Hi, Edith here, there and everywhere.
Recently some of our Wenches have been talking about clutter on their desks and in their homes.
I am here to talk about clutter in my mind.
I never realized that not only is my desk quite literally covered with useless and forgotten items, as is my entire house, but my mind is overflowing with useless information.
I realized this when a kind reader, Charliene Turner, recently emailed me to ask: “Is there any chance that you will write a novel about Leland Grant’s younger brother Martin?”
I sat frozen.
The name was sorta familiar.
The brother was not.
Was it something I had written?
I couldn’t recall which book or who she was talking about.
I was, I promise you, stricken.
It came to me in the shower one morning. The great Terry Pratchett wrote that ideas come sleeting down through the Multiverse. Mine come pelting down in the shower.
Two books! I had written two books with Leland Grant!
I realized after days of rifling through my cluttered memory, that they both were in the C series I wrote for AVON. Leland Grant, Viscount Haye, was introduced in GYPSY LOVER as the half brother of the hero, Daffyd Reynard. Martin was introduced in HOW TO SEDUCE A BRIDE – Leland Grants story.
How could I have forgotten, even for a moment?
Even if I’d no plans for Martin’s story – I ought to have remembered instantly!
Now, understand, I’ve written lots of novels. I remember most of them, but it appears, not all.
Because, I now see, my poor brain is filled with useless clutter. It is overstuffed with shards of old commercial jingles. I know them all, just start humming and I’ll join in. I know the old Chiquita banana jingle – except for one line I always fudged. I have also stored old toothpaste songs; detergent melodies, cereal ditties – the fun commercials down through the ages, in fact. I also harbor popular songs, Broadway scores, themes from favorite TV shows and the actors that appeared in them: every Star Trek episode, old and new generation, for example.
Also, there’s a box near my cerebellum stuffed with great lines from every movie I ever enjoyed. Baseball stats. Facts about things I had to know in eighth grade. Friends’ obsolete phone numbers, scraps of historical oddities, dates of great wars and peaces, titles of books and names of authors I loved – even back in fifth grade. Who else could immediately name the author of Bambi? (hint: its not Walt Disney.) The compleat works of Louise May Alcott? John MacDonalds Travis McGee series?
My mind is cluttered to the max. So it’s not surprising that I forgot. But yes – it is disappointing.
So I dare to ask is it because minds are like computers, and we are assimilating so much we need new memory cards from time to time? After all, we see tragedies and comedies from lands we never knew existed on TV every nightly news. We learn new media every week. We are garnering information daily.
So please, tell me any of you suffer from mind clutter too? Or, if you don’t, have you any idea of how to throw out old and now useless data to make room for the new? All contributions gratefully accepted and one random one rewarded with a shiny new copy of my latest book HIS DARK AND DANGEROUS WAYS!
I remember that!
(Although I confess I owe some past winners their books. I know it. Its not due to mind stuffing. I’ve just had a super busy May and June. Four family birthdays! Proposals to write and proofs to correct. But never doubt. I will send them onward!)