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  • Grant Handgis

World Travel and the Writer


Writers do a lot of thinking. There is of course a difference between creative thought and ruminating. The distinction having to do with the thoughts tasking the brain. Ruminators rehash the past endlessly while creative thinkers work the endless horizon of possibilities. The what if's. I leave deep thinking alone, as that class of thinker includes the likes of Stephen Hawking or Amit Goswami, gentlemen whose cranial horsepower supersedes supercharged drag racing engines.

I have thought about this of course. A lot. Working my way through this new book is different than writing my other books, in that I have switched time zones of writing. Whereas I used to do my best writing at night, late, I now find myself up at 5am or earlier with thoughts racing through my mind, ready to be put to the page. What got me thinking on the subject of thinking had to do with other writers, and their way of approaching the craft of writing, and life in general.

I believe ultimately all creative writers have the same endless party playing out in their head, with the characters of their story up on the big screen of their mind's eye being reviewed for their parts. The little muse are usually in attendance munching on popcorn and wafting cervezes and whooping it up, which makes me wonder why writers invite the little bastards in the first place. It is generally believed they make the words creamier for the reader's palate.

These thoughts came to me today while sitting on Grand Anse beach in Granada, right about the third cold cerveza was being delivered to my beach chair, with a big smile from the nice young man attending our section of the beach chair line. The thought came to me right out of the blue. Would James Michener or D Wallace Peach be sitting here in one of these cushioned beach chairs thinking about the book they were working on? Would they be having a cold cerveza brought to them? Or would they be sipping one of those thick frothy Pina Coladas my wife was having?

After much thought, I believe the characters playing out in my head are reading their scripts rather well, although a couple of them are grumbling for higher fees. My book sits idle on the hard drive, for a few more days, but my brain has not been idle. I lie awake at night putting those characters through their paces, thinking up new possibilities for them to play out, new situations which will hopefully entice the reader to remain glued to the pages to the very end of the story. These are the thoughts of a writer. They are for you, the reader. And the little muse? They were there all the time, partying on the beach with the locals.


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