Sunday, August 17, 2008

This is Driving Me Nuts

My story output the past couple weeks has been great. A big part of that success is what most writers would call their idea folder. I call mine my memory, but some people are organized enough to write down their story ideas. I'm impressed by their energy, but I'm never going to do that.

Stories don't really come from nowhere. They come from the imagination. I think storytellers have strange connections in their brains that link up unrelated events and experiences and blend them like a frappichino until viola, story! When I read a call for submissions, those synaptic nerves fire up, grab whatever weird bits it can from my memory, dashes into my kink fantasy vault for a little flavor, gives 'em a whirl, and slaps a venti bisexual erotic mystery frappe on the counter before me.

Lucky for me, my brain is as full of esoteric facts as a Jeopardy contestant's. I read everything from news items about Big Foot to scientific articles about catalytic crackers, and I retain an astonishing amount of what I read. It's hard to find a subject that doesn't fascinate me. Add to that the amazing sites that happen right in front of me - a jazz funeral in New Orleans, a twenty-foot long gay pride parade in Milan, a drum major practicing his strut and mace twirling as he walked down Lincoln Blvd. - and I have a lot of material to draw from. That's been important these past couple weeks as I've been working on so many stories.

Except that it's failing me for one call, and that's driving me nuts. No matter how hard I try, I can not come up with a story for Jolie du Pre's next anthology. I really want to get something in to her, and I have a week or so left to do it, but that's cutting it very close even if I had a story to write. Which I don't. Nothing. Every little inkling I get fades to nothing just as I try to get interested in it. I've never been able to force a story. It either comes to me or it doesn't. Right now, I'm tapping my fingers on the counter and wondering just what's taking so long for my hot tall swinger fantasy to go.


mattilda bernstein sycamore said...

Wait, "a twenty-foot long gay pride parade in Milan" -- are you saying that was the entire length of the parade? Where did they put the corporate sponsors?

Love --

Kathleen Bradean said...

Good to see you again.

I'm exaggerating how short the pride parade was. We stepped out of the metro station into the square in front of the duomo and saw an arc of rainbow balloons. By the time we crossed the square to see what was up, the parade had passed. It was two banners, about fifty people, and the balloons. If we'd taken the next train, we would have missed it entirely.