About Writers, inspiration, Stories, Uncategorized, Writers Co-op

CONNECTIONS

A story can emerge into consciousness when we connect the dots in unexpected ways. Dead people have to outnumber the living. Can you put your sock on the wrong foot? What are the odds a computer will develop intelligence on its own? How in hell can a meat sack travel the interstellar distances between stars -maybe, we’ll just have to ride our planet and see where it takes us? In a society of adamantly diverse groups, can any be right, or are there universal truths to unite us? If you survive a nuclear war and the radiation doesn’t kill you, how do you not starve to death? How many NGOs are strictly for profit? Is slavery really immoral or simply economic? How do we personally change when we go from a normal life into a real war? Are we essentially a stupid species, using up our planet’s resources, knowing all the while this has to end badly?
That these are all story ideas, I know, having written each of them. Writers think the damndest things.

My condo overlooks a golf course here in Southwest Florida and early this morning, while watching the caretakers keeping it smooth and green, it occurred to me that a really challenging golf course would be one that is not maintained. Connect that thought to determined golfers, years into a post-apocalyptic world, and you have a story, maybe sad, maybe satirical, maybe uplifting -the writer decides.

How we connect our thoughts, the bridges between them, can build any story. Mimi Speike creates charmingly delightful illustrated works, Carl E. Reed slams the senses with intellectually-pointed outrage, Curtis Bausse has given us intricately devised detective stories, Perry Palin uses his sense of nature to inform his characters of their own nature. Connecting what we know in unexpected ways may be close to a definition of creativity and that applies to any genre.

What were you thinking, just before a story idea popped into your awareness?

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20 thoughts on “CONNECTIONS

  1. I was thinking about the flashes of lightning circles when I gently rubbed my eye, and getting the same genetics as my mother. And the dream that I’d just had (no, not even remotely related to the gentle rubbing my eyes awake, only to find the golden ring flashing). My own strange (?) inclination is to worry about the facts. I have no idea how to live apocalyptically, a Ukrainian does. (Oh, the worry). You certainly struck my own heart as I read of your ideas for stories. (And yes, it sure does sound nice to be sitting, overlooking a golf course in southwest Florida and it sure would look good right now–while merely listening to the robin acclaim his territory here in upstate New York, and the grass that sleepily shivers beneath a snowflake…)
    Love this site, love your inspirational thoughts. Thank you for the morning thoughts!

    Liked by 4 people

        • Excellent! Once we have your blog, I can send you an invite to join us. We’re a small group, but we’ve been posting new blogs from Earth’s indigenous writers every Monday since April 26, 2016.

          As Curtis Bausse wrote in the original post, here “be anecdotes and analysis, thoughtfulness and humour, awards and recommendations, opinions, rants and wackiness. We don’t expect to work miracles and we don’t take ourselves too seriously. But what we do take seriously is writing itself. Which means we’re also keen to help writers explore whatever path might lead somewhere interesting, and help readers find good writing.”

          You would fit right in.

          Liked by 3 people

  2. mimispeike says:

    For me, one idea leads to another.

    Maisie was great friends with William Powell, having worked with him on two pictures. I have to wonder – if she had come back from Europe for the reshoot when ‘Canary Murder Case’ was converted to a talkie, would Powell have finessed her into ‘The Thin Man’ three years later? Nick and Nora. Asta and . . . Adele, maybe.

    I started with Adeline. Her mother’s name? I jumped to Adele. Ya! Adele Astaire!

    A nobody from Nebraska. Dancing school at a young age. So many parallels, of course Maisie worshipped her. They were on Broadway at the same time, Adele a headliner, Maisie a wanna-be Ziegfeld Girl.

    They were kindred in spirit. Both cut-ups, both full of spunk. I think they finally met during Maisie’s two years on the roam in Europe. Adele was on the stage in London, and about to marry the son of the fifth Duke of Devonshire. Talullah Bankhead surely knew Adele Astaire, maybe made an introduction.

    So it goes with my idea factory. Ideas come at me from every direction.

    Liked by 4 people

    • That’s exactly what I mean by creative connections. What do they have in common, William Powell, Maisie, the son of the fifth Duke of Devonshire, and Talullah Bankhead? You. You connect them in unexpected ways.

      Liked by 2 people

  3. mimispeike says:

    Just found this on Medium.com:

    A guy writes about his experience with Blip Billboards.

    “I used a site called Blip Billboards. It allows you to advertise on billboards all over the U.S., paying per “blip,” or 15-second display of your ad. I got 722 “blips” for a little more than $65. That came out to about 9¢ per blip. My ad ran twenty times within an hour. I spent $290 on advertising in Times Square.”

    Did he see a result from it? He can’t tell us what effect it had. His book already sells handsomely. He’s sold more than ten thousand books.

    A nice problem to have, eh?

    Liked by 4 people

  4. mimispeike says:

    I have never seen this info about copyright. (Also off Medium)

    Filing Form TX with the Library of Congress while you have a working draft of your book is not useful at all. The Library of Congress only wants your formal filing (with a check for $45 and two copies of your book) when the book is printed in paperback or hard cover or finalized as an ebook. In a final form. Done.

    Do not mail yourself a copy of your printed manuscript. Some people mistakenly think if they mail themselves a copy of their book manuscript, in a sealed envelope, never opened, that the date on the postage meter affirms the date of their first copyright.
    This is often called poor man’s copyright. You don’t need this type of date stamp, especially now with computer files, and you’ll be wasting paper and postage.

    Who knows about this?

    Liked by 4 people

    • I formally copyrighted only one piece, an instruction booklet that was published & shipped as part of a Rune set. It never occurred to me to do anything other than follow the instruction given by the U.S. Copyright office. But this was in the mid-eighties, long before amateurs formed Google University.

      Liked by 3 people

    • Perry Palin says:

      The publisher of my two collections of short stories handled the copyright chores. When a story appears in a magazine, the magazine is copyrighted and then all rights, whatever they are, revert to me. I haven’t learned how to copyright anything.

      An artist that I know makes a good living painting landscapes and still lifes, and he sells originals, prints, and greeting cards. It’s all copyrighted. His images are stolen sometimes and used by someone else, but he doesn’t usually follow up. The bigger players will buy him images from him. The thieves are little guys who don’t make much from their thefts. The artist told me that he’s flattered to think they like his work enough to steal it off the internet.

      Liked by 5 people

  5. Some of my story ideas begin with a brain glitch, connecting, as you say, normally unrelated things or connecting related things in unexpected ways. Sometimes there’s and incident that sparks an “Ah-ha!” moment that is always several connections beyond the everyday life. In those cases, I work backwards to the beginning. More deliberate beginnings often rise from “What if…” questions or a character facing a problem, and seeing just enough of the person to want to get to know them and see them succeed.

    Liked by 4 people

  6. mimispeike says:

    Every idea I have comes out of the characters I create. Start with a character you know well and the ideas will come. I don’t start with a problem, or a situation. I don’t think that way.

    What came first, the chicken or the egg? My characters create the problems. Without them, I have nothing.

    Maybe not create. Maybe attract the problems.

    GD has a wonderful character. I am in love with him. The sky’s the limit with Old Spice. He’s my kind of alien.

    Liked by 4 people

  7. victoracquista says:

    Thanks for stimulating creative connections, GD. There are infinite inputs, whether they are real or imagined that can be connected in infinite permutations. Ideas emerge from this stewpot of infinite possibilities.

    Liked by 2 people

  8. mimispeike says:

    Connections! Yes!

    I see the next Showcase will be on ‘Plane.’

    I’m all set for art. I have a poster almost finished for ‘Walking On Air.’ Maisie starred as Olivia Wilde, a society girl/aviatrix. Rudolph Rodentino was Herbert Walker Woolley, her navigator beau.

    They made a series of films. Wilde and Woolley – Walking On Air, and Wilde and Woolley – Don’t Look Down, come to mind at the moment.

    Showcase is fun. Fun-fun-fun!

    Now all I need to do is to throw together a story. This is an area I haven’t written about yet.

    Liked by 2 people

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