A Penny for your Thoughts

What do you think about most often when you are alone and free to just think such as driving or trying to get to sleep. I struggle to limit my thoughts of work which is occupying perhaps 70% of my time. Way too much.Wish I was like that going to school.

Oh man… my brain constantly shifts from one weird thing to another. Usually they aren’t pleasant things. I don’t know why either, because overall I’m very happy.

I tend to think a lot about past relationships, past work opportunities, decisions that I could have made differently. Basically, a lot of “what if” type thoughts.

Existentialism. Lately, I’ve been “wowing” myself.

As I close my eyes and images start to form; in particular, faces of people I’ve never met before; I wonder, where the hell did that come from?

I mean, I made no conscious effort to from these images, so how do they appear?

I daydream. I write plots, and characters, and dialogue. I have a complete “other universe” for my entertainment when I’m in bed and drifting away to sleep.

In more public places, I fantasize about the people I see. I make up stories about who they are and where they’re going. Endless fun when waiting at a crowded airport. I try to deduce, Sherlock Holmes style, who they are really…and when that fails, I just make something up for fun.

I also sometimes project scenes into the air, like having an imaginary tv. Dance scenes, or a boxing match, or something visual.

I may be crazy…but am never bored!

It is so random. I will go from one thought to the next to the next to the next, engendering seeming random comments which are really just 5 times removed from the cat that went by that looks JUST like the one my neighbor had 15 years ago. Even people who know me have to make a game of ‘Guess where THAT comment came from!’ Normally I just keep it inside my head, where everyone’s on good acquaintance and gets the inside jokes.

I do this too. The other day I cracked myself up and people were looking at me like I was a mad man.

I went to catch an afternoon movie at the theatre. I’m standing in line at the concession stand when I notice this small, pettite lady. Seriously, she’s about four foot noth’n.

She’s all by herself and she’s got the largest popcorn you can buy in one hand and a jumbo drink in the other. With such a small frame, it looked more like she was holding two 5 gallon drums.

I kept thinking to myself: “Man, what a loser. She has to go to the movies by herself.”

And the whole reason this was funny to me is because, I too, was there by myself.

That and the sight of her holding those “drums” was too much for me to contain myself.

My inner monologue is depressingly negative, and not beneficial to a positive state of mind. I tend to dwell endlessly on mistakes I’ve made or bad things that have happened to me, and it only makes me feel bad. So when I’m driving, I play music and sing along with it (it blocks out my thoughts fairly effectively). And when I’m going to sleep, I play tv shows or, more recently, practice guided imagery with youtube videos that talk you through imagining a peaceful scene.

It changes. Usually it’s either relating to something I did that day, mulling over it and perhaps thinking about how to do it better, for example.

Other times it’s things I want to do - lately I’ve been thinking about buying a wacom tablet, and drawing again. Maybe start some crappy cartoon on Youtube and become a legend. Thinking up characters, plots, etc. I know I won’t, since tablets are so expensive and I just generally lack the time and ambition, but it’s still fun to daydream.

To keep my mind off work: motorcycles, sex and beer.

To the OP: are saying you wish you were back in school instead of working?

My mind is aglow with whirling, transient nodes of thought careening through a cosmic vapor of invention.


When I drive, I listen to the car radio. And I go to sleep very quickly.


This. It gets most involved when I’m falling asleep, but I tell myself stories when I’m in the car, or playing brain-numbing computer games, or doing something brain-numbing at work.

I have two or three ‘series’ I can fall back on, but I make up a lot of one-shots too. I keep meaning to write down the better ones as I come up with them. The problem with that is a lot of them are heavily based on other, very famous, stories, and I don’t usually want to put in the effort to disengage them from that.

Monkey Mind.

This. Then that. Then something else. Then back to this. It’s never dull, and it’s awesome to see things from a lot of sides, but I learned young that you have to get some control on it, or you’ll never get through life.

I have always needed adventure in my life, but now that I’m older and have a more structured and routine life, then ever before, I’m still always planning adventures, in my head. Plans to escape, to run, far and fast to somewhere exotic and enchanting.

Perhaps that phase of my life is truly passed, and I just can’t accept it, but I’m pretty sure it will come back around. And you know, I’ll be ready!

Silver Tyger: (Cool name, by the way!) It’s a lot easier than you might think to “file off the serial numbers” and make someone else’s story the basis for your own, with no giveaway traces remaining. A literary agent once said to me, “Make the fat ones thin, the thin ones fat, and put them all on another planet. Voila.”

I’ve published sf and fantasy stories and books based on…um…LOOSELY based on other people’s ideas. Carefully distanced from other people’s ideas! Bowdlerized till their own creators wouldn’t recognize them!

So…write! Write! It’s good clean fun, and, who knows, you could be the next George R.R. Martin. Um… Wait, wait, I’m trying to encourage you… Esther Friesner?

Ummm, is that legal? [/Beavis and Butthead]

No, but if I had spent my free time focused on thinking about my approach to the papers I wrote in school like I tend to do with my approach to dealing with issues at work, I might have had a more successful and rewarding scholastic career.

An auxillary question that I wished I had asked is if you are satisfied with how you mentally occupy your free time.

My numerous, frivolous, almost superfluous hobbies, of which Diablo3 is chief atm. Other than that, I spend a lot of time thinking about the relationship I’m in. We’ve been dating for almost 2 years now, and I am having a dilly of a time deciding with 100% certainty whether to tie the knot, or not. It’s a complicated but mostly happy thought cycle at least.

I think about the future a lot. I create possible scenarios in my head, try to challenge myself in how I would respond. Sometimes I have daymares, nightmarish daydreams about the worst case scenario, my husband dying, my aunt dying. I don’t do it on purpose. I just tend to be anxious in general and sometimes my thoughts lead to disaster scenarios.

When not doing that, I think about myself. Things I want to improve, ways I want to be. Sometimes I think of unpleasant events from the past, but that’s a lot more rare than it used to be.

I’ve got one comic series I’m working on that’s that (well more ‘switch the genders of everybody and steal some more characters from 80s cartoons’). And I have a novel I’m working on that’s not based on anything, except being as dirty and wrong as I can make it. When I finally finish it it’ll be published under a pseudonym so as not to bring shame and disgrace to my family name for generations to come.

I have another story that would be best as a comic bouncing around in my head that’s original enough, but I don’t know if I want to devote the time to it.