Saturday, December 9, 2017


Lightning strikes where and when it may.  As you've seen, the agony of a writer (well, me, actually) occasionally turns to ecstasy when something (anything!) is completed.

For the last three months I've been struggling to come up with a concept for a story that would fit an anthology I'd been invited to join. I wrote several outlines and attempted four successive drafts, none of which seemed promising, getting four or five pages down before realizing that the idea wasn't going to be worth the effort, and bemoaning the fact that my creative well of ideas was going dry. Now, this wasn't the only thing I had going: I always seem to have a handful of projects (actually struggles to make sense of a lot of half-baked ideas thatI'd already invested too much time in to abandon) going so this proximate problem commandeered only a small part of my general misery.

Then virtual lightening struck. A germ of an idea came from God-knows-where and I began writing a list of things to be considered which quickly turned into three characters, a plot, and actual scenes.  As quickly as that the entire story came together and, a day later, it was a finished piece.

Now I have no idea of how or why this happened. Some of my friends say its because my subconscious was working on this full time while I screwed around.  Others say it was my muse, that fickle bitch, who decided to embrace me for a time.  Personally I don't give a damn about why it happened, but I care deeply about the how of it.  Why did one sentence build upon another and create something out of whole cloth, the words building a world without forethought?  What magic bends the mind into creative channels and not the prosaic humdrum of reality?  What spell illuminates the joy of words that let you fly to unseen, unknown worlds?

But maybe that's why I struggle to write; just so I can get an occasional ticket to ride that incredible flight.


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