Let’s Talk with Nancy J Cohen

Forget Me Not
by Nancy J. Cohen

The forget-me-not flower has had a symbolic use throughout history. I think of it in a different manner. As I’m revising book #17 in my Bad Hair Day Mysteries, I look for repetitions so as to eliminate them. My first draft is basic storytelling. I rush through, writing the story as it comes and focusing on getting the mystery elements down. I can’t remember what dialogue I’ve written from one chapter to the next.

My next pass aims to correct any inconsistencies and repetitions along with tightening the pacing and sentence structure. It’s hardest to remember what my characters have talked about and to whom. One clue in this story is a man’s tie. How many times has my heroine mentioned it? Has she realized it’s a clue and if so, when? With whom has she discussed it? The only way for me to track this is to do a search for “tie” and find those conversations.

I expect to be forgetful in this manner when writing a novel. But I’m not happy when this mental state applies to my personal life. We all become forgetful to an extent. Where did I put my cell phone? Did I turn off the light in the kitchen? I can’t find my … You name it, we lose it.

Moving has taken a greater toll on me. Five months after our intrastate move to be near our kids, I am still missing stuff. I thought I knew what those few items were but after inventorying one of my collections, I realize I’ve misplaced much more than I’d gathered. Had I packed these things in a suitcase or in a box? Were they given to the movers or did I bring them to town beforehand? If I’d brought them, where did they go? Were the goods lost, stolen, or thrown out by mistake?

I don’t know about you, but I’m finding it much harder to keep track of things these days. As we age, it’ll be us at risk for being forgotten. And so I say, forget me not. In the meantime, let’s apply these words to our worldly goods. Take photos and make lists of your valued possessions so you have documentation. Otherwise, when they’re gone, they are gone for good except in your memory.

How forgetful are you these days?

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