How many times has it happened to you?
You think of an idea for a story or a novel and it's a winner; it can't lose; you feel as though you're just taking time for a stroll aorund the park before you turn in your Power Ball winner.
And it's not three days before you learn:Somebody else thought of it. Not someone long ago -- you're not channeling Charlotte Bronte. A friend thought of it and is two-thirds of the way through it. A friend though of it and it's his first novel and you'd be a meany pants to tear away that first, fond love and say, "Mine first."
My simultaneous inspirations have been downright eerie, the similarities all but twin and in fact twin: Sisters, one of whom is autistic and a savant with lanaguages, one of whom commits a crime. Expect a book by a well-known author along this theme come next year. A mentally handicapped woman wins the lottery and ... my student thought of the same idea. There was a baby switched with another, who became queen ... oh, yes, sorry. I'm sure it will be wonderful. A woman wakes from a coma to find herself entirely well, but numb on every square inch of her body ... ah, of course.
Do ideas float about above our heads like shadows or balloons with detached strings, waiting for us to pull them down? Do great or lesser minds plow the same fields? Is somebody rummaging in the book I keep under my pillow?
If you are, just forget the nasal mist....
Causes Jacquelyn Mitchard Supports
National MS Society, Women Against MS, National Center for Missing and Exploited Children, One Writer's Place