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Monday, 10 October 2011

The Idea That Got Away

I pride myself on having a rather good memory. So much so that I once volunteered for a medical experiment involving hours of memory tests and something about my genes, just for fun. And anyone who's ever played Trivial Pursuit with me knows I store a great deal of pointless knowledge in my head. (And I once memorized the entire mandatory reading material for a uni class on premodern visual rhetorics, using ancient Greek Ars Memoria techniques that we learned during that class ohgodI'msuchageek)

On the other hand, I'm also a big fan of lists. Even for things I do regularly, like packing a bag to go stay the night with friends, I have to make a big list to make sure I don't forget things. I also take great care to make shopping lists, monthly work-lists, chore lists and what-to-have-for-dinner-this-week-lists. (You should have seen the list I made for our wedding. It was awe-inspiring)

So why, oh WHY, don't I make lists of ideas for my comics?!

Sure, I do have a system for writing them down in manuscript fashion, panel by panel and descriptions of dialogue and characters. But that's when I'm actually AT work and sitting by my computer, but we all know that ideas for things don't necessarily pop up at convenient times when you are at your leisure and happen to have a PC nearby. Ohnono.

The other day I had a GREAT idea for a comic. Really GREAT. It had flare, it had zing, it had that little je-ne-sais-pas. It came to my mind when I was getting out of bed in the morning, and my baby was in dire need of a new diaper, and it wasn't as if I was going to write it in poop on the mirror or whatever, so I thought to myself "I've got a brilliant memory! I'll remember this for sure", so naturally I forgot it. That great idea. Gone.

This song says it all.

It's been bugging me ever since, but there's nothing I can do about it - by trying to remember it, I forget it even more, which sounds weird, but that's how it works. I just have to wait for it to pop right back into my brain. And from now on, I'll have pen and paper handy wherever I go. I usually do, but seriously I didn't think I'd need it by the changing table. If you, the reader, have some magical techniques to retrieving memories without having to undergo hypnosis or whatever, FEEL VERY FREE to share them in the comments.