That’s how much family communicates. We talk in punchlines, puns and Marx Brothers quotes. Banter and witty repartee is the local dialect, combined with the ever-ubiquitous off-color joke or two and references to childhood stories that may or may not be true.
To speak to an uncomfortable truth, I often don’t trust my own memory.
The greatest joke I ever told was when we got Houdini. He was six weeks old, a floppy white and brown mutt, the last in his litter to come up from the southern kill shelters, and unable to stand on his four, wobbly legs without going full spread starfish like Bambi on the ice.
Being easily distracted also means I’m easily inspired, and many of those conversations and animals have inspired elements in stories past and undoubtedly will in the future. But when I don’t need inspiration, but instead need motivation, a drive to push through my morning to do list, I shut the doors to my office tight. And for good reason.
When it comes to titles, I am all or none. Some days, the blessed title deities generously bequeath the perfect name for my current work in progress, simply out of the kindness of their hearts. Other days, the well runs dry, the ground cracks below my feet, and I beg for the simplest drop of inspiration, but none is to be found.