Thursday, September 25, 2014

Mystery Mind


When Frankie listed the books on her nightstand last Friday, she made me go into my bedroom and look. At the moment there are four books on my night table, all mysteries or history:
Hand of Fire by Judith Starkston
Cold Tuscan Stone by David P. Wagner
Phoenix Noir, ed. by Patrick Millikin
The Last of the Doughboys by Richard Rubin
a book of New York Times Sunday crosswords.

I'm often reading myself to sleep with a book of poetry or a play. Yes, I'm a nerd. Being a writer, I also keep a notebook by my bedside. Many authors do this, for as you know, brilliant thoughts are ephemeral, and if you don’t get them down immediately, they are gone forever, lost, and ever to be mourned. Here are a couple of particularly strange and poetic notes that I found on one page of this notebook:
The courage to be nobody.
I have broke my heart over a lost child.
Elizabeth—this cannot stand.
I meet every man as I find him.
The book of parting.
Do you know what love is? It is bringing all of who you are every single day (I probably read this somewhere)
From Ellis Peters—they found nothing incongrous in having one foot in the 20th century and one in the roots of time.

As I look over the rest of the notebook, it occurs to me that anyone who read these scribblings would conclude that I either need a psychiatrist, or that I write mystery novels.

Here are some odd notations taken from a random page, in order. I swear I am not making this up:

Tobacco and soapsuds to kill aphids
Boning knife – sharp point, long thin blade
Skinned hog keeps better than scalded hog
war hot blood vandals
What is this ennui? I think it must be possible to die of ennui.
[illegible]
now I had never seen a riot, but I expected I was about to
Her father hanged for murder
severed renal artery
Nothing that I see before my eyes is real
Action. Snakes. Storm. Pecan pie. Stampede.

There’s a hell of a book in there, somewhere.

2 comments:

Judith Starkston said...

Fun to see my book on your bedside. I hope I don't give you anymore of these unusual dreams--you do have quite a collection of midnight thoughts listed.

Donis Casey said...

I love the unusual dreams, Judy. Bring 'em on. p.s. I finished Hand of Fire and enjoyed the heck out of it.