Writer’s Hand Signals


l.z. marie typingWhen writers are on a roll—watch out! We don’t like to stop for fear of losing our train of thought, especially if we’re having one of those days when we can’t type fast enough! You know what I’m talking about! The entire scene is THERE—the dialog, mood, imagery—the words flowing from your brain, through your heart, and into your fingertips—the story bursting with—WHAM!
“Hon, where’s my jacket?”
“Mom, what’s for dinner?”

Your Rocket of Creativity just did a nosedive into the Ocean of Interruptions.

Been there, have you?

Without being aware it was happening, I developed hand signals to communicate with my family when I was ‘in the zone.’ And without realizing it, they began interpreting and translating those hand signals. It’s working rather well. Everybody’s happy and mom doesn’t have to lose her train of thought mid…um…uh… sentence.

Mom’s Hand Signals

1. Hand out in cupped position: I smell food or hear the crinkling of snack food wrapping being opened. Give me some.
Family’s interpretation: Will we ever get another home cooked meal again?

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2. One finger held up: Give me one minute and I’ll answer your question.
Family’s interpretation: Mom’s “one minute” is like a pro basketball minute—mom is incommunicado for about 30 minutes.

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3. Two fingers held up: Give me two minutes before I answer your question.
Family’s interpretation: Mom is in the zone with a scene, don’t bug her for at least an hour. Note: UK readers will need to substitute another sign here.

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4. Hand holding wallet. I’m too busy to go to the grocery store. Buy whatever food or personal grooming supplies you need.
Family’s interpretation: Carl’s Junior, anyone?

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5. Hand holding card. Get me Starbucks.
Family’s interpretation: Can I have everyone’s Starbucks order? Mom’s buying.

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6. Hand palm-side out. Stop talking to me, I’m not listening.
Family’s interpretation: Why can’t we have a normal mom?

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7. Index finger pointed to left. Make sure the dog has food and water.
Family’s interpretation: Mom can’t remember if she fed the dog.

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8. Back of hand. Bye. I love you. Drive safe. Have a good round of golf.
Family’s interpretation. Do you think mom heard anything we said?
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9. No photo needed. Flipping the bird. Note: I do not have young children.
Family’s interpretation. Mom heard our smart ass remark.

 

See any hand signals you can integrate into your writing life?

Related Links:  Rock Your WritingSymbolism & more symbols;
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4 thoughts on “Writer’s Hand Signals

  1. Caroline A. Slee

    So my darling teenage daughter thought she would inform me about the UK meaning of the 2 fingers up. I still hold up 2 fingers when I need 2 minutes. Only now she wonders aloud which meaning I’m implying. 😉

    Reply
  2. Roanne King

    This is hilarious. I seriously laughed out loud for nearly every one of them. I’m going to have to share this with my adult daughter, it’s the family joke that mom doesn’t hear a thing if she’s in front of the computer screen. I would add waving a hand to shoo them off means, “I trust Dad to handle this one.”

    Reply
    1. lzadmin Post author

      LOL–I do the shooing gesture too! And I think as moms we should give ourselves a BIG atta boy for having the ability to zone out–I think it comes from having background children noise ( I have 4) for many many years. It’s a learned skill that comes in VERY hand for a writer!

      Reply

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