I Am Wile E. Coyote

CMS #1 – Chapter 5
26,156 Words (+ 963)
110 Pages (+ 3)

So three-and-a-half months later I climbed back into the saddle and started riding again.

The odd thing is, I’ve always had the ability to do this. To let something sit for weeks, months, even years (in the case of the gap between Ferman’s Devils and Boddekker’s Demons) and then go back to it, take a short look at where I left off, then start typing again as if it were only the next day. That’s what I did today.

My family went to the library today. Instead of checking out books and DVD’s, I took the iBook, found a chair, and fired everything up, with iTunes blaring into a pair of earbuds. I opened the file for the Comic Mystery Novel, took a look at where I was (and I knew where I had left off because when I walked away I was in the middle of changing the outcome of the scene – something I finished thinking through some time ago but never felt the motivation to work on until today), and then started typing.

For me it’s like riding a bicycle. All of the old writing muscles knew what to do, and the words started coming out through my fingers. There was even a minor surprise – I needed a motivation for my hero to suddenly want to leave the bar he was in. While my fingers were moving, a couple of possibilities flashed through my mind until the three cherries came up in the window – the barmaid tries to pick him up and he ducks out to avoid going home with her. I was well on a roll when we were told the library would close in five minutes, so I didn’t get to that part of the scene – but I will tomorrow or Monday. I think.

So how does this make me Wile E. Coyote? When we were driving home, I was thinking about how I just opened the file and started writing again, and how I’ve always been able to do that. And I thought, sometimes I amaze even myself. Then I started laughing.

I realized that this phrase came from the only Warner Brothers cartoon in which Wile E. Coyote talks. He goes around introducing himself as “Wile E. Coyote, Super Genius,” and I think he even has a business card with that written on it. At one point he is assembling one of his infernal devices and he chuckles and says – you guessed it. “Sometimes I amaze even myself.”

My wife and daughter asked me what I was laughing at and I had to explain. Good thing, that. I need to stay humble. I’m much closer to the bumbling coyote who thinks he’s a genius than a genius – but at least I know I’m not one. I just want to tell a good story. And make a living at it.

NP – iTunes Shuffle Play: Mike Oldfield – The Orchestral Tubular Bells (Part Two)

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