How do you keep the balance between that little world in your head and the real one?
|Gabby not caring if I'm off in my own little world|
Honestly? Not terribly well. This is something of a drawback when I’m doing something requiring my full attention – like driving, for example – so that’s when I do my best to clear my head of the made-up places I inhabit, and focus on the real world about me. (I’m sure everyone on the road will be glad to know that!).
|Poppy ignoring me|
But even then – yes, even then – there’s a little part of my brain that won’t turn away from whatever it is I’m working on, and I have been known to have “Ah-ha!” moments when behind the wheel. Of course, I need both hands to operate my vehicle, so writing a quick note to myself isn’t possible. My solution? I phone myself (hands-free, of course) and leave a message. Yes, that’s the only way I won’t forget what – at the time – I believe to be possibly the best idea I’ve ever had.
Usually, whether I’m working through the day or night, being in the world I’ve invented is not a problem; the dogs at my feet don’t seem to care, and the dishes in the sink can wait a while. I especially enjoy driving my tractor mower, slicing the top off our acres of grass, while I ponder the regions of my fantasy world, and weeding? Oh weeding is wonderfully soothing when I’m plotting.
|Me on my mower!|
When I’m spending time with my family I do my best to not stare off into space for too long, because then then know they’ve lost me…and that’s not fair to them. We all have little enough time together as it is, so I owe them my mental as well as physical presence when we’re able to enjoy each other’s company.
Usually, therefore, I live a life in which the balance is allowed to be “off” – where I’m able to constantly and fully inhabit my make-believe world. And the mental gymnastics I perform to be able to give myself, fully, to my family – and friends – is as nothing, compared with the enrichment I get from my infrequent interaction with real human beings.
Cathy Ace is the Bony Blithe Award-winning author of The Cait Morgan Mysteries (#8 The Corpse with the Ruby Lips was released on November 1st) and The WISE Enquiries Agency Mysteries (#3, The Case of the Curious Cook, was released in hardcover in the UK on November 30th and in the USA & Canada on March 1st). You can find out more about Cathy, her work and her characters at her website, where you can also sign up for her newsletter with news, updates and special offers: http://cathyace.com/