A cheese shop that has no cheese


My husband just reminded me that there’s a line from Monty Python where John Cleese says something like, “All the words are there; we just have to put them in the right order.”

It’s that simple, and that hard. Which is also a Neil Gaiman quote about writing, when he said you have to sit at a keyboard and put one word after the other, until you’re done.

I think he meant…until it’s done.

I’ve made some progress. I’m trying to come up with ideas for the parts of my story that need them. I’m trying not to complain; oh Lord, I’m trying not to complain.  Every time I have a negative thought, I work to make it positive. Instead of  “Hell, I can’t do this” I turn it around and tell myself, “I’ll figure it out. And then I’ll write it.”

Always look on the bright side of life, you know?

While I’m waiting for more inspiration, here’s a bit of trouble that my heroine, Sutton Kopec, runs into at school. She goes to college, where many good and many bad things start for so many people. For her, it’s the time when she discovers she Moves to alternate universes without warning, in a split second.

            Dr. Malinowsky eyed her gravely and then nodded before dropping his gaze, like he couldn’t be bothered to look at her any more.  Sutton shivered; the man gave her the creeps. Out of all the professors and teaching assistants on campus, he had to be her advisor, because she was just that lucky. He hardly seemed to know anything about careers in graphics design.  She gave a sideline glance at his sleeveless wool vest and bow tie and was certain he’d never read a graphic novel in his life.

            Some of the students around her fell away from the crowd, entering classrooms or offices or leaving the building altogether.  Soon there were only a few stragglers in this far part of the Technology Arts Center.  Sutton detected a presence announced by the quiet whoosh of soft-soled shoes.  She felt a slight tug on her hair and whirled around.

            Behind her, Dr. Malinowsky walked off, his shoulders hunched and his feet speeding up like a race walker. Like he was late for a class or an appointment, or trying to get away.

            But from what?

            Sutton pulled her fingers through her hair, frowning.  A small section of her dark-brown locks that lay behind her shoulders felt odd to the touch.  She picked it up and looked at the ends.  Part of it was shorter than the rest.  There was a gap in her hair about a half an inch wide and an inch long.  A piece of her hair was gone, like someone had snipped it off. 

            She combed through it again, trying to determine if her eyes were fooling her.  She’d definitely felt a tug. Whoever had done it – if there was an “it” – had run off.  The only person around was Malinowsky. 

            Sutton quickly backtracked to look for the teaching assistant, but he was long gone.  The hall he’d turned into was empty.

That’s just a saner example of what happens to her.

I guess if I continue to have problems with ideas, I can always put a penguin on someone’s telly for my deus ex machina.


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