A Writer Divided Against Herself

(Needless to say, my left and right brains don't always see exactly eye-to-eye…)

INNER WRITER: (Writing) "An ancient weeping willow sobs and throws its hair defiantly over the metal blemish of a chain-link fence, leaning aggressively against it, seeming to assert that it was here first, and it does not appreciate this ugly encroachment on its sweeping majesty. It sighs in the wind, echoing the breeze with reluctance born of a sad, corrupted simplicity, throwing its eternal hair over its lined face like a veil. So no one sees the rainwater tears streaming down the—"

LAURA: Oh, for the love of God, you're describing a tree, you sap… No pun intended.

INNER WRITER: Ridiculous. Pun utterly intended. It always is if you notice enough to say, "No pun intended," and point out your "unintentional" cleverness to everyone else.

LAURA: Touché. However, I'm still not the one waxing poetic over a tree.

INNER WRITER: (In a huff) For your information, the vignette regarding the willow is central to the development of the mood and ambience of the scene and to understanding the character's motivation to—

LAURA: Uh-huh… And have you hit plot yet?

INNER WRITER: Well, no, but—

LAURA: Do you have a plot, yet?


LAURA: (Sighs dramatically) I don't know how I ever manage to work with you. The deadline is coming up, and we need a story, and you're busy outlining the nuances of every leaf of a stupid, irrelevant plant.

INNER WRITER: (Dreamily) Yes, and your point is?

LAURA: (Losing patience) We need a story as in something with some semblance of a plot, you right-brained ditz.

INNER WRITER: Here now, let's be civilized about this. A plot is a narrow formula invented by pedantic people like you to limit the creative scope of my artistry—

LAURA: I am not pedantic.

INNER WRITER: You most certainly are. You are to me as the manual for putting together an electric mixer is to literature, stifling the burgeoning kaleidoscope of my artistic—

LAURA: Ah-hah! There you go again with your unnecessarily verbose descriptions. Just say what you mean already!

INNER WRITER: I am painting the portrait of my opinion in vibrant color with painstaking strokes. Just because said portrait is not expressly flattering to your pedantic flatness of countenance does not mean it is inaccurate or excessive.

LAURA: Huh, now you're just talking to hear the sound of your own voice. I am not pedantic. You're just so disturbingly artsy and full of hot air, I have to be around to make sure you don't make both of us float away!

INNER WRITER: (Dreamily) You shouldn't be so scornful of floating away. It's quite nice, and among the fluffy, white, cotton candy clouds, there is always a multitudinous flock of sweet, winged inspiration, singing the songs of angels and just waiting for you…

LAURA: (Vomiting into air sickness bag) Are you quite done?

INNER WRITER: (Cheerfully) Oh, I'm never done. The sky is hardly the limit. I could fill notebooks en route to the sky then burst through the universe in constellations of conceits and hyperboles, and still have a plethora of words left for you.

LAURA: (Irritated) Then, how about we make use of that "plethora" and get on with the story. The one we need to submit ASAP, remember?

INNER WRITER: Oh, posh. What are you in such a hurry to write a story for? Enjoy the story, smell the roses!

LAURA: I am not smelling the roses, as you well know. I am smelling the oak you've been fixating on for two and a half hours in lieu of actually doing something productive. Now let's branch out into an actual plot now, shall we?

INNER WRITER: (Slowly) You talk so fast… I have no patience for your formulaic fastidiousness sometimes. Everything must be organized into perfect neat little plot structures, and there's never any time to just… (Sigh)… be! Feel the breeze in your hair, the words on your lips, the precious sweetness! Alas! How ever did you get to be so Type A and anal?

LAURA: I blame you, airhead.

INNER WRITER: (Ignoring her) They have medication for that nowadays, you know.

LAURA: They also have excellent medication for people who stare into space and fantasize about landscaping all their waking hours.

INNER WRITER: Oh, you're getting quite belligerent about this, don't you think?

LAURA: (Fuming) Yes, of course, I think! You're driving me absolutely up the wall with all your incessant descriptive stalling!

INNER WRITER: (Huffily) Oh, and what were you going to write, huh? "Once upon a time there was a sad dog. It ran. The end?" How positively elementary! You can't rush genius, you know.

LAURA: Indeed. That's why I'm perfectly comfortable rushing you!

INNER WRITER: (Rather hurt) Oh, you don't mean that, do you? We are an excellent team, just like salt and pepper, peanut butter and jelly, sugar and spice…uh… cheese and—

LAURA: Cheesier.

INNER WRITER: (Triumphant) See, you can be quite ridiculous sometimes when you let yourself.

LAURA: (Mumbles grumpily)

INNER WRITER: Well, I'm always seeking to expand my horizons, so if you can be ridiculous, I guess I can try being mundane and structured.

LAURA: (Sings a few bars of the "Alleluia Chorus") Excellent! Finally!

(Long pause…)


LAURA: What is it?

INNER WRITER: An interjection used to express bemusement or lack of a better word.

LAURA: (Annoyed) You know what I meant.

INNER WRITER: Alas, it burdens my heart to burden you with this sorry tiding, but—


INNER WRITER: (Deflated) I have writer's block.

LAURA: Oh, of course you do…

(SEVERAL HOURS LATER: It is 3 a.m. and LAURA wakes with a start.)

INNER WRITER: Eureka! I've got it!

LAURA: (Rolls back over) No, you do not. I am sleeping now.

INNER WRITER: Creativity does not keep regular hours, you silly bore. Quick, get up because the inspiration will not be there when you wake up tomorrow morning.

LAURA: (Sleepwalks in direction of nearest caffeinated beverage) I really hate you sometimes...

INNER WRITER: (Cheerfully) Oh, no you don't.

LAURA: Yeah, that's the worst part of it, isn't it?

INNER WRITER: No, actually-

LAURA: That was a rhetorical question.

INNER WRITER: (Giggling) Your face is a rhetorical question.

LAURA: Oh, real mature…

INNER WRITER: (Pretentiously) It was a metaphor. Anyway, before I was so rudely interrupted… (Writing) "I remember well that most peculiar day that I awoke to find that as I slumbered, someone had transformed me into… a tree."

LAURA: (Groans) Please tell me you did not just wake me up so you could write that.

INNER WRITER: What? It seemed like an exemplary idea at the time.

LAURA: (Menacingly) And for your information, that was a pretty large cup of coffee I just downed. So, by my calculations, we have at least three more hours to spend together— So…

INNER WRITER: Um, right… I did not just wake you up so I could write that?

LAURA: Thank you.

INNER WRITER: Oh, anytime. (Starts laughing) And for your information, I was completely kidding. You should have seen your face! Writers… they're just so darn temperamental.

LAURA: (Grumbles under breath) Maybe I should become a lumberjack instead…