Yesterday morning, I was lying in bed when a scene for my second novel, tentatively titled In the Red, came to me out of the blue (LOVE when that happens!). Because I had some errands to run as well as some appointments that morning, I quickly jotted down the scene onto a piece of paper so that I’d remember it when I returned to my novel writing later that afternoon.
When I finally sat down to write it, the kids were already home from school. I was so excited about this particular scene that I asked my kids if they’d like to hear about it. Two of them were doing homework, and one of them was eating a snack in the kitchen.
“Sure,” they said.
“Okay, picture this,” I said and went on to detail everything that I had envisioned.
“Where did you get that from?” my 14-year-old son asked.
“I made it up,” I said.
“Oh,” he said. “Wow.” (Don’t let the “wow” fool you — he appeared to have more enthusiasm for his chocolate chip cookie than he did for my book.)
“Sounds like a movie,” my daughter said, continuing to do her homework.
“So, what do you think?” I asked, eagerly awaiting the feedback.
“Good,” they muttered and then went right back to what they were doing.
Tough crowd. I decided to make things a little more dramatic. “Remember, you can’t tell anyone what mommy’s writing about. It’s a secret.”
That little tidbit got my 9-year-old son’s attention. “Really?” he asked.
“Yep. In fact, I want everyone to raise their right hand and swear they will not tell a soul about this scene or any other that I write in the future.”
Immediately, my 9-year-old’s hand went up while my 14-year-old rolled his eyes.
“We just did this in social studies today,” my 12-year-old daughter said.
“What? You did?” I asked. I’ll have to get more details about that later, I thought, but I didn’t want to lose my 9-year-old’s undivided attention. “Anyway, I’m serious. Raise your right hand and swear you won’t tell anyone about mommy’s scene.”
My little guy was delirious with delight, while my oldest son muttered, “Yeah, yeah, whatever,” and walked downstairs into the den.
“Why do we have to do this?” my daughter asked, raising her hand.
“Well, you never know,” I said. “Loose lips sink scripts. Did you know that Woody Allen is very secretive about his films. He doesn’t want anyone to steal his ideas.”
“Really?” my daughter asked. “Who’s Woody Allen?”