At The Drive In

My house is out in the burbs. It’s okay. My husband’s work commute is short and the public schools are pretty good. But my writing class and PLC meetings are held downtown. I’m pretty glad of this, because it keeps me connected to the city I used to live in.



In optimal traffic, it’s a half-hour cruise on the highway(s), a commute I have made hundreds of times over the years. It’s easy to fall into autopilot, keeping tabs on the cars around me with my peripheral vision, while my creativity wakes.

Scenes unspool themselves in my mind’s eye, like I’m watching a movie. I play back the novel like a director going over his cut. This is where I catch those little loose threads. This is where I work out my plot knots.

the stack

For example, yesterday I wrote a scene where my protagonist, about to engage in some subterfuge, hides some clothes, intending to come back to them later. As I later motored up the 101 I remembered that Merre is actually carrying a gunny sack, and that he what he really needed to do was put the clothes inside the sack and then hide the whole thing. I’m sure I would have caught that on my next read through, but better to deal with it today, while it’s still fresh to me.

So this is where I think. On the road.