Artists and musicians have often been associated with possessing unusual habits that make them appear peculiar and eccentric. You hear everything from their bizarre superstitions to only eating a certain color of M&M’s. It’s one of those things that I have always considered ridiculous and a desperate call for attention. And yet, my children have so graciously taken the time this summer to point out that I too have my own quirks of unusual and unfortunately, disturbing habits.
Apparently when I get my creative juices flowing and my fingers speeding off trying to keep up with the story unfolding in my mind I have a tendency of stopping mid-stroke and staring off into space. I don’t even comprehend what my eyes are seeing because I’m so focused on the scene taking place in my head. I don’t realize what I’m doing until someone breaks my concentration demanding to know why I’m staring at them.
Another horrible habit is when I become so in tune with my characters and the event taking place that I find myself outwardly reacting to the situation. I have become as bad as one of those old men that laughs at their own joke that no one else can understand let alone find it humorous. Laughing hysterically is one thing, but when someone walks in and finds you weeping like a blubbering fool for no apparent reason, you’re family begins to worry about you.
But the worst, and perhaps most humiliating is when I’m away from my computer but my mind is consumed with a particular conversation between my characters and I’m caught talking to myself. Normally it isn’t audible so all you can see are my lips moving as I’m conversing with the voices in my head. I have made a conscience effort to stop this because it’s been a habit of mine for as long as I can remember but my daughter has also pointed out that when I force my lips to stop moving, it’s only made possible by forcing my lips into a purse with my forehead creased as if I’m straining from the effort.
My kettle keeps getting blacker and blacker as my children grow older and more observant. At least now when I tell my children I’m working they know it’s best leave me be for a little while before the voices in my head take me over and turn me into what my son has now dubbed as the “freak”.