Saturday, June 12, 2010

Does the writer in you ever take a rest?

I'm beginning to think that the writer in me never sleeps. 

My daughter and I went to a cozy little sandwich shop yesterday, she made a beeline for one of those too-tall tables that make teenagers feel so grown-up. I sat quietly, listening to her chatter about our continuing world tour of college campuses. She stopped mid-sentence and tilted her head, her eyes narrowed in thought.

 "Mom," she whispered, leaning in, "the people behind us are breaking up!"

I've always been amazed at Kate's ability to ease drop. Even in the middle of a conversation her ears are on alert.  As a child, she use to come home and tell me which teacher was getting divorced, what the principal said to a distraught parent in the hall, who got kissed under the monkey bars at recess, etc. For years I've tried to squelch this freak talent of hers; recently, I've been encouraging it. I know it sounds shameless, but Kate is an endless pool of writing material. 

When I dusted off the pen and paper a few years back, I found myself seated in the Barnes and Noble coffee shop, notebook in hand. The kiddo's were firmly ensconced in the music aisle (yes, I'm that parent), and I concentrated on the conversations around me, trying to write snippets of dialogue. Problem was I couldn't hone in on just one conversation. The voices were jumbled, and I found myself writing reactionary words or snippets of sentences. It was extremely frustrating. I eventually gave up.

As we listened to the hushed pleas of the girl behind Kate imploring her boyfriend to see reason, I longed for pen and paper. Is that twisted?