I seem to constantly meet people who get that gleam in their eye when they hear I’ve written a few books.
“A writer, eh?” they say. “I’m thinking about writing a book too.”
“You are?” I say. “That’s great. What’s it about?”
That’s a dangerous question to ask, but what else am I going to say at that point? There is no other question to ask. Other than a deus ex machina twist in the plot (asteroid strike, swarm of hornets, or the the appearance of a land shark), I have no other choice.
“Oh, it’s about this guy who opens a door, no, wait, a closet door, or maybe he should open a cupboard? Anyway, he goes through because maybe he’s being chased by football players, and then he finds himself in an alternative world where he suddenly acquires all these mad fighting skills and he’s also a totally awesome wizard, and this really hot princess falls in love with him. No, wait. Maybe two really hot princesses. Or three? And then there’s this super bad guy called Doom or King Doom or…no, I got it! Count Doom, kind of like Count Dooku from the new Star Wars movies, but cooler because it’s sort of like Star Wars and sort of like that guy from the comic books who fights Spiderman. Count Doom! He’s really evil and he’s going to destroy the world and the guy, the first guy, is the only guy who can stop him. And then there’s this huge battle scene with lots of fighting and stuff.”
“Sounds interesting,” I say. “How much have you written so far?”
“I haven’t really started yet, but I will.”
And then we wander off on our separate ways, both of us to dream our dreams and fly our flights of fancy. Both of us to age and grow older, one day at a time. Sand through the hourglass until there are no more chances or opportunities or stories left to be told. That can be told.