Wednesday, November 30, 2005

Mental Images

I am now done with my major pre-trip shopping, aside from the last-minute Target run to stock up on travel necessities. I already have plenty of airplane snacks, including some "fruity oaty bars" from my LA trip, so there shouldn't be much to get there. I might need some new makeup, but that's something it will actually be more convenient for me to buy in New York. I wear Stila, and the only stores around here that carry it are at inconvenient malls. In New York, it's at places near where I'll be going anyway, and I'll be in town a couple of days before the big meeting.

I checked the long-range forecast at the Weather Channel site, and it looks like it's going to be properly seasonal, with highs in the 40s and lows in the 20s, a mix of rain and snow expected. That means it will probably the the kind of snow that's pretty flakes dancing around without it accumulating on the sidewalks. Perfect. Thanks to seeing that forecast, I changed my mind about needing the knee-length, flippy trumpet skirt (though I still desperately want one) and found a lovely pair of black tuxedo-style slacks at the Liz Claiborne warehouse sale in the nearby outlet mall. I also found at the same mall a silk sweater that's almost exactly the same color and that has almost the same neckline as the tank top I had originally designed into my planned outfit. So, for less than the cost of one Ann Taylor Loft skirt, I managed to get a pair of slacks and three sweaters. So there, Ann. PPbbbttthtthhh. (Yeah, I know, real mature of me. But shopping gloating is fun.) I'm still considering the idea of a sewing machine and a new hobby. I'm good at the hand stitching and detail work that are generally what sets apart "home made" from "hand made couture." A few skirts and a dress would probably pay off the investment. But after I finish this book.

Speaking of which ... the weird thing about writing is that there are generally two versions of your story. There's the one playing out in your head, and there's the one that appears in written form. The written version often feels like a pale imitation of the mental version. Sometimes it's impossible to capture the essence of all that's in your head and translate it into words. What I'm finding this time is that what I write down is turning out very different from what I imagined. There's something about giving it form, structure and shape that fundamentally changes it from the series of mental images. Take that character I was talking about yesterday. When I actually started writing her, she was very different from what I imagined. It's kind of like when you see a movie version of a book, and it's a little disconcerting when the images you see on the screen don't match the mental images you had when reading the book. No matter how perfect the casting is, it's still not exactly what you pictured. I'm not sure yet if these differences are good or bad. I'm not even entirely sure where I'm going with this person now. Guess I'd better figure that out, huh?

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