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Friday, October 12, 2018

Memory...I Wish I Had One by Paty Jager

My rusty wheelbarrow flowers.
I had a great idea for this blog while I was semi-listening to my husband talk on the phone to a parts store. But now that I'm sitting in front of my keyboard the whole thing completely flew out of my brain.

That is the hardest part about being a writer. You get brilliant ideas in the worst places. I learned after several times driving tractor and having great ideas come to me; I needed to carry a notepad and pen with me when I did any tractor work. Otherwise, when I'd try later to write it down the whole thing would be fuzzy or lost completely.

The other day, I made sure I had my phone with me while I painted the side of the house and the dog house. When I do mindless jobs, my brain opens up and ideas hit. Sure enough. I had two ideas for mystery books come to me. I pulled out my phone, hit the notes app, and the mic and recited my thoughts then and there. That is the best way to use technology in my opinion. Being able to just recite a thought and it is there for you to capture later. My phone may be a pain otherwise, but for making sure I get my ideas down, it's awesome!

While I was driving to town- I have a 40 minute drive to town- I came up with two better plots for the next two Silver Dollar Saloon books and discovered a better plot for the second book in my new mystery series. But it was all hands free other than turning on a recording device, which requires one swipe of my thumb on the side and to hit one button on the front of the device as it sits on the console between the front seats. When I am driving by myself, I always take my recording device and clip my lapel mic to my collar before heading out. That way I can capture any thoughts or scenes that come to me as I'm driving.

With as bad a memory as I have, I've had to come up with ways to not lose ideas. When my children were small and even now they talk about things we did and I can't remember them. Over the years I've told them that part of my memory was fried when I was a child. Which could be true. At age four, I had mumps that went into encephalitis. All I remember of the whole thing was my dad carrying me into the doctor's office and then my grandmother spoon feeding me vanilla milk shakes. To this day, I don't care for vanilla milkshakes. But because I have trouble remembering much of my childhood and even adult events and happenings and tend to live more in the moment than on memories, I think some of my memory storage was affected. Anyway, a whole different story.

Back to remembering. I have readers who remember my books better than I do, which is kind of frightening since I made the characters and settings up and they should be something that is ingrained in my brain, I'd think.

One thing I do remember are the kind words readers say about my books and how I am able to give them a few hours to get away from their worlds and enter mine.

How is your memory? Do you remember a lot about your childhood and raising your kids or are your memories vague for a lot of that time?

Here is my new release.
Dangerous Dance

Jealousy… Drugs… Murder…

At the reservation to make final arrangements for her upcoming wedding, potter Shandra Higheagle gets caught up in the murder of a young woman about to turn her life around. 

Having no jurisdiction on the reservation, Detective Ryan Greer pulls in favors from friends in the FBI to make sure there is no delay in their wedding. 

However, the death occurs in a sacred place and could place the nuptials on hold. Following the clues may not only stop the wedding... But separate Shandra and Ryan for life. 

Paty Jager is an award-winning author of 34 novels, 8 novellas, and numerous anthologies of murder mystery and western romance. All her work has Western or Native American elements in them along with hints of humor and engaging characters. Her Shandra Higheagle mystery series has been a runner-up in the RONE Award Mystery category, and a finalist in the Daphne du Maurier. This is what Mysteries Etc says about her Shandra Higheagle mystery series: “Mystery, romance, small town, and Native American heritage combine to make a compelling read.”

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  1. Paty, this is very reassuring. I thought it was just me. I was sick as a child--a lot--and my parents were told I couldn't possibly live. Ha! I'm still here and that doctor is long gone. However, some events dessert me. I think part of it is focus. Writers are focused on the story and the next one. I hope that's the reason. LOL

    1. Caroline, I agree. I think we are thinking so far ahead, at least, I am, that I tend to forget the past books to make room in my brain for the new ones. Thanks for commenting!

  2. I have a wonderful memory of things long ago, but recently when I was hospitalized, I thought up all these plot and scene ideas to wile away the time. Guess what? Out the old window when I came home! I think, as writers, our brains are always on high creative alert and chugging along. It's no wonder we don't remember. There's no more room inside our memory cache.

  3. Paty, I hope I inherited my mother's memory. Even at 97, she knew everyone's birthdays. Not just kids, grands, and cousins. She also remembered birthdays of church members. I do have a knack for remembering birthdays, but don't ask me any date in history. It just doesn't click in my brain. Lol. And I can walk into the next room and forget what I came after. Or leave a pan of something cooking on the stove and forget about it as I type away. Ugh! The scraping I've had to do to some of these pans.

  4. Laurean, I don't have a memory for numbers. I remember months people have birthdays but I struggle with the dates. And before cell phones with people's numbers already there, I struggled to remember phone numbers and addresses. It also takes me a while to learn people's names. I recognize them but can't always dig up the name.


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