I steal from people. Not money, not material goods, not women (though, not for lack of trying). I don't steal for gains of wealth or flesh. I steal words, experiences, lives.
It's one of the habits of a writer. I don't plagiarize, of course not, but if you share a witty quip around me, a unique perspective, a strange story or a behavior so goddamned bizarre it couldn't possibly be made up? It goes in the file.
It wont come out the same way it went in, but it will work its way back out eventually. Twisted, different, but still some form of truth like all the best lies. Your behavior integrated with someone else's quip, and inserted in a setting I was drunk when I first filed and hung-over when recalling.
I collect these little moments of life, mine and other peoples, without any real intent. It's not malicious, I assure you. Besides, it's not like you were really using it anyway.
Tonight I came across a young woman referencing her use of a diet-system of some sort to loose weight. That's what brought this on, really. I filed away her quip, the attitude behind it. Flagged it as identifiable, a truth I saw in myself as well.
She said, and I paraphrase, "I've lost thirty pounds with Nutrisystem and hard liquor, though I don't really stick to the nutrisystem."
That's a story. Complete. A whole picture, in one sentance. I do so love collecting these things from people. Twisting them into some new truth.
I've put down close to 10,000 words of new material since yesterday. Some not-so-fiction, some technical stuff on trauma medicine, some outright lies (but good ones). Am fairly pleased with that. Both the work and the varied nature of it. Just wish there was some way to fashion it all into making a living. But it's not what you know, or how much of a character you are, that fills out a resume - Merely what you can prove with certificates and degrees. Cest la guerre, as my old enemy said.
Every thief dreams of the one big score. I want to steal the right bunches of truths, and turn them into the right series of lies. Not the great American novel. I'm thinking the so-so, rent paying, article.