Read my mind, Part I


Client: What I want you to do is, well—I want you to read my mind and to deliver a product that’s exactly what I need and want it to be—without me having to tell you what it is that I want and need. Got it? I don’t actually want to take the time to give you instructions, to explain to you what I want.

Jane: Yeah… that’s not gonna work.


Sean: Love, but the problem is, you don’t want to tell me what you need and want. You want me to read your mind.

Jane: What’s so fucking hard about that?

Why I love him: he heard that first conversation. And he doesn’t call me a hypocrite.


You: I would really love to watch you write.

Jane: Yeah… watching a writer write is about as exciting as watching paint dry.

Flora: Not! True! She makes the most amusing, the most horrible faces.

Cinder: And sometimes, if you time it just right—if, at just the right moment, you say, “Mom! Where’s the charger for the iPad?” or “Mooooom! I’m hungry!”—she channels Cthulhu. And. It’s. Awesome.

The goddamn bums. Did you catch that? They. Do. It. On. Purpose.

Oh, for a room of her own… with a lock on the door.

(Soundproof, too…)


I can read Ender’s mind. Totally.

Jane: Don’t even think about it.

Ender: But…

Jane: No!

Ender: Come on!

Jane: No! Way!

Ender: Humph. Fine.

He stalks off. I dial.

Jane: Hi, Ender’s on his way to your house. Whatever he asks—I already said no.

Her: K. Good to know.

It takes a village, don’t you know.


Client: This isn’t at all what I had in mind.

Jane: Good. Now I have a little more information. I still don’t know what you want. But I have a better idea of what you don’t want. Let’s talk about what, specifically, you don’t like about this.

Client: I don’t know. It just doesn’t speak to me. It doesn’t pop. Make it… snappier. More… you know… more… something or other, you know? Like this… but different.

Jane: You’re fired.


Interlude: A neighbourhood cat wanders into my basement office while I write. Sniffs around. Possibly pees in the laundry room.



You can’t watch me write, lover. But next week, I’ll tell you how I cook. It’s like writing… but different.

nbtb-read my mind 1



7 thoughts on “Read my mind, Part I

  1. Watching a writer write is rarely any fun. But somehow, making it a community event can be. I don’t know why sitting beside other people who are writing/otherwise arting is so comforting/motivating, but it is.

    Sometimes my bestie and I will call one another just to write together. Srsly though. It’s usually ten minutes of silence followed by, “What’s a synonym for _____?” “Uhhhh… how about?” “Hmmmn.” Followed by another indefinite period of silence. But I can /hear/ the productivity at the other end of the phone.

    • I tried a writing group a while ago where people got together and just wrote–no talking, just writing–in a field of collective concentration. It was very interesting… but almost too distracting. I prefer to write alone.

      I’m still struggling to figure out how to balance that with a need for a creative community and support…

  2. Holy CRAP! Here I was, thinking that I was avoiding “writing” by taking a course in how to create websites and mobile apps but at the end of the day we appear to have the same client. “Clients” are bastards aren’t they? “Make it POP”. What the FUCK does that even mean?! It’s the mantra of the wannabe entrepreneur when they have sweet buggery bollocks idea of what they want, but they want it yesterday and it had BETTER friggin’ “POP!” a shitload more than the competitors site/article. Glad you have the edge on at least one of the kinderlacken. Always good to know you still have your finger on the pulse. Best get to that cat pee as it tends to stain. Just sayin’…

  3. My wife is in the middle of a landscape design right now for a nice little old lady with this “I don’t know what I want, but this magnificent design you just spent hours on for me isn’t it,” issue. Frustrating. Mercifully for me so far, while designing safety programs for companies most clients have no idea what the manual is supposed to look like, so whatever I deliver is awesome. 🙂

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