Side effects. There are good ones and bad ones. Second hand smoke, not so good. Oxygen, good. Did you know that writers emit their own side effects? And I don't just mean books.
You might be a writer if...your family suffers from symbolismus. Analogisia. Or, the worst ever, metaphorimia.
Serious, serious ailments, believe you me.
I've been a writer for a few years now, but it wasn't until recently that one of my daughters finally erupted with a bad case analogisia.
We'd just come back from Spring Break. My daughters and I had visited their godparents in Charlottesville, VA. My husband and I had lived there for five years around the time our first was born. I would still love to move back. I love the outdoors there.
While we were there, we had a great time. We went hiking at lots of different parks. Went up to DC and got our very own DC Cupcakes. Saw the Air and Space Museum. Did the Mount Vernon and Ash Lawn thing. We were everywhere. Did tons. The girls loved it.
They loved it so much that when we came home my youngest crawled onto my lap one day after school, and started crying. Uh-oh.
"What's wrong, sweetie. Do you miss Charlottesville?" We all missed C-ville. Our friends. The works.
"Mama," she sniffled. "Charlottesville is like Dragon Wishes and home is like Rope 'Em."
I should have seen the signs right away. The word "like". The commonality of books vs. places. It was analogisia for sure.
But I'm just a writer not a critic. I nodded and came up with my surefire mom response when I had no clue, "Uh-huh."
Not exactly Shakespeare, I know.
"Gees Mom," she said with an exasperated tone. "You know, Dragon Wishes is a middle grade novel."
[my middle grade novel]
"And its gots lots of stuff in it. Rope 'Em is a picture book."
[um, yeah, my picture book]
"It's shorter. Not as many pages of things happening. That's what home is like. Do you get it now?"
Um, yeah. Got it.
I wrote it down, too. Because, as you know, good writers borrow. Great writers steal. But that's a different post.
So now I watch for the telltale signs of secondhand writing. She's already exhibited a few others. Making up her own words. Geroninball. Yeah. Gotta love that one. Editing my work. Don't love that one so much. She's tough!
So beware writers out there. Your family members may have already come down with any or all of these pesky ailments. The only thing you can do is be prepared. Keep paper and pen handy at all times. And family members, be forewarned.
The effects of writing are serious. They get under your skin. Change the way you think. The way you talk. Make you...dare I say, into a writer!