said...

No. I lose my keys, my mind (regularly), my mobile phone ... but chocolate? No, I can't say I've ever lost chocolate ...

Annie Bright said...

Hi Leigh

I lose my chocolate often... normally it's in my husband's stomach! Actually, that's not really true - he wouldn't dare!

I do know that feeling of forgetting a story! You feel like it's there somewhere floating around in your brain, but can't quite retrieve it. Actually, I've got one whizzing about in my head right this minute - best go get a pen!

Lane said...

In the fridge! You see you're so logical. Mine would probably be in a melted, mouldy mess on a windowsill somewhere, covered in flies and inedible, whilst yours is still fresh and ready to go:-)

TOM FOOLERY said...

Chilled chocolate - now that's what I call sheer heaven.Oh yes :) TFX

womagwriter said...

Gosh, I was sweating there, until you found the chocolate in your fridge! Only two squares - you are very restrained.

As for remembering story ideas, here's a technique which sometimes works for me. I concentrate on a key element of my day-dreamed story - some word or phrase which I know would bring the whole thing back. Then I mentally link that word to an action I know I will take, when back home and in a position to jot the story down. Eg I link it to switching the kettle on. I imagine myself switching the kettle on, and having the story ping back into my head at that moment.

With luck, it will. Try it!

Tam said...

I've got three notebooks, with scribbled notes in each..."Sheila's Wheels", "Is Sam horse faced or buck toothed?"...and the like on each page. Then there's the full one, which has references to past, current and future stories in. My bag weighs a blooming ton.

I think you can get chocolate sensors, you know like thos keyrings everyone had a few years back?