Hello, Ghost

If you wonder how I've been spending my evenings lately, here's a quick look: sitting. Yes, sitting. Sitting, I've decided, is one of the most boring jobs there is. Your very presence is all that is required to receive a paycheck, and some might say I'm lucky with my "cushy" job. But I think I'd like to be as busy as I was in the convenience store industry. Who'd have thought I'd ever say that? Hotel receptionista. That's me. Smiler, phone answerer, and friend to the housekeepers who like to show off the most disgusting messes.

But the job has perks. Sitting for long periods of time leads to inspiration. The hands are idle, so the mind works in overdrive. I've started bringing my laptop and writing in the evenings. Editing IGY and, currently, making some changes based on the feedback of a great reader/beta. But that is all well and good for my typical 3-11pm shift. That is when the juices are flowing most freely and the words basically type themselves. When you stick me in an 11pm-7am shift (like this weekend), my mind revolts and I am reduced to a state of semi-consciousness as I stare at the walls.

But this also has some perks. Mainly, creeping myself out. There comes a time when Ghost Adventures comes on and I turn all the lights off. The washing machine makes weird noises in the other room, adding to the moment. Since it is a hotel, you hear random doors opening and closing, footsteps, voices, and an occasional sudden whirring from the ice machines that is so rare you need to think a minute to identify the sound. And then the Ghost Adventures adventurers end up in a seriously creepy old institution and voices are telling them to get out and doors are opening and things go flying through the air and random orbs appear.

I started thinking about being in the adventurers' shoes. What if I was in an old institution and using high-tech gadgets to check the temperature around haunted spaces? It would be seriously amazing, except most likely I'd experience it with my hearth thundering so loud I couldn't hear the disembodied voices and footsteps and door slams.

One thing I'm sure of, the shows get rather boring after a bit. Ghosts should be more creative and do stuff other than slam doors. Maybe tap on windows or light fires. And the adventurers need to be more creative in their speaking to the ghosts. Halfway through the show, the adventurer asks the air/ghost who it/he/she was and what happened to it/him/her. The ghost doesn't answer. Sometimes they do. Sometimes they say things like "help me" or "get out," all things other ghosts have said before. But I wonder how a ghost would react to stupid stuff. "Hello, ghost," the adventurer says loudly, "would you like a taco?"

Of course, at that point, if the ghost says "yes" we'd have a problem. How to make tacos in a haunted institution full of asbestos and lacking modern conveniences such as heat and pans? And how to give a taco to the ghost? All problems I considered last night as I lounged half asleep in the lobby staring at the screen. Though, if the ghost lit fires that would handle at least one of the issues.

I've decided that this sort of thinking of stupid stuff is helpful to my writing. You never know when you'll write a ghost story and you need something to say to a ghost. Apparently, it should be about tacos, because that will create conflict. And even though I simply can't write during an 11pm-7am shift, I think my brain is very mushy then and I'm susceptible to being inspired.

But I refuse to be inspired by the story of ticks that followed my ghost adventures hour. Ticks are disgusting. Disgusting!