I was digging through my short story folder and found some snippets, a paragraph here, an opening sentence there. Most of the time the light bulb goes off and I think, "hey, I remember that idea" and I earmark it for further development. No so with one story. I opened it, read the paragraph, and it was an utter mystery. I didn't recognize the writing, or the voice. It could have been written by a stranger. It was some urban paranormal hallucination fic. With coffee. I didn't have a clue as to the intent or theme. Not a caffeine induced glimmer. But the paragraph that was there was interesting, in a disturbed sort of way. It even had a title.
I plugged the keyword from the title into Google and bingo, more science info than I could handle. Interesting stuff. I cut and pasted into a file, tagged it for reference, sat back and realized I still had no clue as to why I wanted to write about that topic, let alone what to write. I put the information on the brain back burner and turned to the historical short story I meant to work on, only to find the evil science information I spent an hour looking up pushed the history fic idea across my brain and right out my other ear. I had the characters, I had the time period, I just had no story. I swear I had a story in mind before I opened the evil paranormal short. Apparently the history fic idea was like a vampire, exposed to the hard sunlight it vanished in a puff of dirt. Which explains the smudges on my keyboard.
For a moment I grew excited, maybe I was meant to combine the paranormal and the history fic into one grand story, rift with doppelgangers, swords, and mocha lattes. I thought about that a while. Probably for far longer than any sane individual would. Then, as the dogs knocked the back porch screen off its tracks in their haste to go outside and bark at the neighbors, I had an epiphany. I had just finished a short story and turned it in. The novel mocked me from a safe place in its folder, poems did the can-can on my bookshelf. From my peripheral vision, I saw him.
I was a victim of the Procrastination Gnome. He's back from vacation, sunburnt, and he's got a plan.
But so do I.
And it involves coffee.