Thursday, October 14, 2010

My curtains are closed, but somebody can still see me

A star’s just a star / Funny thing, when looking up / It seems to follow you wherever you are
“Miss Hollywood”, Carbon Leaf

The latest in the wacko series of “maybe coincidences, maybe not”:

I work in retail. My store is part of a program that encourages conservation of natural resources. What level is my store at? Silver! The store has a poster ad for Tim McGraw’s new men’s cologne. What’s it called? Silver! In spring, I went shopping for plants. I came home with a few and my eye was caught by the info tag on one of them. The variety name was “Silverstar”. What’s my band’s name? Sylvyr Star! The Chinese restaurant closest to my house: what’s the name? New Star!

Okay, that last one doesn’t seem like much, but why isn’t the place called Peking Panda or Ricehouse or something like that?

I’m willing to admit that I’m being paranoid. But maybe I’m paranoid because people are after me, so to speak. I listed other coincidences in an earlier blog post.

At first, this was funny, then it felt creepy, like some cosmic Peeping Tom watched not only what I did and where I went, but knew my thoughts. It could be the Universe encouraging me to pursue this writerly venture. That makes it easier to sleep nights.

It’s also interesting to me that on TV shows, in the newspaper, and other places I notice the name Neal, usually spelled that way like my character, not “Neil”.

Sure, I could be noticing these things because of my WIP. I think about my characters a lot, like many writers, so it’s probably natural that I notice their names out in the real world. Still, I gotta wonder why those people aren’t named something else. Don’t tell me my eyes conveniently skip over instances of “Neil”. Am I losing my mind? Heck, I think that happened years ago. I can live with it as long as I can pursue this story. I’d be interested to know how many other writers feel followed around. ;)

Note: I’ve started a 10-week online course at Basement Writing Workshop, called “Rock and Roll Writing”. The instructor is Art Edwards, who knows something about rock and writing. As we get down and dirty in the course, I’ll talk about some of the issues that come up. My first submission for the course is due Oct. 18, so wish me good luck!

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