One Step Ahead of the Men in White Coats

Writers are a
twitchy lot. All quirky and semi-psychotic. The kind you don’t necessarily want
to bring home to meet your mother. And no, this isn’t just my wacked out
opinion. I’ve got facts, son, to back up my theory. Let’s take a stroll down
Literary History Lane and peek at some of the nut jobs behind the
Lord Byron
When Byron
toodled off to college with his best friend, his dog, he was devastated by
their No Pets rule. The dog had to go, but he couldn’t find anything in the
fine print about a bear. Bingo! He leashed up a grizzly and called him Fido.
Okay, so maybe not a grizzly, but it was a bear nonetheless.
Edgar Allen Poe
Poe takes crazy
to a whole new level and is it any wonder…his childhood hero was Lord Byron.
His life was one broken heart after another, and his death is still a mystery.
On October 3, 1849, Poe was found in a Baltimore street. He was semi-conscious
but not enough to explain how he’d gotten there or why he was dressed in clothes
that weren’t his.
Sylvia Plath
This chick even
admits she’s nutty nuts in one of her most famous works, The Bell Jar. She
describes her descent in lunacy in this autobiographical novel.
Truman Capote
It’s said that
Capote would write supine, with a glass of sherry in one hand and a pencil in
the other. It’s also said that there’s nothing in the world crazy about that.
T. S. Eliot
Good ol’ T.S.
preferred to be called “The Captain” and tinted his face with green powder to
look cadaverous….which makes me wonder if he might be related to Lady Gaga.
The list goes on. The point is that
creative types are generally a little off center on the normal scale. Why?
What’s up with bears and sherry and zombie make-up jobs?
Newsflash: Writers
are innately quirky, or they wouldn’t be creative.
Bear with me while I get all
up-in-your-face scientifically. It’s not necessarily that writers are insane
(though some wouldn’t rule that out). There are 3 elements, that when present,
trigger the effect of inducing the state of consciousness that is particularly
1. Uniqueness
This is something a writer does that isn’t
necessarily associated with other activities, otherwise the effect would be
diluted. Example: standing on your head while you crank out your daily word
count—and that’s the only time you ever stand on your head.
2. Emotional Intensity
This is the kind that a writer experiences
only when really immersed in creative work.
3. Repetition
In the case of daily writing routines, repetition
is the most prominent. The counted steps to your work desk. The half-cup of
java cooled to lukewarm before you drink it. All the comforting little things
that say to your brain, “Hey buddy! Time to kick butt and write!”
So take heart, writers. You might be
weird but you’re really not worth institutionalizing. In fact, you just might
make it to the New York Times Bestseller list if you keep at it long enough.
Just stay away from dressing up in
other people’s clothing.
Unless, of course, you’re the hero
in A HEART DECEIVED (yes, a rather rough segue into a shameless plug for my
latest release). Ethan Goodwin is a bad boy hero who wears the garments of a missing
vicar. Interested in Ethan’s
story? Here’s a blurb: 
Miri Brayden teeters on a razor’s edge between
placating and enraging her brother, whom she depends upon for support. Yet if
his anger is unleashed, so is his madness. Miri must keep his descent into
lunacy a secret, or he’ll be committed to an asylum—and she’ll be sent to the

Ethan Goodwin has been on the run all of his
life—from family, from the law … from God. After a heart-changing encounter
with the gritty Reverend John Newton, Ethan would like nothing more than to
become a man of integrity—an impossible feat for an opium addict charged with

When Ethan shows up on Miri’s doorstep, her
balancing act falls to pieces. Both Ethan and Miri are caught in a web of lies
and deceit—fallacies that land Ethan in prison and Miri in the asylum with her
brother. Only the truth will set them free.

A HEART DECEIVED is available
by David C. Cook and at
Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and ChristianBook.
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