Any suggestions?

Friday 11 July 2008

I am in a writers' group that meets once a month. It's a rolicking good time, with a disparate group of people coming together for hours and hours on end (the longest meeting I have attended went over 3 hours). Some months everyone brings cheese, other months no one brings cheese to compensate for the month before, but everyone brings wine, and their stuff to read. It's good stuff and inspiring. Nothing like getting around other writers to encourage yourself that maybe, just maybe, you are one of them in some small way.

Anyway, we are putting together an anthology. The theme is Undertow. I am aiming to write something for it. Whether I succeed is another story. I need to insert that caveat in there not because I'm planning on failing (I hate those pithy little sayings - failure to plan is planning to fail, pshaw. Empire speak) but because I need to be realistic. I haven't written any fiction for a year. I have begun one story over the past few weeks, but that has stalled (I actually need to catch a train for that one - research - so it's not like it's totally fizzed out, as such, yet).

So anyway, I was wondering if you guys had any ideas. Some of you have been reading my blog for over 9 months (just think, if we'd had blog sex when we first met, we could be having a blog baby by now). Anyway, I was just wondering if there was anything that stood out to you, ideas maybe, posts that have grabbed you that you think might be good groundwork for a story?

Don't worry if you can't think of anything. I may have been terribly self absorbed over the past year, but I'm not so self-absorbed that I imagine you're all lying awake at night thinking about my blog :) Just thought I'd throw it out there, you know? Sometimes there's obvious things in front of your eyes and you can't see them 'cause you're duh duh dumb.

(Speaking of self-absorbed, Kent, the epiphany really is beginning (or the decade of awfulness is ending, one way or the other, or both together :) It's not about me, it's not about me, it's not about me.


Edit: You know, I'm not even sure why I'm asking you guys for ideas. It's not like I'm not having any. Like, this evening, for example, I am watching a movie where they are walking down a steep street in Georgia (the one next to Russia, not the one that has Atlanta as its capital) and then I get this idea in my head about a story where the main character lives on this really steep street. And then that's all so far. But that's how stories start. You put a couple of characters in, ask a couple of what if questions, then you shake it all about. You do the hokey pokey and you turn around. And then you get a story. What I do lately is I get all these little ideas, and run with them for 10 minutes, and then discard them because I don't know what to do with them and they seem to somehow deflate while I'm thinking about it. And, I suppose, I lose confidence that I am going to be able to make a story out of it. None of them seem interesting enough. As if stories are all about amazingly complex plots (at least, none of the stories I like most are. I find plot-driven stories pretty boring, really).

I just don't want to park my arse down and do the work :)


  1. I think there might be possibilities for a good bit of fiction based on the recent post about the encounter on the train with the 'scary' gentleman...

  2. Yeah, I thought of that too, using that situation as the springboard to a fictional piece. Thanks for the suggestion :)

  3. I think that you should bring a whole lot of wine and do an interpretive dance on how Americans think their president is the leader of the free world ;)

  4. LOL. You nutter :)

    Why is your avatar a giant pink monster truck?

  5. Because it's one of my trucks for Rahab's Escort Service. An unnamed mutual friend made it for me :D

  6. Click on it and you can see it bigger :)

  7. LOL I see you're going all the way with Rahab's :) Do you have a mission statement?

  8. How about:

    "Going all the way" to meet the unique needs of the trucking community....

  9. OK you guys crack me up. I love the "mission statement". I needed a laugh.

    Back to the post...(and Sue, I realize you might be offline by now, but here it is)...when you said "Undertow" I thought of Numb by Linkin' Park. Now whether or not that pertains to anything fictional you might write, I don't know...thought I'd toss it out there as a piece of inspiration if nothing else.

  10. i keep thinking of your encounters and observations on the train. turn it into a subway and it becomes undertow...perhaps???

  11. Haha Tyler :)

    Hey Erin, thanks. (Good song, BTW) I'll put it in the Undertow pot and do some stirring.

    Lucy, I might do something with one of those train stories but I've got those sitting to one side mentally for a possible collaboration in the future, so if I do use one of them I think I might fictionalise it.

    Or write something completely different. I don't want to be like Claire in Six Feet Under who just does those collagey photo things and that's all she does (have you been watching??)

  12. i only watch via dvd, but i know what you're talking about. i am saving the last season, but have it queued up on my netflix list :-)

    but what do you think about the underground...undertow thing? or maybe 6 feet under just popped in there for some reason...hmmmm.

    i look forward to seeing what you pursue on know you want to!!!

  13. the last season is pretty full on. im gearing up to watch it again myself. the last episode is a satisfying tie-up of a serialised show. it is very buddhist in its ideas, I must say. i will be interested to see what you think.

    I didn't even think about the linkage to six feet under. Hah! How cool is that? :)

    Yeah, I do want to. I was just writing in my morning pages earlier how today i feel like i can do this, or i feel like i can at least try. Whereas last night i was feeling like this is all beyond me. this writing caper is SO weird, dontchareckon?

  14. undertow: a subsurface current running in the opposite direction to the surface

    suggests: alternative lifestyle, alternative choices, going against the flow, swimming upstream,


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