I know the topic I am discussing today has happened to everybody. If you claim it does not happen to you, then I will right here and right now call you a boldfaced liar. I simply will not accept the fact that anyone has this good of a memory.
Forgetting a word.
I banged my head into the wall (figuratively speaking) because I was trying to remember a certain breed of cat (I know I have readers here who do not like cats - bear with me) to put into my stalker story. See, when my main character, George, is hiding under the tablecloth in the women’s apartment as the naked roommate comes downstairs (guy readers, stop salivating) shushing the little Pomeranian dog named Pipples (yes, I can’t believe it either that someone would be so cruel as to name their pooch that), he finds a cat sitting in a chair.
Now George does not like cats (stop clapping, cat-haters) because when he reaches out toward it, his skin starts to peel off his hand as the bones dry and crack. Anyway, the cat does not like George because it knows what he is (I have not learned cat-speak yet to ask and the moment I mentioned the skin peeling thing to my plot-spoiler woman, she ran out of her tiny room screaming in terror - so I DON’T KNOW WHAT GEORGE IS EITHER AND I AM UP TO CHAPTER 5 . . . ARRGH!)
Ahem. Anyway, I have this cat raising its fur in fear so it looks like it is twice its size. I wanted a certain breed without saying “a long-haired cat” and I could see the type of cat in my mind. Yet the breed of it was deep inside my brain’s knowledge database and I kept getting a busy signal because my mental librarian had taken a lunch break.
It was so annoying. The word was there on my tongue, tap-dancing across teeth and telling me that I needed to floss more, and I could not bite down on what the name of the word was. I sort of only had the first letter: A.
Well, I knew most breeds of anything were usually named after a country. So I thought of all the countries with the letter A. Afghan was the only word popping into my mind. But it was not the one I wanted.
So I grabbed my trusty Webster’s Dictionary and began leafing through the A section. I stopped by Afghan, shaking my head when I saw no Afghan cat, and continued scanning the words as I waited for the librarian to return. I heard the door creak open in my head. The “Out to Lunch - Be back in Five Minutes” sign was taken off her desk.
The word popped into my head. Angora.
I skipped to the entry and read about this type of cat. Then I discovered that Angora cats were similar to another type of cat, which was the REAL WORD that I wanted to use all along and was the mental cat picture flashing before my eyes.
So I typed in “A Persian cat” as he hissed at George and George hissed back unable to leave the kitchen because the woman’s naked roommate was nearby. I kissed the cover of my dictionary in thanks and shackled the librarian to her desk.
Forgetting words, is there ever a _______ situation for a writer?
Um, what is that word I want?