In Plain Sight

The outer mask, presented to the world on a daily basis, is as normal as can be. The hidden side, the real person who doesn’t dare present to the light what shouldn’t be seen, is darker than a black moon.


Who would want to think that the nice person next door, down the street, sitting across from them at the coffee shop, thinks such thoughts? Who wants to know the thoughts of murder, mayhem, wars and fear that lurk behind those twinkling eyes?

Another writer. A storyteller would see the flash of an idea as it trod those dainty, word-soaked feet across the crinkled brow.

Anyone else?

Probably, but only the writer understands that the idea is not a real thing yet. It needs more; it needs a shape, a purpose, and it needs to be confined to a specific frame and role. A story needs an end, so the hidden idea, the germ of creation waits for all the other bits to come together.

That blank look, the glaze over the pupils, that’s not disinterest – it’s another world being created, even as you watch.

This is the mask of the writer, the look that makes other people, normal people, frown and look to their companion with a twisted brow and a tilt to the head. They do not understand. How can they?

It is a craft, they say, but it is so much more than a mere craft. The stages of creation are many, the paths of wonder that lure the story from the main course are many and more, and only the storyteller can bring it gently back to the fold, or set it free to go wild for a while – to see what happens.


It is a calling, they say, but it is so much more than that. The obsession with the creation of this world, these players, this bit of life within a moment, is all-encompassing. There is no escape.

Dreams cascade into a theme, or a plot twist, or an answer that needs a question. Daytime tasks become busy-work to free the mind to see the way out of the pickle, the jungle, or the dilemma. Real-world issues become fodder or grain to the underlying structure of the world within.

It is easy, they say, to create words with meaning.

It draws a laugh from the writer. Even those who loved to write from an early age, and who only truly understood the elements that are required to make story more real than breathing, know the truth.

An artist does not draw the first picture of his life and see a masterpiece. They see, and feel, the urge, the need to continue. There is no other choice. But to get to the point they see in the future, it takes a lot of work, pain, and perseverance. The pain comes from the moment the work meets a viewer, a reader, someone who isn’t the creator.


A musician takes years, decades, to master the craft and hone the dream. A dancer suffers more physical endurance and pain than a miner, but the obsession won’t let them stop.


It is the same. The dream to become the best at that thing that digs at your brain behind the mask of the reality other people live in.

Are you one of these? Do you have a hidden side? Is it dark, meandering, purposeful, enlightening, or maybe even inspiring?

pics from Pixabay:

Oh, before I forget, Not On The Cards is now on SmashWords and filtering its way out to the wider world.


10 thoughts on “In Plain Sight

    • The things we take most for granted are the things that have the most meaning when we’ve lost them, whether temporarily or otherwise.
      May wisdom forever spill from your mind to the pen, fellow word-whisperer, and from your mouth to the world.


  1. This made me chuckle a little. A friend and I were at a cafe discussing …. murder. A possible plot for a short story, the best weapon and of course, how to get away with it. Can’t have the mystery be solved easily, you know. People gave us odd looks. I didn’t realize why until we were leaving, lol.

    Liked by 1 person

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