I’m writing in my car
Turn on the radio
I pull a thought closer
It just says no
I say that I don’t like it
But I know I’m a liar
‘Cause when I drive
Ooooh-oooh fiiiii-re . . .
You heard me. I write in the car.
Before you scratch your head over a vision of me propping my keyboard on a steering wheel or madly typing text into my phone as I drift across the lanes of the highway, know that I am a car-talker.
That’s right, a car talker.
I talk to myself in my car. I talk to others, too – coworkers, friends, family members, other drivers, my kids, political figures (don’t get me started), celebrities – pretty much anybody is fair game. When my marriage fell apart, I had numerous, lengthy conversations with my ex (none of which he was in attendance for, of course), and God only knows how many times my kids have been spared a lecture only because I already had it without them.
But lately, I’ve started really working through my books this way, having conversations with characters, playing ‘what if,’ sequencing through logistical problems in setting or plot – my car is like my idea zone, where I can muse aloud and blather and pontificate to a captive audience of me.
It’s honestly where I do my best writing, (some of which is occasionally brilliant) but alas, my scumbag brain doesn’t remember half of it, and the half it does remember contains little of the witty dialog or engaging commentary I came up with on the commute into work. It’s a pale echo, at best.
I keep telling myself I should record it all, but then I’d have to actually remember to set my phone to record and then remember to turn it off before I get to the office and that’s not really likely to happen with regularity. I’m lucky if I remember to be fully dressed when I head out the door in the morning (Seriously, I drove to work barefoot once!).
I guess you could say I owe my next book in part to the Pennsylvania Turnpike. Whatever works, y’all. Whatever works.