| Angie Counios

Whistle While You Work

Last week, Dave and I met to discuss the second novel and brainstorm. We worked through potential ideas and characters. I sat at the computer and he wandered around.

In the middle of our dialogue, he looked up and left the room briefly. When he came back, he had a dust rag and dusted.

We didn’t stop working—not one beat.

I didn’t question what he was doing because we were both still discussing the work (while he worked).

I mused about the whole idea of us working together: stuck in a room, me on the couch with the laptop, and Dave pacing back and forth.

There are some pretty romantic notions out there for artists. Dusting is likely not one of them.

I looked up the word romantic. Here’s what I found:

(adjective)—conducive to or characterized by the expression of love.

Although I love my writing partner and am grateful that he’s a good dad to my niece and nephew and a good husband to my sister, that’s not the definition I was looking for:

characterized by or suggestive of an idealized view of reality.

There we go, that’s what I was looking for. That ideal romantic notion of how things actually are compared to how they are imagined.

The writer, the artist, the musician has been cast too many times in a stereotypical way: tortured, heart broken, drunk in front of their canvas, piano, word processor composing, cigarette smoldering in the ashtray with a half glass of bourbon nearby.

Neither Dave nor I work like that. I think professional writers don’t either. I think that idea is just fun for characters in movies and books.

No romance here. Just straight up story problem solving….and a little dusting.

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