November 6, 2007
By Laura Reichardt, Dillon, CO

A witches brew of thought, a cauldron of impressions stirring around in my mind. I absorb everything.

For days, swirling ideas, characters. I can't wait until they boil over, I must find some way to take the pressure off.

Doesn't matter where; but when it happens there isn't anything you can do. Middle of class, driving on the road, and if nothing else you turn the mix over and over in your mind until you tease free an idea, separate it, examine it from every angle and decide whether it is good, whether it is possible. Or you scrawl pages and pages--18, once--of small, cramped text onto a napkin, or a notebook, or your fingers fly until there is nothing left and you are empty, empty, and all you can do is sit back and breathe.

Ideas spill out in a rush, in a massive pile of disorganized thought, until from the madness a gem emerges, rough, un-cut, lusterless. Can't have anything easy about that gem, nothing fine. Polish, polish, nothing else to do for a long while, polish, and then sometimes you find out it isn't a sapphire but is quartz, and you scrap it and dig through the muck for something real.

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