Monday, May 28, 2007

Ideas

I'm back. In case you're wondering what that means, it means that I've lost two posts and have been unable to log into google. I was frightened I was about to suffer the same fate as Wayne Sallee who got blocked out of his original blog and had to kickstart things with "Frankenstein 1959". The two posts you missed? One was about the Gallup poll information recently released which showed a correlation between literal belief in the bible and level of education (seems the more education one had the less one believed in a literal interpretation). The second post lost was about a Memorial Day memory from a Vietnam War protester. Ah well. Both are gone, so there is no use crying over spilled posts.

Instead...

I woke this morning writing. I woke and thought: "So the story starts with an older man, maybe in his sixties, and a young woman, ripping through some part of town, with the old man driving like a maniac. He's about to commit suicide."

I actually woke up this way. I turned over, thinking: "So he is deliberately trying to kill himself, and so is she, because they belong to a group..a cult?..who believes that it is possible to enter another world at the moment of death. Both have talismans that let them do this."

And that is about as far as I got. Then, I woke and got ready for the day.

Ideas.

I'm betting other people get up with story ideas fully blown. I'll bet some people drive along, and as the scenery passes their minds are going: "So..this guy...he is at work when he realizes that everyone is gone. They were just there a moment ago..." Of course, the problem with ideas is that if you don't do anything about them, or write them down, they tend to go away. Some musicians claim their best work disappeared because they were unable to put it on paper.

Jon Zech once gave me a great idea for a short story. I wrote about five pages longhand, and was pretty happy about it. It's gone now. I have no idea where it went. Jon himself lost a good deal of text, I believe. A computer accident? Or a lack of saves?

I'll bet Charles Gramlich or Wayne Sallee have lost their share.

And of course, it's easily avoidable. Write things down. Save what you have.

Me? I'm going back to sleep and see what happens next to those two people who are about to kill themselves.

16 comments:

Charles Gramlich said...

I wondered what had happened. I actually read one of those missing posts and even commented on it, and then it was gone. Glad you were able to get back in and get access to all your old stuff. I save copies of my posts in my journal but it sure would be a pain to put anything back up.

Yep, I've lost a fair amount of stuff here and there over time. Every once in a while something turns up that I don't even remember writing. Damn this brain damage. Damn it, I say.

evalinn said...

What a mystery, huh?
Thanks for stopping by.

Travis said...

I thought maybe you took a short vacation, or maybe had a brainstorm and were writing a new piece.

Oh the things I have lost. In fact, one of the reasons I lug all these boxes around with me everywhere I go, is that I know there are story ides in them somewhere. This summer I expect to find them and get them all on the computer where I can get at them easier.

That story idea sounds intriguing. Good luck with it.

DesLily said...

loss of ideas works in many ways. long ago when I drove a car, I'd be sitting at a light and idea would come to me for a myrtle cartoon and I'd start laughing..part for the idea, part picturing the people i was drawing it for laughing.. I had to keep repeating the damn cartoon outloud until I got home... or it was gone!

unfortuntely that old quote of: Of all the things i've lost, I miss my mind the most.. is pretty close to accurate! (especially as we age)... (damn, why did i come in this room?).. and then we are expected to remember an idea? cha,yeahrightsure!

ShadowFalcon said...

Glad to have you back :-) Will you post the stories?

heartinsanfrancisco said...

I have lucid dreams in which I know I am dreaming, and in the dream I am writing. The stories I write in this way are always magnificent, and I can't wait to wake up and commit them to paper. Of course, that never happens as they dissolve upon waking.

Sorry about our missing posts. Glad you're back.

Stewart Sternberg said...

Charles, I'll bet the comment was interesting. I was hoping to stir up some heated debate. Maybe next time. As for losing stuff...I'm famous for it.

Evalinn, mysteries were made to be solved though. Eh?

Travis, I promise I'll get organized this summer. If not, well..then maybe the summer after that.

deslily, nothing maddens me more than standing in a doorway, swaying there, as I try and recall just what the hell I wanted.

Thanks Shadow. I have pulled back from posting stories which I may be sending out. When you read submission guidelines you see that several publishers consider blogs as primary publishing sources. Still..I will be doing assignments here. I will probably by posting one after the next writers' meeting this coming Thursday. So...maybe this coming weekend you can look for a writing challenge.

Hearts, you've just described me. Waking, as I am committing it to paper, it's amusing how something so brilliant in sleep becomes not so brilliant while awake.

miller580 said...

I was wondering what happened. I typed this thought provoking and intellegent response...one that was going to change the world as we know it. Or it simply said, "You Rock, dude." I can't remember because by the time I typed in your secret decoder ring type password and hit the preview button, all was lost. I tried for a few minutes to find my words again but I kept getting an error message. By that time, I was frustrated and annoyed and all my logical thoughts were lost inside the global conspiracy of Microsoft and the mental breakdown of all computer users.

Anyway, glad to see your back.

Susan Miller said...

I love to read how your mind works.

Jon said...

Once I upgraded my computer and specifically showed the computer guy which drives had to be saved. He didn't. A big chunk of my first novel length story was lost...probably thirty thousand words. I had very rough first drafts on paper and took days off work to re-enter them.

Also lost; several sketches, story ideas and at least a dozen full stories. I'm too lazy to do proper back up.

SourDad said...

Sleep is a powerful muse. I get all kinds of story ideas upon waking between 3 and 6 am. However, the endings to these stories don't often present them selves, damn! So my house is full of yellow legal pads, dozens, with story prompts ranging from a few sentences to several pages.

It's no way to write a novel, but at least I can show my wife what I've done when I gotten out of bed with an "idea" in the middle of the night.

Princess Banter said...

I fully subscribe to writing down thoughts! Many times I'm confident that I won't forget stuff -- but surprise, surprise, I do! I love flipping back on my earlier random thoughts though (I hate a small notebook that I carry with me whenever I go out to write my random thoughts in).

Fab said...

I knew I had read one of the missing posts! I thought I was imagining things...again.

avery said...

I think the ideas that come from dreaming are the reason why I love sleep so much (well, that and because of an incurable case of laziness). I've come up with some pretty good ideas from my dreams. The worst, though, is when I'm still asleep, but have a subconscious awareness that it's a great concept, and then the memories just slide away as I wake up. Of course, I turn it into The Idea That Got Away, always making it into something bigger than it most likely was.

Stewart Sternberg said...

When I was a kid, I had to walk about a half mile to the bus, then I had to wait for about forty five minutes for the public bus to show. I remember I would pass the time making up stories.

Jim, I think the conspiracy just keeps getting larger. I am trying to decide between a Sony and a Microsoft gaming system, both easily hitting the five hundred dollar range. And I keep thinking: "I hate corporations. Why am I feeding them?"

Susan, my mind works?

Jon, we're both lazy. Thank god for flash drives. We can wear them around our necks and its like carrying a computer there.

Sourdad, thankfully I don't get up in the middle of the night to try and be creative. Or does sex count?

Princess Banter, I must agree. I keep a pad by my bed. I have this thing about writing down a short story idea for every short story I've read.

Fab, well thanks for the stopping by anyway. I thought at the time the posting was deliciously inflammatory. I even had quotes from Ann Coulter and Rush Limbaugh. And I think I dug out a quote by Dr. Laura who said she advised her listeners not to send their kids to public school because public schools had left driven agendas. Left driven agendas??? Hell..I'm not happy until I've converted them all into faithful communists.

Avery, it's human nature to turn things into "something bigger" than it is. Just ask most women about the men in their lives.

Robin said...

Couldn't you do the Gallop poll again?

(Lurker...found you through Whim....)