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The cursor blinks. Random thoughts polka in my head. My mama's chocolate gravy recipe twirls with Grammy's sharecropper stories while my driver's test experiences try to cut in. I subconsciously switch from writer to editor and criticize myself for ending a sentence with a preposition -- a sentence I haven't actually written, only narrated in my mind. I wonder who made that preposition rule anyway -- and why we listened.

Rats, that's the last sip of coffee -- which reminds me, I need to add coffee to the grocery list. And that incessant buzzing is getting the best of me. Sounds like a horse fly in the window. No one can write with a horse fly in the window. I think I stuck the fly swatter under my desk -- oh, that's where my pen went.

Well, no more buzzing. Sorry little bugger. Maybe I should have shooed you outside instead of smooshing you. Or I could've offered you to the toad.

That's it. I should write about the 4-inch hibernating toad that fell out of the flower pot into my living room this weekend while I transplanted houseplants and how I was unaware she'd been living indoors with me since earlier October. I could write about the things I learned googling amphibians, like how they can survive for months without eating, how they drink through their skin and how I know she's a she.

I, however, cannot drink through my skin, and that's the fourth time I've grabbed my empty coffee mug. A quick trip to the kitchen, and I'll settle down and pick a topic to write about.

Confounded ... there's yet another preposition-ending sentence.

Alright, one trip to the kitchen, another to the bathroom, and now I'm at full input/output capacity and ready to write. I've got 27 Windows-based screens open in my head, and I have to close 26 of them.

I guess I can close the Bill Paxton window. I'm sad to learn he died this weekend. I liked his roles, especially in True Lies. He seemed like a decent guy and not too caught up in his celebrity. This brings me to the Oscar window, where I'm still not sure how I feel about parading unsuspecting members of the public through the first row of Hollywood's elite. It first seemed like harmless entertainment, but quickly shifted into an odd sociological experiment where three sets of the same species -- the public, the celebrity and the television spectator -- viewed one another from varying levels of captivity. Closing that screen lets me also close several rabbit holes where I chased the connection of Dakota Johnson to Tippi Hedren and my conversation about Alfred Hitchcock's The Birds -- which reminds me, I need to fill the bird feeder.

Maybe I'll take this week to answer readers' most oft-asked question: What's it like to write a column? I can tell them all about focus, keeping it simple and just telling a story.

Nah, I think I'll write about Mama's chocolate gravy ... right after I fix lunch.

NAN Our Town on 03/02/2017

Print Headline: A window to working writer's mind

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