the story behind the post


sharing experiences of writing

Tuesday night around 8:00 I got in my car to drive to the soccer field for registration. Most of the day, I had been sitting in front of my computer. My brain felt like it was off-duty.

It was starting to get dark as I pulled out of the driveway. The song “Wishful Thinking” by Wilco came on from my ipod. I was singing along,

what would we do without wishful thinking.

I wished I knew what CD of theirs this song was on, partly because that’s the way my brain works but also partly because I remembered a conversation I had with a friend that involved the same question. But because of the way my ipod is set up to work on my car’s CD player, I have to work off playlists. This was a Wilco playlist, not a certain CD.

Which led me to visualizing  album covers, Carol King’s “Tapestry”, Jackson Browne’s “The Pretender”, The Eagles’ “Hotel California”, “Abbey Road”. And I thought it was sad that we no longer got attached to individual CDs in the same way because really most of us used ipods, downloading music from itunes.

Which led to me thinking about the Kindle in my purse and then to

what would we do without books.

I pulled into a gas station. No, it was a convenience store with gas pumps. I pulled over to the side, put my car in park, pulled a pad from my purse and wrote the post down in about 5 minutes. It just poured out of me. Which is unusual. Usually I have to pull it out of me kicking and screaming.


in my backyard yesterday

Yet, this is not the first time I’ve had to pull over to the side of the road to write. This is, in fact, how I started writing in 1995. I had majored in French and Linguistics, gone to law school, worked through 2 children. Something had to go with number 3. Number 4 was in a car seat in the back. He was two. I was just starting to be able to breathe again. That day, we were on our way to Atlanta to visit my grandmother who had had a stroke. We went every Tuesday. That was 14 years and a lot of words ago.

It was for Number 4 that I was driving to the soccer field Tuesday night. Next week he turns 16, and will begin to drive himself around.

[the post in question]

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8 thoughts on “the story behind the post

  1. Wishes are hopes, and hope is the carrot on the stick that keeps us moving forward in life. Hope is what keeps us alive. So my answer to the question: what would we do without wishful thinking? is that–emotionally, spiritually or physically–we would die.

    And now, you’ve given me my next blog post topic.


    • I can’t really understand any of the other words to this song by Wilco except for those of the title, where would we be without wishful thinking. Really, it was so weird how the second I got away from “working,” my mind just took off, as if it had been waiting all day for me to quit because it had something it needed to do. Thanks for your comment, Linda! I will check out your post.


        • My brain going down a road other than the one I’m taking it on has not happened to me in the shower yet, but it has happened when I’m trying to go back to sleep at four am and am desperately trying to clear it. In fact, a year ago when I was working furiously on my novel, it happened two nights in a row. It feels like such a gift.


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