On Forgetfulness

Righteous Fury cover artEarlier this week I promised Andy I would get him a blog . . . for yesterday. Naturally, I forgot, as I am wont to do when in the middle of an editing project and my brain is largely filled with dwarves and dark elves and battles and above all consistency. But now I am here! Remembering once more to do as I have promised.

The brain is a funny thing. My brain, in particular, loses stuff all the time, leaving thoughts behind me like little trails of breadcrumbs only to be followed when something triggers my memory. It’s why I’m overly fond of lists. And not just any old digital list, oh no, I am old school, I am that pen and paper list person whose scraps of neatly-written-on paper can be found in pockets of drying clothes, in the bottom of my bag, carelessly strewn over desks and, occasionally, on my bookshelf and floor (I live alone, I can make as much mess as I want).

I love lists, because not only do they remind me of things I need to do, but they help to put my head in order; they restore sense to my flighty and fractured universe, these mighty words comfort and hold me, reassuring me that everything I need is safely contained and now unable to be forgotten about.

That is until I lose the list . . . then forget that I made one.

What I do find odd is that, despite my general distracted nature and forgetfulness, I can read a book once and I can remember sentences from it, actions and scenes and where these parts occur in the book and where the consistency fails. When I am editing, I can remember everything with a clarity I barely recognise as my own – I can mentally flip through a book as though it is there in front of me. I know Jo can do this, too, and I also know that Andy is particularly good at spotting consistency errors. So I often find myself wondering, why am I so crap at remembering everything else? At least it’s a useful skill in my career, I suppose. Imagine if I’d chosen to be a teacher – I’d probably forget the kids.

Now it’s back to Devastating Hate and Tark Draan, where the älfar are currently conquering Girdlegard.

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