the mutt

Quicksand beginnings.

Posted in General, Writing by grx20 on March 31, 2009

When I was young (ahem, expected aside comes here), I had a sentence stuck in my head. It was the beginning of a story, but I could never take it forward.

dark-cloudsDark clouds threatened the village below.

Finally, after a couple of months, it worked its way into a terrible science fiction, comedy story. It goes like this: The Gods have decided to take away emotions from humans, after witnessing the splendid mess it makes of their lives. (In any case, Earth and emotions was just an experiment of a minor God, so no big deal).  The deed is done, without much fanfare, though the minor God objects passionately. As a result, a favourite writer of the  Gods dishes out terrible stuff, because he can no longer feel and write. In an emergency meeting (during which time the minor God smirks a lot), they decide to reverse the decision.

So where do the dark clouds come in and threaten? When the minor God makes a trip to earth (disguised as a mortal) to meet his favourite writer, before emotions are taken away. The context and setting for the line turned out to be a park, and the protagonist sits on a park bench, engaged in a nail biting, staring contest with an unyielding oak, oblivious to the gathering darkness above his head. And also in the heavens.

Did I say I wrote that when I was young? Make that very young. Truth be told, I still like parts of the story.
It still makes me laugh … a little.

Over the past few weeks I’ve been stuck in another Quicksand Sentence. All my efforts to extract a story, a scene or a character from it have failed.

Every summer they came to the lake.

The working file has many aborted starts and sentences stumped mid way. I keep writing about a man and a woman and an umbrella and a shirt flying through the wind.

Every summer they came to the lake.

One thing is for sure, I’m not making this a science fiction comedy.


To the one that got away … auf, hopefully wieder sehen

Posted in General, Writing by grx20 on August 27, 2008

I’m sure it’s happened to you. You get an idea for a story. You quickly scribble down the bare bones. Sometimes only a few words. At that moment, the story is bursting through and you want to get it down as fast as you can before you lose it. It seems so clear and powerful, the thought of forgetting the idea seems impossible.

Yet, that’s exactly what happens. You read the words a few days later, and wonder what the hell you were thinking about. You frantically trace every route from the words, try to recreate that moment when it was all clear. But the idea is gone. The few words, (in the words of Blackadder), are as helpful as a barber shop at the steps of the guillotine.

Consider this fragment from my notebook:

“saving the child – maid, woman, kitchen?”

I remember it had a supernatural theme to it. I remember the image of a maid in the kitchen. That’s it.

That story like many others, is gone.

I console myself saying, there’s no end to ideas and I will get more, so let it go.

But that’s just what it is, a consolation.

Here’s one more for the Found and Lost Department.

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