i write because i'm happier when i write. not because i'm a good writer.

-shanita john-

When you noodle in narrative.

Where was I? Oh, yes.

I was clumsily setting up the introduction to a category of posts I might start sharing called 'notes novels.' If I recall correctly, I haven't even told you what 'notes novels' are. Great. We'll get to that in a second. But first, to understand why these oddities came about in the first place, you should understand that I hear stories. I hear them. In my head. Like a crazy person. In fact, most of the time I'm listening to me narrate my life (it's often why I can't hear you.) 

But I do hear narrative. Not always. But, frequently this is how my mind tells my consciousness what my eyes are seeing. For examples, I'll leave my apartment to go to work in the morning and sometimes when I push open the apartment door, and a gust of air blows in, I get this:

I hear them. In my head. Like a crazy person.

“The wind woke up aggressive today,” she thought as the blast nearly took the heavy glass door out of her hand. The temperature had fallen overnight, which was nothing to write home about for Minnesotans, but the air slapping her cheeks wasn’t cool like a September morning might be. It was cold. Biting. And the wind, which she had already decided was out to get her and her limp hair, made its ferocious intent clear.

Then, while tugging her windbreaker zipper to her throat, another thought occurred. An embarrassing one. Indeed, the wind had no right to feel as though it belonged to September since it was, in fact, October now. And apparently, she's been writing checks incorrectly for days.”

That—all of that—was this morning on my way to the gym. The words went on for a bit but then by the time I got to Snap Fitness, a few minutes later, my mind had moved on to being all about calorie counting and self loathing. Still, this incident can still serve to demonstrate how it happens. The wind will blow. A shadow will be cast. I’ll hear someone laugh or see something utterly mundane and just like that my interest is piqued. The next thing I know the preface to a god-awful summer beach read is cycling across a ticker tape behind my eyeballs. There then gone. Dreamed up then promptly forgotten. 

...a few minutes later, my mind had moved on to being all about calorie counting and self loathing.

Now, in some ill-fated effort to retain a few of these random snippets, I have made a plan. When something spark words, knowing full well that I lack the patience to bring the tale to fruition, I jot down only so much as flows freely (and nothing else), into the Notes app on my iPhone. Typically, that's about two hard flicks of a smartphone screen. On rare occasions I’ll text these notepad novels to a friend or two who I think will appreciate their randomness. But now, for your scrutiny, I’ll put them here. A few that already exist. I might tuck them away under a stories tag.


I have always dreaded having people read my fiction because, as I've said in previous posts, my primary life goal has been to note shame my parents. When I was younger, I worried that if I wrote in the first person as a deranged, foul-mouth, puppy killer that people might start asking questions. I would be lying if I said some portion of those fears hasn't followed me into adulthood. But, that's when I remind myself that A) smart people can make the distinction between me and a fictional character and B) I'm actively trying to rid my world of not-smart people, anyway. If someone reads my words and decides that a beloved meth-addled prostitute character I made up must hold true to some part of me, then by all means, they should leave forever. And I'd call that a win.

Yikes. I feel defensive. Time to go.

Anyhoo... Now, you have some insight into how my mind works (or doesn't work). You're welcome. Also, again, terribly sorry. 

Happy screen flicking. 

Love. Sick.

Yes, like the potato.