Tuesday, October 11, 2016

Hearing Voices

By AB Plum

I hear voices in my head.

Most of the time.

Not every minute of the day or night. But . . . in countless places, at lots of moments—some inappropriate, such as:

·         While conferring with my tax-guru husband about my business expenses
·         While reviewing my latest marketing plan
·         While creating a FB ad
·         While struggling to grasp using video in FB ads
·         While listening for half a second to political callers (usually at dinnertime)
·         While zoning out in front of TV
·         While falling asleep

And . . . mostly, while writing at my computer. 


E.L. Doctorow said, “Writing is a socially acceptable form of schizophrenia.”

When the voices stop—especially when I’m at my computer—I’m in trouble. Major trouble.

Which means I’ve taken a wrong turn somewhere in my story. (My characters absolutely refuse to be forced into a situation or action or thought that contradicts who they are). Ignoring me is the quickest way to get my attention.


Two years ago, though, I got hit by the flu. Not the coughing, sniffling, aching kind of flu. The kind that hospitalized me for ten days. I spent seven days in ICU, totally unaware of my surroundings or my brush with death, I heard neither the voices of the medical staff, my husband, nor my characters.

On Day 8, my doctor sent me to quarantine in the Continuing Care Unit. Coughing occupied most of my day and night, and I had the energy of wilted lettuce. I wondered if I’d ever feel ‘myself’ again. Excellent nursing, support from my husband, and my insistence on getting out of bed several times daily helped.

On Day 9, one of my characters popped into my head in the middle of a wobbly circuit around my room. A couple of more showed up before the doctor came by. They hung around after he left. Did I plan to loll around for another nine days? When did I plan to resume telling their stories? Didn’t they deserve a little empathy for their patience?

By the time the doctor returned that afternoon, I made the argument to go home.

And I did. The next day. Late on Day 10. With a cast of characters filling my head with their music.

What about you? Had your flu shot yet? Do you hear that little voice shouting, “Do it!”

Me? I’m scheduled for October 20 because the voices in my head believe in prevention.

AB Plum was born reading—according to her mother.  She started writing shortly thereafter. After publishing two romantic comedies and two romantic suspense novels, she has turned to psychological suspense. Look for release in late October of The Early Years, Book 1 in The MisFit Series.

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