Rabbit Trails (Real and Imagined)

“Never trust that thing between your ears.

Brains will get you nowhere fast, my dears.

Haven’t had a need for mine in years

On the pages where the truth appears.”

Rabbit, from Pooh’s Grand Adventure, the Search for Christopher Robin

by A. A. Milne

I am under attack.

Rabbit trails crosshatch our meadow, going everywhere and nowhere. Each intersects another that leads to the burrow under an stone bench, a monolith on its side on the ridge. Many pass bits of exposed shrubbery that will testify to epic bunny topiary skills in May. (I brace for landscape impact, displeased but committed to a xeriscape scheme of environmental responsibility that attracts the deranged furry little hoppers.)

0113161049bThese signs of frenetic activity in a frigid winter scene remind me of my writing world. The book I completed in 2015 has a life of its own with major publishers. The long synopsis for the next book thrills me, the research an impeccable foundation for a harrowing interpersonal ride in international suspense. Two other stories take shape in the foggy recesses of my psyche. I bat them to the end of the gray-cell line to focus on the book I’ve promised next, knowing that they continue to form in my subconscious.

Snippets of and scenes from these three unwritten books crisscross my mental landscape like the rabbit trails in the meadow. Some will be left on the cutting room floor, so to speak, but I still drop ideas into files. There’s no telling where the writing will take me when I’m buckled into the office chair for the ride.

0103160900Just as the small, medium and large rabbits on top of my mountain seem to have little idea where they’re going, this stage of writing resembles a spiderweb of trails. Most are intentional but not all are conscious. I wish these books would queue in a neat, orderly line in my brain. Instead, they crash together and tussle, and I have to separate them like unruly preschoolers on the playground after lunch, or Rabbit trying to keep everyone on the organized straight-and-narrow path in Winnie the Pooh stories.

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