Originally published in Tiny Lights, 2007
The setting sun casts a blood-red shadow over the graveyard. My Kawasaki Ninja is vibrating underneath me. It always seems to tremble more as the headstones fly by, looking like pre-historic Burma-Shave advertisements for passing motorists.
Out here, there's only the three of us. Me, and those little voices in my head. The ones the doctors can't exorcise. The critic who can only be driven into submission by the thrill of motorcycle riding. The editor who wants to change my thoughts as they progress from brain matter to keyboard, silenced by the howl of wind and V-Twin power.
My mind is free to vacillate between road safety and story ideas. Nobody takes this haunted road these days; there's a parallel highway for the rushing masses. This road is for thinking, for planning, and for developing. There's symmetry between the graveyard and writing -- both rely heavily on plots. Plots for last century's deceased, and plots for the undead.
I'm a genre writer, and horror is one of my passions. The thrill of a suspenseful story is as real as riding the Ninja a little too fast for the curves near the graveyard.
This writer's retreat envelops me with the endorphins of fear and thrills. I don't have to worry about the phone ringing, the dogs pooping on the carpet, kids setting fire to the voodoo doll collection, or zombies arriving for dinner. It's just me and my silent cranial cellmates, hammering ideas into shape without the intrusion of life, or death, as the case may be.
When the front wheel hits the driveway, a story is waiting at my fingertips. By the time the bike is put away, I'm ready to solve all the little problems that cropped up during my ride. An hour later, the phone is off the hook, the poop is cleaned, the fires put out and the kids put to bed, and the zombies are driven off by a few shotgun blasts. I'm ready to write, and I allow my voices their say in the story. When they're quiet, they can listen to the ideas. When I write, they can exchange the ideas for manuscripts.
We get along well, for the most part. I just wish the voices didn't ask for blood and brains when I type.