A conversation between brain, hands, and heart.

“Dudes, what’s going on down there?”

“What do you mean, Brain?”

“There’s no writing going on.”

“Well, you see, the words go through us, but they come from you.  So answer your own damned question.  We’re busy steering a starship, here.”

“But Tajen and his crew have arrived in the Sol system!  They’re about to discover the remnants of the Earth defense forces in the asteroid belt!”

“That sounds good.”

“And then the zhen will jump in-system, and there will be a long game of cat-and-mouse in the outer system and the belt!  And then the zhen will nearly kill the Antares and her crew!  And they’ll crash and discover the horrible secret the Empire’s been keeping for hundreds of years!”

“That all sounds great!  We’ve finished this mission; let’s fire up Scrivener and go!”

“… I can’t.”

“… Why not?”

“Well, you see, I taught all day.  Freshmen.  And they totally sapped my energy. I got ‘nuthin.”

“Oh. Ok.  Well, there’s some Maas shipping out by the Touchdown L-Point, so we’ll go relieve them of their goods, then.”

“But we need to write!”

“And this is our problem how?”

“Well, you’re the hands.  I already came up with the story, just write the scenes!”

“We can’t, dude.”

“Why not?”

The words come from you!  Not just the ideas, man.  The words!  We’re just machines; you’re the goddamned brain!”

“But I’m tapped!  I literally have nothing left to spend on storycraft.” 

“Uh.. excuse me, guys?”

“Yes, heart?”

“I got this.” 

“But your job is just to push blood through the system.  And aren’t you tired from that recent arrythmia episode?”

“Brain. Seriously.  That was weeks ago.  I’m better now.  And hands?  You know, Brain does a lot, but he doesn’t do it alone.  We work best when the words go from me, to him, to you, right?”

“Well, yeah, I guess so.”

“Good then.  Hands, get ready.  Brain, get your whining over with and get in gear.  We’ve got words to write.  The books won’t write themselves, and we won’t be signing any unless we start publishing them first.  And we won’t be publishing any if we don’t write the goddamned things. And seriously, do you want this story still stuck inside your head for the next five years?”

“No, not really.” 

“Right.  So get your ass in gear!  Not you, Butt.  You stay in that chair.  Now, let’s WRITE!”

(A thousand-or-so words later)

“That was a good night.” 

“Indeed.  Goodnight, hands.”

“Good night, brain!”

“Good night, heart.”

“G’nite, guys.  See you tomorrow.”

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About Michael Johnston

Father of a fifth grader, high school English teacher, writer. Forty-six years old and feeling almost every bit of it on some days, and not a bit of it on others. Based in Sacramento, California, USA
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2 Responses to A conversation between brain, hands, and heart.

  1. All the loves. 🙂 I am borrowing this tomorrow (okay, without the details of the invasion.)

  2. Ah, I love this. Good on you. 🙂

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