Sometimes a Drill Bit Is a Corkscrew

I get a lot of questions about writing with a  partner, and how do each of us make sure our voices/opinions are heard? Sometimes it's really easy if we're thinking about a concept in the same way, other times it's more challenging. It really just depends on us getting in sync and pulling the best ideas from both of us into one story concept.


I'm a very linear person. I love flowcharts and lists and folders organized with bits of different things in them. I plan. I've said on more than one occasion that I am open to spontaneity, but only within a pre-designated window of time so I can be ready for it. In my mind, that makes sense. My writing partner/mother is a much more spatial thinker. She will make lists, then half the time leave them behind when she does errands. I can only assume she has a thought cloud in front of her at all times, with a dozen or more things in various states of assembly. She does not like directions, and is not the partner you want when you are trying to put together an office chair or entertainment center. 


The other day, we were taking a break and decided to open a bottle of wine with our lunch. For some reason, the corkscrew that I was used to was nowhere to be found; after some digging we find this cheap, plastic 2-piece corkscrew that must have been from a trade show or kitchen goodie bag. Unsurprisingly, it snapped off halfway into the cork. Now, my linear brain offers me two solutions - go to the nearest store and get a *real* corkscrew, or go find some other wine that doesn't need a corkscrew. My mother, however, had a different idea; she disappears into the laundry room, emerging triumphantly with a drill. It wasn't the neatest job of excavating a cork, but five minutes later we were enjoying a nice Malbec, albeit with a lot of cork dust in it. It's the same way with writing. Sometimes a linear way is best; sometimes you need to wipe off some cork dust to get to the full-bodied, oak-y parts of your story.