The World of the Head

Are you a frequent visitor to your interior world?

I wanted daydreams and internal burblings to play a role in the Wilfair books, because the bulk of our lives happen in our head and heart. A moment can occur in reality, but that moment is a flash compared to the time we spent anticipating it and the time we spend reliving it.

New hotelier Fair Finley is very much up in her head, but she knows she is, and wants to live more outwardly. I'm not sure I'd describe her as shy. Rather, she's "on" a lot, given that she lives at her family business, and there are always strangers and staffers around. So her interior world is her private space.

A lot of Wilfair's story tends to be about the now, and the moment, whatever that moment happens to be. But I almost prefer to consider moments before and after they happen. How they're anticipated and how they're remembered.

That's about 99.9% of life, after all: the build-up and the build-down.

A magical proposal or wedding or vacation is a brief slice of time, but how we lead up to it, and how we live after it, is almost more interesting. Those moments we haven't especially built up to can be far more surprising. Likewise, those memories we revisit the most are very often those miraculous moments that had zero prep.

The challenge is that we all probably have a few dozen build-ups happening at any one time in our life, and an equal number of build-downs, of varying import, and they all ask for our attention. They bounce and jostle around our thoughts, a hundred pinballs rolling along the conveyor belt at the pinball factory.

My all-time favorite up-in-one's-own-head tale is "The Secret Life of Walter Mitty." So witty -- of course, given that the superb James Thurber is the author -- and a little can't-look-away painful. A great combination.

Do you have one?

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